Marrying a non-believer?

by sparky79 17 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • sparky79

    Hi there,

    I am currently dating a Jehovas-witness, and have been for a while. We have talked about marriage, but a lot of what I hear and read is that for her to marry a non-believer is frowned upon by others in the religion. I am a non-believer of any religion. I have nothing against religion, but just have no interest in it. I have told her that even if we get married that I am highly unlikely to convert (it's not a choice, it's a belief - can't do anything to alter that), and would prefer our children to be brought up non-religious, allowing them to make a free choice once they are older. A Christian (evangelical) friend has even told me that she will be kicked out of the Jehovas Witness church, and will be disowned by her elders and family if she marries me and brings up children as non-believers. Is this true?

    My main concern, is that she comes from a very poor background (neither parent works, and 5 children) and I am reasonably well off. Friends have said it's the money which is enticing her and she is prepared to go against her religion to lead a comfortable life.

    Like I said, I have nothing against religion at all. Please could some people offer me advice as to her situation with her family and the elders of her church? Is this practice frowned upon? Many thanks for your help and advice.

  • avishai
    My main concern, is that she comes from a very poor background (neither parent works, and 5 children) and I am reasonably well off. Friends have said it's the money which is enticing her and she is prepared to go against her religion to lead a comfortable life.

    Like I said, I have nothing against religion at all. Please could some people offer me advice as to her situation with her family and the elders of her church? Is this practice frowned upon?

    It's rrowned upon like you would not believe. Run away as fast as you can.

  • somebodylovesme

    It really depends, I think, on if she truly believes in it or if she is going to leave it.

    I am a non-believer (like you, of any religion) and I married a Witness. When we met, he was an active Witness -- but in our earliest conversations he told me he did not believe in it and was just going to appease his family. He stopped attending meetings after we started dating seriously. He did not stop going BECAUSE of me, nor did I ever ask him not to go - it was his decision, and I was just there for encouragement. He fortunately was never disfellowshipped, so he is now just inactive and can still have a relationship with his family.

    Yet planning our wedding was the most stressful time of my life because of that religion. We were not allowed to have Witness family members in the wedding, and many Witnesses with whom my husband was close refused to come. It was hard -- but in the end, wholly worth it!

    So I guess my advice is this: If she is willing to put YOU first, then I wouldn't just run. But the problem is, if she still actively believes, she will not put you first. You should also know (if you don't) that in many cases, if she marries you and stops attending, she could be disfellowshipped and would not be allowed any contact with her family. Now, she is a big girl, so she should know/understand that. But if that happens, people will blame YOU. She might later blame you, and you might feel guilt yourself -- not to mention all the Witnesses who will blame you and cast you as Satan. It is a hard position to be in.

    I don't think there's a clear right-or-wrong choice. Running like hell would probably be in the easiest option, especially (I think) if she will not put you first. In a marriage, YOU have to be her priority (and she has to be yours), not that crack-head religion. If she won't do that, then don't marry her... because you will not be treated right. However, if she will put you first, if you two are truly in that life-long love that you just KNOW you cannot leave, and if you are willing to put up with A LOT OF CRAP - then it is certainly your decision, and perhaps love will conquer all.

    I know it did for me.

    Best of luck, and welcome to the board.

  • GreenDragon

    Let's face the fact that most girls like guys with $$. Most JW girls I know are very nice and most of them do like $$.

    You have to get the girl from attending the meetings gradually, take her out during the meetings hours. This could be a very hard task, if she is a pioneer, then you will have to pretend to be spiritual. Always pretend to be spiritual when you are around her JW friends. I suggest learning some scriptures; this could takes many months. Do not let them see you alone with the girl.

    If you don't have that much patient, simply turned up to her house, get on your knees, takes out a big diamond ring and popped the question and if she says no then she is not the girl for you. It is better to find out early than to find out late.

