Marriage Problem

by voxel 17 Replies latest jw friends

  • voxel

    Hello everyone,

    I am a "worldly" person, not of any religion and am soon to be marrying a long-term disfellowshipped Jehovahs Witness. She has not been of the religion for over a decades time and seemingly her immediate family has accepted this through the years.

    We've traveled across country together so she could introduce her family to me and have not had any problems. We've now decided to plan our wedding and suddenly problems are occuring. Her family has gone from "Yes, you are our daughter, we will be at your wedding no matter what", - to - "No, we can't go to your wedding unless you become a witness again and if you don't become a witness again, we will treat you as a disfellowshipped person from this point on". From my perspective as a wordly person, I see this as a threat and it makes me very angry with her family to do this to us. She says from a witness's perspective she is the one abandoning her family because she chooses to no longer be a witness (she was baptised as one).

    My fiancee has made this choice to seperate religion from her life 10 years ago and continues to do so. I feel her family is now making her chose between me and them. My fiancee says that she doesn't want to be a witness again but does not want to lose her family that she has had with no problems in the past.

    My final question: is there anything that can be done so that my future wife and I can live in harmony with her family without us becomming witnesses? Is her family over-reacting? What can we say to them, or show them of Jehovah documentation that will let us live our lives the way we believe to be true yet allow us to spend time together as families should?

    - Sincerely,


  • La Capra
    La Capra

    It sounds like her family sought advice from their "elders" about attending her wedding, and were made to feel guilty for their contact with their wayward daughter. They truly believe that the shunning tactic will work. The good news is that this is not about you, not about your beloved, but about their religion. They have not set up a them or you ultimatum, but the ultimatum that they will shun her unless she returns to their religion. This has nothing to do with you. If she is truly the girl for you, and you can live with the idea that she may never have a close relationship with her birth family, and she can live with it, then there should be no worries. It will be much easier to settle holiday issues, because you won't have to fight with in-laws as to who you should be with this year. Hopefully you have a family that will accept her as their own daughter, and fill the void that her family is allowing their religion to create for her. Time may bridge the distance, but in this religion it rarely does. Mazel Tov Shoshana

  • smurfette

    Hi Jeff, congratulations on your engagement and welcome.

    You sound exactly like my husband when we were getting married. My family made the "threats" too and wound up boycotting our wedding and reception. He had over 90 guests and I had 10. It was an awesome time none the less and we're still happily married 9 years later without my family's blessing. I think my family's bad behavior has done nothing but bring me closer to my husband's family. I don't think many people have close relationships with their in-laws like I do.

    Her family sounds suprisingly liberal for JW's to me the fact that they've had peacful contact thus far is rare. She is luckier than most in that respect. Your wife is right, to them she's the one who's turned her back on them by rejecting their belief system. It's obvious to anyone who's never been a part of their mindset that the opposite is in fact true but changing their minds on this is a daunting task at best and impossible at worst.

    You should just enjoy your special day and if they show up fine, if not don't let it ruin what should be one of the happiest days of your lives.

  • Tammie

    I have learned that when it comes to talking to JW relatives, is almost the same as talking to a brick wall. My husband and I have been officially out 2 years now. My mother is just now starting to speak to me again, and this is only after a friend, a fellow JW, spoke to her.

    The bible says that when a man and woman marries they become one. I don't know about the rest of the folks here, but it was only after we left was when we finally got left alone to work through our marrage. My JW relatives and in-laws are very controlling, and usually butted in, when they shoulded have backed off.

    If you and your soon to be wife truly do love each other, that is what will get you through. I have also learned that if my husband and I could not be who we truly are, then we were very unhappy. I also know the pain of a relative not showing up for my wedding. My father refused to show up and walk me down the isle. He is not a JW, it was that he just hated the man that I was marrying. He would have hated any one that I chose as my husband.

    I don't know where the scripture is at, but there is one that talks about a sin if you don't agree to something, and do it anyway. She has made a personal decision, not to be a JW years ago. And I'm sure that decision is one that has made her happy with her life.

    I hope things work out for you and her. But to me it sounds like her JW relatives are trying to play the controle game on her and you.

  • Inquiry

    This is the old emotional blackmail thing... it's typical really of JWs...

