Ever since my boyfriend of five months and I have met we have felt a strong, unexplainable bond. He’s a fraternal twin. I met the brothers through a mutual friend and before I met them in person I talked to the brother, “M” online. M thought I was hitting on him back then. So as soon as my boyfriend, “J”, and I got together (we clicked as soon as we met), he thought I was a slut or whatever you want to call it. It was a mistake, but I moved in with the brothers and their best friend one month after getting together.
Both brothers enjoy drugs, particularly “Acid” and Marijuana. M in particular thinks that drugs give you some kind of universal edge. They are amazing artists/musicians, and M especially thinks it helps with creativity. He believes he “knows” people who are essentially strangers simply by virtue of their drug use. He tells me how ridiculous ((my career goal of an Art Therapist)) Psychology is and how “all other scientists don’t respect Psychologists as scientists.” To him the mind is absolutely abstract and psychologists are just throwing darts. He hasn’t worked since I’ve known him and thinks it’s a choice and we’re “conforming” by working. He praises deceased musicians whose drug addictions killed them. He says that although the world sees them as addicts they are someplace else and they’re suffering for their art or something. There’s so much drama there and I’m going today to talk to my boyfriend about me moving out.
Their bond as not only brothers, but twins, I know is unbreakable and supposedly M is looking for work now. In the meantime my boyfriend says he can’t move out with me and leave his brother because of finances and their band. I try to talk to his brother but it seems like he’s competing with me. I’m trying to understand how much of this is drugs, how much is inherent in him, how much is cultural and if it’s all worth it to stay with my boyfriend.
I’m just stuck and I can’t be with my boyfriend without his brother’s presence. Should I just give it all up, even though I have so much love for my boyfriend (and care about his brother)? I’m lost. My “friends” either don’t really care, just tell me to leave because they think anyone with any baggage is too much of a burden, or they tell me to leave because they want me to date them. So I don’t have anyone to give me intelligent, healthy advice. Thank you so much for your time.
A: (I edited your letter due to its length but I think I kept the essence of it.) There are plenty of things to worry about here and plenty of things to distract you from the painful truth you are avoiding: The problem isn’t with M, it’s with your boyfriend. Yes, twins have a special bond. Yes, when a person dates a twin, she usually has to accept that she will always have to share her sweetheart with the other important twin-relationship. But what makes this situation different and dangerous is M’s addiction and your boyfriend’s refusal to see it for what it is. Instead of trying to get his brother off drugs, he wants you to make nice and accept it. He may think he is protecting his brother by staying with him but unless he is willing to confront his brother’s ideas about drugs, he is enabling the addiction, and may be contributing to his brother’s eventual death.
Moving in after only a month was very unwise. I think the healthy thing for you to do is to move out and pull way back so you can start over. Give up arguing with M. It’s pointless because he has no interest in hearing what you have to say. Date J if you want and get to know him apart from his twin. If he is able to separate from the drugs and from his brother’s crazier ideas, a relationship with him might be worth another attempt. But if he insists that you join him in enabling his brother’s pursuit of martyrdom for drugs, you need to leave. You won’t be able to live with knowing that you were part of another musician’s death. Meanwhile, stay open to meeting other people and continue pursuing your own goals. Art Therapy is part science, part art, part heart. It’s good work.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Oct 2007
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). Boyfriend’s twin stands between them.. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/10/11/boyfriends-twin-stands-betweenn-them/