Tag Archives: conflict

Fighting to the Bitter End

A mother recently called me to ask if I could help her adult identical twin daughters learn how to communicate with one another. Both women, who are in their thirties and have lived together in their family home since nineteen years of age, have endured a myriad of destructive, quixotic relationships that ended in turmoil and despair. In most cases, the sisters blame one another for the relationship’s demise. Each accuses the other of driving their respective boyfriends away by […]

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Enemy or Frenemy?

I asked an older adolescent twin patient the other day to tell me some of her thoughts about competition. She related the following: Oh, it’s horrible. The only good competition is the Olympics—those athletes train and train to be able to compete for one of the highest available honors. When I played softball in high school I had to think that the girls we played against were all bad; it’s silly to think about this now, but I had no […]

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Don’t Kid Yourself—Are You Loyal, or Overaccommodating?

A few months ago I received an e-mail from a gentleman asking for marital advice. He had been married for four years to his wife, an identical twin. He described that his wife grew up in a terribly dysfunctional alcoholic family. She and her sister survived the ordeal by relying on one another. While I am not privy to many details, I have imagined or assumed what must have transpired to give rise to the marital difficulties. The husband described […]

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Twins and Uncompromising Compromise

Recently I have been thinking about the issue of twins and compromise because the subject has come up in a few of my patient sessions. Certainly I have learned about my own compromising behaviors as a twin and as an adult in my personal therapy. I recognized that my overriding inclination to compromise too quickly was rooted in my twinship, as well as in the dynamics of my family of origin. Growing up, my twin sister and I attempted to […]

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Do You Really Like That Restaurant?

My twin patient and I were saying goodbye to one another at the end of our session. Casually she mentioned that she was looking forward to having lunch at a particular restaurant down the street from my office. Having slipped out of my clinical demeanor, I disdainfully and incredulously inquired, “Do you really like that restaurant?” My stunned patient stared at me with a look of consternation and fear. Instinctively I realized what she was experiencing in the face of […]

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