I've been visiting this forum everyday, reading and waiting patiently for approval to post. I've never been a JW. My husband and daughter are. Until I found the wealth of information on the internet concerning the WTS I felt so alone. The divide in my home is as wide as a canyon. I had no idea when I married my husband what the JWs were about. He had not attended the KH since he was a child and while we dated he celebrated everything. I had heard once that they were a cult but I figured they're not the Waco or Jonestown kind, and they seem to be good citizens so let them be. Then my daughter started inhaling their doctrine thanks to my mother-in-law (she's my stepdaughter so I had no say). Shortly after her baptism she was comitted to a mental ward, screaming at the "sinful thoughts in her head", paranoid that everyone was looking at her and kept saying, "I don't want to perish". I wanted to tell my husband and mother-in-law that they were killing her with their doctrine. My daughter is a beautiful 16 year old girl. Before the WTS got a hold of her she was strong, confident, opinionated, goal oriented, ambitious. Now she's taking antipsychotics and barely speaks above a whisper. I'm angry at what this cult has done to my daughter, to my relationship with my husband, to our family. The happy home I grew up in did not prepare me for this. I can't stand the alienation. My husband barely communicates with me and when he does it's only to find fault with me. You would think I'm being shunned even though I've never been a JW, never studied with them, don't attend their meetings, don't read their magazines and have never shown interest in their beliefs. Why can't we just be left alone to love each other. I know in an instant if he had to chose, I would lose. He's a good man, a good father and I love him. But honestly, I know he loves the WT more. I know it's a long post, if you've read through it all thank you. So glad I get to be a part of the discussions on this board.
My First Post
Welcome aboard....... moving story
Welcome! Your story is sad, but even sadder, it's not unique. The WT divides families as a matter of course. It IS a cult.
Welcome today, I kinow exactly how you feel. ! have three daughters that chose the WT over their father and this has been going on for thirty years.
Hang in there and hope for better things to come. Glad you are here.
Good advice from Jeff Herring:
For years Ann Landers had a great response to readers that asked if she thought that they should get a divorce. Ann's question was:
"Are you better off with him or without him?"
Sure cuts to the chase doesn't it?
A slightly different question
Often in my counseling/coaching office and in my writing, I like to take that question and turn it on its head. The best way I can demonstrate this is by offering the following quote by Richard Needham about marriage:
"You don't marry one person; you marry three: the person you think they are, the person they are, and the person they are going to become as the result of being married to you."
That should stop you in your tracks.
What this question suggests is that instead of asking the question "Am I better off with or without my partner?" we would do well to ask "Is my partner better off with or without me?"
Some tough questions
How has your partner benefited from being with you? Have they grown into the best possible version of themselves? Are you helping them grow or are you in the way?
If you really want to go out on a limb and get gutsy, you could ask your partner to answer these questions for you.
Your husband certainly thinks he would be happier with a JW spouse doesn't he? If he only had the guts to tell you that, then you could move on without guilt. I know getting a JW into marriage counseling is a long shot, but it is the only real option I see for any meaningful change. What you husband is doing to you is a form of spousal abuse- good luck.
Welcome to the forum!
The most frustrating thing about being the position you find yourself in is dealing with the effects of the Watchtower's unfair characterizations of nonbelievers. Because are a non-believer you are labeled as a part of "satan's sinful world." Your feelings, thoughts and opinions are always second the "the truth", i.e. the fundamental doctrines and practices of the Watchtower Society and Jehovah's Witnesses. You can never be right in their eyes because you refuse (for whatever reason) to accept this truth.
Some people have pretended to be interested in becoming a Witness so as to gain the trust of friend/spouse/child/ect., opening a way for deeper, and usually critical, discussion of the religion. Others have been direct and confrontational. Some people walk away from these situations, feeling that they no longer have the energy or power to make a difference. Other people remain stuck, do nothing, and suffer. Some are even able to make things work, despite the differences that are present.
The point is that you have many options. I would advise you to show patience, find some external support (this board helps!), and realize that you may eventually have some tough choices to make. Be prepared for the worst, but remain optimistic for progress.
today - very moving story. im sorry to hear the WTS has gotten such a strong hold on your family and ruined yet a life. My girlfriend is (was) a jw, but she went in the other direction. Its hard and frustrating, and i wonder what it would have done to us if neither of us had moved.
I dont have the life experience to advice you what to do, though i think professional help would benefit you both if you could make him agree to it. It sound like you must live with quite a lot of abuse; would you characterize your husbands family as functional or dysfunctional, the JW thing aside?
The book i found the best to read was Stephen Hassans "releasing the bonds" - it describe how one should approach family or friends who are in a cult to help them the most. You can also read the psychology and cult section on freeminds.org, where you can also read the book.
And dont be afraid to write a long post, its your life story!
TODAY- Welcome to the board friend. Nice to have you here. I'm so sorry you have been going through this divisive alienation that comes from having family members in a mind control cult. I have 2 daughters 23 and 21 who alienate themselves from me due to their beliefs as witnesses. You are not alone. Feel free to PM ANY of us and we can always talk or give you some good ideas on how to cope. To understand what makes your husband and stepdaughter act this way I suggest reading Steve Hassan's 2 books on Cult Mind Control. " Combatting Cult Mind Control " & " Releasing the Bonds - Empowering People to Think for Themselves ". The 2nd book especially has ideas and methods you can use to reach cult relatives. Hang in there , we are here for you
Welcome Today. I'm so sorry for what you and your stepdaughter are going through. I hope that you find the support that you need- on this board as well as in person with those who can help.
Welcome, I'm sorry for all of it. I know the life of a ubm (unbelieving mate) but have been fortunate enought to keep my kids out. Post often, it helps.