I'm not a new membe,r but I never posted before. Your story touched me. Sure, life sucks and it looks like your problems (not the WT's problems which are a whole nother issue) all started because
!. You didn't feel like obeying the rules: you were rebellious and immoral, BUT
2 You weren't willing to accept the consequences of not obeying: so you were also a wimp AND
3. You went away from what you claimed to believe to try to cover it all up: you were a hypocrite,
and all because you weren't strong enough to do whatever it was you wanted to do on your own. So you used this woman you say you love as a crutch for your own weakness, and then [it sounds like] you denigrated her in public (even if you did so under a false name in a place where she shouldn't have been to see it in the first place, if she believes what she SAYS she does) so now it's all blown up in your face, and you're miserable and you can't live [happily] with her (insert roach/jam story here) and you can't live without her. And what's worse, now you want to go spend the weekend with her in a place where they preach stuff you think is nonsense even though you don't want to get sucked into it all over again. You're a mess.
That is to say, as somebody already said, you're HUMAN. Face it, we're all basket cases, and for a lot of us, life's mainly a matter of keeping our bruised & discolored areas turned to the sides where people won't see the damage, kind of like the way the produce kid does the strawberries at the store soon. So plump, so perfect, so tempting. Till you get 'em home and unwrap them, anyway. When JWs find a rotten spot on a berry, they cut it out and keep going. When they find a rotten spot on a fellow worshipper, they call in the elders. In severe cses, they shun the berry, even the part that's still sweet & juicy. Doesn't make sense, does it?
It's like this: some folks have the religion/theology thing all figured (out one way or the other) but they have an anger problem or they're alcoholic or they're manic-depressive. Others are good and honest and healthy-minded people who are yet confused to beat the devil about spiritual matters and they don't know for sure what they believe. Nobody gets the whole package and if they act otherwise, well, they're acting, doing what you did before, and time will catch up with them, the same way it did with you. That's the bad news. Nobody gets out of here alive.
But that doesn't mean you need to make yourself feel miserable and worthless in the meantime. That's what the elders are for. Yeah, you screwed up, big time (in several areas) but what's done is done, so don't beat yourself up over past mistakes. You're probably no worse a person than I am and I never beat myself up. Just do what you can, while you can. There is no remebrance in the grave. And if doing what you can to make yourself happy means going to the assembly because it will mean you and your wife are together (and with a bunch of people who may be misguided but who are genuinely nice folks (and there are a lot of them) and who likely as not will be glad to see you, then go to the assembly. No one says you have to INCULCATE the message.
Back when I was "strong in the truth" part of my worldly job was to accompany an elderly man to public functions as more or less his caretaker. That meant a lot of political rallies and speeches that as a JW I knew were all smoke and mirrors. The rapturous faces of some of the people at the political rallies I attended last election were really little different from the faithful crowd awaiting the God's new sysytem, arriving any monet now. Evidently. No, the R&F aren't the only ones who've turned off the critical thinking portion of their brains. Politica aside, also took my emplyer to church on Sundays and I heard a boatlad of sermons that scripturally speaking (thanks to the JWs) I knew were just as made-up-out-of whole cloth as any assembly talk. But just being in the same place as fire & brimstone Baptist preacher didn't mean I gave any credence to his egotistical speechifying. After all, I knew The Truth, back then.
And if I could sit through all that garbage and let it roll off my ears because I knew THE TRUTH, you can do the same thing at the assembly now that you know the truth about THE TRUTH. You don't need to refute the silly, self-serving praise that goes on, you can just sit there politely. You might even sing along if you know the new songs. An Atheist freind once told me about attending the beautiful Easter morning services at the cathedral in Lima. As she put it, if she had been in Haiti, with a chance to attent a Santeria ceremony, or been in India with a chance to attend a Hindu wedding, she'd go without the slightest hesitation, so why should she deny herself the glories of a high Mass at a historic shrine simply because she doesn't believe in God? So whether you think the assembly parts are all simplistic hogwash, or you think they're terrible and toxic, the message won't hurt you if you don't let it. Just remember the reason you're there: to be with your wife. That may not be the best reason, but if it's all you've got, go with it. It's not like you'll be any happier staying away. I speak from experience. Grab whatever happiness you can.
Meanwhile, go easy on yourself. OK, so you're not perfect. Big deal. If God exists (and I believe he does) he loves you anyway. So why should you be more difficult to please than God himself? OPaul had something useful to say about that. But if you keep it up with that judgemental attitude of yours, (even if it IS self-judgement) you'll be an elder in no time. And I don't think that's in your game plan. Since we have no control over the BIG PICTURE, do what makes you happy in the here and now. So, if you didn't make it to today's session, set out your clothes tonight and be there tomorrow in time for the 9:30 song and prayer!
, ir words. just because side it's just a matter of keeping the rowhich side of the fruit has the sesr
. dn youryounwhich turned but had to rely
and now it's all come back to bite you in the butt. were
but werea nd. startednew