Adult Twins

Whether you love being a twin, or hate it, or something in between, this is your place to talk about what your experience has been like so far and if there are any changes you can make with your twin relationship to make it better for the future.
My twin is like a part of me, when she is not near I feel like I have a piece missing! 
Some people get on really well with their twin, and feel like a part of them is missing when they’re not together.
This can be comforting, but it can also lead to potential problems especially if only one twin feels this way, or if they have to make difficult decisions about their every day life, like how to be in close contact with their twin, whilst also maintaining a healthy relationship with their chosen family (husband/wife/ partner/ children). Some twins feel positively torn between being with their twin, and having a job and home in a different part of the country, or even in a different part of the world altogether!
My husband/wife/ partner doesn’t understand that I NEED to spend time with my twin. What should I do? Some partners of twins find it hard to understand the closeness of the twin relationship and feel either threatened by it, or feel that their wishes take second place to those of the twin.Some have complained about them feeling like they’ve married both twins effectively, or that the needs of the twin seem more important to the needs of the partner.
Dealing with this tricky situation is not easy for anyone, because of course you don’t want to stop seeing your twin, and you do want to maintain a healthy relationship with your partner, but you also have your own needs to consider amongst all this.
So what do you do? The most important thing is to work out what YOU as an individual want to happen. Then see what you can do to incorporate this within your daily life. It could be having clear times when you see your twin and times when you dedicate yourself to putting your partner and children first. It could be spending some time each day talking to your twin – even if they’re in a different country or time zone you could potentially use a programme similar to Skype to have a video chat with them. You can make each person feel special whilst you’re with them. It can be hard to juggle but with a little love and understanding from all parties you should be able to come to a workable compromise.Siblings, partners and spouses of twins you are all free to email in with your experiences of being the sibling/partner or spouse of a twin. It is important that your voice is also heard. Post a question or comment on the Facebook Page or email sarah@twinsonline.org.uk

I don’t get on very well with my twin, in fact everything that he/she does annoys me. Is this normal!?! It is very normal. Some twins get on very well, others simply don’t. If you get twins who are ‘extreme individuals’ you find that they often love quite the opposite of what the other one loves. This is fine if each twin is happy that the other has different tastes and is respectful of this, but when one belittles, ridicules, or tries to change the other, problems occur.  Try to understand that just because he/she makes different choices to you, this does not mean they are wrong (or mad, or weird or whatever!)

There are aspects of my personality that I can’t share with my twin because he/she would be shocked. Is this normal?!  Absolutely. No one should feel that they have to tell anyone EVERYTHING. Sometimes there are going to be things that you really don’t want your twin to hear about. It is ok to have a part of your personality that you don’t share with your twin. I’ve always been responsible for my twin, but now want to go my own way.Some twins have grown up with the expectation that they should keep their twin happy or be a support for or responsible for their twin, especially if one twin is seen to be stronger than the other one.

Please rest assured that you are NOT responsible for your twin, and whilst it would be nice for each of you to keep a weather-eye out for each other, you don’t need to put your life on hold because your twin ‘needs’ your support. Sometimes stepping out of the role of support or carer can actively persuade your twin to take steps to be responsible for him or herself and end up happier in the long term. That’s not to say you should cut all support at once. You could gradually encourage your twin to do things for him/herself, to make decisions, or to learn new skills. This is especially the case when one twin ‘always’ does *whatever*. Teach them what to do, so that they too can do this particular activity. It may be quicker and easier for you to do it, but in the long term you are not helping them. They need to be able to do things for themselves. Don’t feel guilty for wanting to go your own way and live the life you want to live. It is your life and it is important that you spend it doing things that make you happy.

I know exactly where I want to go in life and I have a great career, but my twin doesn’t. What should I do?Stop worrying about your twin, they will make their own decisions in their own time. This is often easier said than done. Rest assured you are responsible only for the way your life runs, not anyone else’s including your twin. The most sensible approach to this would be to continue to have a great life and career, offering advice to your twin on the subject but ONLY WHEN ASKED!

My twin knows where he/she wants to be in life but I haven’t a clue, what should I do? Firstly rest assured that you will find your own way in time. If you need any advice and encouragement that is fine you could ask your twin for advice, or if you prefer ask someone further away from the family such as a trusted friend, careers guidance etc! It can help if you write down what you’re good at on a piece of paper and see where your skills lie and what kind of career you’re attracted to, then start making applications. Try not to feel jealous of your twin, nor begrudge them their good fortune finding their path in life. Rest assured that there is an equally good path for you to take.

