My friend needs advice re: wife who wants to leave JWs but won't celebrate

by truthseeker 15 Replies latest jw friends

  • MissingLink

    I'm with OTWO. This is our "year of firsts" and we're taking each holiday as it comes. We decided birthdays are OK, and just did Mother's day. Pancake Tuesday was fine. I can't really see us doing easter, except for maybe just the coloured eggs and chocolate (don't know what religous stuff happens on easter yet). XMas is very doubtfull except maybe some gift giving. Not sure yet.

    But the main thing is that we're THINKING for ourselves! Not just going along with what we're told to do or not do.

    There is a very large athiest population that doesn't celebrate any of these holidays. Not wanting to celebrate is no excuse for sticking with the JWs.

  • Namaste

    As others have said, there is definitely no rush to "having" to celebrate the holidays.

    I'll be married 9 years this summer to my non JW hubby. I stopped going to meetings when I got married. The first 2-3 years we didn't celebrate the holidays except for birthdays. And come on, JW"s will do anniversaries but not birthdays??...that was an easy one for me to start with.

    Then I moved on to making a Thanksgiving dinner each year. Even invite my JW parents to it and they come!

    Then my son was born 4 years ago and that was my entry into the holidays! Started with 4th of July, then Halloween, then Christmas although I JUST had my first tree this past year, so 8 years after I stopped attending is when I went all in with the whole celebration and decorating.

    We skip doing Easter. Other than that what is left? President's Day, Memorial Day?

    So you have Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas and Easter. T-day is easy to pass off as a family day, Halloween - lots of people skip that one, not unusual and these days schools have become very generic in their holiday crafts and celebrations, Christmas - again, easy enough to have a family celebration if that is what is desired, but the kiddos some presents and let them return to school with the news of the presents they received "while on break", and Easter- always happens on a Sunday, so nobody knows if you do or not!

    As for raising kids with morals...from what I've learned, they don't get that from the's whatever the parents teach them. In my experience, my 3 good friends are amazingly moral/ethical/good human beings,moreso than many of the witnesses I have known in my life.

    Now that I am out of that life, I experience a whole different way of raising children. It's not all focused on keeping them quiet at meetings and dressing them up in little suits and dresses 3 times a week. When you aren't focused on all that garbage it's amazing how much time you have to actually get to know your child, talk to them about things, help them think through situations without it always being "do you think that will make Jehovah happy?"

    I actually admire the parenting techniques of my friends instead of learning, oh I guess I should be beating my 2 year old in the bathroom because he won't sit still for 2 hours.

    It can be a slow process for some, great recommendations from previous posters about finding and making the focus on family events.

  • AlyMC

    My husband didn't feel comfortable with holidays right away either. There are still many we've never felt motivated to start. We started with seasonal celebrations that were vague and of our own building. "Winter celebration" nothing more than a celebration of the new season and cycle of the earth. It evolved into full blown celebrations over the years. But it was a good gateway for us.

    I also have a word document with all the scriptures and articles I used to justify holidays in my mind back when I was first leaving saved on my hard drive... if you want to PM me an email I would be glad to attach it to you. Not especially well written, might be some tidbits to use anyway.

  • steve2

    Honestly, if her being hung up on not celebrating holidays is the only barrier between your friend's wife and her leaving the JWs, she needs to be congratulated that she has made so much progress in getting to the stage of getting out. Some people who bodily leave the kingdom hall remain trapped in it because they still believe so much of the JW baggage. Your friend's wife is down to one teaching that she's not able to let go- and it's a relatively small belief, not a biggie.

  • R.Crusoe

    This is a tricky one!

    I myself was cool with the idea of celebrating Christmas and 6 yrs ago was ready to start big party fun at Christmas!

    However my life took twists and turns and celebratory moods were not heartfelt due to all manner of problems and me not even being close to that freefeeling fun party mood I had been ready for!

    The domino effect of this is that extended family place blame and judgement and even influence teenage adult children of mine with th enotion they need to break free and set their own measure of 'life' - this had the double whammy effect of not only me struggling with personal stuff and striving to look at how I could engage 'celebrations' back into my family - but being analysed and judged as to how well I could perform such 'responsibilities' as if I were doing it for effect and not because I was a fun person! That's only a part of it! I won't bore you with the rest!

    I mention the above because all sorts of good intention may get treated dismissively or with curious apprehension by those having partied all their lives! And this 'atmosphere' itself fuels withdrawal just like it did in the KH.

    I think she is trying hard to change but cannot deny herself and pretend!

    She needs support in helping her in ways she feels included but also not press ganged! It will take time as we all know.

    I now got to a place where I dont even feel Jesus was a miracle worker and in fact was one of many pagan personas with similar life characteristics. And if I'm wrong I don't think it , or even feel, it to be important!

    I now feel whatever life is in me is between me and whoever the giver of it is! To an extent that if I never read another line of published stuff and discounted all I had read, I would still see even more than I could ever need in all life around me!

    I could go celebrate with any people anywhere to any god and still feel my relationship with my own god/ess is intact and 'understood'. It is personal to me and untouched no matter how low I feel! The lifegiver understands me as they undestand all sufferers in far worse situations than mine. I am not needed by the life giver and the gift of life is there for me to take or leave as I am able. Simple!

    Best wishes!

  • looloo

    tell her getting married is pagan but that didnt stop her doing it , get her to see that non jws manage to bring up respectful and well adjusted children , some jws i know have comented on what pleasant teenagers i have as though its so unusual for a non jw child to be anything but a druggy promiscious drunken monster , the only thing that has affected my kids is the few years that we attended meetings on and off (one was abused by someone we met there ) its all or nothing , i was much happier when i made the decision to be normal again

Share this