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AIBU to be upset with sister-in-law

(70 Posts)
Buffy Tue 25-Jun-19 22:09:17

My husband's sister from abroad stayed alone in our flat for 3 weeks and when we returned not only had she not bothered to strip the bed but left a pile of 8 used towels in the bathroom and her rubbish.
My family say she's elderly and not to make a fuss, but I'm not much younger and feel as though I'm being used as a chambermaid.

ayokunmi1 Wed 26-Jun-19 19:21:42

Forget it move on let it be shes thoughtless very but whats done is done

quizqueen Wed 26-Jun-19 19:28:00

8 towels in 3 weeks is a lot to use - why didn't she bring her own anyway, you are not a hotel. I wouldn't have had 8 towels in my house and certainly would have none clean for myself to come back to if a guest used that many!!

I would tell her off, especially as she saved a lot of money by staying at yours and point out her behaviour was unacceptable and next time she can book a hotel instead if she wants hotel type services. People behave badly because their errors are not pointed out to them and because others are too weak to do anything about it.

Summerlove Wed 26-Jun-19 19:57:11

I hope you won’t be hosting her again

Starlady Wed 26-Jun-19 21:52:18


Seems like your SisIL didn't change the sheets for 3 weeks, let alone wash them or strip the bed! As for the 8 towels, were they all the same kind of towel or different, maybe 3 bath towels, 3 hand towels and 2 washrags, for example? If they were all one kind of towel, then that's a lot. And it would suggest that, for some reason, she changes towels often though not sheets. If they were different kinds of towels that makes a little more sense.

Regardless, I think she should, at least, have handled the sheets the way you requested. But as a PP (previous poster) said, she may have forgotten. Also, I do think there may be a cultural difference. And no, that doesn't mean I think other cultures are barbarians or whatever. It just means there are different ideas about how to do things in different places. As you can see, even here, there are different POVs about guests stripping the bed, etc.

Then again, perhaps you've never expected this of her on her regular visits? Then no reason to expect her to do any different when she's there alone, I'm afraid.

Personally, I don't mind guests not stripping the bed or putting towels in the laundry, etc. if they are just w/ me a night or two, as is usually the case. But if someone were in my home for 3 weeks, I would expect more from them. At least, put the towels in the laundry or fold them and leave them near the hamper.

However, I wouldn't "make a fuss," I would just make some decision. For one thing, you and DH might want to set some new ground rules with her, in general. But I agree with PPs, I would not let her stay in my home alone again, no matter what excuse I had to make.

In fact, I take it she only asked b/c she knew you and DH would be away, is that correct? If so, then perhaps it's better not to let her know when you'll be gone?

Abuelana Thu 27-Jun-19 08:59:10

Very ungrateful and thoughtless. I’v lent my apt to a friend - she’s been there 3 weeks and have just found out that she hasn’t paid my cleaner for the clean that I have to do after she’s moved out !! I’m putting it down to a lesson I needed to learn - suggest you do the same. Bedding and 8 towels are not worth a family fall out.

melp1 Thu 27-Jun-19 13:38:45

Why had she not washed any towels if she had stayed 3 weeks.
I would have expected the bed to be stripped and in the wash and the bed made up with fresh linen if you were due back.
A bottle of wine or some chocolates at least.
How rude.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 27-Jun-19 14:08:14

In your place I wouldn't say anything about it just now.

However, if you decide to let her stay on another occasion, tell her nicely that you hope she will remember to take out her rubbish before leaving and to strip the bed.

That seems only fair, as I expect she was not paying to stay in your flat.

Dolcelatte Thu 27-Jun-19 15:48:56

I wouldn't be fussed about the bedding and towels, but I would expect a nice gift and for her to reciprocate the invitation. Why don't you invite yourself?

Blackbags Mon 08-Jul-19 00:06:14

Maybe she didn’t feel comfortable running your washing machine. Also, leave your husband to clean up after his sister.

sodapop Mon 08-Jul-19 08:22:19

I would do the same thing as Starlady let it go this time but if she is going to stay again ensure you lay down some ground rules. Some people need even the basics explained to them.

nuttynana Tue 09-Jul-19 10:05:42

I would have stripped the bed and started a wash and would also have kept the place tidy but that does not mean I expect everyone to . More unreasonable that she has not (yet?) taken you out for a meal or sent flowers
Whilst I can undersatand you feeling a bit miffed I think it would be unreasonable to start a family feud or harbour bad feelings towards your husbands sister over something which , in the scheme of things , is really trivial .
Maybe next time just nicely ask if she could do those things . It is also true that she may find stripping beds almost impossible . I have physical problems which mean that there are lots of times when I can't push a hoover or strip a bed . At home of course it can wait till the next day .
I have a brother who is a walking disaster and even after a visit of a couple of hours my house looks like a bomb has hit it . Try telling him ? At 67 he ain't gonna change but he's my brother !

Alexa Tue 09-Jul-19 12:32:35

Most people who do these things are thoughtless. How you ask her to be more considerate depends on the way you usually relate together. Has she enough money to have paid for domestic help?

Craicon Tue 09-Jul-19 14:31:09

I’ve never stripped the beds or washed towels when I’ve stayed at someone’s house. It wouldn’t occur to me that this was an expectation, to be honest.

The sensible thing would be to state clearly what you’d like her to do with regards to cleaning/tidying rather than just assume everyone follows the same rules.

Stansgran Tue 09-Jul-19 14:41:01

Ask her to bring her own towels and sheets next time to save you the hassle. I always took towels and sheets when visiting DDs in flats as they hadn't got the drying space I have.

Peonyrose Thu 11-Jul-19 21:07:13

Just don't extend the invite again, I would let it go.

Alexa Fri 12-Jul-19 11:56:37

It would be a great pity to quarrel about a triviality like washing a guest's bed linen and towels. However
I do understand the problem of being too frail to clear up after guests as this has hit me too, in more recent years.
I do in fact have a current little problem about a friend who is good natured,wants to be no trouble , has had a stroke, and I think does not quite understand that I can no longer help her out of her chair or across my gravelled drive.

grannyactivist Fri 12-Jul-19 12:38:17

When I stay in rental cottages I always vacuum, empty bins, strip the beds and usually put the first wash on. It means we are always welcomed back and I occasionally even get a 'thank you' card from the owners.

When people stay here I always suggest that they leave things for me to sort out as regardless of how clean/tidy people leave their rooms I always go over them again anyway. We currently have friends staying in two of the bedrooms and they've already established whether we want them to strip the beds etc. My answer was to say that if they have the time and inclination then okay, but not to worry if not.

jaylucy Thu 18-Jul-19 11:44:08

Whenever I have stayed in someone elses house (sometimes housesitting) I have not only stripped the bed, but remade it(if I knew it was going to be used), laundered the sheets and towels I have used and cleaned the bathroom, kitchen and lounge so all is clean and tidy .
Your SiL may well have health problems (who uses 8 towels?) which meant that she could not do it, but she could have left you a note apologising or sent you a text, rather than treating your home like a hotel!
I have to wonder what her own home is like if she does this in yours!

Buffybee Thu 18-Jul-19 19:19:37

I wouldn't be too bothered about the bedding but leaving eight bath towels, I would consider a bit much, especially as some must have been left damp for three weeks.
Next time she stays, I would just ask her to put any towels she uses through the wash.