Making excuses for JW family
I have a good friend (also a former JW like me) who is getting married. None of her family (all JW) are coming to the wedding and she was wondering how she could explain this to her future in-laws - what good excuse could she use so it wouldn't look so bad.
As I was talking with her it hit me - why make any excuse at all? Is it our responsibility for their beliefs? Just say it like it is. My brother got married today (a JW) and all of my family was invited, even my non-JW teenage son, but I was not. When people ask me why I wasn't going I told them the truth - "I wasn't invited - They're Jehovah's Witnesses and they're shunning me because I don't want to be one". There - plain, simple, and true. If I had tried to make some excuse people would look at me and wonder what the real reason was - what terrible thing had I done that my family didn't want me around. Instead, I told the truth - much simpler.
I think your truthful response is perfect! When Mozzer and I got married this past autumn, none of my JW family was there. And they WERE invited. I was worried what my friends would say, but none of them responded the way I thought. They were all very supportive and encouraging. I heard a lot of "the important people will be there" and "they're missing out on an event of a lifetime" type of things. What was really cool is some of the DFW "apostates" from this board were there...sitting right up in the front row where my blood family would have been if they had spines. The only blood family I had there was my father's brother...whom I lovingly call "Uncle Dad" (truly the only father figure I have in my family) and his daughter, my cousin Michelle...who always signs her letters to me "Lil' Sis" (the only sibling I have too.)
And you know what? My wedding day was just about as perfect as any bride could imagine! I was marrying the man of my dreams, my friends and self-made family was there, the day was sunny with birds signing, and I felt absolutely gorgeous! What more could a girl ask for? No, my father wasn't there. But I just looked at it as his loss, not mine. Besides, what bride needs the stress of judgmental, self-serving parents around anyway, right???
Tell your friend she doesn't need to make excuses for her JW family. I didn't. It didn't make me look bad at all. It made my JW family look incredibly bad. And I think most of my friends loved me that much more that day. Not out of pity for me, but because they saw me grow in courage and strength in spite of it. THAT made my in-laws that much more proud that I was marrying their son. Tell your friend to be proud and happy that day - it's her day to shine...not worry.
Tell the truth, that is what I did when I got married. Except in my case, some of my JW family came and some did not. That was hard for the non-JW family members to understand. I explained it was a personal decision rather than a hard and fast rule. Needless to say, my in-laws get along better with the ones who came and are just coolly polite to the others when they encounter them at family funerals.
"Hypocrites are in every religion," my mother-in-law said.