As the second oldest of six children, I find myself very involved in my sibling’s lives. So after watching my sister go through a painful divorce, I worried for her when she announced that she was once again going to marry.
As the second oldest of six children, I find myself very involved in my sibling’s lives. So after watching my sister go through a painful divorce, I worried for her when she announced that she was once again going to marry. It is natural for siblings to worry about one another.
Here are eight suggestions to help you cope with a sibling’s remarriage:
Show genuine happiness for your sibling. Be happy for their ability to overcome all that they have to find joy again with someone they love.
Show your sibling support and encouragement. If your sibling has experienced divorce, it is important that you help him or her understand that not all marriages end that way and that they have a chance for happiness in marriage. If your sibling has experienced the death of their spouse, help them understand that it is OK to re-marry and move on without betraying their loved one.
Remember that this is your sibling’s choice. Love and accept both your sibling and their new spouse.
Help your sibling’s spouse feel welcome in the family. Coming into a family where the siblings are close is a difficult task. Make sure everyone feels at ease at family functions.
If there are children involved and you have bad feelings towards the marriage, do not speak ill of their new step-parent, or of their parent’s new marriage in front of the children. The children will have a hard enough time coping with the new situation without having to hear negative opinions of the extended family.
Try to see things from your sibling’s perspective. Being a single parent is a difficult task for anyone, and after experiencing great loss from either the divorce or death of a spouse, depression and loneliness can easily take over. Remarriage is a way for them to heal.
Invite your sibling and his or her intended spouse over to your house to play games before the wedding. This provides a low-key and easy way for you to get to know them. While you are with them, make sure to focus on all of the positive attributes of your sibling’s choice, rather than the negative things that can bombard your thoughts. If your focus is on the positive, it will be easier for you to accept your sibling’s choice and be supportive for them when they need you the most.
Be there for your sibling if they ever need to talk and ask them how they are doing often. When your sibling asks you what your thoughts are, be truthful, but make sure that your thoughts come from your heart and not your biases.
When we learn to be loving and accepting of our sibling and their new spouse, we become the friend and support that our sibling needs, at a time of their life that is full of change. Make sure to be the constant in your sibling's life and you won't go wrong. By focusing on your sibling’s needs, rather than your own, you can truly learn to celebrate your sibling’s remarriage.