Is there a situation where “the principle” of something is worth making things awkward between you and your partner? What about if it involves standing your ground with your mother-in-law?
A Reddit user “Throwaway_bodypillow” asked the AITA (“Am I The A**hole?”) subReddit for their thoughts after they got into an admittedly petty standoff over … well … throwing away a body pillow.
Gotta love it when a username works on multiple levels.
“AITA for not wanting to get rid of the anime body pillow that saved my marriage?”
Before we get into the details of this body pillow, how it saved the marriage, and who wants to get rid of it; let’s talk about how AITA works.
First, the original poster (OP) tells their tale as a post. Once users have read it, they hop into the comments section to share their thoughts and cast their votes.
Here are the options:
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Now back to this big-deal of a body pillow.
“My husband and I are best friends during the day. Love of my life. It’s at night that’s an issue.”
“I’m a blanket stealer. I once yanked them so hard poor Hubby flipped a full 180.”
“Hubby, for his part, is a thrasher. Bruce Lee would be jealous of the moves he pulls off while unconscious.”
“It’s a constant war between us when we fall asleep, and both of us often wake up sore and exhausted. It was starting to affect our relationship.”
“Neither of us wanted to move to a separate bed because we like spending our nights together, but it seemed like an inevitability.”
“We were both crabby every morning, and we started fighting as soon as we got up. It sucked, but neither of us wanted to concede defeat and move to the other bed.”
“Quick background: I was a huge nerd as a teenager. Full on otaku (go ahead, cringe, I do too).”
“One night as a joke, I brought down an old anime body pillow from the attic (I know, the cringe) and plopped it down between my husband and I, declaring it our ‘demilitarized zone.’ ”
“Hubby also thought it was hilarious, and we named her DMZ-chan. She stayed there the whole night.”
“It was a game changer.”
“DMZ-chan protected me from Hubby’s REM-induced rampages, and she’s just heavy enough that I can’t yank the blankets at full speed.”
“DMZ-chan is now a beloved part of our nightly routine. We both thought it was the funniest thing, but she legitimately helped us solve the only real issue in our marriage.”
“One day, my mother-in-law stopped by to pick something up. She got up to use the restroom, passing by our open bedroom door.”
“You can guess what she saw. DMZ-chan, propped up in the middle of our bed, her giant soulful anime eyes looking right back at MIL.”
“When she got back, she quickly grabbed her stuff and left, Hubby and I both confused. She later mentioned DMZ-chan to Hubby while they were on the phone, and it absolutely mortified him.”
“I should mention the pillow is not entirely NSFW, but leaning heavily towards lewd. She is in a uniform on one side and lingerie on the other.”
“As far as I know, my mother-in-law now thinks we’re deviants in a three-way relationship with a body pillow.”
“Hubby was too embarrassed to explain, and now he wants to put DMZ-chan back in the attic.”
“I was upset. I told him I didn’t want to go back to boxing each other at night, and that DMZ-chan helped us so much in that.”
“He agreed, but suggested we get a normal, plain body pillow case to replace her.”
“I felt like there was no need to spend money on something we already have, and if it really was that big of an issue, we can put her in the closet while we have company over.”
“Hubby is firm in that she has to go permanently. I know he’s embarrassed, but I feel we shouldn’t have to compromise our inside jokes to appease other people. I feel like he’s kowtowing to MIL about a private issue.”
In the comments, OP shared this image as an example of the style of body pillow they are referring to.
“It’s something like this. Not totally NSFW but leaning towards lewd. I’m probably desensitized to it by now but yeah could be considered weird.”
Reddit was honestly kind of torn on this one.
“NTA, the real problem isn’t about removing the pillow, but the fact that your MIL made a scene about something that isn’t any of her business. Your husband should stop enabling that.” – hajitha
“YTA. Husband already suggested a normal cover and OP refused. She seems attached to the anime cover and is willing for that to be an issue in their marriage.” – SaintSilversin
“ESH. MIL sucks for making such a big deal about it.”
“Husband for not explaining a simple and straightforward situation to his mom and instead having this knee-jerk reaction.”
“You for not taking the reasonable compromise of a plain pillowcase for it.” – WinterSummer520
“Y kind of TA. Maybe he is kowtowing, but this is still causing friction in your marriage for something that’s not a huge deal.:
“This is the perfect place for a compromise. It’s a pillowcase.
