Monday, July 21, 2008

Marriage....not all it is cracked up to be

I am indignant. 
Let me tell you why:
I went out of town over the weekend.  While I was gone, Tom's sister came over to spend the weekend with him.  They were going to see Batman and then Tom was going to take her to buy a vacuum for her new apartment. 
It was wicked hot in NJ this weekend, so Tom put in the air conditioners, one downstairs in the living room and one upstairs in our bedroom. 
Before I left, I tidied up the guest room, removed the piles of clean laundry from the guest bed and reminded Tom that since we don't have AC in the guest room he should bring up a fan for his sister. 
Last night, after I got home and before I went upstairs to got to bed, I watched a bit of the ESPY's with Tom. During commercials we talked about our respective days. 
It was then that he casually dropped a bombshell.
He told me that he let his sister sleep in our bed Saturday night, while he took the couch. 
I was dumbfounded. 
Firstly because I was sure that he didn't think to change the sheets and secondly that he would allow ANYBODY to sleep in OUR bed ESPECIALLY since I wasn't home.
And more to the point, you would think his sister, at 23 years of age, would have the delicacy of mind to thank him for the offer but refuse because 1) there weren't clean sheets on the bed and 2) that is the bed that her brother shares with his wife.
So after driving four hours in a rainstorm and just wanting to crawl into bed and go to sleep, I had to change the sheets because there was no way I was going to sleep in a bed with used sheets and a pillow on which she put her sweaty, greasy head!  My pillow.  MY PILLOW!!!!  I don't even like to share my orange mug with my own husband, much less my pillow with his sister.
Needless to say, Tom got an earful and chose to spend the night on the couch!
I will say this about him though, he gets points for being generous and thoughtful of his sister's comfort.
Now tell me truthfully, did I overreact when I went stomping upstairs, hollering loud enough for the neighbors to hear that he had NO RIGHT TO LET HER SLEEP IN OUR BED AND WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING A GUEST ROOM AND ME MAKING UP THE BED IF HE IS GOING TO LET HER SLEEP IN OUR BED AND NOW I'M GOING TO HAVE TO CHANGE THE SHEETS?


Jen's Mom said...

I will just say that I would not be happy either.

She should have had enough perception to say no thanks, but I guess college age kids crash wherever they happen to be, so she didn't have any sense of delicacy about it.

Tom is caught between his wife and his sister in this one. He was genuinely being considerate, I believe and had no clue it would backfire like this.

Perhaps you could have mildly said to him, "Oh, well, then would you mind changing the sheets before I come up to bed. I would appreciate it."

Would he have done it for you?

In time, your rage over this will fade. As your mom speaking here, I hate to see you angst so over this after you had such a pleasant weekend. And I was proud of you for being generous and making up the spare room and also for offering her a set of dishes.

When things simmer down, you can mention to Tom that the marriage bed is sancrosanct.

Perhaps you inherited your possessiveness over your bed from me, and I inherited it from my mother. Or perhaps all wives feel that way?

Mom - (who only lets small grandchildren sleep in HER bed!)

Erin said...

I'm pretty sure all wives feel that way! I don't like the thought of anyone else in my bed. Especially without the sheets being changed (shudder)! That IS the point of having a guest room. I was giggling at the end of the post because I could see myself hollering the same way if this had happened to me. Warranted or not.

Melody said...

I can't quite figure out how I would react because I will never have this problem.

My husband is not giving up his bed for anyone, least of all his sister.

Though I do have to say yuck, and would have definitely made him help me change the sheets.

Betsy said...

Honestly, that's a little weird. If you did not have a guest room, it would be less weird. But as it stands....weird.

And his sister is 23- honestly, did any of us have a real sense of propriety at that age? Probably not. If someone offers you a bed, you take it.

In short, Tom screwed up. I doubt he'll make this particular mistake again.

Anonymous said...

It is time to get an air conditioner for the guest room!

Marriage is full of hard knocks, huh Tom?

i am p. said...

okay a) i was immediately drawn to the title of this post, because hell yeah -- marriage is NOT what it's cracked up to be. sometimes -- and i do love my husband -- marriage sucks ass.

b) VERY interesting about the bed dilemma. i tried to imagine the same scenario w/ my husband and realized that my reaction would have been different depending on the person -- not due to hygiene, but b/c of how much i cared to "share" with that person ( life, my stuff, my husband, my space).'s your relationship with your s-i-l?

Liz said...

That is strange. I would take the couch over someone else's bed any day.

glove said...

I actually don't mind giving up our bed. But the sheets must change!

Anonymous said...

This is a bombshell? Really? I think of bombshells as things like overdrafts, deaths, starving children in Darfur, and death. Everything else, is... well.. an inconvenience but easily handled. I think you overreacted.

Your husband was being a gracious host by letting your guest have the more comfortable bedroom. As you said, it was wicked hot. He knew she'd be uncomfortable with only a fan. He didn't mind offering, and so she took him up. You know, often when you travel to other countries and if you're guest in their house, they'll often offer you the nicer bed. So really, I don't see anything wrong in what he did.

And I agree with i a m p. Time to look into those relationships with both hubby and sis in law. They sound...not so good.

Michael C said...

Jen, dontcha think it's time to put an Air Conditioner in the guest room???

Cousin Mike

Anonymous said...

I'm with you sister! The week of our wedding, we had about 8 family members staying with us. Trav wanted to give his parents our bed for the week. I told him absolutely not! 1) It's going to be a stressful week for us with wedding preparations and family staying with us - we need our private refuge 2) We are always given the last of the lot when we stay with his family - be it the "special" room the size of a closet with a futon or the blow-up mattress

He made me feel so guilty but I wasn't budging.

I would've been POed in your situation, too, especially after you went through so much trouble for her.

nejyerf said...

Anonymous: Re: bombshell…It is called hyperbole

I fear you may have read more into this post than what was intended.

Alas, we are not in a foreign country, we are in my house, in my bed, on my sheets, using my pillow, without my knowledge and/or consent. I make no bones about how I feel, to me that is a violation of personal space.

What happened in our house during my absence boils down to a lack of common courtesy. I pointed out to my husband that what he did was tantamount to my lending out his pride and joy of a lawnmower to the neighbor without discussing it with him first. Taking another person’s feelings into consideration is an issue with which we have dealt off and on during our entire marriage. It has more to do with the way he was raised than anything else.

Also, thank you for your concern about my relationships with my husband and SIL. I can report that my husband and I get along quite well. As for the SIL, without getting into too much detail, just know that at 23 she is immature and not a kindred spirit. Quite frankly, I view her as a cross I will have to bear for the rest of my married life.

And furthermore, she was not an invited guest. She comes when she feels like it. For a while I wasn’t even consulted on when she was coming. She would just call Tom and say “I want to come over this weekend” and he would simply say “ok”. Never thinking that I might have something else planned.

I would like to wrap up this rebuttal by pointing out that it is very easy to sit in judgment on another person and their life and marriage when it is done under the cloak of anonymity.

C’mon, man up and own the irritation and disdain you feel for your fellow human being.

You’ll feel better, I promise.

Jen said...

Ummm... I got angry with my husband when he allowed his mother to vaccuum our walk-in closet while I was out of town. My MIL cleaning our room and closet? Why would the woman go into our bedroom when we could be really kinky people (we're not... don't worry) and she could have seen my lingerie and all that stuff? I was IRATE! And kind of disturbed. So... do I think you overreacted? Uh... no! Rage on!