okay. This is LONG and very embarrassing to tell, but here it is. I have been married and divorced 4 times, 3 of my husbands were JW's.
Husband 1: A witness, met him when I was 14 and he was 16, he had already left home and I had just moved to a new town. We dated in a group setting, I got baptised at 15 because if I didn't the brothers and his parents said we couldn't date anymore. At 16, I married him and then finished high school. My home life was very stressful and he and I wanted to start our own lives. He was very controlling and emotionally abusive, and had even hit me a couple of times before we married. I never told anyone, my home life as a child was controlling and abusive and I didn't know any different way of living. He is the father of my children, when I was 25, I was a lonely, tied down young mom, with 3 kids under 7 years, I fell under the spell of an older brother in our cong. who considered naive, young women like myself fair game. My husband sometimes worked many, many long days and many times never came home before 10 at night, unless it was meeting night. As I had grown up, I had started wondering about alot of different things and this caused friction with my husband. He was a good father and a good man, but could be emotionally cruel (he never hit me after the children were born). I was stupid enough to have an affair with this predator in the congregation (who was on his way out). In fact, he was so proud of himself, when I put a stop to seeing him, he called the elders and proudly proclaiming he had been having sex with one of their precious little sisters (by then he was df'd). When my husband found out, I had already stopped seeing that man, the elders told my husband that if we were going to stay together, they wouldn't disfellowship me, but if we weren't, then they were going to disfellowship me (this was before my judicial committee even met with me). My husband and I were unable to resolve our problems afterwards and divorced. He dropped out of the children's lives when he remarried, the day our divorce was final. He is now an elder also. I was reinstated within the year. I blame myself for what happened, because there is no excuse for adultery, no matter how unhappy you are. I blame the society also because I believe if we had went to marriage counseling, we may have been able to have a better marriage but were counseled against seeing worldly counselors.
Husband 2: A witness, introduced to him by witness family members who knew he was an alcoholic, wife beater who had been accused of being too familiar with his own daughters and other young girls in the congregation. Of course, none of this was made known to me. We married, too soon, after 6 - 8 weeks of dating. I left him 6 months to the day, after putting up with his drunken screaming fests at me, being told that he didn't understand why you can discipline your kids but not your wife, telling him repeatedly to quit kissing my daughter on the neck and then finding out that he was scaring her to death in the mornings after I left for work, so much so that she locked herself in her room until time to go to school. He then stalked me afterwards for four years. I eventually committed fornication with a co-worker and he was free to remarry, I was publically reproved. He was finally disfellowshipped for slandering me for printing out fliers about me and distributing them to people at the hall. Has since been reinstated.
Husband 3: A witness, I moved to a new city and introduced by a friend of a friend at the hall. Dated 4 months, he was slovenly pig, had no libido, couldn't hold a job and had split personality. Finally left after 5 years because I got tired of being threatened with having my head cut off while I slept or being told that he hated me and wished he had never married me. I hated to be divorced again but refused to put up anymore with his crap. This was also at the point I stopped attending meetings and left the organization. Found out after I left him that he had a secret Post Office Box in another city, I wonder why? Box number was 666.
Husband 4: Not a witness, a long distance relationship and dated almost 8 months. He turned out to be the biggest con man I have ever met, I thought he was my soul mate. I wanted to live together but he said he didn't want to disrespect me. So instead I move across the country to marry him, found out he was a big liar, he changed the moment we married, turned out to be the meanest, person. Turns out he was bi-polar schizophrenic and never stopped dating other women even after we married. Married 3 months. I moved out after he spent another night ranting and screaming about the house except that time with a butcher knife, he filed for divorce next day because he said it was evident to him I would end up dead if I stayed married to him.
SO, why did I marry all these guys??? I was trying to do '"the right thing'", you know you are not supposed to sleep with a man if you are not married to him. Now, I would never marry again without spending much time with someone, and yes I would test drive first.
The first marriage, I wrecked myself, my own stupid curiosity and weakness allowed me to do something that not only hurt myself but also my children and husband, I have much difficulty forgiving myself for this and probably never will. He is the one I miss so much, we did have good things together and could have worked it out. What I did was terrible. The others, a combination of loneliness and stupidity and being so naive and trusting. I still believe that marriage can work, but witnesses rush into marriage too soon because they don't want to commit fornication. As a result, many people marry who are not well suited for marriage or for each other. The pressure to not consult marriage counselors when there are problems also add to divorce rate. The admonition that you can only be free to remarry if there is a death of a marriage mate or adultery, raises the adultery rate, some people feel trapped and feel adultery is their only way out of a bad marriage. Being inexperienced and naive and too trusting also leads to bad matches in marriage for people who were raised as JW's with no outside influence. The results of all of my marriages and divorces, has been extremely painful and it takes alot of struggling to regain your bearings, the effect on children can be even more painful. Fortunately, my children are all amazingly well-adjusted adults, even though they had to deal with my poor choices in judgement, they have done very well. They have been grown and away from home for some time now, but it is still hard for them to know that I still am in such pain over everything. I believe for the most part they have forgiven me, I hope so. That I caused them pain is the hardest to deal with.
So a combination of the poor counsel of the GB and society and my own human weaknesses and poor choices are what I blame. I was also put under a lot of pressure when I left what I considered were abusive situations, the elders didn't approve of my reasons for leaving. But how are you to know, when you never have real life experience?