Reader’s Commentary Regarding the twin daughters, 21, who blame their mother for her divorce (April 7):
“I’m writing as a Multiple Birth Educator for over 38 years:
“Twins are aware of each in the womb and their mutual bond exists even before their bond with their parents.
“Multiples have a unique relationship very different than singleton siblings in the same family. They’re often dressed alike, and may even be expected to have the same interests and tastes.
“When discipling one, parents often have to face the wrath of the other who may feel a need to support and “assist” her twin.
“I suspect that from their parents’ break-up on, these girls turned to each other even more for consistency, safety, comfort and dependability. They likely spent hours over the years, sharing their feelings with each other about the circumstances of their parents’ divorce.
“Their twinship offered them continued stability and comfort that they no longer felt they had with their parents.
“I suspect that their inability “to trust the men they date” could well be related to the fact that they have each other - a tried, true and known companion.
“Blaming the men they date for the mistrust is a reflection on their comfort levels from their own “couple” arrangement.
“Blaming their mother for this mistrust rather than understanding what really caused the breakdown of their parents’ marriage, is easier than either of them having to “separate”’ from each other.
“Having strong opinions and discussions about the men they’re dating and relating them to their mother’s divorce also gives them permission to not have to separate.
“Encouraging each twin to be the individual they really are within their group, is very challenging.
“I believe these young women are very bonded to each other and that they view what would generally be natural personal growth through the veil of their mother’s marriage and divorce.”
Reader #2 – “I divorced 26 years ago when my two oldest children were six and nine. They’re now both in successful long-term relationships. One is married with a child. The other would be married if COVID hadn’t disrupted their plans.
“At age 21, my children were not looking for partners. They were focused on school and work and personal growth.
“The absence of the writer’s ex-husband may account for her daughters’ troubles. She needs to give herself a break.
Reader #3 – “Yes, the daughters need to take responsibility for their own decisions/behaviour AND I think they never actually grieved the loss of their primary family.
“Parents often try to jump to the positive in an effort to support their kids and spare them pain. But kids have to grieve some losses first.”
Ellie - The blameful daughters too-conveniently ignore their mothers’ other example of having found a second husband several years after her divorce and with whom she says she’s “very happily married.”
So, there’s more to their blaming. The above writer’s explanation of “multiples” and how they can be affected by life changes as if they’re a “couple” themselves is fascinating. But I find them even more affected by their father having moved away and raising other children with his next wife...
Yet they’re not “blaming” him for the divorce and their distrust of men. Maybe his behaviour hurts too much and they think their strong mother can take it. Time she avoided that conversation and they move on in their own lives.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman dating a recent widower (April 8):
Reader – “Your advice was spot on: They take a break while he gets counselling and they read current books on grief e.g. It’s Okay That You’re Not Okay, by Megan Devine.
“The couple are handling their relationship from two totally different perspectives - divorce, and death of a spouse.
“Unless someone’s experienced the latter, they cannot wholly understand the suffering. The death of a spouse doesn’t end the love they shared.
“If she sees a future with him, she must recognize that his love for his wife will always be there, as will moments of grief that can arise at any moment. None of that, though, means that he cares any less for her.
“If she can accept that he’ll always still love his wife, be there when he needs a shoulder to cry on, and not feel threatened by it, there’s a good chance they’ll make it.”
Tip of the day:
Adult children of divorce who can’t “trust” choosing a life partner, need to strengthen their own goals and self-confidence about future relationships.