New forum member, have wife with a jw background

by insearchoftruth 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • insearchoftruth

    Hello, I have been a member of the discussion group for only a couple of weeks and have never taken the time to introduce myself. I have posted a few threads which have been very helpful already and have had a few conversations with members of the group that have provided me support and insights that I did not already have and that I shall need.

    Now for my story. I have recently married a wonderful gal whose parents have been jws for many years, but even with this influence was never baptized. While we were dating she never referred to the jws as her religion, in fact always calling it the religion her parents chose etc and never even mentioned the doctrine of the faith at all. All of a sudden she has gotten interested in the jws, having gone to a meeting (yes only one), but she has also started a bible study with a sister, using "what does the bible really teach?" as well as having a wt sitting on our kitchen table. I believe what has motivated this has been conversations with her mother as well as some of her siblings, with ‘end times’ discussions being a center point for these talks.

    I am trying to get myself prepared first to try to get her some information so she can discern for herself the fraudulence of the organization before she gets too involved and starts to change her life due to the ‘demands of god through the GB’.

    Up until this point of my life I have been fortunate enough to not have really had any involvement with the jws, but looks like I shall have no choice right now. Any background of the organization and suggestions how to share this information with an intelligent, though misdirected person would be very appreciated.

    Thanks to many on this forum who have already been helping me by posting to a couple of threads that I have started as well as answering messages that I have sent. The members of this forum are wonderful and I can see how you all have helped many people either deal with the jws or help them out.

    I would like to thank you all in advance for your assistance.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    Insearchoftruth -

    Welcome to the forum!

    Advice? "Nip it in the bud". Barney Fife had it right on. And I hope you can do that - if not misery could follow in a split marriage.

    Read Raymond Franz' book [and get her to read it if you can] Crisis of Conscience.

    Ray was a member of the Governing Body in Brooklyn for several years and a lifetime witness till they 'sanctioned' him by disfellowshippment in the early 80's.

    You can order his book from his own publishing company at: or thru Amazon or others.


  • elliej

    I agree, nip it, quick. I got involved with the JW's because the man I was in love with (now my dearly loved husband) was studying. I was warned right away about apostates, but I never saw any material against the society. Not that I didn't look, if only the internet was available then! The point is, I would never have gone along with it, got sucked in, whatever, if I had been shown the truth about this organization.

    Get Ray Franzs book Crisis of Conscience and show your wife the info on the UN situation. Good luck.

  • mark hughes
    mark hughes


  • Legolas

    Welcome to the board!

    I agree STOP it now!

    How long has her family been JW's?

  • Check_Your_Premises

    Do you have kids? If not hold off. That will complicate your situation geometrically if you choose to never become a jw!

    What is your attitude toward the JW? How sure are you that they are or are not God's organization? I am glad you are here sooner than later. Few weeks before baptism is to darn late!

    Some people call the jw a cult. What do you think about that?

    Something else to think about... control. Is it legitimate for a group to decide what a person does, reads, associates with? What if a religious group tells you to do/not do something that goes against your conscience?


  • jgnat

    Raymond Franz's book is best for exiting JW's. If your wife is open enough, I'd get HER to read it right quick. The story of internal corruption should not surprise you, that's common enough in large organizations. So you won't be as startled by the book's contents. But that the Witnesses are corporate-led rather than spirit-let is devastating to most Witnesses.

    For "Unbelieving Mates", that's you, I recommend Steve Hassan's "Combatting Cult Mind Control". There are newbie mistakes (like freaking out, calling it a cult, or forbidding her to study) I would dearly love you to avoid. Much damage can be done early on that can take literally YEARS to undo. Your attitude towards your wife should remain as "neutral curiosity". Ask LOTS of questions, but DON'T get angry.

    The key to getting people out is to discover what got them in. It seems in your wife's case, it's fear. Fear of dying, fear of losing the love of her family. So work at calming her fears.

    Here's some interesting reading you might leave out for her to find.

  • insearchoftruth

    Thanks for the guidance already, I am planning on reading the two books by Ray Franz as a good background. Her family has been jws for I think 23 years, but she has never been baptized nor has she really been involved at all, I think she justs dabbles once in a while.

    She is presently starting college, so hopefully the 'enlightening experience of education' can make a difference, I just need to make sure that the dubs don't try to get in the way of that as well.

