Appears to be another case of "shifting the burden."

by garyneal 54 Replies latest jw friends

  • garyneal

    My wife and I was talking about one of the talks that they had concerning marriage and how each spouse is suppose to put the other spouse first and that as long as both spouses did this, it would work out for the greater good of the marriage.

    I agreed but added a point in that sometimes, either because of human frailties on the part of your spouse or some other reason, you spouse may not be fulfilling all your needs and sometimes you will just need to take care of your own needs. I tried to emphasize that this did not mean placing your needs ahead of the marriage or family or even your spouses, but simply sometimes we need to take care of our own needs and not always expect the spouse to do it for us.

    She did not like the 'tone' and 'attitude' of my remark and when I brought up an example, it really set her off.

    The example had to do with birthdays. Since my wife is a witness, obviously she will not be throwing me a party, at least don't expect her too. Therefore, I just said that when my birthday rolls around, I would probably have to take care of getting my own self a 'birthday present' as crazy and somewhat selfish as that sounds. I don't see too many alternatives.

    She told me that if I only took the time to research why birthdays are so bad then I would understand why it is best to stay away from them. So I asked her what makes them so bad. She would not say, claiming that I would just simply dismiss it as Watchtower reasoning. I asked her to explain it anyway and she still refused. So I said, well, if you are speaking of the reasons why birthdays should not be celebrated then according to the Watchtower the only times that birthdays were recorded in the Bible was when ungodly men were celebrating them and in both cases, someone lost a head. Also, according to the reasoning book, sometime in the far far distant past, blowing out candles originated with the belief that some fairy or other spirit was suppose to grant your wish. Then I concluded by saying, "But what does that have to do with today?"

    She told me that I needed to do more research but I was like, why? I did not see the harm in birthdays but if there is more to it than that, she me the proof. She still would not, saying that I needed to research it like I was busying myself researching 607 B.C.E.. I told her that she was shifting the burden on me and that since she made the assertion, she needed to back it up. She got livid and started talking over me and telling me that I only believe what I want to believe, etc.. I knew the situation was getting ugly when my wife was getting visibly upset so I started apologizing. Even my daughter said that I made her upset, which I acknowledged and said that I was sorry, then I changed the subject.

    We talked about it later and it turns out (much as I suspected) that my wife thinks that by my meeting my needs for celebrating my own birthday that I was somehow not putting the marriage first. I explained to her that I was in no way going to do something that would compromise the marriage and told her that I did not see it being any different than a woman going to pamper herself at a spa or getting a manicure / pedicure. It was harmless to me but it rattled her cage.

    She apparently does not like my questioning the Society teachings and gets an attitude with me when I said that even though she does not celebrate Christmas, I would still buy her a Christmas gift regardless (like I did last Christmas). Her coworker and I even threw her a surprise birthday party this year which she thoroughly enjoyed.

    My mother and I also threw her a surprise baby shower and come to find out later that one of her aunts did not attend because she happened to see some of my wife's friends wish her a happy birthday on my wife's facebook page. I sent her aunt a message concerning that tonight so I am waiting for the fireworks to start. My wife and her mom think the real reason why her aunt did not attend had more to do with the fact that she did not have a present to bring.

    I swear, Jehovah's Witnesses can be some real nuts sometimes.

  • ssn587

    shifting the burden is a pass time of my spouse also, can't ask a question w/o it being implied that if only I would study more, WT Pubs, and attend meetings that i would be enlightened. told the spouse that doing those things is what awokened me to the nonsense perpetuated by te WTBTS. Amd if real reasoning and critical thinking were employed that many many more would leave the mentally enclosed corrall of the WTBTS.

  • ssn587

    shifting the burden is a pass time of my spouse also, can't ask a question w/o it being implied that if only I would study more, WT Pubs, and attend meetings that i would be enlightened. told the spouse that doing those things is what awokened me to the nonsense perpetuated by te WTBTS. Amd if real reasoning and critical thinking were employed that many many more would leave the mentally enclosed corrall of the WTBTS.

  • garyneal

    How long have you been out, ssn587?

  • jamiebowers

    I think what she really means is that you've already studied and rejected the "truth", so she's not going to waste her time researching anything for your sake. If you were newly interested, she'd be doing research at break neck speed.

