That book: "The Secret of Family Happiness" is missing the part that teaches you to live happy with your family. It tells you to engage in family study and preach more. I started my own family. So far it's my wife and I that have been married for almost a year (no kids yet). Everyone told me that the toughest part of marriage would be the first year, since we would still be getting to know each other. Elders always joked about how I'm about to walk the plank and their jokes always implied misery ahead. They even told me on several occasions what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 7:28..." But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this."
All this was told to me with the purpose of scaring me away from marriage and dedicate my life to the organization instead. Just like they tried to scare me away from getting a job...just like they tried to scare me away from getting the college degree I wanted (which they did unfortunately.) "No college, no job, no marriage...We're you're teachers, we're you're career, we're you're wife." No thanks, my actual wife is much more beautiful and attractive than the elders.
Well, it's been almost a year and my wife and I left the organization. So far, I haven't experience "the first year is the toughest" part. Her and I have been the happiest we've ever been in our whole lives!! Back when we were both living our seperate lives with our JW families, we were miserable. My wife came close to killing herself once way before I ever met her. But now we have honestly spent the last 10 months smiling and laughing and having the best time of our lives...fully enjoying the freedom we have never felt before. We can go out and come back home at any time with no chaperones up our butts, we can watch whatever we want on tv, and we can think for ourselves and express ourselves however we want!
Damn, it feels great! When I told and elder (her cousin's husband) of our happiness, he said the Devil may be giving us a break for now. That the hardships may come later...Gee, thanks. I know there'll be hardships sooner or later, but that doesn't necessarily mean that like all elders, we are gonna lose our happiness, grow cold with each other, and then succomb to the book "The Secret of Family Happiness" as our means of salvation for our relationship. Happiness can be achieved with the right person and not with some book by the GB. My dad had a cold relationship with my mom. They loved each other, but they never ever kissed, hugged, or said "I love you". Not once...with the exception of anniversaries where a room of people kept chanting "Kiss kiss kiss!" Other than that, my dad spent his time in a room with a laptop working on talks, territory and other people's problems, while my mother spent her time watching tv in the living room.
What was I to do? Stay in my room and play videogames. Three family members, three different rooms, three separate lives. The only family get together was for the mandatory family study everyone did under duress. After that, it was back to our separate rooms. My dad noticed this and even though he was doing exactly as the GB told him to, he still felt an empty void in our family. He didn't know why. He was studying with his family, he was putting Jehovah first, he was reading the family happiness book and yet, he felt something was missing. So did I. The difference was I knew what it was; he didn't. We needed to spent less time on the WT and more time as a family. Barbe Qs, camping, road trips...that's what we needed.
Well, now it's too late for that. But I started my own family and now I'm gonna make sure we spent it happy. The first step I already took. Leave the WT.