Take some dance lessons!
Our passion is Argentine Tango
Take some dance lessons!
Our passion is Argentine Tango
This thread is enlightening as I never would have thought married people ever went through lonliness.
Before Mr Scully and I left the JWs, we had moved several times, and changed congregations several times due to the moves.
There were maybe 3 couples / families with whom we stayed in touch once we made our big move from the eastern coast of Canada to Ontario. And despite the Worldwide Brotherhood™ myth that pervades the WTS, it still takes time and effort to cultivate real friendships.
The people who glommed onto us right away when we showed up at the KH were usually the ones sizing us up as to whether we were Good Association™ or not, and who took it upon themselves to spread the word regarding what intel they'd gathered on us over a casual lunch. I was still too naïve to realize that some JWs were snakes in sheep's clothing.
Even so, when you leave the JWs, those "friendships" evaporate into thin air - a sure sign that the friendships weren't genuine to begin with. Even if you try to maintain the friendship, without criticizing the Organization™, just becoming busy with life, they won't have time for you anymore, even if you thought of them as your best friends.
Just the other day, I was putting my groceries in my car, when a JW woman who was a close "associate" (I can't really call her a friend) walked right past me - our eyes met, so I knew that she knew who I was - but we didn't exchange "hellos" or anything like we once did. If she had been a real friend, she would have acted like those years apart were just that, and been happy to see me. But instead she snubbed me, so I snubbed her right back. And I don't feel bad about it.
Developing friendships is a process. Try to find some interests that you share, and even some that you don't, activities you can do together with a group. I've made some nice friends at nearby cooking classes (Mr Scully doesn't come along, but he likes it when I try the recipes). We were going to the gym together for a few months and met some folks there too - now he goes to the guys' classes and I go to the ladies' classes. We go for walks and say hello to our neighbours, and when we see them going out for walks, they say hello to us too.
There are probably lots of activities and clubs you can try to see if you can meet some other people with similar interests. Give it a try... you've got nothing to lose!
Have you ever heard the expression, "With friends like these, who needs enemies?" Well, my husband and I feel a bit lonely sometimes, too, but today we were talking about the enormous amount of time we took from each other going to meetings, out in service, etc.
We literally have gotten to know each other again. We have taken walks, gotten in touch with family members who were not JWs, etc., and just had time to really think and ponder.
It is hard, sometimes. Like the posters said, we were used to "instant friends." It takes some getting used to.
Hope it gets easier as time goes by.
My wife and I just left WT and had similar feelings. We each were with JW Org for about 15 years and had left our homeland to Pioneer. So you can imagine how “isolated” we are from this real world. Perhaps, give me a listening ear as I describe my experience how we partially overcome this feelings of loneliness.
1) Start dating with your wife again.
Sounds strange? Well, It was recommended by the infamous “Family Book” isn’t it? Yes, except the dating there involves doing the magazine distributing work. But for us, we started the courtship we missed as JWs. Literally. We assign tasks to our children – vacuum the floor, mop it, hang the laundry, wash the dishes, then, …. We disappear .
We’ll hold hands when we walk the mall. We’ll “flirt” when we’re being secretly “observed” by the waiters and waitresses, … And of course, the most well spent time was and still is reading and expounding the Bible together. The book of Job took on new meanings to us, Romans becomes something so rich in meaning – That we are REALLY sinners and the ONLY solution is faith in Jesus (read Preface to Romans by Martin Luther at http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html)
We’ll go for lunch date, another day tea date, another day night date. And of course, we visit the Christian site www.TheMarriageBed.com as well as its Forum as a couple. (Our reading of the Song of Solomon took on new meanings, when the Shepherd Boy is not around)
To us, this is the first step to clean up our loneliness.
2) Find a Church
This is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do. WT has deeply ingrained into us how diabolical the Churches are. But now, with logic, if WT is the Satanic one, then the Church is not. But how about the Cross? The Trinity? The Hell Fire? …
For us, I take the lead to do researches. Always remember: WT has spread lies regarding everyone on earth. So to overcome the negative feelings, (A) Proof that what was said by WT is false and (B) Listen to the “accused” for their side of the story.
I easily accomplished (A) by reading articles from many sources. Just Google the topic and the answers are there. But be prepared. This “Personal Study” session is going to spend you more time than preparing for KH meetings. But I can assure you. It’s worth it. That’s how I come to understand the Cross is just a symbol representing the PRESENCE of Christ in the Church, much like the Ark of Covenant representing the PRESENCE of God with Israel. No one worship the Ark. Neither do anyone in the Church (I can speak for my Church) worship the Cross.
Of course, you can ask for the explanation of the Trinity, Hell, etc from the Pastors. But be prepared the answer may not be satisfying because of WT influence. But if you like to, raise threads for these questions. I’m sure many of us here can contribute to better understanding of the scriptures than WT.
Also, be open to the Pastors about who YOU were. We were pleasantly surprised that the few pastors we approached, showed much kindness, understanding and empathy, though they regretted they had no experience dealing with ex-JWs. (As I mentioned before, we were “serving” in a territory where “the need is great”. 80% of the householders here have not heard of JW nor had any WT articles in their homes before.)
