Believe It or Not, You Can Stop Fighting with Your Twin

My personal and professional experiences lead me to conclude that continuous twin fighting can be destructive to the twin relationship and to each twin’s individual self-esteem. Twin fighting is intense and can include screaming at one another as well as physical fights. The escalation of fighting leads, in very serious situations, to estrangement. Twin fighting is intense for several reasons.

1.  Twins share childhood memories and experiences that can be confusing later in life.
2.  Twins share their parents’ love and attention, which causes anger, resentment and oftentimes deprivation.
3.  Twins are reliant on each other in a profound way for their own individual ability to function in the world. For example, one is the outgoing twin, the other is the introverted caretaker.
4.  Twin fighting is more volatile and pronounced than sibling fighting because of what is shared and what dependencies are established. Needing one another to feel whole is a serious problem.

Understanding and accepting that twins have more conflicted relationships than nontwins is important because acceptance of a problem is the first step to solving a problem. What helps to diffuse the anger, hatred, disappointment and resentment between twins is based on the following ideas.

1.  Twins are bonded to each other as soul-mates and, often, as parental figures to one another. Their double attachment makes differences of opinion overly important.
2.  Resolution of differences in life style and opinion is not as possible or as important as twins think or believe.
3.  Differences are normal and expectable and important. There is no one right way or one perfect path, although twins can fight about this issue continually.
4.  Respect and pride in your twin is extremely helpful to a positive relationship, as it contributes to a feeling of success and wholeness in each twin for different reasons.
5.  Fighting about the past erodes the good aspects of your relationship. Forgive if you can your resentments toward your twin. Live in the present and you will get along better.  
6.  If you need to argue keep the discussion and decision in the present time. Where will we go to dinner tonight? Who is in charge of making the holiday plans?

Working out differences with your twin can be extremely difficult because of the closeness you share. Find a way to support your own point of view without being mean and shameful to your twin.