My sucky situation

by brotherdan 98 Replies latest jw friends

  • ziddina

    Heh... What Sherah said... I'm NOT one of the "heavy hitters", by the way...

    I think I'm one of the Board's "cut-ups" ... Zid

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Hi Dan. Welcome to the forum.

    I see you have made the same mistake many of us did by IDing yourself as a big scary Apostate. Its a bit tricky to take that T shirt off now, but it can be done. It takes time and patience and you have to ask yourself if it is worth the trouble. Many here think it is dishonest to pretend to be a believer for a few years to get your family out, but I say that if you want to get them out you have to use the few tools available.

    It is very difficult to pull a JW out of their cult from the outside. It is easier to nudge them towards the door from the inside. If I had my time over again I would choose to be the last one to leave.

    The first thing we forget is that we are warned not to listen to apposers. So don't tell, or show, them anything that IDs you as an opposer.

    Ask questions. One at a time. Be patient, let weeks, or months, go past between questions. They don't need to answer you right now. If they don't have an answer.... they know they don't have an answer .... leave them alone with that knowledge.... they have to sleep at night. If they say something that you know is contradicted in WT literature, don't tell them that. Get the literature, open at the page, and give it to them. Ask them to read it to you if the occasion is right for that.

    Remember at all times........ you get nowhere by telling them they are in a false religion ...... You need them to tell you they are in a false religion.



  • laverite

    Hi BrotherDan,

    Welcome! I am so sorry to hear about your situation. A lot of people have made various suggestions, and I'd like to give you something to think about.

    Even though you may not want to think about divorce please think about doing this:

    You should find out who the very best divorce attorneys are in your area. I mean the best of the best. Make an appointment with every single top attorney. Then repeat this with the really good ones and then the ones with reputations as "good enough." Get your free consultations in with all of them, even if you do not ultimately go with any of them as divorce attorneys. Tell them all the details of your situation, get them to explain their fees, etc. After interviewing them you'll know who you want to work with should it come to this. Also, this will tie them all up and they won't be able to work for your wife. Even if you don't go with them, because you've consulted with them on the case, they can't work for her. If she wants to hire a good divorce attorney, she's screwed. You'll ultimately have a great attorney, she'll have very limited (and not so good) choices. Then fight like hell for primary custody of your kids if she files for divorce.

    Do this even if you just think divorce is a possibility and you are still hoping to stay married. Be prepared and be ready just in case she wants to file. Limit her choices and fight like hell.

  • karter

    Welcome brotherdan!!

    Ive been through a simmler situation that ended in a seperation,For the best in the end.

    My advice,Sit down and tell your wife you love her and the children more than anything else.

    Explane that you don't belive it anymore and she will never ever here you say a bad word about it she & the children are free to go to meetings field service all they want but you have made up your mind.

    Leave it at that and see if you(s) can't come to some sort of a truce.

    In time she may ask a few questions and you can go from there.

    As far as your children go (all 3 of mine are out) Lets face it how many young ones are sticking around anyway?

    If you need to PM me ...ive been through it.


  • SweetBabyCheezits

    Welcome, BrotherDan (says the fellow noob). I know lots of other folks have said this but I wanted to add my little ray of hope: I was in similar spot with a devout wife and two children. It took my wife 4 years to really allow herself to consider that this might not be the truth after all. Times were tough but we pulled through and now she's just as shocked at how blindly we followed the Society all those years. It's amazing looking back how many similarities there are in your situation and ours. Numerous times, my wife even made the comment, "I married one of Jehovah's Witnesses with the plan of raising children who were Jehovah's Witnesses!"

    My wife never threatened divorce but it proved to be the most stressful test of endurance we've ever faced in our marriage. Initially, she was shocked and in utter disbelief at my change in thinking. She was angry and hurt that I would allow something to affect me and my "relationship with Jehovah" and, in turn, OUR relationship. This was a common arguement that arose regularly through the years.

    Over time, though, she saw the evidence of my sincere care about the welfare of her and the kids. She realized that the only way I'd let anything come between them and the hope of a paradise is if I truly felt I had legitimate reason to believe it was wrong. She knew no other explanations were logical even though she couldn't see things from my perspective. (I suppose that is faith in one's spouse.) Eventually, she was able to spot some double standards even in the printed page of the WT on her own. After that, the blood issue played a major part, especially when I confronted her with hypothetical scenarios in which she had to figure out what she would do if one of our kids needed a transfusion.

