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Q: Was I wrong? (yelling at MIL edition)

Did you ever yell at your MIL? I did yesterday, the actual circumstances doesn't matter, but as an example "She was about to burn down the building due to carelessness and lack of attention to what she was doing". I see this, my wife sees this. I yell "NO", and physically prevents her from further action (not touching her, but blocking her actions with my own body) So... she runs away, and sits in her room for 20 mins. While she does that, I sit and talk to my wife. She is in complete agreement with her mum being irrisponsible, we are in 100% sync on that part. However, she is concerned about "how to fix the relationship between me and her mum", since I have raised my voice, she thinks I have offended her. This may be true, but as I see it, having offended a person beats sitting in the smoldering ashes of your home. Anyway. I go to the MIL and say that I am sorry for raising my voice, but I saw danger and it needed to be stopped. She doesn't look at me, but then starts to say something to my wife in a slight sobbing way. A bit of blah blah back and forth and my wife and MIL then start yelling at each other, since the topic is now not me, I suggest we go out for desserts, none of them hear it. Once they are done yelling at each other, the MIL vanishes for some ours, presuambly out for a stroll, she does that often. Reflecting over this I conclude1. The MIL reacts in a childish fashion. The correct response from her side is to say "thank you for preventing me in doing something mindnumbingly stupid"2. Almost daily, she is telling me, albeit in a calm manner, that I am doing stuff wrong. Stuff like "no no no, you don't cook meatballs like that" (oh, so my late grandmother was wrong all her life and all those deliscious meatballs she made for me as a small kid was done all wrong, I see) There are tons of such "corrections" every day. There is also lots of unsolicited advice like "wear something warm" like I am too stupid to tell if I am warm or cold.  Anyway, was I wrong to yell at my MIL? As I told my wife later, she is the only person on this planet I would not have yelled at in this situation. Be it Xi Jinping (Cheeeeers), the King/Queen of my home country, Fatty from Korea North, my mother, some random person who wanders by. If yelling means saving life, health or property, so be it if it is rude. 

5 years 12 weeks ago in  Culture - China

 
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Posts: 4164

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Right or wrong ( I don't think you were wrong), when something happens and you have a second to respond and act you can't be expected to sit down and think about all the ways her feelings might be hurt and what would be the most diplomatic way to go about it.

 

You did what you had to do and if she is going to sulk because you raised your voice then it's her problem.

 

It sounds to me like she's trying to deflect blame so she's a victim of your brutish ways now rather than the careless idiot who almost burned down the house.

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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I yell at my MIL all the time, the old bag is as deaf as a post, it's the only way she hears you. Baring that I simply throw something at her head like a cushion, my kid's teddy, or a wok and say "Baaad" and point to the cupboard. Half an hour in there usually does it.

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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Shouting at the MIL is the only way they listen. If it urgent you must shout. I usually have to say something 3 times before I even get the MIL's attention. She is forever doing careless things. She just doesn't think about the effects of her actions. She is nice and doesn't deliberately cause problems but they just seem to happen when she visits. Thankfully the inlaws live in a different city.

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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Gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen...reading your MiL stories always makes me say a short but fervent prayer of thanks for my friendly, calm, sensible, kind and generous MiL, and, despite all their good points, makes me kind of happy that the in laws are two continents away.

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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My MIL only tells me once that I am doing something wrong. Because my response is "Fine....do it yourself from now on..."

So now I do nothing in the house apart from make a mess for her to clean up Smile

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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You made your apologies once, leave it at that. Don't make yourself out to be the wrong doer. As many of us have learn't we know nothing, it' like we have never cooked, cleaned, washed, ironed or held a baby before. We are always in the firing line and always will be. I believe we are more responsive to danger than most Chinese nationals, who seem to be oblivious to it, be it on the road or in the home. If you MIL fails to except our apology then I would leave it at that, let her come round in he own time. You do no need to keep explaining your actions. 

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
Posts: 165

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Yes, you are wrong in living with mil.  Seems so many complaints, time to get out with your spouse and child.  Stand up.

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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Definitely not wrong.  I'd say you were a champion.......for letting her live with you.

 

My MIL  disowned her daughter when she was born.  45 yrs later how lucky am I!!

 

 

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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You guys all live with your MIL? I couldn't do it. 

 

My MIL is a nice and calm woman that does get emotional sometimes but I just couldn't live with her. Our views would be just too different on things.

 

But you were NOT wrong. When action is needed you don't have the time to think if you hurt someone's feelings. "Oh maybe I shouldn't drown that saving guy because he might be embarrassed and lose face in front of his GF... and he's gone."

 

She is just using one of the boring Chinese tactics... playing the big ole victim card.  

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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It's the generation thing. There was a Discovery channel episode of a crashed Turkish airlines flight, and the junior pilots both knew the senior pilot was wrong. His velocity measuring tool had become blocked outside the plane, leading him to believe they were going too fast, so he sped down the aircraft. The junior pilots both had separate monitors with accurate measurements. They dared not speak up clearly, so they watched the plane crash. Everyone died. Black box documented the whole incident, including the junior pilots' awareness of the problem. They tried to call attention to the issue by naming the instrument in error, comments the senior pilot promptly ignored. They took no other action to save their own lives.

And that's what's expected of us! Raising your voice against elders is not done usually. Being in obvious error makes it all the more difficult to brush off, and we don't have the social skills needed to deflate this. You burst her bubble - she needs time to reform it. That's where she likes to live in.

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5 years 12 weeks ago
 
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First of all there is no cure for stupid, so I would assume she will continue to do stupid crap in the future as well.Do what you gotta do in order to save your own life, even if it offends someone else. Worst case scenario the old lady leaves you, but you're still alive and you can get another one.

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5 years 11 weeks ago
 
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Simple question: which is more important - ego/culture, or people's lives (especially not your own)?

 

Hammer this question into her/them until the eyes go bright with understanding (might take a few years...).

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5 years 11 weeks ago
 
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I literally almost killed my mother-in-law, and bastard-in-law, because of their crazy bullshit (mostly bil's fault). I'd say you did a lot better than me by just yelling.

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5 years 11 weeks ago
 
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My MIL had newspaper up on the nice windows of our new house we bought and some Christmas lights were right on the newspaper,  I yelled at her about the possibility of starting a fire. I told her that putting newspaper up in windows looks trashy. I swear they can't have anything look remotely nice, they have to trash it up.

 

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5 years 11 weeks ago
 
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