No family is perfect, but some can be more difficult than others. There have been many times when parents have let their adult children know they expect their complete support even when they get married or commit to a long term relationship. It can and should cause issues with the person they love, so choosing a partner means letting the family know their loyalties have changed. It can take a brave person to inform their family of this type of situation, and they may be taking a chance of losing those they have known all their lives. An understanding partner will help them through the situation.
Family dynamics are often difficult for those outside the group to understand, but there are some typical scenarios. One or both parents could feel their children should always side with them in every situation, and they may even find ways to create situations to test their child’s loyalty. It can ruin adult relationships outside of the family, but they may care little about that. For the parents, it is a matter of being able to control their children forever.
Marrying into a family with this type of ideal presents many difficulties, and learning to navigate them is often what wears a relationship down. A spouse could find their plans for a birthday party or holiday celebration have been preempted by the family, and their frustration will grow each time it happens. Their spouse might make the mistake of allowing the family to get away with it, but giving in at all will only encourage the behaviour.
There have been times when spouses have walked out of a relationship due to their partner’s family requiring their child keep them first when it comes to loyalty. It is generally not a big betrayal that ends the relationship, but the frustrations of many small ones can to just as much damage.