I am a lifelong JW, a born-in true believer for most of my life. My wife is much the same. Eventually I had the awakening and have been pulling away from the religion, even though we still attend meetings. I am willing to keep up appearances if it means saving my relationship with my wife and our close family. No kids of our own.In the last couple months I was surprised by how "apostate" my wife has been with other family members. Outright condemnation of the Governing Body as just men who can't possibly have a direct channel with God based on their track record. Even more stunning is her candid admission that she can't relate to Jehovah when she sees God's wavering justice with David and other untouchables in the Bible. She has little or no respect for God and the organization. Enough said, we should be writing our DA letters right? No. We sat down and had a heart-to-heart. It's been over a month of missed meetings. But the hook is still in her. She can't throw away the hope of living forever. All reason and opinion against God and or the organization evaporates to leave a staunch faith in what (?), I don't know. Strangely she is completely uninterested in doctrine. When confronted with 607 vs 587, early Russell crazyisms, UN, whatever there is no traction. She's never been a book worm, but I have no success trying to reason with the printed word. Ironically she says that since the FDS changes all the time, doctrine doesn't matter much to her. Is this literally the last straw for her? I feel like I should be delicate, after all this is trampling on her natural desire for life. This is her world view, but can a such raw wish survive? How would it affect her to have that stripped away while she is still clutching at it? Does she need a catalyst, a line in the sand to snap her into reality? And is that something that I should orchestrate, or let time cause to happen? Lastly, she's had bad personal experiences with "apostates." Unfortunately her experience has been with a couple classic disgruntled self-destructing former witnesses. So when the Watchtower says that's what all apostates are, she believes it. That means I tread lightly on the topic. She is understands that I don't believe JW teachings anymore, but cannot abide any sort of activism (which she calls "ranting") from ex-members. I am asking your help, especially if you are a woman or understand this phase of JW jettison.
Posted on behalf - ladies, please share your thoughts and comments
I would suggest that you let her go in her own time. Obviously she's having her own doubts, but she may back off completely if the world outside seems too shocking.
I can relate to the disinterest in doctrinal matters. Personally, even when I was a practicing JW I didn't much care about doctrinal issues. Sometimes for a woman its the daily details that matter most. When I felt that life as a JW wasn't working that's when I got out. Once you realize that the way of life of a JW is screwed up, its obvious that the doctrinal stuff probably is too. So there it doesnt' really seem necessary to go into the ins and outs of doctrinal matters.
I can also relate to the staunch faith in....well....something. Its just all too much for some of us to let go of everything in one big bang. First I realized life as a JW was not any better than life in the world...that was shock enough for me. Then I realized that life outside was actually better. Then I decided all the other JW beliefs were probably not as accurate as I had thought. Then I began to question the Bible itself. Now I am even open to the question of whether God exists at all, and I have to admit to thinking that much of 'Babylon the Great' is pretty fantastic actually! But it was a slow process over about 3 years. At first I just had the idea that I was taking a break from meetings to sort out my thinking and might go back later if I decided that was what I wanted. Now I can't imagine that ever happening.
Some of us are slower than others!
I totally agree here. It takes time. You were born and raised in it, and it took you time to reject it. For her, something has to click where she says "Wait a minute." Then you start looking at other doctrines, and dissecting them. Nobody else can do it for her. Consider it a rite of passage that she has to encounter.
I think it's a lot like family.
Family can say pretty much say anything they want to about and even to each other but if an outsider does the same then they will come to their defense.
I think the same is true for your wife. She views the borg like family.......she's not happy with it but she'll still defend it. That means you have to be very careful about what you say. If she brings it up follow her line of conversation and just gently hint at things but not all the time........
I was df'd so I was cut off from the borg and my family before I got rid of any beliefs I might still have had........for a long time I didn't want to think about what I believed and even yet I still have no interest in doctrines or particularly in the bible.............if you and your wife da then you will most likely lose some or all of the contact with that family that you have in the borg.............this may also be in the back of your wifes mind and another reason why she might be trying to convince herself why she should still be a jw..............that's a lot to lose and it's scary to think about changing your whole life.............
I guess I think you should go easy............if you can lead a conversation but make it seem like she got there herself then something might just click......soft sell.
I totally agree with wavvy and vikesgirl on this one. It IS a right of passage that can't be hurried. I know through my own personal experience that the light does get brighter, (to coin a phrase) and the jigsaw pieces of life fall into place. Perhaps someday she'll wonder why other christians aren't preaching a paradise earth message, then maybe she'll start to connect the dots and think the disciples weren't preaching a paradise earth message either. But that takes time and certain thought processes. Its only then she might be ready to find out what hope they were preaching, and in whose name. But a month after I left, if someone had asked me what i believed my hope for the future would be, I'dve said living forever on a paradise earth too.
It took me a while to figure this out but once the penny dropped........
