It's not the same to make NEW FRIENDS, I want to keep my OLD FRIENDS - Am I right?

by BonaFide 26 Replies latest jw friends

  • Amazing


    I did both ... First, I got my family out of the JW organization, then I rekindled friendships I had prior to becoming a JW, and then, I helped out a couple of old JW friends, and then, also made new friends from among ex-JWs and never-JWs. It takes time ... but life goes on, and eventually new friends become old friends. My lifelong best friend - a Southern Baptist - showed great care and understanding when I left the JWs. We have been friends for 54 years in spite of our religious differences. I am Catholic, but our friendship transcends these differences.

  • carla

    Your new friends will develop into your 'old' friends, the closeness, private jokes, and you will develop a history with them. It may take time. It is a terrible situation ex jw's are in, but on a plus side think of this way- you can reinvent yourself to whatever you wish with your new friends. If you had a few things you always wished to change a little but couldn't because of jw judgementalism or whatever, now is the time! Best of luck, carla

  • allelsefails

    I understand. It is one on the reasons I'm still "in" too. My family first, but also my friends. I have a few who love me no matter what, but they are torn - "loyalty to Jehovah" = not listening to me. One of my very best friends was PO in my cong for all six years I served as an elder. He is humble, funny, loving, Christlike in his attitude. I love him. If I am DF'ed or DA'ed he would be torn to shreds. Some who who are in are just of average intelligence. (I know that sounds arrogant, but it is true.) They can't understand the issues involved anhymore than they understand unified field theory, calculous, astrophysics, etc..... They have found an emotionally satisfying way to serve God and can't understand anything beyond that. I hope youfind a way to seperate from oppression, and still maintain relationships that are important to you.

  • BonaFide

    Thanks everyone, here's hoping.



    Bonifide..Sometimes it`s just not possible to keep old friends..It`s even more difficult if your an X-JW.......Give it some time..Your going to come across people you wish you had met a long time ago..I`ve met many like that here and in real life.............................OUTLAW

  • Scott77

    Though was first sceptical about BonaFide's intention, but now I understand the reason why some wants to 'stay-in'. I think , several factors such as the depth and extent of family tie, social contacts, epathetic feelings, length of one's service to the organisation, psychological and emotional make up, a desire to save one's friends and others, and the list can be endless. Similarly, those that do want to 'stay-out' right away such as ' godessRachel' have their own reasons such as wanting to relive or live a new life, savour the new found freedom, help their family and friends by example of living a life different etc. BonaFide, I got you but ... be careful. Friends can betray you and in the end, may not be able to succesfully 'snatch out your bests from fire' Its very tricky and delicate. Dude, good luck.


  • mindmelda

    Real friendship transcends differences, even significant ones at times. Witnesses rarely get a chance to learn that valuable lesson because to be a friend to most of them, you have to believe everything that they believe. No, they want the world to be one uniform construct of thought, devoid of individuality and the perfectly human right to disagree and dissent.

    Sad, isn't it? They are never getting a chance to be the tolerant and loving people that they could be. That's not tolerance, and its definitely not love.

    I say "some" because I do know a few Witnesses who are kind and loving in themselves enough to rise above the ridiculous and unfounded association limits the WTS rules put on them.

    The other day, I heard a pastor on TV apply that scripture about "Friendship with the world" in James 4:4 to communication and being true to Christ's personality in the way you deal with others. Not as legalism about neutrality and politics. Communication and getting along in spite of differences is the context in which James was written. It's all about how to get along amongst ourselves and with everyone if you're Christian. Nothing else.

    I burst into tears because I had used that scripture and others as a basis for hate, discrimination and fear for so long. I'm done with hating. I have no more room in my heart for it.

    You will find new friends and I hope you keep some of your old ones.


    Scott77..Bonafide is no different than a lot of my fellow board members here..They still attend meetings..ect..ect.......My buddy Gumby went back so he could be with his family.....He`s still one of the crew here..He did what he had to do..We all still care about him...................................................OUTLAW

  • jws

    I find that as I've grown older, I have less time to commit to friends (wife, kids, work, house, etc). It's harder to spend the time to make a new friend. It's not like being a kid, having no responsibilities yet, and hanging out with friends a LOT. You don't have a lot of time to get to know new people.

    It's very comfortable to have those old friends. The ones you're already established with and can just pick up with when you get together. You don't have to commit the time to deepening those friendship like you do with new ones.

    I also appreciate having that common JW background. But I no longer have any of my old JW friends. I do still have my brother who also dropped out of the JWs. When I need a live face to talk with about those things, there's nobody who shares more of my childhood and all of those experiences with me than my brother. For other JW things, there's always this board.

    I don't know what to suggest. I know that many of those friends wouldn't be your friends if you left the JWs. You can say that doesn't make them true friends. But that depends on your definition of friends. Being able to reminisce about old times? Just being able to hang out? If your needs are simple and they satisfy those needs, why replace them?

    Some of my oldest and dearest friends, I don't share my deep thoughts and concerns with. When we get together, we hang out. We watch football, go out for beers, talk about what's happening with people we know, etc.

    New friends can replace some of that. But it's going to take the rest of your life to build up the same amount of common ground that you have with your current friends.

    But the problem is this: You are already flirting with trouble in your congregation. It may be that you could end up being labeled an apostate in a year or so and you'll lose all of those friends. In the long run, it's better to start disengaging from them and replacing them with others who will not leave you based on things like this.

    Without planning it that way, that's what I did. I made worldly friends throughout school. When it became time to leave the JWs, I had other friends. It wasn't as much of an emotional disaster. And I didn't end up feeling the need to come back due to friendships. Family was a different story. But I had other friends.

  • Narkissos

    "Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age, and so on..."

    Sarcastic quote of course, but if we have mindlessly preached that to others (especially without experiencing any of it when we became JWs, as is generally the case of the "born-in" or even "family converts" as myself)... what goes round comes round I suppose.

    The prospect of losing all my JW friends overnight was the most awful part of the exit -- although eventually I didn't lose all, I kept one. No, it will never be the same: you were granted one youth, and you spent it where you spent it... Additionally, depending on your personality, the emotional scar may prevent you from committing yourself as fully or deeply with "new friends" as you did with the old ones. You can afford just so many heartbreaks in a lifetime.

    But you certainly gain something else. Which may have the taste of loneliness and exile, but where you'll find the past is not lost -- only past. Is it worth it, I don't know, when you come to think about it it is usually too late to step back -- as the experience of feeling "strange" to your old friends even though they don't shun you (yet) ominously attests.

    "If you can stay, stay; if you have to, go," Baudelaire wrote in the last poem of Les fleurs du mal. Don't leave just because you think the grass might be greener elsewhere. But if you have to, looking back is useless.

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