    Aside from that, jws tend to shy way from discussion about their beliefs when they're talking to someone who has already rejected them as being the truth. I know I did.

  • StAnn

    I have two experiences to pass on to you, dear. The first is that I followed that stupid WTS advice about always putting my JW husband first. Guess what? He put himself first, too! So nobody was looking out for me! I got sick, had a miscarriage, got an infection, and ended up unable to have more children because of it. All because my wonderful JW husband said he wasn't going to work all day and then come home and watch our then 2 year-old while I was lying on my butt in bed (doctor's orders after the miscarriage).

    The second is that it is completely unreasonable to expect someone to put you first all the time. How many children do you have? Ask your wife if, when she is putting your daughter first, where are you? She can't take care of your kids and you all of the time. It's unrealistic. Can't be done. I have three kids and can generally only deal with them one at a time while the others wait for some mommy time. And if my husband expected me to look out for him all of the time, well, he'd have to take over caring for the children because I can't do it all. I am one person.

    Also, it's ridiculous to think that someone else always knows what you need when you need it. Sometimes you don't even know what you need!

    Stupid JW marriage crap.

    The idea is to leave you in a position where you think it is wrong and selfish to ever think of or do anything for yourself. It's to teach you to think that everyone around you is more important than you are. It's just a way to keep the JDubs in line so they don't start thinking for themselves.

  • StAnn

    I have to go back to bed Gary, but in the book of Job, Job's children celebrated their birthdays. I'm sure you can look it up. And Job was favored by God.

    edited to add: Job 1:4 "everyone in his Day." His day was his birthday. Later I'll find the references I've read to reinforce that "his day" was his birthday.

  • jwfacts

    It might be a good excuse to do as she said and research birthdays, and come back with all the arguments on why birthdays are acceptable. There are a few good threads on here about it. Then again, your wife does not seem open to contrary ideas.

    The following quote shows birthdays were still celebrated in 1940.

      "Pardon me for intruding on your precious time, but I just can't help letting you know how much I appreciate the phonograph which came to me on the morning after the 8th, which was my 80th birthday. It was indeed a birthday gift from Jehovah, to be used in proclaiming his name. May grace and strength be given me to do with my might what my hands find to do." Watchtower 1940 Jan 1 p.16

    The first Watchtower mention against birthdays was 1951.

      "Is it proper to have or attend celebrations of birthday anniversaries?-F. K., Nevada. Such celebrations have their roots in pagan religions, and not Scriptural grounds. Some Bible commentators suggest that birthday celebrations may have had their origin in the "notion of the immortality of the soul"." Watchtower 1951 October 1 p.607 Questions from Readers

    It seems the Watchtower was a bit tardy in cleaning the organisation of this life threatening practice.

  • wantstoleave

    StAnn.....your husband and my ex could be brothers they are so alike! I have lost 4 babies due to similar circumstances. My then husband never worked, yet wouldn't help at home either and against Dr's advice, would never let me rest. It was like losing babies was nothing to him, and probably why after our 2nd child was born he immediately had a vasectomy .

    I'd be interested to hear more about birthdays...and Job's kids....

  • cognizant dissident
    cognizant dissident

    St Ann nailed it. It's unrealistic to expect another person to meet all your needs. Mature grown-ups learn to meet most of their own physical and emotional needs themselves. One thing you do need your partner to help you with is your sexual needs and your needs for companionship.

    ps: All of my family are JW's so when I wanted to celebrate my first birthday, I took myself out for dinner and bought myself a nice present. I invited my son along and paid for him too. Felt good to share that with him and it was to teach him that he could do the same for himself.

    Garyneal, your wife is just afraid of anything changing in her life and between you and she is trying to shame and bully you into doing things her way so she doesn't have to feel afraid anymore. It kind of worked too, because you ended up apologizing to her. IMO that was a mistake because it just validated her bad behaviour. Of course, there is no law that you cannot take back your apology. Don't give too much weight to what your daughter said either. Kids cannot always see the complex issues and undercurrents to conflict. They see black and white. You can tell your daughter, "I did not upset mommy. Mommy's beliefs about the badness of birthdays is upsetting her. Billions of people all over the world celebrate their birthdays without getting upset."

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