Stay or leave your spouse after leaving JWs - Do you have regrets?

by Awakened at Gilead 60 Replies latest social relationships

  • daniel-p

    Hi [email protected], It sounds like things are becoming irreconcilable. I must confess, I wouldn't find it easy to stay with a woman who despised me, as it sounds like your wife does you. Throughout our rough times, I never doubted that my wife respected me even if I left the truth. I hope you can find a place soon. -dp

  • Awakened at Gilead
    Awakened at Gilead

    Well, she says she loves me at times, and asks why I am abandoning her...

    But at other times she gets the other personality... I guess Mr. flipper explains it as the cult personality when she just can't stand the changes I am going through. She doesn't see why it's not going to work out, yet I don't see how it can. She thinks, though, that if I want to leave it must be because I have another woman (I don't - really). It is for the resaons that I mention in my previous post.

    [email protected]

  • Vinny

    My only thought, Awakened at Gilead, is that if you had any real hopes of maintaining your marriage, or possibly helping the wife to "see the light" herself, you would have proceeded much more slowly and cautiously than you have.

    It seems somewhat apparent to me that you had no interest in doing either. And that's fine too, I guess. But a little more patience and discretion on your end sure could have made some kind of a difference or at least a less UN-favorable impression.

    Tearing your blood card in front of her. Growing a beard. Going to apostate gatherings are all indications, to me, that you are trying to instigate negative reactions from her. Seriously, what else do you expect here?

    Had I done any of those things to my wife, I seriously doubt she would have eventually joined me in leaving the JW religion altogether, which she did many months later. But I handled things much more respectfully than you have here. Today, we are closer than ever by having gone through this JW departure together. It takes TIME for almost every JW that learns some of the facts as they are, to allow it to sink in.

    From what I have read, you never gave her even half a chance. In fact you seem to like throwing it in her face. And then you act shocked and offended when she responds in like fashion or out of desperation.

    Why not show a little more class and respect for her beliefs than you have and see if things don't improve.

    Even if the marriage ends, at least you can let it end by taking a higher road out than you have up to now.

  • Vinny

    Awakened at Gilead said:..."I made my decsion to exit 2 weeks ago"...

  • Awakened at Gilead
    Awakened at Gilead


    Thanks for your post. I appreciate it. You may be right...

    Just a few points...

    We have been discussing separation for years now.... Being in the "truth" was keeping us together, if not I would have bolted years ago.

    While I see your point about her feeling shocked at my changes, ... its traumatic to wake up one day and realize you're not in the truth that you have believed in for over 30 years... I realize that I may be going to extremes, but I want her to know that I have no intention of returning to JW-land...

    We'll see what happens. We are still together, and we have been at this point before (as JWs) where we agreed on separation, and then we decided to stick things out anyway.

    I'm glad that you were able to help your spouse see the light. What in particular did you do that helped her to wake up?

    [email protected]

  • Vinny

    "What in particular did you do that helped her to wake up?"

    Then, a few weeks later I e-mailed her a personal experience of somebody that had actually died from not accepting an organ transplant back when they were considered cannibalism by the Society.

    An hour or so later I received an experience FROM HER about a man that left the JW's, over the course of about two years, but by being very cautious he was able to get every single person in his family out as well.

    Needless to say I WAS SHOCKED that she would SEND ME a story like that.

    Still, I tried not to get overly excited and just proceeded with my own letter of disassociation. It was after the announcement was made, and they had a special needs talk on apostasy the following week, right in front of her and our still a pioneer daughter that really got her going. They felt insulted. Then when I was shunned and labeled for doing nothing wrong but disagreeing with WT Society teachings did she tell me she wanted to start examining things herself. SHE wanted to buy Crisis of Conscience, not me. Then she bought several others; In Search of Christian Freedom, Captives of a Concept, Combatting Mind Control, Kingdom of the Cults and a few others. I have only read both of Franz's books up til now. But she was just blown away by it all.

    Because of having our daughter still in (my step daughter) she decided to just fade away rather than formally leave as I did.

    For one full year, our daughter continued living with us and going to all the meetings while pioneering for many more months. We were always respectful of this because after all, we raised her to be one.

    In six months she quit pioneering. Another six mos she stopped going to all the meetings and today (just two years later) she is completely out not even going to the memorial. It took TIME, Awakened at Gilead, to allow alternative thoughts to have an opportunity to manifest themselves.

    My wife is out. (Took six mos).

    My Pioneer step daughter is out. (Took about 18 mos).

