I say just start getting faded. ;-) No seriously bro. You are in such a tough situation, and I have heard of people going different ways with it. Personally I was an MS/Pioneer (unfortunately), my whole family like 5th gen on one side and 4th gen on other are all jw's. My dad was presiding oversear, my my pioneer, uncles elders, blah bblah blah you know. I decided to stop going to meetings when I was 18 because I had lost my faith, I wasn't doing anything bad at the time. Then when I was 19 I decided to experiment with the usual stuff we missed out as jw kids, you know murder, cannabalism, incest, exc. My father at this time told me just to disappear and fade away and just become inactive, but I was bull-headed, I wanted the j-hovers to know that I was out in the world having fun. I wanted to get df'd, not disassociated. I actually got reproved for weed and then df'd for more weed, sex, cigs, exc. I"m going to be 22 next month - and will be df'd for 2 years next month as well. And you know what - looking back now - I wish I would have just faded. And I wouldn't have told you that the first year, i'm telling you that now. Losing my entire family, friends, and going through the stuff was not worth it. Now you may want to get df'd - for the principle of it - that was a big part for me - plus wanting people to know I was livin it up rock'star style. hehehe. And I think principles are important, very important. And I figured I want to be DF'd from this religion, go out in flames. But - even though the whole situation is screwed up - and your family may cut you off or at least treat you much differently - eventually when you get out in "the world" - or reality - you may want to do some things that break the rules - and may want to hold off for a while so you dont get that df'd title. And eventually you may be living a true "worldly" lifestyle - style on brotha if you do. hehehe. And you may not get df'd at that time - because it's been so long. And in principle it really then means nothing - but because jw's are so screwed up and as you know - that df'd thing means the world to them. And when I was 19 I didn't even want to see my family ever again - I hated them in a lot of ways. You may not and probably aren't as extreme as me - but I regret it. I wish I haven't had to deal with the complete cut-off and horrible things that have happened since. So my recommendation is fade away - even though you are playing games with their crazy self made rules - it's probably worth it in the long run to have a better relationship with people you care about. Good Luck My man - Jonathan
To Fade or Not Fade
Why jump off the cliff before you have to?
Just keep being kind to your wife, avoid any direct or detailed conversation about why you aren't going. I was a fader for a year before my husband left. Our motto was, Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Give yourself some time to see how things go, how you plan to deal with your life if you do DA. Although I am a fader currently, I do have a DA plan in place.
I feel I was lucky that my husband was not deep into things and as an elder had been having his eyes opened by the actions of the elders and others. (Those elders see so much more crap than the rank and file do; it either transforms them into roboelders or they get out.)
So weigh the pros and cons for this moment. Then if you see it is better to be patient and wait a little longer, do that. Then look where you are in a few more months.
From what I understand of your beliefs, from what you've posted, and if you can cope with the badgering; fade.
You have an opportunity to reach out to your sweetie, if you're casual and slow about it.
The badgering will stop after a while...but you will have to deal with it for a time, if you want to keep your family ties. I have faded now for 5+ yrs and still able to hang out with neices/nephews, etc. I just kept making excuses until they finally got tired of asking me to come to meetings, etc. (Burn-out from too much work is good for a while, a little depression here and there, etc., you get the idea)
Two suggestions for you:
2. Do so with a specific exit plan. That's Exit Plan, capital E, capital P. In other words, use dub the experience you've got to come up with a customized plan that suits your and your circumstances. Write it out if you need to. Then work the plan.
And remember, a fade is not a "forever" thing, it's a strategy that buys you time to:
- get your wife and kids out with you
- develop new interests
- make new friends
...until the day comes (and it will) when it doesn't matter what they do to you.
WOW! willyloman nailed it. great advice. i feel bad for the jdubs in your situation. you have alot invested in the "truth". family is the biggie. my situation is different. i can fade, slide, walk, run, or go all out super nova. i dont know what i would do if i were you. i might be weak. whatever you do, dont let the wt. get between you and your wife. treat her like she should be treated. maybe she will see what is truly good.
to fade or not to fade, that's not really a question.
seriously, there is no answer to this question dude. and it's been asked so man times. hell, we've all asked it.
1.) you're mentally free. 99% of the battle right there.
2.) whatever you do do, it doesn't really matter because you are already mentally free. *do what feels right. if that changes next month, then again, do what feels right.*
subpoints: if i had never DA'd myself, three of my associates may never have made it out, mentally. or perhaps they may have, but just not right now at this time. so, DA'ing is a wild ride for sure, but only cuz it worked for me man.
if you don't feel like you have DA'ing in you (i felt strong, not weak, when i left. but mileage varies for different personalities.), then don't do it.
YOU don't owe THEM *anything*. that includes playing by their dumbfuckhead rules, like DA'ing. no shame in fading bro. just do that, if it feels good. you'll see after a while that it doesn't matter which road you take. they both end up at the same place: THE WORLD.
Willyloman gave great advice. I faded 3 years ago. My JW family know that I go to church but they don't ask and I don't volunteer information so we can still have a close relationship. At first they freaked out and hounded me about going back to meetings, they wanted to know why I wasn't going. If I were in their shoes I'd do the same. So empathize with your family, they haven't changed you have and because they love you they'll want and maybe expect an explaination. Your wife may also be afraid of the changes in you 'cause if you leave the org what would that mean for your marriage? As a girl, I highly recommend that you reassure her of your love and faithfulness so that she knows the marriage is solid. By fading you'll give yourself time to heal - you'll work through the anger and hurt - get therapy if you need to. In the mean time, you can build a new support system through community service or a charity of interest (mine is the American Red Cross!) I've met the coolest people who really care about helping others. And or join a club that revolves around a hobby or interest where you have something in common with a group, doing something you love. I don't know what your beliefs are, maybe you're still sorting that out but I'm a Christian now and I've never been happier. The day may come when I'm d'fed but they'll have to do it without me. I'm not bound by their man made rules - I will not sit through a JC or D'A myself, I'm just living the life God gave me and enjoying every minute of it. I wish you all the best with your family and whatever decision you make I hope you won't lose them. - Sincerely, V-Sky
If you had asked me this question a year ago, my immediate response would be...
keep your life and fade.
I faded and avoided the harsh reality of being disfellowshipped or the gutsy move of disassociating myself.
I thought it was the smartest thing to do. I got to "keep" my immediate family and get out of the doomtower.
I have to tell you, I have serious second thoughts.
Looking back, I would definitely trade the last Six years of limbo for a clean break.
I suggest fading for your wifes benefit. Any other course could be fatal to your mariage.