My twin wants me to follow them into a particular career /company or move to their town so I can be close to them. What should I do?
What would you like to do? Does this career path/ company interest you? Does the town that your twin lives in appeal to you? If so, give it a go. If you are already happy in your career and settled in your home town, then politely decline their suggestions. You don’t have to do whatever your twin suggests you do. No matter how much you might miss them or how much you want to please them (nor how forceful they are with their suggestions).

My twin has announced he/she is going to live abroad. What should I do? With the world becoming one big market place this is becoming increasingly common. It is important to let them go and spend time abroad without feeling guilty for doing so. It could be that they go out there and love it, and you join them for a holiday and also love it and move out there with your twin. Or it could be that the twin hates it and moves back after a while. But certainly be supportive, keep in contact with them on a regular basis. Be there for when homesickness hits them. Have an open mind, who knows where it will lead. It can be difficult for the twin left behind, and also hard for the twin with the opportunity to actively decide to do this, but life is short and most things can be undone.
My twin and I are so competitive. Everything he/she has/does I have to have/do better. This is fairly common with twins as you have a very good ‘control test’ to measure yourself up to. However it isn’t healthy in the long term and life certainly isn’t a competitive sport. If you use competition only to raise each other upwards that is ok, but if one of you is consistently winning and the other one consistently loosing then this isn’t good. Instead of having a constant competition between you, try to see how you can help each other be the best you possibly can be instead.

My twin has married / moved in with someone I don’t get on with, and I don’t like it. What can I do? You can still have a close relationship with your twin even if you don’t get on with their partner of choice. It might help you to work out what it is about them that you don’t like.

Is it because he/she doesn’t treat your twin properly, or is it because they’re getting to spend the time with your twin that you would potentially like to spend with your twin? Are you jealous? Or simply mistrustful because they’re not particularly trustworthy in your opinion?
Is your opinion based on fact, or perception?

Make it clear to your twin that you still want to be part of their life. You can still contact them via text, phone, email, skype, instant messenger, that kind of thing and can still meet up with your twin. You could arrange it so that you see your twin when the partner is out enjoying their own hobbies or at work, or take a weekend break with your twin instead.

However be respectful of their choice if at all possible. If you feel that your twin is at risk from their partner and have proof to back your theory up, then tell them. If not keep schtum, because often you find that it is the ‘messenger’ that gets it in the neck, not the partner!

We’ve always dressed the same but now I want to stop dressing alike, how do I do this? Gradually increase the amount of clothes of your choice into your wardrobe. You might find that you have a different taste in clothes and style to your twin. Choose pieces that go with your personality and suit your body shape. If you find it tricky at first, try wearing only one item different than the other and then build up. If you twin is resistant to this change, then reassure them that it doesn’t mean you don’t want to be close any more it simply means you’re expressing your personality and style. Encourage them to reach out and experiment too.

It feels weird being on my own, I’ve always had my twin with me. I don’t like spending time on my own. Again things take a bit of time to adjust to. Take small steps towards being on your own. Maybe try having a coffee on your own in a coffee shop, or buying a ticket to a matinee of a film and going on your own to that.

If you’re having a coffee on your own take a newspaper, magazine or novel with you to read. When you’re at home on your own, try having the radio on for a bit of background noise.

Gradually build up your confidence so you feel happy to be on your own for longer periods. Know that you are confident and self-assured and safe and that it is ok to be on your own for periods of time. You might find eventually that you enjoy it!

I am used to people noticing me where ever I go because I am one of twins. When I go out on my own I don’t get the same level of attention any more.

It’s not unheard of for twins to feel a bit ignored when they go out on their own because normally people gasp and say ‘oo twins’ when they see twins together. You will get used to it eventually. Some twins find they either end up wearing outrageous clothing or adopting attention seeking behaviours when out and about at first without their twin.

I actually LIKE dressing like my twin. Is it ok to continue? If you are happy then that’s fine. It only becomes a problem when you don’t want to continue and feel you have to for some reason.

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2 Comments

  • linda

    April 26, 2014

    I found what is written about adult twins,and about it being hard for the stronger twin to stop taking responsibility for the more struggling twin so helpful.I am really trying to set healthy bondaries with my twin sister and it is really difficult and painful.Would you mind possibly sharing a little more on how it is going for you,and how your twin has responded,if thats ok with you.It would be good to share with another twin!

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