Separating saucer section...General Order 14. [Borg cubes inbound!--Part II]
You're right. But how? I've been mostly a lamb all my life. How do I become the lion? Wow, that sounds like a movie moment...or at least a pre-boot camp reality TV moment...
I don't know. First you have to get the resolve that your family is the most important thing in life and you aren't going to let anyone destroy it.
Then you have to get the resolve that the elders do not have headship over you and are not annointed with holy spirit. Then you have to get the resolve that the WTBTS is a bunch of lying scumbags.
You should seek out people who are stand up guys. Join a boxing club or a martial arts studio. Find someone to talk to. Start lifting weights.
Boxing coaches are good at putting this ability to take a deep breath and do what has to be done into you.
You need to find some people to talk to in real life, and hang out with. Get off the dammm computer.
Your initial post is full of integrity. No one can take that from you. Other people's opinions are just that.
Life is complicated. You will change your feelings about many things throughout your life. Adjustments are hard to make, but they are unavoidable.
If it is any comfort to you, I know of several young couples who had a sexual relationship before marriage that were just "privately or publicly approved" by the jws. Most couples have sex before marriage, it is a very natural process. It is much more important how you handle your relationship with your wife and children now.
I acknowledged the wrongness of my course. It wasn't even my wish to engage in that behavior with her when it all started. But I'm still at fault for not being the man I should've been.
For engaged people who are in love to make love to each other prior to marriage is a very natural thing. It is none of any of the elders' business. There is no 'wrong' to admit to or to feel guilty about. You were a man, you made love to your fiance. Don't let the WTBTS lay a guilt trip on you about that.
SD7, I left you a PM.
Dude, we've been through this! Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt!
Slow down, calm down, don't make ANY major decisions anytime soon. Lie your a$$ off, if you have to ( I gather, you may have already appreciated that point!)
This is a period in your life in which you might make a lot of mistakes you will deeply regret. Take it slow and consider your steps. There are a fair number of "Witnesses" who are on the fringes of the organization (attend the Memorial and little else) who aren't bothered by the elders because they aren't seen as a threat. Somebody's wife, somebody's husband, etc.
Good Luck and Peace Be With You,
AllTimeJeff--you're one of my favorite posters here. I'm ashamed. A guy has to have a nervous breakdown just to get a post from you. :) But thanks for your thoughts. They're actually, in a lot of ways, the same thoughts I've had in my head but have been unwilling to face. I've thought about asking her to leave for awhile. She might not mind it much. It was her suggestion, after all. But the thoughts I could share would create another post altogether. And I said I wouldn't. But thank you.
SD-7, I am naturally drawn to nervous breakdowns.
I try to be as pragmatic as I can. It's the only way I know that works for me outside of therapy. (actually, therapy helps with the pragmatic point of view.) Reality is what it is, not what we'd like it to be. I don't spend a lot of time questioning how I got to be a born in JW, its just where I found myself when I realized I was in a cult, thats all.
And unfortunately, I married a cult member before I realized this.
I feel bad saying what I did. It is a highly personal decision. Ironically, as I freely offered you my thoughts, I asked for very few people's opinion on my marriage when I left. A combination of circumstances caused me to decide to leave everything. For me, I came to the conclusion that she wouldn't leave, at least in a very long time, and I didn't want to fight a war on 2 fronts that would potentially cost me my mental and emotional well being.
Having said that, leaving her was debilitating for a while. I mourned in my own way.
I guess the only message I meant through all of this is that in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with putting your interests, mental and emotional well being, and potential future, ahead of a marriage where your wife has been hijacked by a cult. That doesn't mean you should leave, it just means that if you decide to do it, then that is a right and honorable decision to make under the circumstances.
Wish you the best, esp for good mental and emotional health! Take care of yourself. :)
Donny--got your PM. Thank you.
Metratron, choosing life--thank you both. But I think it's more likely that she and I will get different decisions handed down. I have a feeling that they will pursue the 'apostate' lead again and that in itself, combined with my not coming forward, might make 'em lean towards DF'ing for me. I'm already there anyway. There's a chance I'll just skip the hearing altogether, simply to keep from potentially violent behavior.
