I didn't know what a JW was, until I fell for one

by headoverheels 40 Replies latest social relationships

  • sherah
    Any response to my original 3 questions would be greatly appreciated as I contemplate the above mentioned: 1) how common are these behaviors among JW men 2) Are they likely to pass and 3) is there anything I can do to nurture his growth and transistion besides just leave him?

    1. In my experience, most JW-men are not angry or verbally abusive. Again, Mrs Jones and Mentallyfree gave their perspectives.

    2. There is an adjustment period when a person leaves a cult but the traits your BF is exhibiting have more to do with his personality and not the religion. Check out Steve Hassan's book Combatting Cult Mind Control to give you an idea of his post-JW mindset.

    3. Sounds like you should lovingly recommend anger management and cognitive behavior counseling to your BF. If he is not receptive, you are taking a huge risk with someone who displays the traits you describe.

  • dinah
    You're about half a step from "he only beats me cause he loves me!"

    Exactly!!! Blaming his behavior on you is a HUGE warning sign. My ex started out with the verbal stuff. It escalated VERY quickly. It can get there before you even really notice what happens. One day he tells you to STFU, the next day he has you against a wall by your neck. He would always say if you would have just shut your mouth, I wouldn't have done that. Soooo, that meant that I couldn't disagree with him without him getting violent.

    Read the signs of abuse that Mrs Jones posted. That list is TRUE, and if you see ANYTHING that reminds you of your man----RUN! You can't fix him. I tried to fix my ex. I thought love could conquer all. Love almost got me killed.

  • upnorth

    His out bursts are the exact opposite of the "training" he's received. I'd guess he's more likely to escalate they mellow out.

  • jamiebowers
    1) how common are these behaviors among JW men

    Bad behavior as you've described probably isn't common among jw men, but when it does happen, jw women are highly encouraged to "wait on Jehovah". Leaving a marriage due to anything other than adultery leads to never being able to remarry unless proof of adultery is obtained, so abusers of either gender have their spouse over a barrell.

    2) Are they likely to pass

    Abusive behavior as you've described doesn't pass on its own, whether or not the abuser is a jw.

    3) is there anything I can do to nurture his growth and transistion besides just leave him?

    Yes. Let him know that you will not tolerate disrespectdul treatment from him and encourage him to get therapy. For help in leaving he cult and being shunned, refer him here.

  • Lieu

    Sheesh!!! This guy is only your BF right? He curses you already? Are you crazy?!!

    Kick him to the curb before you become his punching bag. [I'm serious.]

    He has zero respect for you.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    The only hope for you to help him, is for you to learn enough about the teachings of the cult to be able to free him from it mentally.

    But .... and this is a big but..... even then, you still have to understand the psychology of cults, and how to extract their victims without scaring them off. Many of us have tried and failed, and that includes those of us brought up in the cult, with extensive knowledge of its teachings.

    And ... even if you pull that off, there is no guarantee that the cult is the underlying problem.

    Many a new bride has gotten to the hotel with their new ring to get their first beating. The warning signs are there now. Run away.

    What worries me too, is that you may not be telling us the whole story, so if there is something else, spit it out.


  • frigginconfused

    I absolutley dissagree with leaving him. You have every right to stand up for yourself and not allow him to be abusive. Reason with him and explain that behavior is not ok. Even if it were provoked, he still has a responsability to be a man and not take advantage of you. The JW's have clouded his reality about women. He needs to move beyond that submissive crap and see you as his equal.

    He is probably going through alot of turmoil inside. Leaving the WTS is a scary thing. He thinks if he is wrong it will mean loss of everlasting life. So stand by your man and be there for him. If he attacks then wait till he is calm and address the situation. If he persists to be abusive you have to leave. If you were to stay you would be enabling him and he would never get better. But just leaving now would be abandoning him. If you really love him give him a shot.

    Balance is the key.

