Was it better to be an elder's wife, or a CO's wife?

by AlmostAtheist 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • aSphereisnotaCircle

    Restrangled, I totally forgot about how they have to listen to the same old spiel every week.

    What a horrible lifestyle.

  • uwishufish

    There once a post on jwd about this and the jist was that the co wife was ill and made very few meetings. As a kid in the 60s the co stayed with us during the surrounding congo visits as we had a modern home with a seperate living quarters and if my memory serves me corectly the co wife would go to our meetings but missthe surrounding ones. It seems she enjoyed her chill time.

  • brunnhilde

    I was an elder's daughter and it sucked. I was an elder's wife and it sucked. It seemed to me that unless you were, as oompa says, a stepford wife, being a CO's wife would also suck. I mean, the R&F sisters were either total brown nosers or scared to death of you. Hearing the same ludicrous talks over and over again and pretending to love it, being ambushed by all the elder's wives looking to score some prestige points, and having to listen to all the crazies and smile and smile. Like I said, major suckage...


  • AlmostAtheist

    >>and having to listen to all the crazies and smile and smile. Like I said, major suckage...

    In my note to my friend I mentioned that JW's break down into two groups; "True Believers" and "Can't Leavers". Can I assume, Brunn, that you were a "Can't Leaver"? ;-)


  • wildfell

    What prestige for elder's wives? It's a 'position' you acquire when your husband is appointed. If one is not interested in dominating, snooping or manipulating, that 'position' holds no appeal whatsoever.

    Why, you ask?

    Oh, something to do with some sisters automatically viewing you with hostility. Cause your husband is working hours and hours for the congregation and you often don't get to see him for days. You just iron a lot of shirts. Of course, silly me, that deserves automatic hostility.

    Um, what about it being very hard to make new friends because no one trusts you enough to open up. Cause your husband is an elder and of course, you're going to dob. So you're grateful for the good girlfriends you had before you hit the JACKPOT and became "an elder's wife". One must not forget about the other elder's wives . . . they love to talk to one if one is emotionally stable . . . because they are NOT! Most had medically diagnosed mental illness and were on antidepressants. Why? Because their elder husbands were EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE, that's why. So one becomes somehow their nominated confidante about how toxic their marriages are. Oh, just lovely!!

    How can one forget the cold, the fatigue and the fear of sitting all alone in an unlocked big kh at night while the all important elders are in the back room with the door closed? Waiting patiently until 11.30pm - 12am and then getting up for work the next day. Hmmm, prestige ?

    Let me not forget about "Setting The Example For The Sisters". What a friggin load of crap that was!!!! Must always be regular at meetings, never miss Saturday morning group. Answer up at the Watchtower! How low cut is that top? That lipstick is too bright. Too much bling, take some of it off. Major catastrophe to walk into the hall 5 minutes late. Always have the watchtower underlined. Mingle. don't just talk to those you know. Can't go home straight after the meeting, even if you are exhausted, must talk to the brothers. Must stay out in door to door for at least two hours before we can go on calls. You should give up work. Why aren't you pioneering? Keep an eye on sister soandso, she's down and needs someone to talk to. You should be more hospitable. Invite the pioneers over for dinner. Keep the house spotless. Do more do more do more cause it will never be freakin well enough! Prestige?! Prestige?! What damn prestige? Everyone can feel free to comment about you, critise you, demand more of you. And you had better deliver, cause you're "an elder's wife". Oh, yes, they are so important, elder's wives . . . you think?

    Last but not lease. You're married to a great guy, you are best friends, you can always talk to him about what's bothering you . . when you see him . . . and when he isn't coming home late, late at night after a jc, looking white as a ghost and emotionally rung out because he's a compassionate guy. But you're not sacrificing, cause you have a position of 'prestige' in the congo, right?

    So this is a big long rant. It's been a long time coming. I have been listening to other posters comment negatively about elder's wives and they just don't have a clue. Being an elder's wife in the cult sucked big time for me. So glad I am free.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    As an ex-elder's wife I'll say this

    Being an elder's wife sucks - big time. I was the one who worked very hard to be an example. People had absolutely no idea the extent of our problems.

    We had kids - that had to get up and go to school but we were stuck waiting around after meeting for 2-3 hours while the elders sat in the back room.

    I wasn't the gossip gal. I wasn't even curious and didn't even know about the Flock/elder's book until I was out for 20 years and we had one in our house!

    I was at least 20 years younger than the other elder's wives so if they had a clique going on I didn't know about it. And they were all women I admired - and would have even if they weren't JWs.

    Being an elder's wife meant raising the kids alone. He would do studies with them and was there for meals but our world revolved around him. Meanwhile he was out in service or busy at elder's meetings or preparing for a talk.

    Being the wife of a CO???? If they had to travel a lot - no fixed address, eating food cooked by people who couldn't really cook, sleeping in other people's homes, answering the same questions by different people and of course "making the illusion real". Real downers. But we lived in Montreal and the COs had one apartment in the basement of one hall so they could have a "home". At least they didn't have kids to add to the load

  • brunnhilde

    I was a Can't Leaver because I was a True Believer, Dave. Once I woke up and realized it WASN'T true, I couldn't get out of there fast enough!


  • brunnhilde

    I totally get what you're saying, wildfell! If you were a bitch before you were an elder's wife, you were a bitchy elder's wife, but man it was miserable always having to "set the example." And wasn't it just good fun trying to keep your kids in line while your husband was on the platform (like he was all meeting, every meeting) or in the back having little hushed elder conferences or doing whatever the hell else they were always off doing...

    I hated being an elder's wife. It was like having a husband maybe 10% of the time.


  • potleg

    I've come across a few CO wives, especially older ones who were on their own, know it all, elitist, I'm better than you, little power trips. They were the perfect compliment to their big shot, red hot, full of snot, husbands.

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