Most of my extended family have no idea my wife is a jw.
You non-jws who have jw mates or anyone interested in responding. Do you or would you tell extended family that your spouse is a jw. I ask because i have a couple of other relatives who are jws who pulled away from the family the years ago that caused some hurt to family that use to be close to them. So very rare but on occassion disperaging comments are made about the jw religion. Its happened a few times with my wife sitting right there. Many of my family are catholic family assume my wife is catholic too. My wife is very gaurded and private so she wont say anything about religion ever.
If i were to tell tjem she is a jw, they would be surprised. Ive never got use to the awkwardness of our situation.
In my case, I did tell my family that my (now ex-) wife is a Jehovah's Witness. Because they had no prior experience with the Watchtower, saying that had no immediate impact on their relationship with her. To this day (more than 20 years later), I am still explaining how the Watchtower affects the relationship among the family, and how that affects our children's behavior (also Witnesses). I think it is better to explain why it's nothing personal against them, just that the Watchtower teaches they should not get too close to non-Witnesses. (Though if my ex-wife had followed that teaching more closely we would never have married, and our children wouldn't be here to ignore their "worldly" Catholic relatives on my side of the family!)
If she is a committed, practising Witness, your extended family would have to be incredibly dense not to know. She'd decline invitations to birthdays, Christmas lunches and meals, refuse to reciprocate toasting when having a glass of wine, be seen out door-knocking, would share her faith at every opportunity and turn any conversation towards her beliefs, reel in horror if you gave her anything remotely "demonic"...so how come your extended family don't know?
I take it your dear wife is one of a growing number of "inactive" Witnesses who lack the gumption to be either completely in or out.
I gradually told my immdediate family and my cousins who also live in London and who I socialise with because I wanted them all to understand her behavoiur that could be quite off-putting otherwise and also because I needed help when I was battling to keep my son away from the KH. I haven't told the extended family, including my elder son from my first marriage because I don't want my ex-wife to know. My wife is, as Steve so eloquently puts it: "one of a growing number of "inactive" Witnesses who lack the gumption to be either completely in or out."
"one of a growing number of "inactive" Witnesses who lack the gumption to be either completely in or out."
or--ditherers--as i call them. ( applied to me years ago )
Steve2 your examples are like bullet points that my wife has violated more than once. Shs dressed up as a fairy to a holloween party where many of my relatives were present, goes to birthday parties including to her nonjw family without me, so its not like i pressure her in any way, goes to my family christmas gathering every year, has cling her glass with my cousins who would hug and kiss her after a toast, etc. I dont bring up these apparant contradictions when they occur. I just know that one day she's going start to begin to refuse these things. Maybe i should be grateful shes not uber but its so confusing at the same time. Just waiting for the hammer to drop causes anxiety that i hate feeling. Because im anticipating the hammer to drop i think i should tell them so that they dont inadvertently say something antijw as they have in the passed. It causes awkward moments later on.
Hey - your wife sounds so cool - anyone who dresses up as a fairy - male or female - can do no wrong in my book. So I was kind of right in my hunch. I'd be devastated if she stopped ever dressing up as a fairy! Way to go!
But she seems to be doing what lots and lots of Witnesses nowadays do: Pick and choose which bits to follow. One of my erstwhile JW relatives recently held an "open" birthday party for her 18 year old daughter. I was like "WTF!" because she's an active JW who shuns me as quick as looks at me. Then I remind myself: She's human - she has a heart that beats and lots of love for her daughter. She may never leave - but I doubt she'll ever totally throw herself back into it ever again.
Regarding your anxiety: Man, are you in need of a few chill-out pills. Why on earth do you need to prepare your extended family about your wife? LIke is she psychopathic? or a real nut job? I don't think so. You're kind of catastrophizing - that is a word - look it up on google.
She'll do what she's gotta do and it probably won't always and all times be JW things. Your extended family will learn to accept her just as she is - just as you hope one day she will be able to do towards them. Give her lots of love and ease up on the anxiety about what others think.
From painful experience, don't point out the hypocrisy. Doing so may push her in to behaving the way she is "supposed" to. You want your natural woman around (who sounds like a lot of fun), not the cultist.
I told my family that my son is marrying a Mormon and she is
white, please be respectful of her belief. My son love her and
so do I....Yes guess who coming to dinner.....
Why don't you ask your wife if she wants them to be told, or if she sees no reason to? Perhaps she doesn't take the few disparging comments they have made about jw's personally, and doesn't see it as a big deal if they know or not.
Hers is the opinion that matters.