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Publication: Dear Abby
Teen Twins Are Waging A War For Independence

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           DEAR ABBY - April 9, 2008 
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ABBY: My 13-year-old twin daughters were very close, 
considered each other their "best friend" and got along 
beautifully sharing a room. Disagreements and arguments 
ere rare and nearly always minor.

However, during the last few months, out of the blue, they 
have begun fighting and arguing frequently. They scream and 
yell at each other over the pettiest of things. Instead of 
being constant companions, they no longer want to do any-
thing together.

Now they spend time separately with friends. They are even 
asking us to get a bigger house so they can have separate 
rooms. They refuse to share the bathroom in the morning -- 
which had never been a problem before -- claiming to need 
privacy from each other. This makes things very difficult 
during the morning rush because we also have a 15-year-old 
son who needs to get ready for school.

I am at my wit's end trying to deal with this. I have no 
idea what caused this sudden rift, and the girls don't 
seem to understand it either. Please help. 

LOUISIANA MOM: What's causing the rift is that your 
daughters are maturing. Their hormones are changing, and 
they are trying to become individuals. This is a healthy 
thing, and you should not worry. 

As to the scheduling problem in the bathroom -- if the
girls won't cooperate and share the facilities, then they 
will have to alternate. And your job as mother and referee 
is to see that they do.


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ABBY: I recently visited my favorite brother and his 
family for a few days. My sister-in-law invited me to go 
out for coffee with her -- just the two of us -- then 
proceeded to tell me in great detail about an affair she 
had about a year ago. I was floored.

My brother doesn't know about this, and now this 
information is haunting me. If my brother knew my husband 
had cheated and didn't tell me, I'd be furious. On the 
other hand, telling my brother will hurt him. What should 
I do? 

BURDENED: Ask yourself this question -- if you wanted to 
keep an infidelity from your spouse, would you confide 
"in great detail" in his sibling? If the answer is no, 
then consider that your sister-in-law is either completely 
lacking in judgment or subconsciously aching to get caught. 
Then follow your conscience.

ABBY: I would appreciate your opinion on a matter that 
has me concerned. My son and his wife have gone on a trip 
to Africa. I am watching the grandchildren part of the 
time while their parents are gone.

The night before my son left, I said, "To be prudent and 
prepared in case of emergency, in the event you have an 
accident, who will be the permanent guardians for these 
children?" His reply was, "That is none of your business. 
It is a personal matter."

Was I out of bounds to ask that question? 

GUILT-RIDDEN: Absolutely not. Your question was a timely 
and intelligent one. A more pertinent question would now 
be why your son became defensive that you asked. Could it 
be that he feels guilty because the answer is you will not 
be named as guardian? 

If that's the case, then some written provision should be 
made specifying that if anything happens to him and your 
daughter-in-law, you will have visitation with your grand-
children -- because unless it is on paper, there is no 
guarantee you will.

ABBY is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as 
Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline 
Phillips. Write ABBY at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box  
69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. 

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