    And life is so much better without the WT Strings attached to our every move.

    My suggestion would be to give your wife just a little room to breathe. (Rarely does anybody do what YOU have done; out in three weeks).

    You might even try sending her this thread to read...

    Apologize to her. Acknowledge that this must be extremely difficult for her to watch happening.

    You can still proceed forward with your own exit. But by being a bit more conscious and respectful of her own feelings, along with a desire to maybe slow things down just a bit you may even help her to find the door as well.

    My wife was a 23 year zealous sister. My step daughter a 21 year old raised in the religion regular Pioneer. And both are out today.

    Who'd have thunk it?

    My best to you and your wife!


  • Awakened at Gilead
    Awakened at Gilead
    (Rarely does anybody do what YOU have done; out in three weeks).

    Well, its been 3 weeks since I decided noty to be a witness. But I have been doubting some things for years, since I went to Gilead in 2003. I have mentioned these doubts to my wife some time ago, so my decision did not come as a complete surprise, as she has thought that I would go apostate for some time. Since I mentioned that I had doubts, at elast about 3 years ago, sometimes when I would be using the WT CD ROM she would ask if I was studying or if I was looking for more doubts. (which was most likely the case).

    In the past 3 weeks I have read Crisis of Conscience and ISofCF. That helps to make a decision and make one's mind do a 180.

    I can see that your spouse was receptive in that she wanted to read the books. My spouse is very upset that I have read them.

    But we'll see what happens... Nothing is written in stone...

    BTW, I liked your DA letter... very clear and logical. Perhaps someone who read it paid attention to it.


    [email protected]

  • cabasilas

    My wife cried for days when I told her I was leaving the Organization. It was touch and go for several weeks, but we managed to stay together. We worked out a truce on religious issues and avoided discussions on the Witnesses. However, she eventually would bring things up and we did have limited discussions eventually. I also left materials out to tempt her and I found out she would look at them from time to time. I had been a Bethelite (from 73 to 76) and she had pioneered for 8 years. It wasn't easy, but we eventually found some things to do together that did not involve the JWs.

    I figured that my wife expected me as an apostate to persecute her and oppose her. I did everything possible to avoid that image. I adopted the WT tactic of "killing them with kindness" and it threw my wife for a loop as it didn't fit with the image the WT made for "apostates." We later had 2 children together. Whenever she'd get depressed and start skipping meetings I'd make sure to take her out for breakfast or dinner. She became totally inactive JW about 6 years after I left. Later, she began attending church with the kids and I. Eventually she decided to face her doubts head on and read Franz's books and other materials. On our 25th anniversary we had our marriage blessed in the Church!

    Every situation is different and I realize there are many things that determine whether a relationship can continue or not. If you feel that perhaps a truce might work for you guys, you might try it. If so, perhaps she'd agree to some sort of family night once a week where you both pursue a common hobby or activity.

  • still_in74
    the other day she picked up the keyboard and wanted to throw it accros the room or bash me with it when she saw I was on JWD... She is also very upset about me making friends with "apostates" and worldly people, and told me never to bring them to our home! This concerns me, since I am not going to have any friends in the org, and I need at least a few friendships

    I often imagine my wife developing similar behaviour if I were to tell her the depth of my "un-belief" with the org. I think she suspects it but hopes it will go away. As much as I know she loves me I fear it would turn bad.

    I dont know how you broke it to your wife but I wish I could. Anyway, if she is a die-hard she will either join you or leave you.

    Despite the adultery rule, the "spiritual harm" clause was created a few years ago and as an apostate nobody will encourage her to stay with you. I guess Jesus forgot to mention that part but it okay, the org covered it for Him.


  • Balsam

    I had 3 sons with my JW husband, my middle son died as a result of an auto accident and his dad refusing blood transfusion for him. My husband and I had been JW's for 29 years and had raised our boys in it. I left my JW husband 4 months after my son died, the marriage was dead so far as I was concerned and I couldn't bear to be in the same room with my now ex-husband. I had been married for30 years, and leaving him was the best thing I ever did for myself. Having said that I have to add that everyone's circumstances are different. And how it is for one person is not how it is for another person. We are all different and deal with troubles and joys in our lives so differently. Be glad you have no no children with you wife, if it ends then it will not be a battle to see who gets the kids. My other two sons have left the JW's and been out nearly as long as I have.

    Today I'm in a much happier marriage to a wonderful man who I treasure.

    I hope you figure out the best decision for you.


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