In today’s world, instances of ensuing conflicts among a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law are common. However, this not only makes the man in between feel sandwiched but also makes the house a battleground.
While some people might choose to ignore the straining relationship, there are those who put in great efforts to mend the bond, and Nie Lan is one such person. Fortunately, due to her belief in the teachings of an ancient spiritual practice, she turned her family situation around and helped restore peace.
From Being Worry-Free to Becoming the Sole Breadwinner
Originally from China, Nie left her home on Jan. 1, 2010, to begin a new chapter in her life. Married to a Korean man, Nie moved to South Korea. In the beginning, life seemed smooth, as her husband’s financial situation was quite good.
However, the joy-filled days didn’t seem to last long. Soon after, the family was robbed of all their savings. This put a strain on the family’s financial situation. To make matters worse, her husband, who was the sole breadwinner of the family, suddenly lost his accountant job.
“My husband was very despondent at that time,” Nie told the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times. “He became addicted to video games, [played] every day and didn’t go out to work for six years.”
In addition to that, her husband started to disconnect from society and feared the world outside. In order to settle any matter if the need arose, he would drag Nie along.
“This caused tremendous stress to me,” Nie recalled. “I didn’t know how to go on living and couldn’t see the future.”
From being worry-free to losing everything, Nie then started to live at her sister-in-law’s house, along with her mother-in-law. Describing the condition of the house, Nie shared that it lacked heating facilities during the winter.
Not long after, Nie started to realize that she couldn’t depend on her husband anymore, and thus decided to leave home with her 3-year-old son in order to fend for the two of them.
“I used my spare time to do a small business to earn money that is just enough to feed the both of us,” Nie recounted. “Money was tight. Thus, at that time, I was very angry at my husband. My marriage almost ceased to exist.”
Despite dealing with such a crisis, Nie pitied her husband. After thinking long and hard, she made the tough decision to return to their home in the city of Jeonju along with her son.
Nie recalled that she arrived at that conclusion as she had to step up to hold the family together.
Though life was challenging and put her through trials and tribulations, Nie said that she “never thought about divorce.” The reason was because she practiced Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient mind-body cultivation practice that teaches its adherents to follow the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance in their daily life.
Nie said the practice taught her that “a cultivator must be kind, follow traditions, and think of others first when things happened.”
Kindness Changes Her Husband
After returning home, Nie tried to be understanding to her husband’s situation while taking care of her mother-in-law who suffers from dementia. With the change in her, the family situation also improved drastically. Things started to perk—her husband restarted his career and changed his attitude toward her.
In the past, Nie’s husband would generously give money to family and friends. However, when Nie’s family suffered financially, no one wanted to lend them money. But when the family’s situation improved, people tried to reconnect with them.
Witnessing this, Nie’s husband realized, “These people are not reliable, only my wife who never abandons me is very reliable,” her husband told her.
After this, Nie’s husband started to support her even more. Whenever Nie traveled to the United States to attend Falun Gong activities, her husband would wake up at 2 a.m. to leave her at the airport, although she could catch a train and go by herself.
Alluding to this, Nie said: “He didn’t have the slightest complaint, and would always take the initiative to do so.”
Selflessness Transforms Her Inlaws’ Attitude
Nie’s relationship with her mother-in-law also started to blossom.
In the past, Nie couldn’t help but grumble as her mother-in-law was picky and refused to eat anything that she made. She would also lie down on the couch all day, avoiding helping her with household chores.
However, Nie realized that the root of the problem was within her. “I discovered that this was due to my selfishness,” she said.
After changing her thoughts, she decided to treat her mother-in-law with respect, and soon she noticed a difference.
“She [her mother-in-law] would start washing the dishes and cleaning up the trash once she arrived home,” Nie said. “Sometimes, she would go out to buy some kimbap (a Korean dish made from cooked rice and other ingredients and rolled in dried laver seaweed) and set the table after returning. She even carried the food over for me to eat. This has never happened before.”
But it didn’t just stop at that; Nie’s mother-in-law started to even praise her in front of their relatives.
In Korean culture, the use of honorifics is common, especially while conversing with elderly people. Although Nie was six years younger to her sister-in-law, the latter had to speak in honorifics due to Nie’s position in the family. However, Nie’s sister-in-law not only didn’t use honorifics while conversing but seldom spoke to her.
Despite the cold shoulder, Nie wasn’t bothered. She continued to treat her sister-in-law with kindness and even made more than 100 dumplings once when she suddenly brought some unexpected guests home.
Gradually, Nie’s kindness touched her sister-in-law. “My sister-in-law not only started to use honorifics toward me, but she also was no longer stingy and even sent some kimchi over to us often,” Nie said.
Being able to overcome all the hardships over the years, Nie credits Falun Gong and its teachings.
“If I didn’t cultivate, I might not have the confidence to continue living, and won’t be able to persevere until today,” she said.