I was just like your wife who grew up hearing this stuff. I was five when that Awake came out. I was not supposed to go to grade school much less high school. I believed it all so much as I was spoon fed it from the cradle. My parents were never really accepted by the JW's. My parents were always fighting with the elders but they still went to most of the meetings, the book study was so boring, mind-numbing and so full of doom and gloom for a five, six year old to sit through but it was so scary also. I thought for sure that my whole family would be killed when 1975 came. I actually had a count down to when I would die. I mean what child lives that way. It was horrible.
But like your wife I totally embraced the religion and believed everything it said. I pioneered even through I hated ever minute of it. Talked my husband in to applying for Bethel which we did for 2 and a half years and that was way better than pioneering but still left nothing for the future by taking the vow of poverty. Than I finally woke up when I was in my late 40's. The pedophiles in my hall just hit me in the face that there was no way if there was a God that this was the true religion. But my husband still believes.
I am now in my early 50's scared to death about my future as I was told not to save money or get any education. My husband is older and I just feel so stuck and scarred. I also totally get it about your kids. My sister and some of her elder wives friends were shunning me when I was still an elder's wife myself. I have been shunned by a lot of the so called friends. Even when my husband was in his elder's meetings there would be groups of at least two elders wives and I was not allowed to join any of them. One group spent their time gossiping and they did not want me there and the other group was related mom and daughters who's husband were elders and I was not included in that group. I have met for service many, many, many times and have been told to just go home as there was not room for me in the car groups. Why I did not wake up sooner is beyond me. I wish I had, had a husband who saw though it like you did.
Your are so right where you said It's a cult!