    One other thing that might help: could you convince your wife to take a look at a forum for ex-Mormons? The similarities are unmistakeable and, while it likely won't hit her like an instant revelation, it should provide a good basis for examination of her own faith. It's at least worth a shot since it isn't an "apostate" site. Their experiences hit home almost as much as experiences on here.

    Whatever happens, best of luck (and wishes) and feel free to PM me if you ever need to chat.


  • garyneal

    Welcome brotherdan,

    So sorry to hear that you are going through all of this. Wow, I also did not know that they were THAT legalistic at Bethel.

    I am what the WTS calls an 'unbelieving spouse' even though I believe the Bible and attend church. I guess 'technically' I could call her the 'unbelieving spouse' too according to some christians but I don't believe it is that simple and I am not trying to be divisive.

    You made the mistake a lot of us, including myself, made when we discover the lies and distortions from the society. I was studying with them off and on for about 6 years and I had come to the point to where I was really beginning to believe that they had the truth. I remember last year saying that I was going to do a deep Bible study and question all religious teachings that I had learned to determine what the real biblical truth actually was. I was expecting it to take a year or so but it only took a few months to learn that something was really wrong with the Watchtower's truth. After learning about the history of the society and the how corrupt the New World Translation was, I determined that I could not in good conscious join my wife in this religion.

    I know this had to have hurt her as much, if not more, than it did me. I try to love her the best way I can and hope and pray for the best for my family.

    PM me if there is anything you need from me.

  • tec

    Just wanted to add my welcome. I've never been in your situation, so I have nothing to add that could top what some of the posters have already said. And there are a lot of them in your situation, making for a good support situation.

    I'll add that I think patience and gentleness is the key - at least for now, and especially since you love her and your children and don't want to lose them. If you need to change something down the road, then you can.


  • GLTirebiter

    Welcome brotherdan! I'm sorry you've endured such an ugly turn of events.

    If it's not too late, get into counseling: professional, properly trained, unbiased counseling. That excludes the elders; they cannot be unbiased advisors in a case of "faithful" vs. "apostate" partners. Many cities offer low cost or no cost group sessions for better marriages, take advantage of these if you can't afford a private counselor.

    Then allow me to offer some practical advice. Document everything, and I do mean everything even the least bit out of the ordinary. I'm talking about pictures of the damaged property, copies of any emails or FB messages she has seen or sent to you, notes on phone calls, financial records, anything you may need to defend yourself against what she may accuse you of. Use a memory stick or flash card to keep copies, and keep that copy out of her reach. She has declared theocratic war against you, so do what you can to defend yourself. Also check into where you can legal advice and representation--I'm not saying to do anything to provoke her, and I'm in no position to say if you need to hire a lawyer right away. But even if it's not at that point, be prepared to do so quickly if she decides to take you to court. It's hard to get organized when you're under time and emotional pressure after being blind-sided with divorce papers.

    I'm glad to see you've read Ray Franz's books, and that others have recommended Steve Hassan. But also check the marriage articles at (if you haven't done that yet), and especially this article about child custody issues. I hope you won't have to face the worst of what's described there, and by being aware of those underhanded tactics you (with your lawyer) can do much to head off the ugly conflicts the Watchtower's "Preparing for Child Custody Cases" pamphlet seems to promote. Nobody wins in a bitter custody dispute: it's bad for you, it's bad for her, and it's really bad for children.

    I wish you the best possible outcome, whether that may be together or separated.

    (edited to clarify what pamphlet I referred to)

  • Scott77

    After reading some of this thread, I can appreciate the fact why I did not marry the JW sister I had planned to do before. It could have been a mess.

  • jamiebowers

    Welcome to JWN! Sorry to say that you must hope for the best but plan for the worst. Set yourself up with good legal advice. You can start here:

    And then work on getting professional counseling for both of you or at least yourself if she refuses to participate. I wouldn't give in and be a good jw just to meet her demands. You must do what makes you happy in order to be any good to anyone else. Whether or not your wife is willing to work with you, you must protect yourself and our children.

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