Woman Furious With Younger Sister for Doing Husband's Laundry Dragged

Hosting a family member while they are in need is a kind gesture that many of us are willing to do for our loved ones. While sometimes this brings you closer, at times it can ruin your relationship, especially if you didn't set any boundaries before offering your house to them.

The internet has slammed a woman who berated her sister for washing her husband's underwear while doing laundry, claiming it was "not her place nor was it appropriate."

spouse berating sister for doing husband laundry
A stock image of a woman doing laundry. The internet has slammed a woman who berated her sister for doing her husband's laundry. Getty Images

It is estimated that about 70 percent of all Americans engage in at least some type of infidelity, with the percentage of marriages where partners are unfaithful reaching more than 18 to 20 percent.

About 79 percent of the wives who assume that their husbands are involved in infidelity are right, and around 62 percent of husbands who assume that their wives being unfaithful are correct, although the survey did not define infidelity.

In a post shared on Reddit on Sunday, under the username u/amitwrongthrow321, she wrote her sister moved in with her family a week ago, and since she can't contribute with money, she's been doing chores around the house and helping with the kids.

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But the Redditor came home from work to find that her sister had washed her husband's underwear while doing laundry for the family, and she found that behavior inappropriate and out of place.

The poster wrote: "I did not think it was appropriate for her to be looking at his underwear. She downplayed the whole thing saying it was no big deal and that she saw that I was struggling with work and then kids and wanted to help me by doing the laundry. I told her she shouldn't have done."

Dr. Chloe Carmichael, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and the author of Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety, told Newsweek that the context of this episode matters.

"I just want to raise the idea for you of considering questions about the history and context of your relationship with your husband, as well as your sister. Is there any history of infidelity by your husband? If yes, I could understand potentially being extra-sensitive around privacy barriers.

"Similarly, I'm curious about your trust level with your sister. Do you think it's likely that she knew her laundry activity would set you off, or do you think she was just innocently doing something she mistakenly thought would be helpful?" added Carmichael.

"I'm also curious about your overall feelings regarding her staying with you. Has her stay been totally fine, except for this one incident? Is there an end date in sight? Is there generally enough space for all of you in the home, or are things feeling cramped?"

Carmichael suggested giving the whole situation the "benefit of the doubt" and trusting that her sister was simply acting in good faith.

"Let her know you're sorry if your reaction seemed a little over the top, and that it just caught you by surprise, and gently let her know that while you appreciate her efforts, from now on, you prefer to do your husband's laundry yourself," Carmichael said.

"On the other hand, if there's more to the story and perhaps you're legitimately anxious about the time-space-finance boundaries of her staying with you, or you believe that she probably actually knew her laundering your husband's underwear would irritate you, and/or if there needs to be a discussion with your husband about keeping your marital disagreements private, I urge you to make sure you look for ways to have those conversations in good faith as well."

The post, first shared on the AITA subreddit, where people discuss their actions with impartial strangers, has so far received more than 9,800 upvotes and 4,700 comments.

Redditor Antha_A said: "Laundering clothing is not 'sexy thought time' to me."

TinyRascalSaurus wrote: "Yup. Have done male friends' laundry tons of times. Handled underwear every single time. I barely paid enough attention to even process that they were underwear when folding. Definitely didn't suddenly feel compelled to find my friend and demand sex."

Newsweek reached out to u/amitwrongthrow321 for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.