Me ex elder, pioneer was very active but am trying to fade. One elder knows how I feel and I would not talk to anyone but him. I miss most meetings now. One sis spoke to my wife and said she saw something I wrote on line. Told my wife I'm a nonbeliever. My wife is still very active and knows how I feel and is not happy but knows she still my wife. Anyhow my new problem is an Elder recently told my wife he needed to talk to her and will do so on sunday. what should I make of this and will the elders cause trouble between marraige mates. Do they have a scriptual right to speak to my wife about me?
To ex-elders,that are df'ed, disassociated, fadeing and a wife thats still in please answer this.
I am an elder in a Christian church. Expressing concern is one thing, but getting dirt, etc. is another matter. No leader has a right to demand to meet with someone like an inquisition. Church is a volunteer organization. They should not meet privately (have someone else there like elder's wife) and it should be voluntary. Perhaps the wife should have a witness. Perhaps she should not meet without the spouse there. Your wife can do what she wants, but he has no right to demand this. I suspect in JW circles, WT elder slaves are not always biblical servants with right motives. The controlling and bullying of shunning/DF is odious. Since we know that WT/elders are not above breaking up marriages/families (directly or indirectly), I would guard and protect her as the head of the home. She should work things out with you or you should meet a leader as a couple. To do an end run with just her is questionable. Since you are in the group and voluntarily under their rules, you might have to play their game if she thinks it is the thing to do, but it still does not make it right/ethical.
JWs/ex-JWs might have better insight into your world, but I am trying to look at it from what would be right even if WT does wrong things.
thank u godrulz for your impute
Depends on the elders - as we know , some are quite decent with what they perceive to be the best interests of the publisher at heart - others are jerks. Strictly speaking as the "head of the house" , you have the right to sit in on any meeting with your wife.
LoveDoctor - I agree with dozy. The elders are expected to respect your headship and meet with your wife in your presence. Additionally, if they have a concern about you they are supposed to "man up" and address it head on. This does not always happen. In my 15 years as an elders I served with many spineless men with no backbone and no ability or desire to act on their own. They did not like confrontation and cowered when meeting with "free thinkers."
I always got the job of talking with the "free thinkers" over the years (probably because I knew in my heart I was one of them). As I think back each one of them had valid issues and concerns and we simply brushed them aside with our standard pat replies. Most them got frustrated and left WT. I completely understand why because I have done the same thing.
I hope you can preserve your marriage. Mine fell apart. But honestly, it was a long time coming and I am truly happy.
MrDarkKnight: In my 15 years as an elders I served with many spineless men with no backbone and no ability or desire to act on their own. They did not like confrontation and cowered when meeting with "free thinkers."
When I started fading out slowly (first, I stopped attending Thursday night meetings, then only stayed for public talk on Sundays, then every other Sunday talk, etc...), not one elder approached me to talk about it. This went on for almost a year and a half. I even sent a letter to the GB laying out my grievances. That letter never got a responce. I understand letters like that are passed on to the CO and then back to the originating congregation (information I made sure was on my letter).
One time, an elder followed me out in the parking lot after the public talk and asked if my arm was still bothering me. (I had surgery to fix a ripped tendon three or four months earlier). That was it. Nothing else.
Unless you count the messages that were sent home to me via my female housemate to ask how I was doing, would you like to talk, the elders are always here for you. Yet, for a year and a half of this process, I was sitting right next to my housemate in the back row, easy to spot and NOT ONE ELDER approached me. NOT ONE!
Stand your ground as "head of the house" if they try to undermine you in anyway.
As dozy said there are no hard and fast rules, it depends on each individual and whether or not they have an axe to grind.
I agree with all the comments. The elders have no right just to talk to your wife alone. I do not like the WT headship thinking but here you can use it to your advanage. As a ex-elder they are going to try to find out why you are not a elder anymore. I am sure they are already talking about you behind your back on reasons why. I understand how this is putting undue stress on you and your wife. This is just another reason why as each day goes by I see this is a cult of control. Good luck and take care. Totally ADD
Same thoughts as already expressed. You can exert your "head of household" claim. They will probably violate it and speak with your wife until you do that. If it ever happens to me, I plan to be a real pistol to them. "Beyond 'How are you?" I expect you guys not to ask questions of my wife unless you run them by me."
