China Elevator Stories

After The Family Dinner

My husband comforts me after a family dinner at a restaurant in Siping, where his uncle humiliated me in front of his relatives.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


After my husband has paid for the dinner, his mother, who sees that I’m still fighting with tears, tells my husband that we should leave first. They will stay a little longer with the other relatives. Once my husband and I am downstairs, I can’t hold back my tears anymore.

My husband asks: “What’s wrong? You’re not crying because of my uncle, are you?”
I say to him: “How can you treat someone like that? If you want people to respect you, you should respect them too. You know, I had a stomach ache and back pain and still went to the family dinner. When your uncle started asking me questions, I even tried to smile. Is this how you treat family?”
My husband hugs me and tells me: “You know, when I was a kid, my uncle would always want me to kowtow to him – 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 always clash with my uncle when we see each other, I usually avoid seeing him.”

I feel a lot better already.

I tell him: “If this is how he treats family, I really don’t want to know how he treats people who aren’t family.”
He says: “Oh, this is still harmless. He always tells his married son to find another woman who should give birth to his grandson.”
“Because he only has a granddaughter, not a grandson?”
“No. Because he hates the grandson he already has.”

Like this, we walk into the night. I feel at peace again and feel appreciation for my husband.

Have you ever had problems with your spouse’s relatives?