Couple labeled “disrespectful” for doing this to their in-laws’ bed

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A post about a couple being called “rude” for putting throw pillows on the floor, rather than on the bed, of the guest bedroom they stay in has gone viral on Reddit, where it has received 10,900 votes at the time of writing.

In a post shared on Reddit’s Am I The A****** (AITIA) subforum, user Decorproblem34 said that his brother and sister-in-law have temporarily moved into his house and are staying in the guest bedroom. “Until now, we’ve been on the same wavelength about all things except the throw pillows,” said the user.

One day, the poster’s wife complained that she “saw the throw pillows in the guest room on the floor and didn’t put them on the bed during the day.”

A stock image of a couple standing by a suitcase in a guest bedroom with a large window. It’s the host’s job to “make everyone feel invited and comfortable, not awkward,” a certified etiquette expert told Newsweek.
iStock/Getty Images Plus

The user talked to his brother about it and he explained that his wife (the user’s sister-in-law) was “tired of having to move the (7 cushions in total) cushions before using the bed.”

The poster read: “We had a fight and I ended up calling him & SIL [sister-in-law] therefore ‘rude guests’. He & SIL got offended and tension arose in the house about it.

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“My wife doesn’t talk to them and they don’t talk to me.”

A June 2021 study published in the peer-reviewed Frontiers in Sociology stated, “In-laws and their ‘interference’ are among the sources of conflict in contemporary marriages, often exceeding possible focal points such as financial problems or value mismatch.

“There is a cross-culturally ubiquitous characterization of in-law relationships that is very different, namely that they are tense at best and toxic at worst,” the study said.

The user in the latest Reddit post said his wife “likes to put decorative pillows on beds” and did this in the guest house “to make the room look better and it’s also her preference.”

The Reddit user told his brother that his wife thought it was “disrespectful” of the couple to put the pillows on the floor, but the brother “thought it wasn’t a big deal” and that the poster’s wife was “a little too obsessed especially since SIL is pregnant and can’t put the pillows back every time.”

The poster read: “Maybe my wife was overreacting. Maybe I shouldn’t have called them that, but it is what it is…”

Liza Mirza Grotts, a licensed etiquette expert and former director of protocol for the City and County of San Francisco, told News week: “Good etiquette is not just about which fork you use and when, but also how to put your guests at ease, no matter what the situation.

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“The only person who overacted [in the latest Reddit post] was the hostess. It’s her job to make sure everyone feels invited and comfortable, not awkward. Are decorative pillows in general of paramount importance? Of course not,” she said.

Anyway, the etiquette expert said you should “always leave a house neater than you found it, and put the pillows back in their original places.”

Nick Leighton, an etiquette expert and the podcast host/producer Were you raised by wolves?told News week: “Gosh, that escalated quickly! Is this really about pillows?

“Etiquette is all about being considerate of other people and, as often as there is an awkward situation, the best approach is just to have a polite but direct conversation to get everyone on the same page. So it seems there were a few missed opportunities here and everyone could have done something different,” he said.

For example, the guests could have said to the hosts, “Your guest room is so luxurious! But for our needs, only four pillows are enough. Where could we properly place the extras during our stay?”

The host could have replied, “Oh, I know there are so many pillows! But we really like the look. Would you mind if we asked you to make your bed and put them back on each morning?” lay?”

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Leighton added, “Etiquette has no opinion on the ‘correct’ number of throw pillows to put on a bed.”

Several pillows seen on a bed.
A stock image of several pillows placed on a bed near a window. A post about a couple being called “rude” for putting throw pillows on the floor of a guest bedroom has gone viral on Reddit.
iStock/Getty Images Plus

Several users on Reddit sided with the original poster’s brother and sister-in-law, criticizing the user and his wife.

In a comment that got 37,000 upvotes, the user said, “YTA [you’re the a******] You and your wife are terrible hosts. They sleep in that room and it doesn’t matter if they put the pillows back on the bed or not. Your wife just wanted to be petty and you jumped on the bandwagon. Congratulations.”

In a comment that received 2,800 votes, user twistedspin asked, “How does the woman even know if the pillows are on the floor? Why is she going to their room?”

In a comment that got 5,400 votes, user FoolMe1nceShameOnU said, “The only reason she should go in there is to get all those bloody pillows off the bed and keep them in the linen closet for the duration of their visit, so her pregnant SIL doesn’t have to deal with it!”

In a comment that received 8,100 votes, user Eichmil said, “7 pillows are not decorative. It’s camouflage…YTA,” while SereneGoldfish said, “7 pillows!? And it’s their room while they’re in it. Who makes it do you want to move so many cushions every day?”

News week has contacted the original poster for comment.

Do you have a similar dilemma? Let us know at [email protected] We can ask experts for advice, and your story can be featured News week.

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