    Whatever you do, please don't be blackmailed into becoming a witness.... the family of your bride to be is trying to get her to get back in, if she doesn't they will shun her outright... it's a tactic... a painful and manipulative one... it may hurt, but don't fall for it. She should be wise to this by now and hopefully she won't fall for it.

    If you don't become witnesses, then don't expect them at the wedding... have the wedding for yourselves... and have fun! If they want to play this game then let them pay the price...

    As far as living in harmony with them??? Good luck... there will always be times that they will pull the rug out from under you and you probably won't even know why.... I think "tolerance" is more the term your looking for here... and there will be precious little of it ... it depends on the individual. Witnesses are basically policed by other witnesses. It makes having any kind of normal family relationship very difficult...

    I hope you do some research on this... this site is very helpful for that...

    Congrats and Best wishes to both of you....


    edited to add comment

  • Frannie Banannie
    Frannie Banannie

    Jeff, the answers to your questions in your last paragraph are No, Yes and Nothing, unless the scriptural thought that nothing can separate yall from God's love, not even their judgMENTAL attitudes might possibly intrigue them....but only slightly. It's gonna hafta be your fiance's decision to "stick to her guns"....and let the chips fall where they may...

    Frannie B

  • sunshineToo
    My final question: is there anything that can be done so that my future wife and I can live in harmony with her family without us becomming witnesses? Is her family over-reacting? What can we say to them, or show them of Jehovah documentation that will let us live our lives the way we believe to be true yet allow us to spend time together as families should?

    No, you can't live with them in harmony. It is normal for jws to react like that. You can try, but they are not going to listen to you unless their Governing Body tells them to.

    I disassociated myself from the JWs last year. My mom is the only one who is a jw (thank God!) in a Korean congregation. She didn't go to pick up my wedding dress or go shopping for what I needed at that time. Considering that I'm her only daughter, that was very cold. And you know what? She blamed me for everything. She even got mad at me because I told her, "I love you, mommy." I married "a worldly guy". We didn't have much money so any help we can get we just grabbed. A pastor at my friend's church offered to do the wedding for free. That made things worse. She said that we should just elope at a court house. If we had the pastor do the wedding, she said then she wouldn't come to the wedding because I was holding satan's hand.

    But I had lots of Korean clients whom she and other jws go door to door to. She told me not to bother to invite my former jw friends because they were not going to come. But she came.

    I think if she didn't come, they (jws) knew that it would look really bad for them. Talk about culty attitude! I was happy on my wedding day. My family was there and my mom looked happy for me, too, at that time. It was hard facing "shunning" from my former friends. But I made other friends who do not care what my religion is or where I came from.

    Jeff, please be with your fiancee. She needs you now and is going to need you more than ever. Without the support from my husband and my new friends, I would have probably ended up at a mental hospital.

    Invite as many people as you can especially those who know her family. If they (her family) don't come, it's going to look really bad. Hopefully that will encourage them to come and at least pretend that they are happy for you guys.

    Congratulations. Please tell your fiancee to keep her chin up. I'll be thinking about you two. So when is the big day?

  • Swan

    Welcome Voxel!

    She says from a witness's perspective she is the one abandoning her family because she chooses to no longer be a witness (she was baptised as one).

    I hope your fiancée doesn't feel this way. They often try to make the shunned one feel like they are the one doing the abandoning. She needs to be clear with them that she is abandoning the religion, but that her family is a totally separate matter, and that she will always love them and speak to them. I have done this with my own family and have sent them cards, letters, etc. letting them know I was always willing to associate with them. It is definitely their choice to shun.


  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Congratulations Voxel

    All of my grandparents were JWs and I would guess that over 60% of their descendants are JWs.

    When we have a family get together is is exactly that, FAMILY.

    None of the JWs would have been to a wedding in an outside church, but none of my rellies avoid each other on religious grounds.

    I hope it all goes well for you two and that her parents come to their senses quickly.

  • northern girl
    northern girl

    Black Sheep:

    You say that at family get-togethers it is strictly that. None of your rellies avoid each other on religious grounds. Do you include df'ed and da'ed ones as well? Or do you mean ones who've never committed? As per society rules df'ed and da'ed ones must be shunned.

    northern girl

Share this