“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#1 Mar 25, 2013
EAR AMY: I am married to a 40-year-old woman who is an identical twin. Needless to say, my wife and her sister are close, but I almost categorize it as obsessive and/or excessive. They talk via phone or text just about every hour, and they need to know what the other is doing at all times, even if they are simply at home.
My wife and I have very little uninterrupted time, and it is affecting the emotional closeness of our marriage.
Both sisters are equally invested in this relationship, so it does me no good to suggest to my wife that she limit the contact to a “reasonable” degree. I have discussed this countless times with my wife, but she simply says that her sister was there before me and will be there after me (I am 18 years older than my wife).
My wife carries her cellphone around with her all day, every day to await or initiate contact with her twin. I have done some reading on identical twin relationships, and understand the biological bond, so am I being selfish?-- The Third Wheel
DEAR THIRD WHEEL: You are not being selfish. You are trying (very hard, I assume) to be married. I shared your letter with Caroline Tancredy, who has done research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on the twin relationship.
She says:“Our research indicates that twins (particularly identical twins) tend to give a high ranking to their co-twin with respect to attachment behaviors (turning to the co-twin in times of need, for support, to feel safe, etc.). However, generally when people are attached to their siblings, they are able to expand their attachments to include romantic partners.
“Your wife’s attitude is a dangerous one,” Tancredy says.“She says that her twin was here first (a true and significant point) and assumes that her twin will outlive you (not necessarily true and a risky attitude). I myself have a deceased identical twin sister. She died when we were 19. I expected us to grow old and die on the same day, but it did not happen that way. I had to learn to rely on others for my attachment needs.
“It’s not fair to compare partners with twin siblings, and there are many wonderful rewards to be gained by understanding that romantic partners have their own gifts to offer. Even twins take a risk when they put all their eggs in one basket.”
Just as you would alienate your wife if you put another relationship ahead of your marriage, what she is doing is also alienating. You obviously acknowledge the special closeness these twins share. She needs to have a private and rewarding attachment to you too.
DEAR AMY: Our mother recently died after 16 days in the hospital. My nephew’s wife never visited — not once! They live 20 minutes from the hospital and have two children, ages 1 and 6. The 1-year-old still breast-feeds and is apparently a handful and must be in bed every night by seven and only the two parents can do this (so I am told).
Mum was cremated, and we had a Sunday evening service. This person also never came to the service — so she did not make even one appearance from the start to finish.
This was offensive to the family. How should we handle future visits with this person?-- Devastated
DEAR DEVASTATED: You should be honest with your nephew’s wife (and speak only for yourself):“I was so sorry and wounded that you didn’t visit mum in the hospital or attend her funeral; I could have really used the emotional support during a really sad time.”
And then, after the honesty, you forgive. You forgive and move on.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#2 Mar 25, 2013
L1: Did she suddenly become like this? Didn't think so. This is a conversation you should have had while you were dating.

L2: So your mother's granddaughter-in-law who has two small children, one of whom is breast feeding, didn't visit her in the hospital? And you have the nerve to be offended?

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#3 Mar 25, 2013
L1: This is just another case of "This person did X before I married her, now she's still doing X, how can I get her to stop?" If they weren't twins, I'd say you should insist on marriage counseling (If you had kids, especially). But they're twins. That IS different and special. I know so many twins (something was in the farm runoff water where I grew up, because the small class ahead of me (60 kids) had eight sets of twins).

L2: I don't think you should say a thing. Maybe she has issues that you're unaware of. Maybe she freaks out in hospitals. Maybe she's emotionally immature and can't handle being around her husbdand's sick and hospitalized grandmother. Should she have attended the funeral? Sure. But what if they couldn't get a sitter? Would you have been bothered if she needed to nurse at some point during the services? Maybe you should stop focusing so much on someone else and stop making this all about being offended.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#4 Mar 25, 2013
L1: You're looking at this all wrong. Three-way?

L2: What? Visiting dying people is not everyone's cup of tea. I like how you were keeping score. Really shows where your focus is.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#5 Mar 25, 2013
LW1: DTB

LW2: This is none of your f'n business. Whether or not she visited is between her and HER HUSBAND. If it was important to HIM that she make an appearance to visit HIS grandmother, he would have facilitated that. If it was important to HIS parents(your sibling, the children's grandparents) they would have facilitated that. Whether or not it was important to YOU is meaningless.

I suspect that this was not offensive to the "family" but to YOU.
liner

Delray Beach, FL

#6 Mar 25, 2013
L1: ".....but she simply says that her sister was there before me and will be there after me......"

Well now, why not start the "after" part now?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#7 Mar 25, 2013
1 Is the other twin married? Probably not, so ask her to move in with you guys. Maybe you will get some of what Matilda was talkin bout.

2 How close was this woman to the dying person. Probably not very, and would have felt awkward visiting. Anyway you are looking to take offense, so I dont even know why you bothered to ask amby.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#8 Mar 25, 2013
LW1: Why did you marry her if she was that way?

LW2: She doesn’t sound like she was close to her and she sounds really busy. I’m pretty sure your mom didn’t want to spend her last few days on earth visiting with a person she wasn't very close with.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#9 Mar 25, 2013
LW1: As jmw pointed out, I'm sure this behavior is not new. And since I doubt that she's going to stop talking to her twin, you might as well try for the threesome.

LW2: She probably didn't want to go because YOU were going to be there.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#10 Mar 25, 2013
LW1: What Red and Sublime said.