Happy Guy--very true. I should get off the [ham] computer and interact with actual humans. And...well, as for the sex thing, I just say it's wrong because it went against my personal moral code. We weren't really engaged when it happened--actually, my wife made up a bit of a lie about that. Regardless, you are right that it's none of their business, simply because the congregation as a whole is not and never will be clean.
AllTimeJeff--don't worry about it. I didn't take your opinion as law or something. I don't want to leave my wife, nor do I really want her to leave me, certainly not over this. I'd like to find a way to make it work, but it's about to get very ugly. I'm not sure it would be beneficial for her sake, for the kid's sake, for her to be around at this point. But the one thing I just thought about today, as I just went to therapy again at last, was that the elders, if made aware of my heretical beliefs, could tell her she has grounds for separation--grounds she might very well take up and make use of. 'Spiritual endangerment'. (Ironic, because if I was of another religion and wanted to separate from her for attacking my beliefs, she would then be told that my leaving was 'satanic persecution'. Ironic, [fill in the blank about this religion].)
But I married her because I believed--and it was true, for myself--that my love for her was stronger than my love for this religion. Perhaps I naively assumed she might feel the same way, since our entire relationship occurred without the watchful eyes of elders or chaperones. It was love for her that led me to find out about the lies in the first place. Guess it wasn't a two-way street after all. Of course, if she knew what I know, I mean, really saw the evidence, I can't imagine she would react differently than I did.
Doesn't matter now. (sigh)
Elders keep calling at 10:00 at night. One of 'em just called last night, justifying it by his work schedule. I find that curious. You don't seem to have a regard for OUR schedule, as you are calling us this late at night, yet you expect us to have regard for YOURS. Sounds like a reversal of the oft-repeated 'Bible study at 3:00 a.m.' that we all heard about at conventions. We wouldn't ask our Bible study to change their schedule to study with us at 3:00 a.m., would we? Of course not. But once you're in, your personal schedule doesn't matter. Revealing.
The hearing will be upon us soon. Living on even more borrowed time...don't know how I'm going to make it.
I know what I would do. I would confront the "elders" and tell them in no uncertain terms, and trust me they would believe me, that if they usurped my headship one more time, if they caused my wife angst by their lies one more time, that I would make it a personal matter and there would be no place they could go to be safe from me, and they need not call my wife or my home again or visit them again or they would really not like what happened.
Happy Guy, I love this!
Wow. As we're heading into the second half of January, I remember...it's been nearly 3 years since this moment. Hopefully anyone who reads this post will realize it's been 3 years...if not, awk-ward...
I'm remembering it more now because my wife brought it up again, last Saturday night. We were in traffic, heading for my parents' house, and she wanted me to put on my turn signal to get over, but I told her that even though other people were doing that, they weren't driving my car, and neither was she. So we got into a bit of an argument about it, because she didn't appreciate my saying that, and probably it was uncalled for...
But after we got to my parents' house, the argument continued, though not in front of my parents, thankfully (but they may have heard some of it, for all I know, not from my end since I kept my voice neutral). She said to me, "Remember the last time you lost control behind the wheel?" She was referring to this night, the night that this thread was about, when she told the elders everything, turned me in.
(Some people seemed a little confused about the 'charges' at the time I posted this; it was me having (1) had sex with her in the months before our marriage, and she confessed it about two months after we married, and (2) had doubts about the 'faithful slave', which she discovered by reading one of my e-mails to a non-JW.)
I seem to have phrased it wrong in my original post here, as I didn't speed while I was in the parking lot, since I didn't want to have an accident. I waited until I got to the exit of the lot, looked both ways, and then stepped on the gas. As I reminded my wife, (1) at no time was I not in control of the vehicle, (2) at no time did I exceed the posted speed limit (I know because I glanced at the speedometer when I let go of the gas and it had just barely reached 35 mph), and (3) at no time was any other vehicle or object even remotely close enough for me to hit.
But she felt I endangered her and my stepdaughter. After all, she probably had no way of knowing if I was going to just keep going until we hit something or something hit us. Yes, I was wrong for losing control and taking it out on the gas pedal, I've no problem admitting that. But I did not put them in harm's way even despite that mistake. If we'd gotten to the intersection and I showed no signs of slowing down, or if cars had had to swerve out of the way and honk at us, or etc., then yeah, something bad could've happened.
