Dilemma - What can I offer my wife if she leaves the witnesses?

by truthseeker 38 Replies latest jw friends

  • LtCmd.Lore
    This week, my wife called me an "opposing husband" - because I stopped believing that Jehovah chose the Watchtower Society as his sole channel on earth.

    Then call her an "opposing wife" - somehow the dubs have a SUPER one-sided view of this:

    They tell stories about the unbelieving father who kicks his daughter out of the house because she becomes a JW. That's family opposition, it's evil, persecution from the devil.

    They demand that JW parents shun their own children if they LEAVE the JWs. That's gods will, it's right, it'll help them see the truth.

    When they do it, it's good. When we do it, it's bad.

    So yes, you are an opposing husband, but she's just as sure that YOU are wrong as you are about her. You are equal, don't let her demonize you for this.

    My wife knows about the Society, it's flip-flop on doctrines, child sex abuse scandals, including the UN, but NONE OF THAT MATTERS.

    Does she still preach that these don't exist? If confonted in the field about any of these things, will she insist that they are apostate lies? Or will she tell the truth?

    She doesn't read the litertaure, not even the bible.

    Because she's lazy, or because she doesn't like them? If she's just lazy, then I don't know what to say about that. But if she doesn't like them, how about offering some of you own literature for her to read.

    She's in the truth mainly because of the friendships she has and the possibility that Jehovah might still be in charge of the organization.

    Go somewhere and make some different friends with her. They will most probably be better and more fun, so she will soon have to decide whether she wants to spend Sunday morning with her fun and interesting friends, or go to the meeting and sit bored around her old friends. Unless she's a very boring person, this will probably work.

    Why does she still consider it a possibility? Find out what makes her think god is involved with these people. Given her lack of interest in the matter, I doubt SHE even knows why.

    I'm the one who gets the blame because I don't believe. She refuses to listen, to do research or anything else.

    Then shift the blame on her. Chew her out for being in a cult. Make her the villian. After all, she IS associating with a bunch of cheap-butt child-abuse-hiding hypocrites. She thinks she's better than you. Prove her wrong. Maybe you should argue with an elder in her presence, when she sees that the elder is wrong, or if he is the first to get angry, then it would be harder to demonize you.

    If I back off and leave her alone, she gets nasty with me if I don't go to the meetings. She wants absolute control of the conversation when

    it comes to the Society - if she starts a conversation about them, and I say something she didn't like, I'm the one who has to back off and respect her.

    That is a personality flaw on her part, I can't suggest anything about that. Have you considered marriage counseling?

    She doesn't believe she could ever find a gathering of worldly people who don't curse, swear and drink/smoke, so for that reason she doesn't want

    to leave the organization.

    Go find one. They do exist. I don't curse/swear drink or smoke.

    Why does she need a 'gathering'? JW's need gatherings because they are so terribly boring that they need to gather in huge groups before you can squeeze even a few small drops of fun out of them. But if you have interesting friends then you need a huge group.

    I'm not sure what do to at this stage. What can I offer her that is better than what she has? If I leave her alone, she won't respect my beliefs.

    Just offer what you can. It's up to her whether or not she wants it.

    You are a truthseeker, the truth is important to you. She doesn't seem to CARE about the truth, so maybe you should focus less on facts and more on rewards.

    She thinks that her life would SUCK if she quit going to the meetings. This is not true. Prove it. Go out, get some friends, and start having fun. Maybe she'll eventually want to be part of it. If not, at least YOU'RE having fun right?

    Lastly: Is her respect really that important? I have found that if someone refuses to respect people, their opinion doesn't actually matter.


  • TwentyYearsOut

    Ask yourself, if you met your wife today, for the first time, would you still want to marry her?

    Also, if you suggest marriage counselling, and she objects, then she's the bad guy, not you.

  • JWdaughter

    When I first saw the subject of this thread, I thought to myself, "Oh, a bribe, wonder what it would take. . .and I thought Europe, jewelry, really hot sex. . .but I guess that isn't where you were going with this thread (although, who knows, maybe she can be bribed! :) )

    After reading your post, I was thinking that you have some issues that maybe need to be dealt with in a marriage counselors office. You have as much right to a say and an opinion as she does. Neither of you should be shouting down the other one-literally or otherwise. Perhaps if you brought these things out in such a venue, and there was a third person, she would see what she is doing more realistically.