  • HoChiMin
    My main concern, is that she comes from a very poor background (neither parent works, and 5 children) and I am reasonably well off. Friends have said it's the money which is enticing her and she is prepared to go against her religion to lead a comfortable life.

    Listen to your friends. You will resent the family in the long run, not to mention also support them.


  • scotsman
    Like I said, I have nothing against religion at all. Please could some people offer me advice as to her situation with her family and the elders of her church? Is this practice frowned upon?

    If she hasn't explained the implications of her dating a nonJW, and you don't know if it's frowned upon, you sure have communication troubles. I'd also suggest that you listen to yourself as well as your friends. If you have doubts about your girlfriends motives, don't think about marrying her.

  • prgirl79

    Hi Sparky79,

    I have been in a very similar situation, and i think it depends if she really believes in it. If she does then you should run. I was with a jw who never moved on and still believes in the "truth" If she does then most likely your relationship will fail and you will be left with a lot of heartache and lost time. I hear stories of jw and non jw and i don't think a lot of them work. I wish i saved myself from this cult and especially 5 years of heartache. I guess everything is a learning experience. If she puts you first then it could work, but if she believes then she won't. JW's put the "truth" organization first. If she truly drifts and leaves then it can work, but if she feels it is because of you that she is suffering losing her family etc then you will suffer. I think for some people it can work BUT ONLY if the person is not committed to JW's, and has TRULY moved on. It is easier to leave now instead of having to wait and see, and try to figure it out. Also it is easier to leave then work on it. It can be draining trying to be with someone who is a JW. In the long run it can be draining. You can't change them unless they are ready.

    Best of LUCK!!!

  • Sassy

    Even in the best of relationships in this situation, there will always be a divider of some sort in your relationship if one stays a JW. They believe in Jehovah coming first, the religion coming first before everything..

    if you marry, she will be considered as disobeying, because they are told that scripture that says Marry Only In The Lord, means marry only a JW, so she will be shunned to some extent at least in the beginning for not obeying..

    She will be expected to raise any children IN THE FAITH.. because any other faith is considered part of Babylon the Great, which is ruled by Satan the God of this system of things..

  • calamityjane

    Your situation with this jw girl has too many red flags.

    1. The marriage would be a disaster if she were to continue to be a jw. She'd constantly be wanting to convert you, and yes her relationship with her family and congregation will suffer.

    2. She would have no choice but to feel obligated to bring your children up in the religion, then if a child required medical attention that required a blood transfusion, that would send the whole situation into a frenzy.

    2. Second, if her family is of a poor background, they are going to suck you dry.

    When I got married to my husband I was a baptized jw he was not, although he was raised in the religion. Because he was not baptized (although working towards baptism) at the time of our marriage, my own brother (who was brown nosing to become and elder in the congreation) along with some, what I thought to be close friends, would not attend our wedding.

    I can go on and on but i'll stop here.

    Run as fast as you can.


  • sparky79

    Thanks for all your help!! There is some great advice here that I really should listen to!

    Its great to get a genuinely neutral opinion on it as when I question her, the replies always seem to be hedgy. Good to know also that sometimes it can work - but that the warnings I have heard are very true.

    Thanks again for your help - I'm sure it'll be helpful to many others in similar situations too.

  • XQsThaiPoes

    It works fine if both people are not "religious" and like to um BS. The problem is the those types of realtionships tend to have more serious problems that have little to do with the relatively inert theological issues.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    If she does remain a JW and you never convert (or even if you did to keep the peace) expect that the elders will be informed of many of the goings-on in your marriage. Expect the elders to want to "talk" to you to explain how wrong your beliefs are

    Expect that while you are dating if you have sex or even if you do sexual things but stop before ever actually having sex (touching etc) she may feel guilty enough to go to the elders and tell them all the details of your relationship and expect that she will be disciplined (which can include a range of people avoiding her.

    If you do marry and she remains a JW expect that she will always be treated as second class for going outside the religion.

