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Dear Fiona: My Twin Sister’s New Boyfriend Is Constantly Around And It’s Too Much

The problem…

“I am in a situation where advice is greatly needed, especially from a non-biased source. My identical twin sister and I have been living together for a year. We usually spend a lot of time together, such as cooking, watching tv, going out for dinner or drinks, etc. Where I need help is, she recently got a new boyfriend and they have been together for a month.

“He has stayed over at our place every single night since then, and I feel like my privacy is being invaded. When he is around, she acts like I don’t exist.

They are constantly together all day every day, and when she is at work, he is still at our place. I don’t understand why they can’t hang out at his place, which is a few doors down, just to give me some privacy in my home.

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“He does not pitch in around the house or clean up his mess. I constantly have to clean up after my sister, but I don’t mind as much because she is my twin, but now I clean up after both of them.

I don’t want to just move out and leave her, but it’s starting to feel like that is the only option. She can’t pay the bills by herself, and I want to know their plan together – is he going to move in when I’m gone etc – but she won’t have an adult conversation with me.”

Fiona says…

“Asking your sister what her long-term plans are with this boyfriend, after they’ve only been together for a month, will probably get you nowhere. It’s almost certainly too soon for them to have decided where their relationship is going yet. That doesn’t mean you have to put up with their behaviour though right now though, and you certainly don’t have to be the skivvy for the pair of them.

“You’ve tried engaging your sister in a conversation but she’s in the first flush of love (or perhaps it’s just lust) with a new boyfriend, so she probably isn’t thinking straight! You don’t have to have a conversation to get across how you’re feeling though. Just tell them what you’ve told me – not by trying to blame them, but by saying how you really feel.

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“Walk into the room and firmly say, ‘I need to talk to you both’, and then tell them that you don’t feel welcome in your home any more.

Tell them you feel like you no longer have any privacy and that you would like some time and space in your own home, so if it can’t be with them around then you will have to move out.

“It might be tempting to say that you feel it is unfair of them to put you in the position of having to clear up after them, but by making accusations like that, you’ll be putting them on the defensive.

If they ask you what you want, then tell them you would like some time alone with your sister, but if that’s not possible, then you’d like them to spend some time at his place.

“Whatever you do, try to keep things amicable – this could be the love of your sister’s life and you might have to cope with him for the long term, perhaps even as a brother-in-law one day. As a twin, you and your sister are obviously much closer than friends who are sharing a flat normally are, but you are two different people with two distinct personalities.

Sooner or later, the two of you were going to have to take separate paths and perhaps now is the time for that to happen.

“Don’t worry too much about whether your sister can afford the bills without you, she is old enough to work things like that out for herself. If things don’t work out for her with this new boyfriend, she can probably find herself a new flatmate to share the costs with.”

If you have a problem you need help with, email Fiona by writing to help@askfiona.net for advice. All letters are treated in complete confidence and, to protect this privacy, Fiona is unable to pass on your messages to other readers. Fiona regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence.

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