3) Enroll your kids (do you have kids?) to Church activities
For us, after “investigating” a few Churches for about a month, we brought in our “army” (yes, I have 4 kids plus 1 coming. Thanks to www.TheMarriageBed.Com). We enrolled them into “Kids Kingdom” (surprised by the name of the Sunday School?) There, they make new friends, learn to sing praises, and study the Bible. Yes, study the Bible, contrary to what WT accuses Churchgoers, that they do not read the Bible.
Note: For starters, please choose an Evangelical Church and avoid the Pentecostals and Charismatic. No ill intention for our Brothers there. But Evangelical is more easily acceptable by ex-JWs. (You may Google Methodist, Baptist, Anglican, and perhaps Presbyterians to know more about them).
4) Grab opportunities for family outings.
For us, whenever there is an opportunity, we’ll bring the family out, be it the waterfall nearby, or the beach 200 kilometers away. Driving without the music on is a great time for bonding. It’s OK to miss a Church Service so that you can have a long weekend together. The Pastors will not conduct a “Shepherding Visit” for it.
Well, these points worked well for us and we’re making good friends with our fellow Church believers. Few retirees and housewives made efforts to come together just to chat and have a meal together. None of them was sent by the Pastor to “spy” on us. But everyone come just to … yes, be friends! That’s all.
This is how we cope with loneliness. May you find ways that works for you and your family.
We feel that way sometimes too. As many posters above have said all those friends you had before were probably not real friends, they were people you went to church with. I also agree with Jeff, most of us can count our real friends on one hand. We have a few friends that came out after us. My husband has his own small business so he really doesn't have co workers. But I have some workmates that we have become close to. We have some "worldly " relatives that have been friendly but you can't just bust into their lives after holding them all at arms length for a lifetime.
If your kids play sports that may be a good opportunity. Could you try having the neighbors over for a burger and a drink?
I still get a little jealous when I hear people say "Oh geez we had five BBQs to go to this weekend", because we are grateful to be invited to one. I am hoping my children marry into big families so they can regain some of the family we have lost.
In the end any price is worth my freedom. To me the ultimate loneliness would have been to shun one of my children because he was having sex with their girlfriend or god forbid smokes a cigarette.
Feel free to PM me and let me know where you live, my husband and I would love to hang with you ! NMKA
partydelights - . . . Start dating with your wife again. . . .
Hi itsibitsybrainbutbigenoughtosmellarat. I like partydelights' ideas especially about start dating your wife again! You are very lucky to have left the WTBTS with your wife. Start spending time with each other and rediscover what you love about each other. When you were a JW you may have been so busy that you lost touch with each other.
Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,
I think many can relate to this thread. My wife and I sure can. It seems that anyone who spent their growing up years or young adult years in the organization are the worst off in terms of not having a network of friends or family in place to ease their transition out of the organization or the skills needed obatain such relationships. Spoiled you might say we were, as there wasn't any real skill involved in obtaining friends before. The playing field was pretty much level, you automatically knew what everyone was about basically. All you needed was to "click" with a few of the different ones in each of the halls you were aquainted with and your dance card was full. Some called this unity but really it was just a fortunate side benifit that occured, much like it does in school or at summer camp or where people gather regularly for whatever reason for a long period of time. It's natural that after being part of a crowd of 200 or so, you would find a few that hit it off and became friends. I think the reason so many who do leave but eventually return, is not because of a love of any TRUTH, or is it God's holy spirit drawing them back, rather they crave the familiar and what comes easy and that old feeling of belonging somewhere.
When I feel this way, I realize that going back would mean that just like before, I'd have to sit through hours and hours, years and years of listening to the same information over and over and be expected to use certain terms and keep my own honest comments and real thoughts in check at all times. It would be exausting now to have to go back to that, just to be able to chat with a few friends after the meeting. I know if I invested the same amount of time and effort that I once spent at meetings, instead seeking out new friends, I'd find them. It would be a lot of work, but I'd also be free to be myself without having to attend conventions and go from door to door for the rest of my life. The problem for me is that as a Witness, everything we were, was provided for us. The meeting topics, the songs, all of our deepest beliefs and attitudes towards things were programmed into us. We had no political opinions, didn't read or discuss anything controversial, we just assumed who we were from someone else in a way. Now we're out there on our own and having to rethink everything and learn how to find things in common with others when it isn't always obvious. I spent so much time basically saying NO to life that I am lacking in many of the skills common to someone my age. It's a strange thing to meet someone new and not have a real life story you can tell them...one they could relate to in any way. Most of the time when you meet someone, they introduce you to their circle of friends. It's a very odd thing not to have anyone at all in your life...no history with anyone. This in itself should be proof enough that one was in a closed society or even a cult. Going back would be just more of the same.
You can take a couple of night classes with your wife-ie; flower arranging, pottery, photography, etc. something that you both enjoy, and you will find others there who share some of the same interests as you both do, and you can make some friends that way. There are other creative ways to make decent friends in a neutral environment, you just have to look. I do understand how you feel though. It can seem very lonely right after leaving the org.
I wish you the best in your journey with your wife!