  • Lozhasleft

    I understand your desire to stay if you love him so much ...I remember being in your shoes...I stayed for nearly 30 years and kept trying to 'love' him better...it failed miserably and cost our children the security and happiness of a normal father too....think very carefully while you're trying to help him and try to be objective....the worrying thing for me is that he wants you to be in a 'passive' role before he can show you love....thats not a good sign...you have the absolute right to be YOU and not some toned down version to suit anyone...

    Loz x

  • carla

    sees the flaws before the beauty---That type of negativity is common. I know this from personal experience, my jw become one later in life and the changes were quite profound. Mine once saw beauty before flaw as well as the good in people before passing judgement. Become a jw and that all changes. Sorry if you took offense about thinking so little of yourself. Here you are a seemingly caring individual who wants to help him through a rough transition, a nice quality. His abusive nature is just that- abusive the jw aspect is just an added thing to deal with and I am telling you you have no idea what you are getting into if you are unaware of jw's doctrines, miliue, unwritten rules, mind control/thought reform, what is a cult and so forth. Do you really want to spend an enormous amount of time researching all of these things trying to help someone who may just go back to the cult anyway? do you want to invest so much time and effort or is it possible to think of finding someone who shares some of the same values, likes/dislikes as you? someone who can have fun without constant guilt. He needs to heal himself first you can't do it for him.

    His family is shunning him now, for some the loss of family is too great and they go back. Should you decide to stay and invest your heart and time in this person are you prepared for what comes next if he goes back? If he decides to leave the cult both physically and mentally are you prepared to deal with his family shunning him, you and any possible children?

    Have you suggested he seek counseling? visiting an ex jw board such as this? if he absolutely refuses because the boards are filled with nothing but lying evil ex jw apostates that should be a huge red flag to you.

    People here are telling you things because they have been through them. I know when I first came on the boards and thought some of the answers were a bit harsh or I thought 'our love' was different they just don't understand but the fact is they gave it to me straight as painful as it was.

  • mindmelda

    My experience is that if a man is insecure and angry at the world, and taking it out on you in some, he will simply USE a religion to try and justify it, but that's probably not why he's insecure and angry.

    Some people are attracted to JWs because they're depressed, controlling, or mad at the world and it seems to offer them a solution to that, but it doesn't change things too much and underneath it all, they're still angry and controlling sorts of people. Some learn a veneer of civility or piety that they slap over that, but it's not their true self. It may just be that he was always an angry and controlling person about some things.

    One thing I don't know is if he was always like this or he just started being an occasional surly bastard to you since he left the JWs. If he was always like this anyway, except around other Witnesses when forced by social pressure to make nice nice, then he's got some serious personality problems.

    If he's just been like this since he quit being a Witness, it could be a transition of sorts, where he's just mad at them and the world and taking it out on you because you're handy. Don't be so handy. Just leave the room or the house and say something like "When you decide not to treat me like crap, we can talk, but until then, don't talk to me like that, you're being an ass." If you can't assert yourself that way without feeling scared or insecure about consequences, you really do have a problem and he's genuinely abusive and you need to make a decision about how much of this you're willing to take.

    My husband went through being a grumpy butt at times when we left off being Witnesses...he was pretty disillusioned and pissed off at them and the world and would occasionally get surly with me, nothing horrible, just "Leave me ALONE!" and go brood or play computer games for a few hours or go piddle in the garage alone, not wanting to talk right away.

    "Shut up" is a bit rude, but sounds like he just can't take any more talking at the moment more than actually outright abusive (although he's being unpleasant, obviously). "Fuck off" is crossing a bit of a line for me, but it all sounds like ways to distance himself, in various degrees, and that's a more extreme way of distancing yourself.

    I'd want to know why he's working so hard at distancing you at times. There has to be a reason. It may not have anything to do with the Witness thing, it could just be something to do with him.

    One thing I try to remember that most men rarely want to talk out their problems like most women do, at least, not at first. They want to brood, then fix them in some way, but most men tend to think talking about a problem is fairly ineffective until they've sat and thought on it a while. The "shut up" and ignoring you at times could simply be that, he's wrestling with something big and isn't ready to talk about it yet or it could be that he's got too many "issues" to be successful at a relationship with ANYONE until he gets it all sorted out.

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