My daughter, J, was sitting in the bathtub this morning when she said to me, “Sometimes, I think M knows more about me than I do.” (We have the best bathtime conversations. Seriously.)
“I used to feel that way about Daddy,” I responded. (While I’m not one to seek pity for my divorce, I do want my kids to remember good things or at least have a positive attitude towards the marriage.)
“But not any more,” she retorted, “because now you’re dee-vorced.”
“This is true, pumpkin. My point is that you’re probably right. There are probably some things about yourself that M genuinely understands better than you do.”
This wasn’t the first time J and I have been struck by the parallels between her relationship with her twin and my former relationship with their dad. When she was 3, she asked me whether M was her wife. When she was 2.5, she proposed that I was Daddy’s sister.
My daughters fall on the twinnier end of the twinniness continuum. (Yes, I just made up the term “twinniness continuum”.)
At this end of the continuum, the twin relationship can look a lot like a marriage. To start, husbands and wives share a room, as do many twins; this was the source of my daughters’ youthful confusion. They make decisions together and must constantly compromise. They share resources. They may pursue other deeply meaningful relationships, but the husband/wife or twin/twin one comes first.
I once had a stranger tell me that the secret to saving her marriage was to stop expecting her husband to be her twin. The relationships and expectations are similar, but not identical.
Have you observed any similarities between your marriage and your twins’ relationship?
Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.