The thing with a fade is that you don't want confrontations. So I reserve that showdown for a time when I see no alternatives. Otherwise, I suppose they might ask my wife a few questions behind my back. As long as I can reassure my wife of my love and faithfulness to her, all they can do is plant their stupid seeds of concern into her about me being "out there" and I can prevent those seeds from germination.
What Onthewayout said. I thought I remebered a few guys here using that one on the elders before they got a hold of the wife. Stand your ground with the elders. I'm sure your wife would appreciate not being put in the hot seat about you too!
I would stand on the headship ground. Did you ask your wife who "read" these things you posted? I would want to know and nip it in the bud.
I always hated it when elders would ask me or my wife if they could "speak to me" after the meeting/on sunday/etc... We'd get all nervous and jerky... Then in the end it would be about if we could do spring hall cleaning or something stupid like that. It was so obviously a POWER TRIP MOVE for some elders to pull that crap.
But in the end - YES - you have EVERY RIGHT to be there when they talk to your wife if they so desire.
Hope all goes well.
Hi Love Doctor
I'm into second yr of fade with my wife still in.I always agree to meet with elders when requested,as to do otherwise allows them to speculate and draw unhelpful conclusions.I haven't been to a meeting aside from the obligatory mem' in 2 yrs however I still get the occasional call from the cobe. I just play along play the game by their rules and still do nothing.They have no grounds to form a commitee for me as i refuse to answer the leading question asto is the faithful and confused slave being gods channel.So my advice would be use theocratic warfare lie lie and lie some more.Don't let them intimidate you.Bye the way I served in the cult as an elder back in 1980 they cant attack you if you just agree with them.
This is an opportunity to use their own rules against them:
Talk with your wife first and remind her she is scripturally under your headship and it would be disloyal to Jehovah's arrangement if she were to answer any questions about you in your absence, especially if such questions come from an elder since they are the ones who are supposed to set the example. Suggest to her that her only appropriate response is, "You should talk to my husband about those things. I'm his wife and in no position to speak for him."
good wisdom, willy
Is there only the one elder who wants to meet with her? and where? in the hall? In a closed door room -- nope! Not alone! Who knows what the point of the meeting is?
There will be 2 at least - will she feel intimidated? I think willy is right -- you are the spiritual head -- she is to defer any questions about you to you....... as you are not df'd or da'd....yet but then again, maybe they do want to talk to you and are using your wife to get to you and find out what is in your mind....
I am not an elder but as a woman I would not allow myself to be put into that position without my hubby there -- witnesses, witnesses -- some can be real p.............
They tried pulling this shit on me when I faded. Elders asked my wife why I removed myself, and no longer came to meetings. I specifically told her that if she were to meet with the elders that she should not answer questions on my behalf, and explain that to them. I also advised her that it was not appropriate for only ONE elder to meet with her and that if that happened request the elder to have someone else present or she would kindly dismiss herself. It eventually got to the point where I told my wife, in our conversations, that I would sue the elders personally and individually for slander and liable if they DF'd me for any reason. About two weeks later, after this conversation, the elders approached her and wanted to know what was going on, and that they were thinking of DF'ing me because "I no longer believed" - she made it quite clear that I had every intention of taking them to civil court if they DF'd me and that I would ruin them financially. After that conversation they told her that they would not pursue the issue. Eventually my wife saw the hypocrisy and left. Been free for several years now!!!!!!
I had a friend that was approached by elders--they wanted to talk to her. Well a bunch of BS had been going on and an elder's wife got a bee in her bonnet and heard some hidden insult in every comment my friend made during WT. It was ridiculous, especially cuz the friend really wasn't even thinking about this arrogant person when commenting. ANYWAY, since one of the elders was this woman's husband, my friend suspected it was more on the BS. She pulled her trump card. She would only meet with her "head" present. Mind you, she's not overly submissive, but she used it to her benefit. It worked. They agreed she had that right, and the meeting was scheduled, and rescheduled (hubby was hard to pin down) for quite some time. For sure it made a difference. She had already experienced the bully mentality with them and the elder's wife was always right. They weren't so sure when her husband was with her.
Wanted to tell the Original Poster to hang in there. And I'd like to say to Sinis...that story is f*cking inspiring. Well played.
It's what everyone else in the thread said. Scripturally you're the head and you can prevent her from speaking to the elders without your presence.
Also, how are you working with her to help her see the truth about the Borg? Using Family Worship Night to teach her how to think for herself worked for me. It took many months but my wife finally came out. Then I was finally able to leave the Borg myself.