Has anyone tried to prevent ex-spouse from training the kids as JWs?

by Michelle365 51 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • ziddina

    These are YOUR children - BRING OUT THE HEAVY ARTILLERY!!! Be a "She-bear" - they are legendary for their fierce protection of their young... At the same time, MAINTAIN YOUR COOL!!

    Repeat after me: "Strong but stealthy... Strong but stealthy... Strong but stealthy... "


  • Michelle365

    Zid you have no idea. He is a master mind manipulator. That's why I'm just now 3 years later going back to adjust the child custody schedule. I couldn't do it when we first split. I was still too easily controlled by him. He still manages to mind f*ck me now but at least I can usually realize it sooner. He's evil. He doesn't mind using the kids as pawns either. I've taken to recording our telephone conversations so that I can listen to them later to see if he screwed me over. It's that bad.

    I will consider your advice about getting the teachers to write something. I appreciate any advice and suggestions. I'm not sure the teachers are aware. The know that we are divorced and that he alone is the JW, but I don't know that they see the effects. The girls usually just go to the "media room" during holiday activities.

  • JWoods
    James- I agree. He will do it against any court order. After all we must obey God as ruler rather than men. Sigh. I honestly don't WANT to fight this out in court. I just don't know if I can save them from such a powerful high control religious cult. I feel so inadequate to do this on my own.
    For example, if you allow the kids to continue to go, how do you handle these types of issues. At this point, I roll over everytime my ex tells them "no". I don't want to force them to do something they will feel guilty about or may get in trouble for. However, that makes me feel as if I'm not making any progess at all. We wanted to watch Harry Potter but Daddy told them they can't. So, do I say "mom's house, mom's rules" or do I say ok, we'll watch Lord of the Rings because for some reason he lets them watch LOTR by not Potter. Grrrrr

    Mom's House Mom's Rules for sure. I think you do need to come out of court with a clearly defined custody schedule, including school days as well as weekends. I am assuming that you have primary custody? That alone would seem more important than some religious ruling.

  • ziddina

    Oh, girl... I could tell you stories about my 'mother' - tho the term, "biological incubator" would be more accurate...

    Sometime when you have time, PM me and I'll tell you a couple of stories that might curl your hair...

    Yeah, I learned 'mind-games' at my mother's knee - literally!! The really great thing, tho, is that I learned them well enough to start using them against HER, too...

    Born to it, you might say... Zid

  • nugget

    My parents were never divorced so I have never had a problem with contact with my father. So despite his constant positive influence I was still drawn into the organisation. My father never spoke ill of the religon and was always respectful of our choices. However now he has confided in me that he thought it was all a load of rubbish. We knew never to press him and his respect for us was reflected in our respect for him.

    You have a problem in that your JW spouse is trying to impose JW rules in your home, this is a tactic that is often used so that the children are still under JW control even when not with their JW parent. You are right to say your house your rules but your children need to understand what this means. For example what you do in your home is your business and their daddy shouldn't be asking questions about what they do with you. It also means that as you are both adults you can decide what happens in your homes, you may not agree with all Daddys choices but you respect his right to have them and he needs to respect you too. You take responsibility for any choices that may be at odds with Daddys rules.

    You need to give your children permission to enjoy themselves and let you take responsibility for what activities you choose. Make it clear that their Dad 's choices last as far as the front door and no further.

    You are in a very difficult position with our children we were very honest and told them that we didn't think the bible condemned birthdays and celebrations in the way we had once thought. That Jehovah loves people and wants us to be happy. JWs will not understand this but this is a decision we have made and they should try new things and see how they feel about it.

    My daughter's recent birthday family celebration has been a great success. She is having a party in a couple of weeks only because her birthday fell on a Monday and I was a bit slow off the mark in getting it all organised. Next time we will make it on her proper birthday. I said to my daughter that whatever she decided in the future we would support her. She said she would never deny her own children birthdays they were too much fun.

    If you can break through the conditioning they quickly see the contrast and break free.

  • Terry

    May I humbly suggest that the best/only way to combat bad ideas is with better ones?

    The "training" one gets from the Watchtower is simply organized bad ideas, irrational thinking and superstition.

    You overcome all that by teaching critical thinking to your kids.

    You can avoid belittling your wife or her efforts by being really matter-of-fact and non-confrontational.

    The trap (and it is a HUGE TRAP) comes from trying to get down in the same mud as the Watchtower and fighting on their turf.

    Well, DON'T!

    Religious ideas are emotionally connected links.

    The links are connected to things people want or fear.

    We fear death and religion links everlasting life promises.

    We desire approval and religion gives us Divine approval IF we accept everything we are told.

    You can easily demonstrate how invisible and fluffy each of these things actually is by appealing to the commons sense bullshit detector every child has.

    Christianity pretends what it has is a product and brand that is superior to all others.

    What it doesn't want you doing is product research behind those claims.

    Show your kids how you do research to check the claims.

    Contrast how science works with how religion comes up with its "facts".

    Science tries to disprove its own claims by applying critical skills and falsifiability. Religion makes claims and pushes the Authority aspect.

    To be skeptical and test things in science is a virtue. In religion it is a lack of "faith" and disloyal and perhaps heresy.

    Point out the history of the Inquisition, the bookburnings and censorship of ideas religion has fostered out of fear of free expression.

    Show how science and religion have clashed and how all progress was IN SPITE OF censorship and authoritarian disapproval.

    See what I mean? Be a good teacher and let their rational minds flourish.

    Religion denies us our right to reality by pretending to another and better super-reality.

    We all have a right to reality.

    Give your children a healthy dose and they will choose the healthy way (mental health!) to go every time.

  • Black Sheep
  • crazyblondeb

    Whatever you decide, I'd at least insist that the kids not be allowed to be baptized until they are 18.

    That's if they do get involved in the jw's...

  • Heartbreaker

    Well, my ex is just taking me back to court after being divorced for over a decade. The children in question with this ex are almost emancipation age. He was DF'd as was I, I came back, he didn't. He never stopped me from raising the kids as a JW, and IF HE HAD, I would have dug my heels in out of pride and just because I was pushed. I wouldn't say I'm a manipulator or mind f**k type person (he may disagree) but I would have fought him, because you are supposed to...ya know? So tread carefully.

    If you can get it in the courts that he can't do certain things with the kids, that doesn't mean he'll obey it, and it's expensive to go to court over things that are hard to prove like "they didn't get to make Valentines and they were embarrassed" when it takes like 5 months to go to court and it's already Halloween by then.

    Just BE the example of what you want your kids to be. Don't bow down to, be irritated with, or degrade your ex at all, because then it becomes a me against him...and you don't want to create even MORE of a reason for them to choose. Just be you, be their role model, take the higher road, and teach them to think. Anything else, you won't be sure to win anyway, it's stressful, expensive, and potentially distancing for your daughters and yourself. Being the bigger person, you'll win either way, you'll be able to live with yourself, and your kids will see by how you live, love and laugh that life is worth living on the "other side" of JW's.

  • jamiebowers

    Yes, you can teach your children to think critically, but the fact remains that they are very young and being subjected to harsh and unnecessary guilt by their father. How many times have people written on this board how damaging and embarrassing it was for them as children to be removed from class during celebrations? And what's next...a ban on sports, clubs, friends, blood transfusions if necessary? If I were you, I'd fight tooth and nail to keep this nutjob cult member, and that's what he is, from damaging your kids any further. Why not have an attorney appointed to represent the children and then have them examined by a child psychologist to make a report to the court about the guilt and turmoil their father is putting them through and will continue to put them through until they become mindless drones like himself.

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