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Estrangement Can Make You Feel Like a Twinless Twin

When we hear about a twinless twin, we likely associate that description with someone whose twin has passed away. Nonetheless, some people who are estranged from their same-age sibling can also feel like twinless twins even though their sibling is still very much alive. Since much of my work revolves around twin pairs who struggle to reconnect or who must come to terms with being estranged, it feels apt to acknowledge that one can feel like a twinless twin when […]

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Did I Make My Twin Crazy?

It breaks my heart when I speak to an identical twin whose sibling has a psychiatric disorder. In addition to the healthy twin’s distress and sadness about her sibling’s state of mind, she often believes that she somehow contributed to her sister’s mental condition. Most of the twins I have worked with experience an enormous sense of guilt and shame over their sibling’s psychological disturbance. The healthy twin can identify specific experiences where her sister may have felt resentful of […]

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Why Young Twins Behave Like Fair-Weather Friends

 A mother of seven-year-old identical twin girls requested that I write a blog post specifically to help parents of nontwins understand why some twin pairs struggle to make friends with their singleton peers. This mom described a very familiar dynamic: one daughter’s friend wanted her exclusive attention instead of having to share it with the twin. Naturally, this seven-year-old was torn between her loyalty to her twin and the desire to make her own friend. Most identical twin girls at […]

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A Part of Him Will Always Be with His Twin

A woman in her late twenties recently told me that her identical sister’s boyfriend planned to break up with her because of her twinship. Twin pairs who marry other twins often avoid the heartbreaking complications that burden singletons who are romantically involved with a twin. In my experience, the issues are more dramatic if the twin pair is identical. I have spoken with many women who are blindsided by their husband’s relationship to his twin. If the male twins essentially […]

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Let’s Differentiate Comparison from Competition

Many of my twin patients succeeded in working through uncomfortable, hostile competitive feelings toward their twin. They reached a point where they could authentically feel happy and supportive of their twin’s successes and accomplishments. However, when these patients grapple with new emotional struggles and conflicts, they again become susceptible to comparing their circumstances with their twin’s. The comparison triggers deep-rooted feelings of envy and guilt that stem from a shared childhood of caretaking and accommodation. This comparative default position holds […]

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