Daily Press (Sunday)

Marriage advice from a twin sister

- Send questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@ creators.com

I was being co-dependent on my sister, which was in turn ruining my marriage.

Dear Annie: I am a female twin who has been married for 22 years. I read the letter from “Not Feeling Like His Wife,” the woman whose husband’s twin kept getting involved and causing problems in their marriage.

In the beginning of our marriage, my husband and I had a similar problem with my twin sister, although not as severe.

All of her problems were bleeding into my marriage.

My husband and I attended therapy, and it helped a lot. The big thing that I learned from therapy is that I was being co-dependent on my sister, which was in turn ruining my marriage.

The first thing you and your husband should do is seek counseling where you can learn to create a safe and healthy balance for your marriage and your relationsh­ip with his twin. It isn’t easy. It means your husband will have to tell his twin to fix his own problems.

It also means that, as a wife, you will have to exercise patience. The relationsh­ip you will have with the set of twins will not be perfect, but it can improve. While you are correct in saying that you didn’t marry his twin, your husband’s twin brother is still an integral part of your family. For you to feel otherwise can be extremely hurtful for your husband.

You have to bring your husband to a place of trust as well. The fact that he can say he values his twin more than you tells me he feels threatened by your reaction to his relationsh­ip with his twin.

I love my husband and twin at the same level but for different reasons.

Your husband will need to create healthy boundaries with his twin to save his marriage, which the two of you can discuss. He needs to learn that this is OK, and the relationsh­ip with his twin is not healthy regardless if he’s married or not.

When I created boundaries with my twin, her life improved because she did not have me to rely on anymore for everything. Now she is doing really well and is so much more responsibl­e with her life.

This created great happiness in my marriage.

Twins have very special relationsh­ips and bonds that can easily become tangled. This is because they create a pattern of behavior from youth between themselves with a lot of guilt-driven emotional connection­s, which oftentimes are left to keep repeating. Break the unhealthy pattern and things get smoother.

I hope you can work this out. The end result is so worth it! — Happy Twin Marriage

Dear Happy Twin Marriage:

What a great letter. Thank you for sharing the wisdom that you gained in your therapy sessions. You created boundaries for yourself that in turn helped your sister to become more self-sufficient and responsibl­e for her own life. What a gift. But you also were able to highlight the importance of your sister and your relationsh­ip to your husband, and he understood it.

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