It’s always difficult to take sides in a fight between your mother and your wife. One man from Xichang city in Sichuan province managed to avoid confrontation entirely by secretly taking care of his mom for nine years without telling his wife.
In 1985, Liu Xiangli married Zhao Zongcui and inherited all of Zhao’s family wealth, as well as the responsibilities that came with it. Liu worked hard and in 2004 was able to buy a house for 120,000 yuan. After all his hard work, Liu hoped that his own mother would get to come and live with them, but Liu’s wife shot down the idea.
Finally, during Chinese New Year in 2007, Liu picked up his mother, Gong Xingzhen, from their hometown and brought her to his new home. As can often be the case, the mother and daughter-in-law didn’t get along so well. Within one week, the fighting between the two women became so bad that Zhao threatened to kill herself if Liu’s mother didn’t leave soon, CCTV News reports.
In order to maintain his happy home, Liu had no alternative but to compromise; not by becoming a unfilial son — like the Nanjing son who had his elderly parents sit in the cold and rain to reserve a parking space or the Jiangxi son that traveled with his mom in the trunk — heck, Liu didn’t even send his mother back to their hometown. Instead, he rented a house nearby for his mother. For the next nine years, he secretely took care of her, until one day recently, his mom and wife happened to bump into each other at the market.
Zhao was both shocked and angry that her husband had hidden this secret from her for nearly a decade. Zhao told reporters that she didn’t want to live with Gong, because they didn’t get along well, and said that she thought her mother-in-law ought to stay out of family matters. While still not happy about the situation, Zhao did agree that they should take care of the old lady.
Liu’s remarkable act of filial piety has spurred discussion online. Most netizens applauded his behavior, though there were some on Weibo who had differing opinions.
“Mother Gong had eight kids, and she gave all of her fortune to the second son, so that son should be responsible for taking care of her. How come this “little son” has to look after her. I don’t think it’s right,” one netizen commented.
“I feel really bad for the wife. She should not be expected to take care of her mother-in-law,” another wrote.
“We don’t know what really happened in this family; I just hope that they can all live happily together from now on,” one web user wrote.
By Sophie Wang
[Images via CCTV News]