I guess it's sad to say that she still remembers that day quite vividly, my wife. I can't remember ever feeling so enraged in my life. And yet so powerless. It's a pain that was thoroughly burned into my memory.
I wish I hadn't let the hate get hold of me in that moment. Was just reading a really good line in 'Ender's Game', that when your anger is cold, you can use it, but when it's hot, it uses you. ... It troubles me to wonder how often my wife remembers what happened three years ago. And maybe it was the last real and true moment our marriage has even had, a time when at least there was absolute honesty.
When she brought this up on Saturday, she complained that I never showed any emotion to her. What I thought then, but never said to her, was, "You took that luxury from me, three years ago." Since then it's been a facsimile of who I really am. Guarding my feelings and thoughts and often not even sharing with her even things that make me happy, if I can avoid it.
It was the right thing for her to do, as a JW. I guess it was wrong of me to expect someone else to have their own code, something that lived and thrived without JW words to shape it. Everything about it, about who I became once I started on this path 4 years ago of questioning the Society's teachings, it was all wrong. I got strong enough to see it, but maybe too late for it to matter. Maybe not.
I've said too many bad things about my wife here. She's a decent enough woman, just trying to make lemonade with the lemons life gave her. I guess...it was very discouraging to know that she thinks about those events, the confession and its aftermath, maybe just as much as I do. Except without seeing the man who was hurting so much beneath the weight of everything--sleep-deprived, sole-provider of the home, taking care of a daughter that wasn't mine, and hoping to have a peaceful life regardless of beliefs with the woman he loved. Not illogical, really, it's not like she didn't have fears and worries of her own.
That's old history now. I just can't seem to beat old history, though.
I probably have a long memory about being turned in to the elders. But I don't bring it up anymore. It wouldn't be fair to her. The thing I felt the worst about was how much it hurt her to be in that situation. I only wish I'd thought of that before we even had sex the first time. There wasn't enough honesty in me to do the right thing when it mattered most.
But it could be worse. She attends the meetings sporadically, I get to watch more 'Lord of the Rings' when she's out, and we take care of the kids. My son is crawling now. It's amazing just how many diapers it takes to get a kid through early childhood. Anyway, I think the kids have become a comfort and a way to at least put off dealing with marriage issues. At the same time, they have ringside seats to our conflicts--even my stepdaughter wanted my wife to stop when she was yelling at me in the car on Saturday. So it's not so good.
In a month's time, it'll be a year without marital due. We tried once in November and it was painful for her, and that was it. That's not the end of the world. It's not necessarily a reflection of her being mad at me or something. She's just tired and in pain a lot since the pregnancy. I think I have a clearer sense of that now than I did before, so changing perspective has helped in that regard.
I just devote myself to reading and doing my job as a dad and husband and...hoping for a better day. I realize that there's no bad guy here, just two people in an imperfection situation doing the best they can with what they have.
I guess...I've revisited this thread on occasion since 3 years ago, but I had no idea that those events would be brought up again by my wife. It's a bit depressing, but I'll be okay. Just needed to vent about it.
I've been talking to Jamiebowers about this a little, about reading 'Atlas Shrugged' and feeling like my marriage is so similar to Hank Rearden's relationship with his wife Lillian. I haven't finished the book yet, though, I'm almost at the halfway point, so...don't spoil it if you've read the whole thing, please... But I admit it was heartbreaking to read what I felt like were my own feelings so eloquently expressed. I mean, it's not entirely the same, but that sense of being distant and guarded and wondering if she's using my own moral code to torture me, those themes are definitely there. I'm curious to see how the book ends, though. And indeed, how my own, real-life relationship will continue. I wonder what 10 years of this will be like. Or 20. Well, we'll see.
Thankfully, the Borg has long been ousted from this sector, and I'm exploring life as best I can. Mostly through reading. In some ways it feels weird, like I was the kid who quit school only to sit on the front steps and read a book, like that pathetic Milhouse moment from 'The Simpsons' when there's like a home-schooling thing going on and he gets recess? I guess I took on a crutch to replace the one I was ridding myself of, and that was my mistake. I made too many big choices before I learned how to stand up on my own.
At least now I know that I can stand. That there wasn't anything wrong with me. No matter what happens, if I can remember that much, I'll be fine.