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Q: How do you deal with the Relationship between your Chinese wife and her Mother?

First, I'm not here to complain about my mother in law as she has helped my family enormously.  However, on the flip side of that her relationship with her daughter (my wife) is so close that it is unhealthy for marriage.  Currently she is living with us and until my mother in law goes to bed I can hardly get in more than 2 sentences with my wife before she takes over and dominates discussion. I've talked to some Chinese men and they say they have the same problem, they are invisible at home at least until the mother in law sleeps.  Other than ask the mother in law to leave, any solutions?  My wife is very very sensitive to anything related to her parents so I obviously have to tread carefully. 

5 years 49 weeks ago in  Culture - China

 
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Your screwed dude.  It sucks that your wife isnt a little bit more firm, but you have to understand her side to. How does she tell her mom to screw off? You could have a discussion with your wife.. I havent experienced this, but the conversation interupting is common in China, so I had a sweet the convo that pretty much said" Listen women, maybe you dont think interupting is rude but I sure do, so from now on when I speak, you pay attention to me, and when she interupts you, you ignore her, or answer quickly and come back to me, she doesnt even think its rude anyways, so ignore her ass not mine"  Problem solved! Your wife probably knows the sitution isnt ideal, but doesnt know how to deal with it, so give her some suggestions.

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5 years 49 weeks ago
 
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Family first.

Lifelong hometown friends and childhood classmates second.

Husband maybe third.

 

Probably not what you wanted to hear, but that's usually the way it is.

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5 years 49 weeks ago
 
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There's a checklist to review before marriage, and this checklist includes "not living with the parents" "have priority over parents". If at least one of those didn't checkout, damage control is going to be tough.

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5 years 49 weeks ago
 
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  My wife has a far more volatile relationship with her mother than the one you describe, and I treat it like I would a fireworks display: stand well back and enjoy the show.

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5 years 49 weeks ago
 
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Sounds like you're in a tight spot there.  Tell her that the situation isn't as it should be and suggest a way around it.  Getting the MIL out of there would definitely help.

Mate, am I lucky!  Before we married I was on very good terms with her Mum and I found her very friendly.  Since marrying mid year she hasn't spoken to her daughter at all.  We never see her.  Happy every day!

 

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5 years 49 weeks ago
 
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Living with the MIL is a bad idea, especially if you have the dominating version of the MIL. I have a somewhat similar MIL, but she doesn't live with us. As soon as she comes by it's a territory pissing battle. E.g. right now I don't know where a pair of my home shoes are. Why? The other day the MIL was here. She puts all our shoes out in the sun, then she takes them back in, and she has packed away the shoes she doesn't think we need. 

I have been training my wife in the fact that her mother is interrupting. It actually started with my wife complaining that I never talk when we are with her mother. Then after just about a year of saying "when do you want me to talk, you mother never stops and if I say something I am interrupted", I've now switched to just saying "she did it again" every time I am interrupted. This has made my wife very aware of how much her mother is actually preventing us from being able to communicate. 

 

But the mother daughter relationship is unhealthy for my wife and her mum too. My wife is programmed to run everything by her mum. Real life example. Wife and me are sitting on the sofa one evening. She begins to complain about abdominal pain. After a bit of standard home remedies the pain begins to get too much. She calls her mum and tells her we'll go to the hospital. This conversation instructs my wife to "wait at home until I come by". When she hangs up, I have gathered what is needed for going to the hospital, I say "let's go"

w "no let's wait for my mum"

me "she doesn't know where the hospital is or what?"

w "no she said it would be best if she came with us"

... I then call the MIL, tell her to meet us there, we do about 5 iterations of bullocks time wasting. Then I simply tell her "OK, you come here, we'll go to the hospital"

 

later... much much later, when my wife was diagnosed the doctor said she needed to be admitted. the MIL kicks in again and says it should be at a "better hospital" as what my wife needed was rest under observation I did tell that I thought a cross town taxi ride at 3AM was a bad idea. Yet we did so, each bump in the road caused unneeded pain to my wife. At 4AM we were back at the starting point, same hospital. They had indeed called ahead to check that the "better hospital" had a person who knew something about the ailment. That conversation had not included if the "better hospital" had empty beds. 5AM, two of my MILs friends and fellow biblenutters shows up to pray over my wife. The entire next day the hospital is teaming with friends of the MIL. A f***ing circus.

This was great because now I have this brilliant example of how things go down when she listens to her mum. 

 

Oh. I thought I was going to go see fireworks tonight. Turns out the MIL is coming for dinner. 

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5 years 49 weeks ago
 
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Oohhh, I am soo lucky seems like. I have really forbid them living with us.

They are nice and friendly, when we come visit them, but that's the way the things are going on normal life. Can't imagine that. I can, but want keep only the imaginery, nothing more...

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5 years 49 weeks ago
 
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My experience of life in Asia made me very worried of any melding of MIL with my couple's life. The few tales here are just re-enforcing this opinion. My MIL is a cute, funny, light-spirited woman, who seems to really like me, calling me an adoptive son. We are 4 hours apart, she never meddle with our life. My wife is doing a great job at that.

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5 years 49 weeks ago
 
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My mother in law moved in a few months before the baby was born... almost 2 years ago.

 

I have 2 ways to deal with it.

 

Firstly, I go to the pub and leave them to it.

 

You see, My wife has told me herself  that her custom does not allow her to disobey her mother.  No matter if my wife disagrees with her, she still has to do what mum says.

 

The second way I deal with it is by giving her mother what she wants.... a lazy son in law.  I do nothing in the house. I leave all the washing and cleaning up to her. I never used to be like that but I am now because I got fed up with her trying to take over any chore I was doing.  So I leave her to it.  Especially after the time she re-washed some dishes after I had just washed them, saying I had not washed them well enough.

 

But seriously, my mother in law is spot on with most things. I think the Chinese have a good system when it comes to family. Just sometimes the filial piety goes a bit too far.

 

PS. If you have a baby and try to throw your mother in law out, don't be surprised in wife and baby go with her indecision.

 

 

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5 years 49 weeks ago
 
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It's good and bad.

My wife doesn't want her mother to ever live with us because she doesn't want to listen to the constant nagging. However, she definitely loves her mom a lot - in spite of the fact that she's overly domineering.

I'm glad we both agree. I'd honestly just disappear if I had to live with the in laws. Sorry, but I don't love anyone enough to deal with that constant drama and overly controlling maniac.

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5 years 49 weeks ago
 
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Every man wants peace unless something is wrong with him. If you can't get that from your wife because of the MIL, then you should talk to her about it. Tell her how you feel, and that you want to spend more time with her, etc.  If she refuses to change in any way, shape or form, you could consider moving on.

 

I hate divorce, but I'd never stay with a woman who forced me to live like that.

 

For forks sake, I had to listen to the in-law interrupting everything constantly when we stayed with her. I had to listen to her inane input on everything, and every single time we wanted to do something, we ended up having a thirty minute argument about how we should just stay home and sit on our asses to save money. If I had to live with that, I would leave... forever.

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5 years 49 weeks ago
 
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