with my parents. I want to tell them I'm dating a "worldly" man even though according to them I'm not "free" to remarry. I want to tell them that I don't ever want to be a part of the WBTS again. I want to tell them why, but I don't want to be labeled an "apostate" because I don't want to lose them completly so maybe I will keep my reasons to myself. I am trying to decide whether to pour my heart out in a letter or over the phone. I tend to like letters because then you can't be interrupted and there seems to be less intimidation but I am worried that it may come off as cowardly and impersonal. Any thoughts or idea on the best way to handle this???
HELP! I want to come clean.....
I assume you are an adult. You can do what my sister and I did with our mom. I called her cell, got her voice mail. So I left a brief message that my kids and I were no longer Witnesses and were celebrating the holidays. I got an email back. It was a very ugly email, but I stood my ground. I didn't expain to her why I left the org. Just that the kids and I were very happy and we wanted to share our happy lives with her.
Now, my sister is a different story altogether. She had been married to our service overseer for 3 yrs until his death. Within the following year she left the borg and came out as a lesbian. She was straightforward with Mom. And also welcomed her to share her life.
We both told her over and over we loved her. That it was about the religion, not about her. She was upset, which is understandable. She is now alone in the cong, save her friends. She feels rejected by us. She is coming around, slowly. I hear my sister and her are communicating via emails. She is also emailing my daughters.
Your parents will not like hearing what you have to say. But if you feel the need, then you must say it. Just be respectful, yet firm in your decisions. I have never freely given the reasons why I left, they are my reasons. And as an adult I hate explaining myself.
It does help to hear how others have done it. I am an adult and have been living on my own for several years. I also resent having to explain myself and I just want my parents to accept my decisions. However I know from experiance they are very inquisitive and there will be a lot of follow up questions. I am learning to set boundries although I'm not very good at it, and to be honest the thought of talking to them on the phone about this stresses me out a great deal. They know I have not been attending meetings for some time and are not happy about it to say the least. Lately they just seem very cold toward me, not that we talk much anymore... I'm not sure if the chilly conversations we have make it easier or harder. I guess it depends on the day.
You do have your younger sister to think about as well. I will share some of my experience with my step mom.
Through several emails and some discussion in person over about a month, she knew I no longer considered myself a JW. When the realization finally dawned, it was not a nice scene. She said some pretty horrible things (whoever said words can't hurt, were wrong). She even went to her elders (different town, but they knew me) and told them I was apostate, told my younger brother, said she cut me out of the will, never wanted anything to do with me ever again, I was dead to her. Now, this is coming from a woman that has a DF'd sister and neice that she never ever shunned, nor did she shun my younger brother either time he was DF'd, and maintains a relationship with her brother (never been a JW) who is a convicted sex offender.
I told her I was sorry she felt that way, she was closing the door on our relationship, not me, and that I'd always be here for her.
We did not speak for several months. I made no attempt to contact her, nor she me, until one evening she showed up at the door and asked to see me. She apologized, said she did love me and wanted a relationship with me regardless of my beliefs. We have an agreement we do not talk religion, and she has upheld that. No meeting invites, no Memorial invites, no literature.
This book really helped me with my intrusive in-laws:
you are an adult and if you are a christian you will read your Bible and do what it says. not what people tell you to do. if you were married before i do believe the Bible says to reconcile with your first husband or if he is dead you can remarry only in the Lord. very wise advise here! live by your conscience.
BB - Thanks for sharing, I'm glad that you and your mom were able to work it out. I hope that I can have a similar outcome.
Momz - Thanks for the book reccomendation, I ordered a copy on Amazon.
Real one - The problem is that my ex did just about everything but cheat. I had all 3 "grounds for seperation" but not grounds for divorce. I however cannot imagine having to stay single because my first marriage ended through no fault of my own. My parents on the other hand do expect me to be single until "Jehovah takes care of it" and have even joked that I will be "the old cat lady". When the apostle Paul spoke of reasons why a woman can leave her husband, he did not say that she can't remarry. It wouldn't make sense to say that, because back then a woman couldn't live on her own, they couldn't even own land. This is where my parents and I disagree. I'll bet if the WTBTS changed their view on it my parents would too though.
First, know yourself. Know what you want.
Second, separate the advantages from the disadvantages for speaking up. This is easily done by splitting a page in half and listing advantages and disadvantages on either side of the page. Which side is longer?
Third, can you live with the decision? Most people remain "confused" about a hard choice because they don't want to accept the consequences. Brace yourself for the worst and you might just be surprised. Even if the worst does happen, you are prepared for it.
Fourth, emotionally laden content is best done face to face. People get most of their message from facial expression. The undertone of your heart and feelings can be lost in the written word. Let your parents see your pain up close and personal. That means, of course, that you will have to face their pain, too. See step three, above.
Keep working on those boundaries! You are learning.
Prime example of the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger making obstacles that should not be there. Most laws only require a divorce (and that is on any grounds that is legal) to be eligible for remarriage. As I see it, even that is more than is necessary (I don't have a problem with polygamy as long as it is not forced or prearranged against the will of one or more parties the way it was in that LDS sect a while back). I also have no problem with gays and lesbians living together. So long as everyone is up front about the situation and accepts it, there should be no problem.
But, the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger, instead of opposing the secular law, adds to it. First, the person has to divorce on the grounds of adultery, not on grounds of abuse or stagnation. Then they have to prove somehow that adultery was committed. If the innocent party resumes sexual relations after finding out, the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger nullifies the grounds on that offense. All the while, the affected people's dreams are running out of time.
On top of that, they make a fuss if anyone opposes their official doctrine as being too cumbersome (which it is). Anyone that complains that it is too cumbersome or does not allow people's dreams to be made real will be sought by Brother Hounder and labelled an apostate. This is a sure way to bust up existing family ties.
Perhaps the best way to avoid being labelled an apostate would be to just go ahead and commit fornication. Marrying without the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger's consent will do. You will still be disfellowshipped. But it will be for immorality, not "apostasy". From there, do not go to any of the boasting sessions. Do not study any Washtowel littera-trash, except to rebut it. Refuse any "help" from the hounders. Go ahead and celebrate the holidays. At which point they will merely think you are living a debauched lifestyle. And you will still be able to do apostasy without being labelled such.