    This is more than just a religion. They seek to interfere in every facet of your life including what goes on in the bedroom and the rest of the house. Any problems you have she will go to the elders to discuss how to deal with it. Family counseling is pretty much out of the question. JWs believe the elders (who are untrained to give any kind of counseling) have God's spirit and must be reported to and obeyed.

    My mother married a non-JW. Life was hell for him. Expect no holiday celebrations. No birthdays, no Christmas in your home. She will object to celebrating these things with any children you have.

    And JWs are taught that God's law (to obey the elders and the Watchtower teachings) are greater and far more important than any vow she would make to you.

    Good luck. You're going to need it. And that is about as fair as I can be.

  • run dont walk
    run dont walk

    If you were buying a new car, would you not test drive it, and check out the car thoroughly, and make sure its what you want.

    If you were buying a house, would you not have it checked out, roofing, foundation, furnace etc.

    Well, why any different, if someone is a part of something that is "big" in their life, should you not check it out thoroughly, before making a decision.

    You will be very sorry,

    Run dont Walk (away from the Watchtower)


  • stillajwexelder

    Your sexual relationship will not be normal either -- if you want clarification, please post and I am sure we on this board will explain

  • 4JWY

    My husband would say," been there, done that"

    . Fortunately, for us it worked out, but we would NEVER recommend it to anyone, unless you are game for conversion and realize the extent to which you would then become a different person - you are required to put on a NEW PERSONALITY, and you may find it doesn't really suit you eventually..

    Although if she has dated you, and is even considering marrying an unbeliever - there is an outside chance that she doesn't put her full trust in the organization that she is a part of. The religion is a "WAY OF LIFE" , not just a go to church on Xmas and Easter deal - I would fully discuss this matter and see where she stands NOW, not later.

    Best to you,


  • Sassy

    aaahh yes.. the no no's she will be expected to abide by..... let me start.. others can add...

    No oral sex

    No Rated R movies

  • iiz2cool

    I was a JW for 20 years, and I married a poor pioneer? sister who had nothing. Throughout our marriage she treated my worldly? family like crap. She never worked full time, and whenever things got tight my worldly? father bailed us out, and even then she refused to ever visit him with me for even 5 minutes. There are often sexual issues with JW's as well, as there were in my marriage. She said it was because she was a child abuse victim. It was not until after I disassociated myself that she told me that she initiated many of the incestuous encounters she had with her brothers. Last year I decided to disassociate myself from the cult because of their child abuse scandals. My wife said she understood why I wanted to leave but asked me to wait until after my mother, who is also an elderly JW with cancer, passed away. I decided to DA anyway, because I had a feeling she just wanted me around so she could get her hands on my mother's money that I'd inheirit, and then leave me. She was afraid my mom would cut me out of the will. Our marriage fell apart in December, and since then she's been trying to bleed me dry, even making claims against my Father's estate. She's also convinced that she's entitled to half of what I may inheirit from my mom once she's gone, even though the will specificly excludes spouses. I wouldn't trust any JW as far as I can spit when it comes to money. In spite of their claims of honesty, I found them to be the most dishonest, deceitful, and manipulative people I've ever known.

    If you marry a JW, this is what you can look forward to:

    Boring (if any) sex.

    Constantly being bombarded with JW propaganda. They DO NOT know when to shut up!

    Pressure to become a JW. If you become one, there's more pressure on you. If you don't become one you'll be an outsider looking in, never accepted by them as being an equal human being. Your wife could be ostracized.

    If you join, pressure to work less while donating more money to the congregation. Pressure to become more and more active in the congregation until you're "living no longer for yourself". You'll lose your identity, and you and your wife may soon become strangers to each other, having nothing but the cult in common.

    All of this, just to live a lie and to teach lies.

    I could go on for days, but I'll stop here. I'm going on a rant.


  • 4JWY

    Sparky - BTW-

    .....after 25 yrs. and surviving that "mixed marriage" which did include conversion of hubby,

    we are BOTH UP AND RUNNING at this moment along with our kids!

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