KH 1st timer, could use some advice

by rathernotsay 61 Replies latest jw friends

  • rathernotsay

    Hey people,

    I am soon going into a KH for the first time and I could use some advice around etiquette etc. I know next to nothing besides the fundamental beliefs of JWs, I personally dont believe in any religion, and that stance isnt ever going to change, however I don't want to come across as rude or disrespectful.

    The reason I am going is my wife is JW, is fairly devout and has been the majority of her life. This has been the cause of many arguments, particularly around our kids (aged 2&4). She was recently unfaithful, however we have decided to try and work things out (I have another thread on here about all that if you want to know more). I feel that part of us working on our marriage is for me to better understand her religion. I have purposefully remained ignorant to it, ie having never even stepped foot inside a KH. But I now feel differently, I think that I do need to understand (not believe) more, and I feel as if I should know who these people are (ie elders), that seem to have a bearing on my children, wife, marriage and ultimately me. As it stands now I wouldnt know if I passed them in the street. I should probably add here she is currently on reprove.

    She wants me to come to the memorial, she thinks that would be a better one for me to come to for whatever reason.

    Anyway, some advice would be appreciated as I am still very green around the whole thing.


  • stuckinarut2

    First thing: hello and welcome to the forum!

    Going to the hall? Well, you first have to leave your logical thinking and reasoning brain at the door! Don't try and make sense of some of the doctrines....

    You will be warmly greeted by "conditional friends" who will make your feel all warm and fuzzy...but be assured that this is only conditional on you "progressing" as a witness...otherwise they will drop you like a ton of bricks.

    my main concern is that it sounds like your wife is feeling "guilted back" into the witness cult mindset due to her conduct.

    Reassure her that you and her can build a string relationship WITHOUT having to be witnesses or part of a religious group!

    if she gets "re activated" you will find that your relationship will have many more people involved with it! You will be part of a figuratively 'incestuous' group of people prying into your lives....

  • NeverKnew

    Hi Rathernotsay...

    Non-JW here... my recommendation based on my experience?... They "play nice" for the Memorial. If you want to really know what kind of things your kids are hearing - you gotta catch them off guard and go to a regular service. Even better - go to a service at a Kingdom Hall where nobody knows you... show up late so nobody can talk to you about what made you show up or who you're connected to and leave early.

    OH, the hate speech... It just doesn't stop.

  • rathernotsay

    Thanks s.i.a.r,

    Yeah I dont think ill bother trying to make too much sense of the doctrines. Its all rather nonsensical to me.

    Your point about conditional friends is an interesting one. As she has been a witness since I have known her (besides being breifly defellowshiped when she was pregnant with our first), I have gotten to know a few JWs that she is friends with outside the hall. Most of which have been great and fun people to be around, having barbecues and beers etc. They dont seem to judge me and dont put any pressure on me to become a JW.

    However since the cheating I have been checking her phone at night and found theres a couple I have had little to do with that have invited her to dinner but asked that I not come as its only going to be JWs there. Particularly one that I have since found out is married to one of the elders. Not that this bothers me much of course but its just nice to know where people stand.

  • stuckinarut2

    Also, take control of all conversations.... Otherwise you will seem like a dear in the headlights as they try o "encourage you and get to know you".

    Do not share too much about your circumstances...turn the questions back on to them.

    Eg: they will say things like:

    " hi friend, it's sooooo nice to see you here! Where are you from, are you local, are you studying the bible with anyone, do you have a seat, do you need a new bible, can I show you around, are these your kids, what do you do for work blah blah......"

    Stop them before they take control of the direction of the conversation by being polite and then turning your attention elsewhere.....don't get too involved in a deep conversation.

  • rathernotsay

    Hi neverknew,

    Thatd probably a good idea, however where we live in would find it hard to go to a hall where noone knew me. We live in rural new zealand and there are only 3 halls here. One my wife attends, one her sister and brother inlaw attend and the other her parents attend. Also as she has moved between the 3 I know people from each. Not a bad suggestion though. Thanks

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    This board is a gathering place for XJWs, most of whom believe that The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is POISON.

    You want advice? Take your wife to dinner and a movie instead of wasting your time at a Kingdom Hall.

    As for proper Kingdom Hall protocol, keep your rectal sphincter clenched tight at all times!

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    Don't. Do. It.

    By taking the first step inside your wife will keep egging you on to go further. Then, should you choose to bail out, your relationship with her will worsen. As for working things out with your wife remember, it is she who owes you not you who owes her.

    Don't remain ignorant of the religion. Quite the contrary, learn as much of it as you can stomach then you'll have a solid foundation upon which you can have a meaningful discussion with her. I suggest that you read Crisis of Conscience to get a good overview of what these people are really like. Also, keep reading this site.

  • rathernotsay

    I understand why people are telling me not to go. Personally I agree that it is nonsense. For example I know she is putting the infidelity down to satan, and is now patting herself on the back for beating him. Bloddy ridiculous really. However I have never stopped her going and dont feel that I have that right.

    When I said that I would come along I made it explicitly clear that I am not going to start studying or believing. She just laughed and said she knows that and wont even bother trying to convince me otherwise. It really is more about me learning who these people are particularly the elders.

  • nonjwspouse

    However since the cheating I have been checking her phone at night and found theres a couple I have had little to do with that have invited her to dinner but asked that I not come as its only going to be JWs there. Particularly one that I have since found out is married to one of the elders

    This seems to me to be quite wrong. Not inviting you is like setting up a wall. This seems like something you should not allow ( as a man and you can be the "head" of the marriage and all) You xJWs out there, correct me if I am wrong but this sounds like a very bad idea for him to be ok with her going to dinner with just JWs ( ones he doesn't even really know) without him.

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