Know-it-All Sisters: Mandy and Jennifer

Good Twin, Evil Twin?

Mandy and Jennifer are 24-year-old twin sisters who lead opposite lives. "I am the good twin. I try to live my life more pure and holy than what she does," says Mandy. "It's like comparing Mother Teresa and Madonna."

 

"She calls me the evil twin," Jennifer says. "In the last three-and-a-half years, we've not been close at all."

 

The sisters barely keep in touch, but when they do, it's often through their MySpace pages. "Her page is really dark. She's got the skulls on her page, and the music and the pictures [are] just completely opposite of what I would do," says Mandy, showing off her pink-colored page.

 

Mandy says she and her sister are like night and day. "I dress respectfully, and my sister dresses provocatively," she shares. "I do not smoke, and my sister does ... I don't cuss at all, and my sister cusses like a sailor."

 

Jennifer adds, "I drink socially. She won't even drink wine." She also admits to having 20 boyfriends, while her sister is happily married. "I have to admit that I do think that I'm the better-looking sister. If either of us is sexy, it's me."

 

The sisters' differences run much deeper. "I definitely think that Mandy thinks she's better than I. She is very quick to judge me. She's actually been so harsh as to say that I'm a bed-hopper," Jennifer says. "In some ways, I do think that Mandy's jealous of me."

 

 

"What is your judgment?" Dr. Phil asks Mandy. "What is the dark side of Sister?"

"I think that she is disrespectful to me. I think she parades herself, and I just don't think that she respects herself," she says. "I know that she says things to hurt me, and I don't know how we're going to have a relationship if she continues to say and do the things to me that she does."

"It's not just what she says and does with you, it's what she says and does with her life, right?" Dr. Phil asks.

 

"Right," Mandy agrees.

Dr. Phil asks Jennifer, "Are you the evil twin?"

"I guess if there is such a thing, I am," she says. "I have a darker side than she does."

"She says she lives a much more moral high ground life than you do," Dr. Phil says.

"I agree that in a stereotypical way she does, but by no means am I a loose woman," Jennifer says. "I don't do anything, I think, that someone my age doesn't do or shouldn't be able to experience without feeling that they're being reprimanded."

Mandy says that her sister has changed since dating her new boyfriend, but even before that she disagreed with her behavior. "She'd go out partying and drinking and bring different guys home, and it just made me feel very uncomfortable," she says.

Dr. Phil faces Jennifer and says, "She says you carry a list in your wallet of all the guys you've been with sexually."

"Actually, I do," she admits. "It's just for my own sake. It's something that I can reference, and every single person on there was a legitimate boyfriend, or someone who meant something to me."

"Are you living a dangerous life?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Oh, God, no," she says.

Dr. Phil asks Mandy, "Do you think she's leading a dangerous life?"

"Yes," she says, pointing out Jennifer's drinking, smoking and promiscuity.

 

"How much time do y'all spend together?" Dr. Phil asks the sisters.

"We haven't even gotten to hang out together in a couple of months," Mandy says. "Every time we attempt to hang out, it just doesn't end well. We end up fighting."

"What do you fight about?" Dr. Phil probes.

"Everything," Mandy says. "The last time we were together, I think we were fighting about weight. I felt like she was attacking my weight, and it made me feel really badly about myself, and so it just kind of blew up."

Jennifer says they fight over small things, like if they can't agree on a time to get together.

"You guys are young, you've got your whole lives ahead of you, but the truth is, you could drop over dead before the end of this sentence," Dr. Phil warns. "The thing that I try to always get across to people in families is that when the unthinkable happens, all the things that seem monumentally, just overwhelmingly in between the two of you, seem so silly and so ridiculous." He asks Jennifer how she would feel if something happened to Mandy.

"It goes without saying, it would devastate me," she says. "Regardless of our differences, I still love her, and I still think about her." She says that she tries to reach out to her sister but doesn't feel the love returned.

Dr. Phil asks Mandy how she would feel if something happened to Jennifer.

"It would devastate me," she replies. "I would feel a lot of regret."

Dr. Phil points out that each sister would stand up for the other if she were under attack. "You don't have to be the same, and you don't have to like everything that the other one does in order to love each other or to have a relationship," he says. "You can love her around and through the things you don't like, and you don't need to feel required to tell her about them every time you see her … It isn't what you do, it's who you are."

 

Dr. Phil tells Mandy and Jennifer that sometimes relationships need a hero: someone who stands up and ends the fighting. He suggests that in order for them to restore their relationship, they should stop judging the other. "It doesn't mean you endorse everything she does, it doesn't mean that's what you would choose for you, but that's where she is, that's who she is, that's what she's going to do," he tells Mandy. "It's OK to be different." Facing Mandy, Dr. Phil says, "What I'm telling you is to lighten up. You don't have to like everything she does to spend quality time with her." To Jennifer, he says, "You've got a chip on your shoulder."

"I do," she admits.

"Just remember, when it's all said and done, that's your sister," Dr. Phil tells her.