My son contacted me... need advise

by Expanded-Mind 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • Expanded-Mind


    2010 will go on the record as a great year for me! In November I heard from my youngest son (a JW), who I have not heard from in 8 years (I am an exJW). Hearing from him was wonderful enough, but he added to that joy by telling me he was married (to a non-JW) and I have a grandchild. I have seen them several times and am ecstatic having them in my life again.

    I will not make an issue of religion with him --- even as he was growing up I tried never to put him in the middle (between his JW mom and me) and have assured him that I respect his feelings. I really don't know "where" he is religiously, so I find myself being kind of cautious, which I guess is fairly normal under the circumstances. I suspect that he is no longer attending meetings (has a goatee and sometimes a beard). And of course there's the issue of his having a spouse that is not a JW (but is a fairly devout Christian). I feel that it would be helpful to understand where he is religiously, but I am nervous about asking him questions about this. Its not necessary to know this to have some type of relationship with him, but I am also thinking that if he DOES have any questions about the organization, I want to be available to help him (I left the organization over matters of conscience when he was only a few months old).

    Has anyone else had a similar situation in their family? Does anyone have any suggestions about how to help him without alienating him? It feels weird to be so cautious with my son, but I love him so much and don't want to risk losing him again by saying something wrong. On the other hand, I want a deeper relationship with him and don't want to always avoid the "gorilla in the room".

    I feel so lucky to have him, his wife and my sweet little grandchild, in my life again... it has been so healing. Any helpful advise will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for listening!


  • Gayle

    So happy for you and to hear you have contact with your son again. Just be friends for now. Talk about sports, jobs, the grandbaby, etc. That his wife is not a JW and his having a beard sizes up that he is not active at least. He will open up in due time about where he is with JW life. Maybe he is still just sorting it out in his own mind yet. But that he contacted you knowing you at one time had been a JW shows he just wants a relationship with you too. So manybest wishes to you.

  • jwfacts

    All you need to do is ask, "Where do you stand regarding Jehovah's Witnesses?" That is not an offensive question, and his response will let you know how to proceed from there.

    Since he has not raised it with you, I doubt he is against the religion, just probably not interested in it anymore. Maybe he feel he cannot live by the principles. If that is the situation, he probably does not want to discuss it. If that seems to be the case, you could then ask, "Would you like to know why I do not believe it is truth?" He will then let you know whether he wants to discuss it or not. If not, then let him know that is fine, and you respect his choices.

  • Finally-Free

    When he's ready to talk religion he'll bring it up himself. For now just work on strengthening your relationship.


  • shamus100

    You don't need to bring anything up to 'help' him. The thing that all ex-dubbers forget is nobody is ready to find the truth about the cult until they are ready. Do this before and you won't have a son again.

    Stay positive, don't bring anything up, and live your life happy and free. I am so very happy for you!!! :D

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Don't tell him anything.

    Just because a born-in isn't showing outward signs of being a JW doesn't mean they no longer believe that the WT is God's channel. As long as they think there is some chance that the WT might have been selected, they could jump back into the cult if the right button is pushed.

    Remember this .............. Every bit of advice you got from the WT on how to spot and avoid an apostate ................ he heard too.

    Be patient.

    If he brings up the subject, just ask questions. Don't tell him anything. Don't show him anything he doesn't trust. If you do show him something, ask him to read it to you and explain it. Make him do the talking. Ask him to provide the paperwork to back up anything he says that you know is shonky.

    The primary doctrine is that the WT was selected by Jesus in 1919. If he wants to talk religion you could try asking questions to steer him towards having to prove that, but keep it short and friendly and on topic. He's not out of the woods until he tells you the WT wasn't selected. It doesn't work the other way around.

    Good luck

    Take care


  • penny2

    Hi Expanded-Mind, it must be wonderful having your son in your life again.

    Since November - that's not very long. I'd say don't stress, the situation will become evident in time. Don't ask about his views on the JWs at all. Instead, ask questions about general things such as how they met, what the inlaws are like, did they have a big wedding, etc. This might lead them to showing you their wedding photos (then you can see if they married in a church and who in the family were at the wedding).

    Or you could say, "I haven't seen the other kids for so long, I miss them so much. Do you have any photos of them?"

    Or, "I'm so happy you got in touch, it's just turned my life around. Do you think there's any chance other members of the family would speak to me now?" That might prompt him to tell you what frame of mind the others are in, and in the process it may become obvious how he's thinking.

    Once you have loads of clues that he's no longer a believer, you could ask, "Do you go to meetings still?" The answer could be, "Hell no, I disassociated five years ago, sorry, I thought you realised that." OR, "Not since I got disfellowshipped, but one of the sisters is studying with my wife and I'll be going back when she starts attending."

    Good luck!


  • moshe

    Maybe an outing with his wife and your grandchild is in order- take her shopping to buy an outfit for the little one- over lunch you can probably find out if your son goes to the KH anymore- maybe he got the boot already. Congrats!

  • Snoozy

    How does one cope with not speaking to their children relatives, especially their own children?

    It has to be heartbreaking!


  • satinka

    Hi EM,

    Very nice news to know your son has reached out to you in this way.

    I wish you lots of family happiness, and I figure you will know how to make that work, now that you have another chance.



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