    Best wishes.

  • AGuest

    May you have peace! You ask:

    What can I offer her that is better than what she has?

    How about... the Truth? John 14:6

    Dear one, MOST of those inside the WTBTS organization know it's a fake. Problem is, it's all they have. They don't know where else to go if they were to leave. Problem is... there is no WHERE else to go away to: there is only a WHOM. John 6:67, 68

    Tell her that she has one leader, Christ, and no other... and that all who have come in place of him are thieves... and plunderers. John 10:8 (actually, John 10:1-15 is even better).

    Tell her that they have LIED to her, telling her that although she does not eat and drink of the flesh and blood of Christ she will still be resurrected to life because she "has life in herself"... but that the TRUTH is that Christ said, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have NO life in yourself," and that ANYONE who eats his flesh and drink his blood will be resurrected and will live forever." Tell her that Christ said ANYONE... and not just an elite few. John 6:48-56

    Tell her that if she knows the truth, the truth will set her FREE... and that Christ, the Son of God... is that Truth that will set her free. And there is no other. John 8:32; 14:6; 8:36

    Tell her that she already has a mediator between her and God... Christ... and she needs no other. For there is no other than can save her. Because it is by means of blood that sins are forgiven... and no one else's blood has that power.

    Tell her the truth... about the Truth. And then leave it up to him. Because if she truly wants to know the Truth, she will receive him. If she doesn't, it's all out of your hands anyway. Whether she stays in or not.

    I bid you the greatest of peace.

    Your servant and a slave of Christ,


  • smellsgood

    She doesn't believe she could ever find a gathering of worldly people who don't curse, swear and drink/smoke, so for that reason she doesn't want

    to leave the organization. >>>

    she's ign'nt.

    They're called Mormons, Baptists, Pentacostals, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, et cetera. As far as I've read on this board, if she desires to not associate with drinkers, smokers, fornicaters, and the like, she should quit gathering with Witnesses in her area immediately.

    Why does she have to find an idyllic location before she chooses to get out of the sewer? Why does she need an oxygen chamber before she chooses to stop inhaling asbestos? Why does she need a ballgown in order to stop rolling in elephant dung?

    The question: where else would I go? Well, if she believes in YHWH, and were to believe in the Bible, she might start wondering about the absent character of the WT screenplay: Saviour #1, played by a short dusty man. Perhaps she could also ponder a hypothetical situation where an employee for example, knows that her employer is a liar, a thief, and a murderer, but just shrugs and sighs about that, because he brings such wonderful ambrosia to her Potlucks.

    Does she not think that knowing he's a liar and a thief and a murderer, makes her culpable in a very dreadful way: passively so. She doesn't even have the guts to cut off contact because she's doesn't want her world shaken or changed. Just gonna stay in that comfort bubble, becoming more and more lost in a world where 2+2 always make up 5.

    Sorry, I don't know how you stand it.

    Does the god she serves hold human life in high esteem? Who serves a god who was furious if you drank a glass of wine, but pleased when a child died from an accident on a bike?

  • Scully

    Well, doesn't everyone have the constitutional right to freedom of worship?

    Funny how JWs forget that when it comes to other people besides themselves. Maybe discussions about religion/religious beliefs need to be off-limits. Tell her that you want to respect her fundamental right to believe what she wants - even to believe it blindly without research (unlike the Beroeans) - and that you expect the same respect from her. You will not endeavour to sway her from her beliefs, and she will not interfere with your quest and your research, after all the Bible charges believers with the task of "making sure of all things".

    Having said that, taking this position is going to create tension. Your wife is satisfied with hanging on to her comfort zone and not going beyond it. You may need to do some things to ensure that your relationship doesn't suffer beyond the religious difference. Maybe start out by going out together on non-meeting nights, taking walks together, etc. It doesn't have to be costly, but it does have to demonstrate that your feelings for her haven't changed, despite your change of heart toward the JWs. Gradually find some activities that take her away from meeting nights - again, they don't have to be costly, but they do have to be something that she enjoys doing, and they are best if they are one-night-only events that can't be accommodated without missing a meeting. Do it maybe once every couple of months so she doesn't feel too guilty about skipping a meeting. Eventually, she'll feel comfortable with the idea of missing the occasional meeting so that she can start finding things to do on meeting nights and may start seeking out activities herself.