I like Ray Franz'z take on this, he said
"Corollary to this emphasis on "government" the Watchtower Society, at least from 1935, has developed what one French writer described as a gospel of "spiritual materialism" that is, an appeal to materialistic desires wrapped in spiritual terms. This is done by constant stress on the prospect of soon being able to enjoy endless material and physical benefits". ISOCF pg 537
Thanks for posting PW prot,
I am in a similar position with my wife,she never did bother with doctrine, and still keeps saying "What if they are right" ,she said it just this morning.
I suggested to her that when she gets home from work she reads through "LennyinBluemont!" ' s post about it not being about the theology but about the character of the organization. I am hoping this will start her on the journey of examining things for herself,whatever I say will not really convince her I am sure,she must do it for herself.
I will let you know what her reaction is, but you could suggest your wife read this too,and if she starts to examine things she too may be able to leave the fantasy hopes of JW's behind,and get a "hold on the real life"
All the best,
p.s I hope the above is useful to your friend,PW, it is difficult, those who have been born in have usually had a lifetime of not thinking for themselves.
What I have increasing become aware of is that for most witnesses , especially 2 nd / 3 rd gen , it isn’t about God , doctrine or anything else. Yes – they hear the teaching at the meetings and maybe do a bit of personal study , but it is all mood music – a bit like the background music at the supermarket. It means nothing , as they get on with their lives. Even most pioneers and those who do a lot of quickbuilds etc are engrossed in the activity rather than out of a devout worship or devotion to God.
What does stick , however , is an almost paranoid fear of Armageddon imminently happening. This is almost on a subconscious level but it does instill a short term fear. Social ties are very strong as well , particularly for women. These act as strong disincentives to permanently leave.
Your friend is already in severe danger of being DFd anyway , as she is being vocal about the FADS. I would guess in a few months she will leave anyway.
Absolutely...let her have time....but hell you are lucky....if she speaks against da slave...that is the MOST apostate thing that one can do in the congo...you may want to tell her to shut up on that one as she can get quickly dfd....if you have missed meetings for a month.....DO NOT GO BACK WITH HER!!!........if she goes by herself, it will be much harder for her....you dont have to "take a stand", just say you really dont feel like going tonight...or maybe even feel that well as you are tired. you may say later you really dont miss the meetings and are just as happy not going...i really dont know why she wants to go since all the material is from da slave she does not believe is directed by god???
and new thought......find a way to let her realize she can have her life eternal hope without jw....all other religions have the same hope after all...mostly heaven or reincarnation...but still a hope
............good luck you lucky bastard!!.....my wife will not allow ANY questioning of ANYTHING nor does she want to.........oompa
password... your role here is to positively support your wife. "Begin With The End In Mind" (and by 'end' I don't mean the end of the world.) What is it that you wish to accomplish? Have you read Steven Hassan's books? I also like Stephen Covey's works as he looks at what people need in order that they may have a fulfilled life and talks about True North Principles.
I agree with those that say the fear of Armageddon and the fear of having ever lasting life taken away are the mechanisms that keep people 'in' this cult.... and also keep them coming back! Perhaps you can start reading the Bible with her, outside of the 'doctrines' and publications since she doesn't seem to be hung up on these. When you read a part of the Bible, ask her what SHE thinks it means or what her first thoughts are that come to mind.
In some ways, JWs are addicts. They have been manipulated into believing that this is the real deal. Perhaps an exit-counselor would be the best thing for the both of you.
What are your plans in life together? Do you have any? Perhaps you could start making some. Start getting your wife 'forward' looking. In my experience, the JWs in my family never do much of this because the Big A is coming 'soon'.
Another big problem I see with JWs is that they believe that 'service to Jehovah' is what has been defined by the WTS. Perhaps you could talk to your wife about this. Ask her what HER definition of 'works' is. Does she really believe handing out false doctrines in the form of Watchtower and Awake! magazines is what God wants of his people? If everyone did this as the WTS would like, who would be healing sick people (doctors, nurses, psychologists, etc), feeding us (farmers), educating and teaching us (family members, teachers, professors, researchers, authors, etc), transporting goods to us (truckers, distributors), producing and repairing machinery (machinists, metal workers, mechanics, etc)? I see all of this, and much more, as 'works'.
I truly find that the WTS creates disabled thinkers. They shutdown the JWs abilities to think, and therefore, act, for themselves. What is needed is to overcome this and create enabled thinkers.
As a woman, I think if the only thing holding her on is the "new system" thats then where you start. Have you seen Lance's video on "paridise earth"? If you cant get her to watch it, take note of all the holes in that idea and slowly bring them up to her. I NEVER knew or thought about that "Paridise earth" is NOT in the bible. It was shocking to me, just as much as it was shocking to me when the witnesses told me the trinity and hail mary wasn't in the bible. NO MORE SHOCKS FOR ME!
My husband left first as well, and in trying to stick to my position of staying..the house of cards fell. Sounds like you're really doing a great job, but however you present it, you have to make sure it almost feels to her like she's figuring it out herself... good LUCK!