“Whether he is doing it for his mom or not, you can do this for your spouse. Just make sure it doesn’t happen with important stuff in the future.” – Ceralt
“NAH. This is not even an issue. They’re adults and it’s perfectly reasonable for her husband to want less immature bedroom decor.”
“I would also have found it funny, but wouldn’t want to sleep with an anime body pillow forever. Her husband wants to move on from the joke now, and that’s okay.” – chicken_keith
“It’s reasonable to say, ‘Let’s not have a cringy anime pillow where guests might see it.'”
“It’s reasonable to say, ‘Let’s keep our anime pillow, it’s a beloved inside joke and anybody who’s offended by it can stay our of our bedroom.'”
“It’s not reasonable to refuse any compromise and let it be a major issue.”
“In a sense, you need a metaphorical DMZ-chan to negotiate this argument between you and your husband.”
“He’s thrashing about reflexively to placate his mother. You’re trying to yank the blanket of marital privacy back over to your side.” – sthetic
“I don’t think it’s just the MIL, nosey and ridiculous as she was. It was the reminder of how it’s seen.”
“And it’s a wonderful idea to suggest that people shouldn’t be so bothered by how people look at them, but it doesn’t always make it possible. He’s seeing the potential judgment and wants to avoid it.” – TurboFool
“NAH, except maybe MIL (depending on the specifics of what she said to him).”
“He might not be bending to her will as much as looking at it embarrasses him now, knowing she knows about it.”
“Feeling embarrassed/shame can really knock how much somebody can appreciate or tolerate a thing. The point of an in-joke is for people to enjoy it, and at this point, your husband is no longer enjoying the joke.”
“You’re not an a**hole, but for the well-being of your marriage, it might be best to give on this one.”
“Don’t think of this as your MIL getting her way, think about it as doing something for your husband that increases his comfort.” – mosstalgia
“Ok but it’s not about appeasing other people anymore, is it?”
“Your husband is now uncomfortable with the pillow. You wouldn’t be uncomfortable with the plain pillow he is suggesting so it seems pretty obvious what the choice here should be.”
“YTA. Unpopular, I know.” – Lopsidedmarketing64
“I definitely see where both sides are coming from. Getting a normal pillowcase is an easy compromise for sure, and depending on the person a conversation like that with their parents could be pretty traumatic.”
“But I also see where OP is coming from, I think. They mention multiple times that they know it’s nerdy and or cringe or whatever.”
“They seem sort of ashamed of it, but I think maybe being able to joke about their past and even bring a little of it into their present may have given them a deeper sense of comfort with their partner and that is what is being compromised here.”
“I don’t really think it’s about the pillow so much as it is about her opening that part of herself up to him, him initially liking it and having fun with it, and then changing his mind entirely when an outside entity said ‘eh I think it’s kinda weird’.”
“An Otaku has usually spent a fair chunk of their time having people treat them different or call them weird cause of their interests; and it’s probably a little jarring to have it happen at home as an adult now too.”
“This is all conjecture of course, but I do think that the issue for OP is more that someone outside of their relationship was able to influence one of them to stop enjoying something they once enjoyed for basically no reason.” – MeowthThatsRite
“YTA just think is this really the hill you want to die on?”
“I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be embarrassed. It’s something he might have been fine with because it’s just the two of you. But now he might be realizing anyone who accidentally walks by might see it.”
“It’s a factor he hasn’t considered and it’s changed his opinion. That happens.”
“He has presented a perfectly reasonable compromise in a new pillow/pillow case. And you have shut him down because you don’t think his feelings are valid.”
“That isn’t okay.”
“On a side note my husband and I have used separate blanks for a while. You can sleep in the same bed but be separate.” – exhauta
“That is the level of body pillow that’ll have non-weebs judging you and also be embarrassing to be seen with. I fully endorse getting a new pillow.”
“A good test for cringyness is if you would be willing to be seen in public, with the lewd part in front, for all to see?”
“Knowing that to anyone who hasn’t seen the show, they’re assuming you’re walking around with a child in her panties on a pillow…” – nevariine
The comments seem to have hit on something for OP, because they shared an update.
“Sweet bees this blew up. Was not expecting all the attention.”
“Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for chiming in. I admit I was being stubborn; I drove over to Target on my lunch break and bought a new cover for 10 bucks.”
“I put it on DMZ-chan as soon as I got home (to those asking, I did wash her after fishing her out of the attic), and am now waiting on Hubby to get home so I can apologize for making him uncomfortable.”
“DMZ-chan shall live on in our hearts. And under the blanket when company’s over.”
We wish many hours of restful sleep for the couple.