Margo Howard’s advice

Worries About a Set of Twins

Dear Margo: I have a younger brother and sister who are twins, and I’m concerned about them. Several years ago, he had cancer and moved in with her while he was in treatment. He recovered and is doing great, but here’s the problem. He never moved out, and the two of them bought a house together, take trips together and go out together. It’s really creepy. I’ve been in their home, and they have separate bedrooms, but I think that’s just a ruse. Neither of them dates anymore, but with all of the available people out there, couldn’t they find someone? I’m worried they will be discovered, and it will hurt them and our whole family. Is there an answer to this? — Big Sis

Dear Big: What, exactly, is the question? You have decided this is an incestuous situation based on circumstantial evidence, as far as I can tell. It may be a love affair of the narcissistic, unhealthy kind, or it may be that they gave up looking for partners and decided they like doing things together. (And there are many who would disagree with your evaluation about “all of the available people out there.”)

Then, too, as the child of a twin, I can tell you there is a different, perhaps stronger bond than singletons. It is not usually sexual when siblings decide to live together. Because you are concerned, however, you might mention that from the outside it looks like a romance and you are concerned. Whether their response is defensive or they just laugh will give you a clue — though they might be legitimately offended. And really, it is their business. Should your worst fears be the reality, it is no reflection on your family. — Margo, carefully

When the Other Woman Is Online

Dear Margo: I recently discovered that my husband of three years has been cheating on me for the past two. Although it was online and I don’t believe there was personal contact, I was still crushed and ready to leave. When I told him that, he broke down like I’ve never seen before. He completely opened up and told me he’s depressed and hates himself and did this to try to make himself feel better — but it made him feel worse, and he couldn’t stop once he started. He said he couldn’t lose me. I knew he had struggled with depression, but I had no idea it was this bad. He showed me a note on his phone he’d written to himself a year ago that said, “I’m so depressed I want to kill myself.”

I insisted he see a therapist right away, which he did. After learning about what led up to this and how he felt, I decided to try to make our marriage work. Now, however, I’m trying to balance his depression with my heartbreak. We obviously need to see a marriage counselor, but it’s taking a while to set up because of my travel for work and his new job with long and unpredictable days.

We have been working on our relationship a lot, and sometimes I think I can get through this, but other times I just don’t know. I do love him, but I’m unsure how to move through this, or even if I should. — Crushed

Dear Crush: I think the combination of your love and his depression makes the case for forgiveness. There is clearly a wish on his side to make things work; to wit, his readily agreeing to therapy and marriage counseling. These online “relationships” have caused endless trouble, but his depression and self-hatred along with there being no physical cheating inclines me to encourage you to see whether time and treatment (his) allow you to move forward. Depression can be a murderous thing, but it is treatable. — Margo, hopefully