arrow6 Comments
  1. LTE2
    Jul 09 - 2:04 pm

    “Do you think Wang made the right choice? What choice would you have made?”
    Wang made the right choice, you marry with the idea your spouse comes first. I think a good parent would (and should) accept this.
    I think this priority extends even to children, many marriages run afoul if the children become the center of the relationship.
    This is all easier said than done (I think Confucius said that).

  2. angemon3690
    Jul 09 - 3:34 pm

    “Wang made the right choice, you marry with the idea your spouse comes first. I think a good parent would (and should) accept this.”

    that may not be the prevailing philosophy in China

  3. A_Lee
    Jul 09 - 4:28 pm

    In traditional Confucian morality, there’s no question, parents come first, even before your own children. If you look at classical texts, the ultimate insult isn’t if you can’t feed your kids, it’s if you can’t feed your parents. If you can’t take care of your parents, you have failed your first duty as a human being.

    In traditional morality, it’s not really a question of right-or-wrong, or individuals deciding between two choices in a moral dilemma. The world simply exists, and moral law simply exists, and you should follow it regardless of how you feel about it. Chinese folktales have daughters prostituting themselves to feed their parents.

    Now, ideally, a parent would be benevolent, and refuse help or aid if it meant sacrificing the welfare of a child or grandchild. But that is their choice. Your filial piety is mandatory, their benevolence is discretionary.

    As for myself, I have some influence from Christian theology, which holds the marital bond as superior to parental obligation (leave the parents to become one with the spouse), so I would ultimately have to choose to side with my wife, if the differences are irreconcilable. But, Christianity also has some choice words about husband-leadership and honoring your parents. If you’re doing your job right, there shouldn’t be any conflict between spouses and in-laws. Your parents should voice their wishes to you, and you, as the chief executive of your own family, are responsible for making sure those wishes are met. Your parents shouldn’t directly place demands on your spouse.

  4. LTE2
    Jul 09 - 5:05 pm

    “that may not be the prevailing philosophy in China”

    And you maybe very right.

  5. akrypti
    Jul 09 - 11:27 pm

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with believing “you only have one mother in your life, but you can always get another wife”… except that it demonstrates unequivocally that such a person is not truly in love with the wife. And that’s why the wife should be concerned.

    Honor thy father and thy mother I can get behind. Chinese filial piety is the severe psychotic version of that commandment and is much harder for me to support.

  6. timat8asians
    Jul 10 - 8:51 am

    And of course it gets much more complicated when your parents either don’t like your spouse, or think your spouse (in the case of a same-sex marriage) is going to prevent them from getting their grandchild.

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