This is part 3 of a story of a family dinner. If you haven’t read what happened at the dinner, click here for part 1 (“A family dinner and to raise your glass or not to raise your glass”) and here for part 2 (“A loss of face”).
After Y has paid, his mother who sees that I’m still fighting with tears tells him that we should leave. The others will stay a little longer. Once Y and I am downstairs, I can’t hold back my tears anymore.
Y: “What’s wrong? You’re not crying because of him (referring to his uncle), are you?”
I: “How can you treat someone like that? (Also referring to daye, his oldest uncle). If you want people to respect you, you should respect them too. You know, I was having a stomach ache and back pain just now at the family dinner, but when your uncle started asking me questions I still tried to smile. Is this how you treat family?”
Y hugs me and tells me: “You know, when I was a kid, daye would always want me to kowtow – kneel down in front of him at Chinese New Year. This is a Chinese tradition, the kids kowtow and will then get a hongbao (a red envelope with money). I never liked the way he ordered me to do this and I never knelt down for anyone in my life, just once when my parents were fighting and every time I visit my grandfather’s grave, but that’s different. I’ve always had clashes with my uncle, I usually avoid seeing him.”
I feel a lof better already.
I: “If this is how he treats family, I really don’t want to know how he treats people who aren’t family.”
Y: “Oh, this is still harmless. He always tells his married son to find another woman who should give birth to his grandson.”
I: “Because he only has a granddaughter, not a grandson?”
Y: “No. Because he hates the grandson he already has.”
And like this, we walk into the night. I feel at peace again and love my husband even more. I love him because he doesn’t allow people to treat him like shit and he also stands up for others if people treat them like shit.
Have you ever had difficulties with family members, be it your own or your husband’s or wife’s family? I’d love to read about your experiences.
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wow, he is even worse than grandma of my husband – my husband and the other cousin are `outside grandchild` but the big cousin, favourite one is inside, she talks really bad about his wife, even asked him to divorce – they even had to hide her mother`s death before their wedding so she doesn`t ruin the wedding i guess everyone has that kind of person in the family, i`m lucky most of my husband`s family is normal
It’s sad how these things sometimes work. Daye isn’t close family, so we didn’t take it to heart, but if a grandparent acts like that it’s much worse I guess.
Daye was worse than I thought. That must have been a difficult experience, esp. since you weren’t feeling well. It’s hard to be confronted face-to-face. On the other hand, subterfuge and whispering behind your back could be worse in the long run. At least you know to watch out for daye. Three cheers for Y for being such a good and supportive husband.
Fortunately he’s not important for our relationship (and can’t change the fact that we are together) and you’re definitely right, the next time I know to watch out. Thanks, I’m glad he’s that supportive, but even if I was only a friend and not his wife, I know that he would have reacted similarly.
I think your hubby should have given you a heads up before the meal. My hubby will do that sometimes – or an occasional sentence in English to let you know what is going on and clarify things. That said, glad it worked out.
I agree, in theory. But Y probably didn’t anticipate the outcome of this dinner and I guess he thought things would work out more smoothly. He had told me about this uncle before, but until that evening I didn’t know which uncle it was. Daye really dislikes Y, but I guess Y didn’t think he would take it out on me. I’m pretty sure he will give me a heads up before the next meal with daye though.
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Not quite the same, but I have had relatives asking me how much I earn.
I haven’t been asked that question yet by relatives from my husband’s side. It must have felt awkward.
The sun will come out tomorrow.
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