Category Archives: Conflict

Soul Mates or Cell Mates?

Healthy adult twins do not feel imprisoned by their twinship. They have acknowledged each other’s right to be separate and unique while maintaining their special connection. They have worked through feelings of ambivalence, competition, and jealousy, and each has evolved into an individuated self. Healthy twins care deeply about one another and recognize and respect each other’s autonomy and choices. They enjoy being together but do not require exclusive possession of one other in order to cope with life or […]

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My Twins Are Not Close

Parents of twins often feel like dreadful failures if their twins are not close. It’s fascinating that parents of singletons want their children to be close; however, with twins, there seems to be a built-in expectation that closeness is part and parcel of the twinship. This notion is a perfect example of the twin mystique, which projects this expectation on twins and parents alike. While it may seem counterintuitive, the more latitude that you give your twins in expressing ambivalent […]

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Like an Old Married Couple

A mom of 16-year-old identical twin boys contacted me to talk about how to handle excessive bickering between her sons. She described how she has tried to manage the incessant teasing and fighting that goes on between the two of them. One will accuse the other of dressing like a geek, having a stupid sense of humor, or acting like a dork at school. The dominant twin is more likely than not to be leveling these insults at his reticent […]

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Can Divorce Be Amicable for Twins?

Recently, I presented some material from my research findings about adult twin relationships. I discussed why it is so challenging for some twins to develop a cohesive self. I referenced Dr. Barbara Klein’s book Alone in the Mirror. She feels that since twins are in a metaphorical sense born married, they can never get a divorce. Dr. Klein substantiates her point of view by highlighting how twins remain loyally connected to one another in the face of enormous guilt, resentment, […]

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Sisters, Twins, Best Friends?

Often twins can eventually acknowledge that their siblings are not always their best friends. Singletons face similar challenges. A close friend of mine has consistently justified her youngest sister’s selfishness and self-involvement. My friend feels uncomfortable disagreeing with her sister because she does not want to trigger her sister’s anger or resentment. My friend was raised by parents who taught her to have minimal expectations. In addition, my friend often denies having unpleasant thoughts because they make her feel uncomfortable […]

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