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Approval Is Not Genuine Love

An identical female twin in her midforties is getting married. This will be her second marriage. She had a very acrimonious divorce from her first husband. In our work together we identified that her first marriage in her early twenties mirrored the emotional and physical abuse she experienced as a child. My patient, “Clare,” feels tremendous shame about the role she played in that marriage. She recalls that she perpetuated much of the conflict and rage that was exchanged, and […]

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Tired of Being a Twin Referee?

My identical twin sister and I frequently reminisce about our worst fight. Although we both remember the incident with slightly divergent perspectives, the upshot of the argument was that my sister ended up with a few broken fingers after I pushed her and she fell down onto the pavement. I believe we were about seven years old at the time. When parents seem surprised and dismayed about their twins’ incessant bickering, I wonder if they are under the spell of […]

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Betrayal: Treacherous Twin Territory

The nontwin public may struggle to understand why a twin’s experience of betrayal is more intense than what a singleton might ever imagine. For many twin pairs, the loss of one’s twin to another relationship is profound. The twin loses more than just exclusive access. He forfeits the sense of security, safety, and love that he has come to depend upon his whole life. The twin connection is his assurance that all is right with the world and that he […]

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Twin Addiction: An Opioid High

Many twin pairs begin to experience discord and tension when one sibling no longer needs the other the way she used to. This change can occur at all levels of development and depends on many factors unique to each twinship. In the cases I treat, I have found this dynamic to be particularly troubling for older female identical twins. They often have difficulty adjusting to new parameters even if they are both unhappy with the status quo. An identical twin […]

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Why Does He Feel This Way?

Some twins seek psychotherapy because they feel stuck in their relationship. Diminished communication, lack of physical proximity, angry interactions, or emotional tension can contribute to feeling detached. Many twins can explain why they think their twinship has changed, while others are clueless. My male patients seem more hindered in this capacity. Because they do not seem to need many outside attachments, they are content to hang out with their twin and share activities, hobbies, and sports. Being together without any […]

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