When you marry into a new family, you often adjust to their customs and traditions. This can be challenging, but it’s essential to be respectful of your new in-laws.

A user asked, Am I a jerk for adjusting the thermostat at my in-laws’ house and not letting them adjust at mine? We need you to intervene and drop your views.


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OP’s in-laws live in a hot climate, and he and his wife go visit them regularly. At the end of the day, the inside of their house is usually about 80F (26C).

He finds it nearly impossible to sleep when it’s this hot, and he can employ only so many strategies to keep cooler. Namely, minimal sleep clothing, not using a blanket, turning on a fan, and opening windows once the sun sets. 

What Does OP Say

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He says, “Often when we’re visiting, I turn the AC on a bit before bed to get it down to maybe 76-78 degrees. I can manage at that temperature. I’m unable to do this when my sister-in-law is home since she claims she’s freezing to death anywhere below 80, so if she’s there, I just deal with the heat. Important to note here that they showed me the thermostat and invited me to change it if need be.”

What Happens When OP’s In-Laws Come For A Visit?

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Where OP lives, they have four seasons, so sometimes they are running the heat and sometimes the AC. 

OP says, “Shortly after they arrived for a recent visit, I woke up in the middle of the night sweating to find that in order to accommodate my in-law’s temperature preferences, my wife had turned the heat up to 80F. I turned it back down to 72 and asked them not to change it.”

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What Does OP Have To Say In His Defense?

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OP says “I understand there’s an incongruity in me wanting the temperature changed at their house and not wanting it changed at mine, but I feel like being too hot vs too cold comes into play here.

As I said, there are only so many ways you can cool off when it’s hot. But if it’s cold, put on some socks, and grab an extra blanket. Warming up in a 72F home should not be difficult for healthy humans.”

What Does OP Think

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OP thinks what it comes down to is – is he a jerk for not inviting them to change the temp at his house to whatever they want when they’ve invited him to do that at their house? And his best defense is that his temperature preferences are well within average preferred indoor temperatures, and it’s really easy to warm up but hard to cool down.

Are Double Standards Much?

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“Double standards that only benefit you make you a jerk.”

“Ok dude, I hear you. I have a husband who is CRAZY about the thermostat and temp in our house, he’s also someone who really struggles when it’s hot. But man YOU’RE THE JERK! Who do you think you are? You, my friend, are selfish. To make guests comfortable in your home as a host is legit your ONLY job. Throw open your window and smile through the pain, like my husband would. It’s only a few days. Apologize and move along”

Your Wife Doesn’t Have A Say In The House Or What?

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“You’re the jerk – your in-laws didn’t change the thermostat; your wife did. She may have changed it based on their request, but again they didn’t change it; she did. Does she not have a say in your household?” said one.

“Yeah this to me sounds like a problem between husband and wife. Clearly they’re not on the same page.

OP needs to talk to his wife, and they both need to agree with what is reasonable for the thermostat to be set to, and what is too hot or too cold or otherwise unacceptable.” added another. 

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An Electric Blanket Might Have Helped 

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“I’m torn because your in-laws allow you to adjust the thermostat at their house to make sure you are comfortable so I think it’s only fair you provide the same accommodations when they are visiting, but holy crap 80 is hot as hell. I wouldn’t be able to breathe with the heat this high. Maybe get them an electric blanket?”

The Two Situations Are VERY DIFFERENT

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“I get the knee-jerk of everyone calling you the jerk, but I think these people don’t really understand how Michigan works. 80 in the winter up there isn’t just miserable; that gas bill would be a FORTUNE. I don’t think we’re comparing apples to apples here. Moving a thermostat from 80-76 in a warm climate is a lot different than moving it from 72 to 80 when it’s -5 outside.”

Are We Gonna Pretend Like Space Heaters Do Not Exist?

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“Why not just get them a space heater for their room if they’re really that cold?” suggested one.

“This feels like the appropriate long term solution.” another replied. 

“This. I can not sleep if my room is cold. Also harder to get out of bed. Space heater has saved so many arguments between me and my roommate!!” another added.

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The House Owner Gets To Decide The Temperatures. That’s It.

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“Who the hell can sleep or even dwell in 80°? Not me. My house is a crisp 68° in the summer and 67° in the winter. When family comes over they know it’s my house and my preferred temp. However, when I go to their house I deal with the heat. Because, guess what, it’s their house not mine.” 

80 Degrees Is Insanely Hot, No Matter What

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“Not the jerk because 80 degrees is a laughably insane temperature to set a heater to.”

“I need it to be cold to sleep. 80F truly is my nightmare. I would never ever sleep at their house again. Get a hotel. Or buy an industrial-sized fan and keep it there.” 

“I am saying ‘Not A Jerk’ because I would melt if it were 80° in my house.”

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