I cannot beleive i am an " apostate"

by sspo 28 Replies latest jw friends

  • LennyinBluemont

    Welcome to the village! Quandary, interesting to hear how many like us are in the same boat. Likewise, my wife and I got baptized in 74 at the ages of 23 and 25. At the direction of the Society, no higher education, no retirement planning, no children. We are now 55 and 58. I stopped attending in 2001, my wife a little over a year ago. So for 4 years, my wife remained "faithful" to the org, while I attained an inactive status. It took me from Feb of 2001 (when I stopped attending) until the summer of 2002, about a year and a half, before I started to be able to make sense of anything. Yes, we devoted soooooo much time and energy. I was an elder for 14 years, and a regular pioneer for almost 5 of those years. It was the Dateline program in May of 2002 that started my process of waking up. Then Ray's book, "Crisis of Conscience", was like a bucket of ice water in my face. I was suddenly awake and out of the fog so fast, it was very disturbing, as I know many can relate.

    So, my wife continued going. I never tried to discourage her, because I know that is exactly what they tell the faithful one to expect. I even drove her to the first DC I didn't attend. After always attending these affairs together for 27 years, when I left that morning to leave her by herself to attend the DC, we both wept together, as we realized this was a most significant rift. As the months and years passed, I would only occasionally attempt to share one small tidbit with her. At times, she would attempt to be interested and rational for 10 or 15 minutes, but would then always comment something like, "You're destroying my faith." Of course, I would always retreat at that point and allow some time to pass.

    We reached critical mass in April of 2005 when we actually discussed separating, because I knew I would eventually be DF'd for apostasy, and then, if she continued to adhere to the direction of the WT, we could have no meaningful relationship left. None of her JW friends would be comfortable coming to the home of a DF'd apostate. And being a good witness, she could have nothing to do with my new "worldly" friends. So if we could have no friends in common, what kind of relationship could we have? And this after over 30 years of marriage. At that point, she became a bit more open to talking about the things I was learning. I think she figured, "OK, if this is going to cost me my marriage, I should at least find out why." She eventually agreed to read Diane Wilson's book and then Crisis by Ray. Needless to say, at that point we were on the same page and she is determined never to go back.

    I don't know if anything in our experience helps, but I share it in the hopes that it might. You may certainly contact me directly by messaging me on this forum.

    Uncle Lenny

  • FlyingHighNow
  • LennyinBluemont

    Forgot to comment on your meeting with the elders. This meeting can have only one outcome. It will put them in the position of setting the time table as to how things proceed with you and your wife. If you want to remain in charge of that timetable, or at least have a meaningful effect on it, you WILL NOT meet with the elders under any circumstances. If you were an elder, you know how this works. They will goad you into saying something incriminating so that they can take action. Your being DF'd will force the issue for your wife. She needs TIME to try and assimilate what is going on around her. I agree with the other comments. Tell them you're very depressed, not feeling well, absorbed with work commitments. Unless they are very determined to do you in, they will tire and move on to some other poor soul.

    Uncle Lenny

  • LennyinBluemont
  • Van Gogh
    Van Gogh

    Your apology has been accepted, just as my apology has been accepted by others too. My heart goes out to you, and to you Quandry too.
    Whatever our personal predisposition, path or circumstances, age plays an important part in our predicament.
    I have noticed a significant difference in exit-attitude among exjdubs. Whereas many relatively younger ones to a certain extent can be affected for life, many of them enjoy the luxury of taking many things in their stride, learning a valuable, life altering lesson of life not afforded to many, being very opinionated about many a thing, some even being able to swiftly switch into entirely opposing beliefs like atheism. Perhaps it is a generation thing; a different JW generation, being more independent and critical in a more individualistic world, mere passage of time discrediting the WTS for all of us, the internet etc.
    Odd though it may seem, I take heart from your situation. Every time I read of situations like yours, I know at least I'm not alone. You are not alone. Perhaps we tend to look too much at others around us who seem to be better off. But is that always realistic? Many of us did what we thought was best. We made choices based on our most sincere beliefs, hopes, values and desires. They were messed with and it hurts bad. But despite everything we actually stood for something, however misguided it may have turned out to be for all of us. And right now you are proving to still stand for your convictions, whatever the consequences. I think that takes so much courage. You deserve a lot of credit for that. Take pride in that; console yourself with that. I wish you lots of wisdom.