    Don't commit to something like dancing lessons that require a long term, regular absence from meetings, at least not initially - that would have to be a decision that she initiates, and that you embrace with her. Otherwise she will feel guilty and torn, and will more readily jump back to meetings with increased zeal.

    During this time, you could keep an eye on how other JWs react to her missing meetings and service. Most likely they will withdraw from her, without actually saying anything. The phone calls will cease, the invitations to socialize will dry up. If she mentions it - and only if she mentions it - you could make a comment like "Wow, that's pretty strange coming from the most loving Organization on earth."

    This approach could take years to cultivate. You may not have the patience for it, and your wife may not be interested in participating on any level. You ultimately may have to choose between saving your marriage and saving your sanity.

  • erandir


    The situation you are in sounds very familiar to mine in many ways. I'm the "opposing husband" (self-titled...she doesn't call me that) and have pointed out many things to her about the witness religion. She is much more reasonable, and she has been making some progress seeing my point of view and actually agreeing to it. It's taken a year or more...plus all the help and advice I could compile from JWD.

    She's sticking it out for the good friends she has who know her doubts and how she feels about the hyposcrisy in the WT system. Who knows if they would be good friends if she faded out. I feel in this case, they still would be. Also, she still believes in God and is doing that "waiting on Jehovah" thing while tolerating what she can. She is about 1400 miles from her family and old friends, so she doesn't want to throw away the social network she has right now. She does have a few friends at her work, and we have her family come up and stay for a couple months at a time, but it's not enough for her. She's a little depressed and has another medical issue, so I don't want to push things anymore.

    We have a couple very well-balanced elders on our side. So far, we've been left alone. She still wants to go to the book study, but as for the TMS/Service meetings and the Sunday meetings, she rarely attends those.

    I feel I'm finally at a good place with her. She doesn't ask me to go to the meetings. Our religious conversations don't explode into arguments. And I have hope that eventually, she'll see the cult for what it is and decide to leave.

    It's been a long process, but I think time is on our side. The WT Society will bury itself given enough time.

    So my advice is to give it time and patience...don't push too hard or too often. Small acorns grow mighty oaks. (Like my corny "illustration" here?)

    I'll be paying close attention to your situation as it parallels my own. So keep us posted, and good luck!


  • sweet pea
    sweet pea

    WHEN she leaves the witnesses (this could take years or weeks, you never know when, but it sounds like there are signs of hope), you can offer her a much calmer, less stressful and a more enriching, honest and fun filled life away from the routine of JWLand.

    6 months ago I was under the illusion that there was no alternative to life to outside the 'truth' - I wasn't looking for a way out and didn't think I was unhappy but there were things underneath the surface that were obviously bothering me.

    I did feel that as Witnesses, we had something very special and that 'worldly' people were not people I wanted to spend huge amounts of time with, most of them anyway (due to the drinking/smoking/language etc 'thing') however, it was only once I had the blinkers removed that I realised that I just didn't know ENOUGH 'worldy' people - now I can see there are many, many amazing people out here that I do want to spend my time with developing their friendships. I feel back at first base and know that deep friendships will take years to grow but I'm on that road now and as Purps said I would rather have smoking, drinking and even the occasional cursing (:-)) friends who love me unconditionally than friends that love me only for who they THINK I am and for believing all the same things as them (don't get me wrong I will always love my Witness friends even though they want nothing to do with me).

    So, don't give up on your wife if you love her, just let her be. Don't criticise the org constantly but choose your moment when she hits a low point with Witness life or life in general and then plant a seed of doubt, not too many at once. This is what Besty did with me - he waited 10 years because he didn't want me to leave. I was still of 'self righteous, fully convinced, paid up member' type all this time. I don't think before I was ready I could ever have been enticed away.

    Perhaps you could try Open Mind's technique - have a bible study with her - tell her you want to really find out the truth about things with her and you want her input/help. If Besty had tried this on me I would've jumped at the chance to do some serious bible study with him...

    Whatever road you go down I wish you all the best and really hope that you guys can work it out together.


  • coaster
  • erandir
    I just didn't know ENOUGH 'worldy' people - now I can see there are many, many amazing people out here that I do want to spend my time with developing their friendships.

    Right on!

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