Advice Column: Response to Worried Twin

Dear Hailey,

My identical twin is engaged and I don’t want her to marry this guy. They got engaged last year and were planning on getting married this year but have postponed due to COVID-19. I was in a state of dread but resignation (sort of) about the whole thing, but with the postponement, I’ve had this feeling that it could be giving me time to prevent what I think is a mistake.

My twin and I have always been close. We lived together after college, but then I went away to grad school (about 4 years ago) and after that moved across the country for my career (about 2 years ago). Just as I started grad school, she started dating this guy. Part of me worries that she is so committed to him because she is filling a life partner void that I left, and that gives me guilt, but I also remind myself that her life doesn’t revolve around me and that possibly isn’t true…

About a year ago before they were engaged she asked me what I would think of them getting married. I was honest with her about my concerns: I don’t think he takes care of his fairly severe mental health problems which have had a negative impact on her, his lack of ambition and ability to make money (compared to her) makes me uncomfortable, and also his family can be quite mean/rude which concerns me as her future in-laws. She thanked me for my honesty, but we haven’t talked about it since.

It’s almost like that conversation never happened. I wonder if that was my speak now or forever hold your peace moment, or if this delay due to COVID-19 is like a second chance. My parents and our older sister share my concerns but aren’t speaking up. Is it my duty as her twin to be honest with her about this, or will it just ruin our relationship?

Thank you for your time.

Worried Twin

Dear Worried Twin,

Given your close relationship with your sister, it’s understandable that you feel guilty for moving away from her, but that is also completely unnecessary. Even with what sounds like an exceptionally close and special relationship, as you stated you have your own life, and so does she. 

It’s hard to watch someone you care about making choices you don’t support, that you feel could affect their life negatively. However, you are treading on potentially dangerous ground when you give unsolicited advice regarding her relationship. 

Consider if the tables were turned. If you were getting married and your sister didn’t like who you were marrying, would it change the fact that you had fallen in love with that person and chosen to spend your life with them? While I’m sure she seriously considered your opinion, it doesn’t change the fact that she loves this man, flaws and all. 

If your sister were to ask again, that would give you an opening to share your concerns. You’ve already made your opinion known, and at this point negative statements about your sister’s fiancé and her choice to marry him only stand to push her away. While you are looking out for her well-being, it very easily could be perceived by her as being unsupportive. 

Do what you can to support your sister. She’s lucky to have you in her life. 

Hailey 

Posted in Q&A

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