    I feel that the control characteristics of the jws are that of a cult and I can't believe how blind the followers are, but I guess that if that is all one has known, its hard to feel differently. I do not agree with their doctrines as well, but a lot of that is because I hold true to mine, which is an essential part of believing in your faith. The big issue is the way that they slam all Christian faiths rather than lift theirs up as well as the fear that they have of the members reading other literature. I know that the 'sister' she has studied with has already prepared her for me to be satan with apostate literature or thinking.

    At least my wife has pushed back some on her family as well as the organization recently as well!!

    Thanks again and please keep the help and support coming!


  • slugga

    She never got baptized even though her family were dubs and then she went off and dated worldly men. That's something to work on, find out what stopped her and held her back from getting baptized and work on it until she drops the idea of a study

  • Check_Your_Premises

    It looks from your post that you are not deluded about the nature of the org. It is likely that you don't now fully appreciate the extent to which this can disrupt your life and all you have worked for.

    First off, don't worry about presenting info yet. You don't know how to do it, and you will likely do more damage than good. Your first step is prevention and diagnosis of the seriousness of her case of jw-itis (the beleif that the jw are God's religion)

    People (women in particular) show interest in groups like the jw because of security issues. You need to figure out why she wants to be a jw, or is showing interest. If you can fulfill that need outside of the jw, you will cause her interest in the jw to go away. Her problem isn't that she is interested in the jw, it is NEEDS to be interested in the jw.

    Don't be hostile to her search for faith. Be her partner in it. You will do several things here. You will build trust and rapport with your wife's cult personality (more on that later). It will also give her a tether to reality to have you present and involved in her studies. Finally, it will give you the chance to ask important questions during her study. Don't worry about those so much. You will get plenty of help here from the boards.

    I would really stress to your wife the importance of doing this together. Promise her that you are willing to acknowledge truth wherever you find it, and if this is important to her then it must be important to you. Try to get her to agree to only go to meetings together. Once she agrees to that, find all sorts of reasons to avoid meetings.

    Work REALLY hard to strengthen your relationship with her. Spend as much time together as possible. When a person joins the jw, the enter into a binding agreement (you can't leave without pain). Your wife is toying with entering into a binding agreement in the midst of her agreement with you. That agreement will ALWAYS take priority of your agreement. This will serve to provide a wedge between you and your wife. Get as close to her as possible.

    My to do list for you.

    1. Right after you read this, order the following books: Combatting Cult Mind Control by Steven Hassan, and Releasing the Bonds by the same author as a follow up. Before you can tell your wife about the lack of truth in the jw, you have to learn how. This is a very difficult thing to do well. Read this book and you will get some insight into your wife's cult mindset. Another good book is Finding Faith by Brian McLaren. This is a good source of questions and understanding regarding the issues and pitfalls fo faith.

    2. Build up trust. Take interest in her study. Take interest in the other jws. Ask questions. Be genuinely curious. Never attack the org. If you must (only if you must) talk about the org you can offer perceptions, "it seems like the jws all think the same way" rather than judgements, "jws are all brainwashed."

    3. Don't freak out, but be honest about your feelings. Otherwise you will get pissed and start calling the jw a cult. If she or any jw does something creepy, acknowledge it. You need to think about and establish clear boundaries. Jw's have no respect for boundaries. When you do point out a problem with a jw, ONLY TALK ABOUT THEIR BEHAVIOR. This will be extremely difficult because jws will always hide behind their religion to justify their bad behavior.

    4. A short term project is to diagnose her dubness. Based on her answers, we will have more advice for your short term strategies. Ask her the following:

    "On a scale from 1 to 10 how sure she is that the jw are the right religion?"

    "Ask her if the jw were wrong would she want to know?"

    "Is there anything the organization could do that would convince you they couldn't be the right religion?"

    "Why are you interested in the jw now?"

    "Why didn't you come to me about your interest and try to include me in it as well?"

    "Were there any things about the jw that bothered you?"

    "Why did you never become a jw before?"

    5. Hang out here and ask ALOT of questions. Ex-jw's are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Remember, the jws have been at this for over a century. They have seen thousands of guys like you. They know every move you will make and how to head it off. Fortunately, you know their every move. Cults are painfully predictable. The folks here will let you know what to expect at every step.

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