xjwms, it's not guilt or anything that keeps me from attending. It's being disfellowshipped. I've really been giving this some thought lately.
I faded so I could maintain family relationships and keep the peace. In the jw circles I've run in someone who DAs themselves is seen as having a chip on their shoulder (not necessarily true). They view DAs as angry statement making people. I didn't want my wife or immediate family to view me that way and treat me accordingly. So I faded. Going well by the way. :)
I maintain a spirituality. I read the WTS bible reading each week with my spouse and discuss other biblical topics from time to time. I pray regularly with the family and appear pretty much the same as I did before, except I don't go to meetings.
I long for spiritual association. I want to discuss deep bible topics that I don't understand or that I think I do yet really don't. I would love to attend a non-denominational bible study group and share.
But, the minute I do my fade is over and I will be disfellowshipped.
I've worked years (and I literally mean years) to fade away without causing permanent problems in my marriage and family. But, with fading you are never really free. If I'm away 1 year or 10 or 20 or 30 years will I then be able to attend the church or group of my choice? Technically, yes. At some point they should no longer consider me a witness. However, because my family are all witnesses I will probably never achieve that glorious oft hoped for status. No, I will be watched for the rest of my life and eventually a final decision will need to be made.
I say now that I WILL BE COMPLETELY FREE ONE DAY!
For now I've decided to continue the fade. Eventually when the time is right I will tell my spouse that I do long for other christian association and plan to attend .....(whatever it happens to be). I will work on her to ensure that it doesn't set off any alarms and perhaps we can keep it between us. Otherwise I'll do it anyway and the congregation can punish me however they see fit. I do not fear being disfellowshipped. I only want to maintain the relationship I've built up with immediate and extended family.