LW2: You don't like your nephew's wife and are looking for reasons to be offended. I can't imagine trying to manage one small child and a nursing baby in a hospital or funeral home setting. She probably felt it best to stay home. Admit it: If she'd have come and the chidren started getting fussy, you would have criticized her for that.

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

Cedar Grove, TN

#11 Mar 25, 2013
1. Tell your wife if this doesn't chnge, the "after you" part will come quicker than she thought.

2. The family, meaning you, right?

“bELieve”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#12 Mar 25, 2013
LW2 - children under 18 aren't allowed in most hospitals this time of year, so at minimum she would have needed to hire a sitter ($$$) to watch two young children for an hour (20 min drive each way and a 20 min visit) to see her husband's grandmother.

If my husband's grandmother was in the hospital dying, he would not have wanted me there, however. That is not a social visit.

As for the funeral, again it is very possible that she could not get a sitter. Not everyone feels that children belong at funerals. That is between the nephew and his wife, though.

If the LW really can't get over this, then I suggest she say something to the nephew, not his wife. Not about how offended she is, but about how especially after her mother's passing she realizes that family ties are very important to her and she would like to have a closer relationship with her nephew's family. Maybe then she can learn to be more understanding instead of judgmental (even if the judgments were exacerbated by grief).

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#13 Mar 25, 2013
1 & 2- Team Matilda!
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#14 Mar 25, 2013
LW2: I agree about her not going to the hospital, but she should have been at the funeral. That is her husband's grandmother and it is disrespecful to the family. It would be one thing if it were out of town, but it wasn't. I am sure she could have found a friend to sit with the kids for a measly hour. She's probably one of those mothers who refuses to let anyone watch her kids. I know a gal like that. She brought her kids to a very "non-kid" party because she refused to let someone else watch them. That's what this person sounds like.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#15 Mar 25, 2013
j_m_w wrote:
L1: Did she suddenly become like this? Didn't think so. This is a conversation you should have had while you were dating.
L2: So your mother's granddaughter-in-law who has two small children, one of whom is breast feeding, didn't visit her in the hospital? And you have the nerve to be offended?
Given the way it was described, I'm not even 100% sure it was the granddaughter-in-law.

We have Mother (grandmother)-> Daughter (+Husband)-> Nephew. I notice she didn't call Nephew a grandson of Mother. Thus, I wonder if Nephew is a child of one of Husband's siblings, rather than a child of Daughter's siblings. He would still be Daughter's nephew, but have no blood relationship to Mother/Grandmother.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#16 Mar 25, 2013
And anyhow, for the record, I didn't either go to visit my husband's grandmother when she was in the hospital, nor did I attend her funeral. But, her own daughter+husband and granddaughter also didn't visit her in the hospital or attend her funeral (my husband showed up as the sole representative of his entire section of the family).

I'm sure his aunt could have griped about "my nephew's wife" not attending, but she probably had bigger gripes about "my own sister" not attending.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#17 Mar 25, 2013
Stina wrote:
LW2: I agree about her not going to the hospital, but she should have been at the funeral. That is her husband's grandmother and it is disrespecful to the family.
What gives you the idea that she decided on her own not to go? For all we know, her husband told her to just stay home with the kids
Stina wrote:
She's probably one of those mothers who refuses to let anyone watch her kids.
Again, ho are you arriving at this conclusion about the wife and not the husband? The only baby sitters my kids have ever had are relatives. That is just as much on me as it is my wife. If the usual suspects were at the funeral, that would mean one of us would not be able to go.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#18 Mar 25, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
What gives you the idea that she decided on her own not to go? For all we know, her husband told her to just stay home with the kids
<quoted text>
Again, ho are you arriving at this conclusion about the wife and not the husband? The only baby sitters my kids have ever had are relatives. That is just as much on me as it is my wife. If the usual suspects were at the funeral, that would mean one of us would not be able to go.
OK - "they" are probably the type of "parents" who... MOST people have at least ONE close friend they can rely on and trust in this type of unusual situation for even the most over-protective parents.

Maybe her husband DID tell her to stay home, but then I would think he would have relayed that to a few people in the family. Maybe along the lines of, "Jane couldn't make it because she needed to stay with the kids, but she sends her best". I would think that he would have said that to more than a few people, actually.

“bELieve”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#19 Mar 25, 2013
Stina wrote:
<quoted text>OK - "they" are probably the type of "parents" who... MOST people have at least ONE close friend they can rely on and trust in this type of unusual situation for even the most over-protective parents.

Maybe her husband DID tell her to stay home, but then I would think he would have relayed that to a few people in the family. Maybe along the lines of, "Jane couldn't make it because she needed to stay with the kids, but she sends her best". I would think that he would have said that to more than a few people, actually.
I wonder if the LW even bothered to talk to her nephew or her sibling (nephew's parent), or if she is just looking around and making assumptions.

She reminds me of my husband 's Aunt J who must be offended by something at all times. She had her (now ex) DIL yelling at family friends about their order in the funeral procession at husband's grandmother's funeral.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#20 Mar 26, 2013
Missed this yesterday.

Liner had LW1 absolutely correct. Ha!

I'm with Jess on L2. She kept tabs on who attended? She wasn't grieving so much then, was she if she had the energy and time to keep tabs. Or was there like 5 people there where it was easy to see? As I said, I'm with Jess. This person just likes to complain.

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