  • cyberguy

    Welcome sspo!

    I’m sorry to hear about your situation, but as others have posted here, and in the interest of saving your marriage, I would NOT meet with the elders to discuss your issues with the WT. As you know, such a meeting will not be about what is true or false, but rather, whether you support mommy “O” and mommy’s unique teachings. I would suggest the “depression” defense, along with getting older in life with its many health problems, and that you don’t want to further your depression by such a meeting. The elder’s have been told by mommy “O” to back-off from those with severe depression, so this is your way out! Gradually, over time you may be able to win your wife over from the cult.

    I wish you the best! And please keep us informed as to how things are working out!



  • Double Edge
    Double Edge

    Welcome to the board!

    I love my wife but she will leave because she has to stay faithful to Jah's earthly organization.

    If you posed the question: "What if you found out beyond a shadow of a doubt that being faithful to Jah does not mean alligence to any earthly organization - how important would it be for you to find that out?". Then quote to her from the JWs about proving the truth of your religion so that she doesn't get unconfortable in her 'quest'.

    just a thought.... again... WELCOME!

  • fullofdoubtnow

    I am in agreement with what many other posters have said - you do not have to meet with the elders, they have no authority to force such a meeting on you if you do not want it.

    As for your marriage, don't give up on 31 years together. It will be difficult for her, obviously, but she must surely love you as well as the wts, and leaving the jws is not grounds for separation, even in the wts. Just be the same, loving caring person you have always been.

    Whatever happens with the elders and especially your wife I wish you well.


    btw welcome to the board

  • garybuss

    Welcome Sspo,
    I have to think . . . Where do I want to be in 5 years? Am I doing today what will get me there?
    Some things I've learned. If I keep doing what I've been doing, I'll keep getting what I've been getting.
    Is what I'm doing a part of the problem or a part of the solution?
    I need to know what doesn't work and not do that anymore.
    I've made my life about me. I invited my wife to join me. It wasn't an ultimatum by design, it was an invitation. She tested me and she found out I am serious. I'd plan a small trip and invite her to come along. If she declined, I'd go on the trip without her. If she said she'd go but gave me crap, I'd go without her. I lived apart from her for 7 months. Those were not the worse 7 months of my life.
    Now I take my marriage like I take the rest of my life . . . one day at a time.
    I made my decision not to be friendly with the Jehovah's Witnesses in 1992 when they started to shun me and when they advised my sons to not associate with me because I'm bad association. I told her she had a very easy decision. She could be married to me or she could be a Jehovah's Witness, because I'm not living with anyone supporting the business that tells my sons to shun me.
    I'm a mortal human. I'm only gonna live so long. I want the rest of that life as peaceful as possible and as free from undue stress as possible.
    The Way I See it http://www.freeminds.org/buss/buss.htm

  • LennyinBluemont

    Just a note of technical clarification. Unless the policy has been changed, the WT DOES allow for the faithful mate to separate from the "unbeliever" for reasons other than adultery. There are three bases: Willful non-support; Absolute endangerment of spirituality; Severe physical abuse.

    The one that could be applied here, of course, is absolute endangerment of spirituality. This is another one of the WT's "catchall" phrases that allows the local elders a wide latitude for interpretation (one of the really fun parts about being an elder!). If the "faithful" one claims that their mate is apostate, and they were actually DF'd for that, that could really be enough. But they may ask for evidence, such as physically preventing the believer from attending meetings, destroying their WT literature, or bombarding them with apostate ideas.

    If this has been changed, somebody straighten me out.

    Uncle Lenny

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