Need Opinions -- Engaged to a JW!!

by junebug_11 100 Replies latest social relationships

  • Lozhasleft

    Hello and welcome...some great advice on here for you and I do hope it helps you.

    Loz x

  • garyneal

    marking, I am an UBM, be right back

  • Beware of false prophets
    Beware of false prophets

    I'm sure that the conversation has moved on some, but I'm too impatient to read all the posts before leaving a post of my own.

    My heart goes out to you June Bug!!! I read the subject of the thread and a million red flags went up. Many here have given great advice already. I was raised a JW but never got baptized as one. It affected my whole life though, and still does, even though I now know that it is a high mind control cult, and that just about everything they teach is a lie in one form or another. I'm sure that you want the best for your child, and I can tell you right now that if you want a normal life that isn't controlled by fear, having your child anywhere near JW influence is a very dangerous place. I really wish it were different, but I honestly think that you'd be better off as a single mom than you would living in a JW world while trying to keep yourself and your child (and any future children) out of the cult's influence. Your fiance thinks that he is doing the right thing for his family. It's not really his fault, he was just indoctrinated well enough to be one of those that leaves, but still believes. My mother did that. She left for 10 years and then went back and became so indoctrinated again and so adamant about her faith that it almost cost us our entire relationship. I now have to be very careful about what I say around her or she will never speak to me again because she has been conditioned to never associate with anyone who has anything bad to say about the JWs.

    There are all kinds of gentle ways to gradually lead your fiance down a path to discover that it is a cult teaching lies, but if you don't want him to shut down to anything you have to say about it, don't come right out and tell him that it's a cult. I like the idea that you pretend to truly be interested in learning about the religion and slowly uncover things "together" while teaches you about the beliefs. There are plenty of examples of how to do that on here and other websites too. I wish I had read up on those things before I blurted out my new found knowledge that my mother was returning to a cult when she decided to go back (which was when I finally decided to look into the JWs online). One thing is for sure, you must learn all you can about this "religion" before committing to this man. Don't just accept anything that he agrees to now; he will most likely change his mind as he gets more indoctrinated again (as others have also said). If you aren't able to slowly draw him away from being a JW, I think the big question may come down to what you are willing to let your child go through. I'm sure that he has the idea in the back of his head that he will slowly be able to teach you "the truth" and eventually you will be one big, happy JW family. That's how my mother was for years until my push-over of a father finally gave in and agreed to "study" with the JWs and finally became one himself.

    Sorry about the long post, but like everyone else, I just want to make sure that you know that you are in a serious, majorly life changing situation. Everything is taken seriously in the JW world and that makes JWs very hard to live with, especially when raising children is involved. I completely understand where those posting "run, run, RUN" are coming from; especially when it comes to raising a highly impressionable young mind around that fear inducing and fear controlling cult - just ask any one else who was also a born-in (or close to born-in) JW.

    Anyway, I'm so sorry hun, but please don't go into this as if he's decided to be a Methodist or any other general mainstream religion. The cult has already had a life-long impact on him, please take your time in deciding just how much of an impact you will let it have on you and your children...

  • Paralipomenon

    I would say that it would be very beneficial to find out exact reasons why he left, and what was the "major event" that makes him want to return. Based on those answers you can likely tell if the relationship is worth salvaging.

    For someone raised as a witness, the pressure to get baptised is extreme. The fact that he avoided getting baptised is a big point, it would be best to find out why.

    For yourself, I'd suggest getting the book "Armagedon Delayed", "Crisis of Concience" is a very good book, but it will be a very dry read for someone not familiar with the teachings of the Watchtower. For Witnesses, it is extremely powerful because it give insight into what goes on behind closed doors in Governing Body meetings, that is, the leadership of witnesses.

    You are very correct though, he's pulled the rug out from under you with this recent revalation and that's not fair to you. You may notice behavior changes as his mind starts to revert to witness thinking. You may notice two seperate personalities. The man you knew and loved is still there, but he may also have a "witness personality". When talking about religion, it will be a different person. Unwilling to talk and reason, constantly changing the topic when challenged, using alot of witness lingo that you will discover here "sign of the times", "worldy", "elders and brothers", "wicked system of things" etc.

    If he's said no sex until you get married and that's a year away, that's completely unfair. My question is, did he ask you if it was okay, or tell you that was what was going to happen? If he told you, that's typical witness mentality. He is the head of the house and that is what he sees as the correct spiritual thing to do. Your opinion doesn't matter because you are woman, a "weaker vessel". Instead, if he asked if you would support his decision, then there's hope for him, but it's a tricky road.

    Keep reading here, and best of luck!

  • ziddina


    When I saw this thread title, my first response - and piece of advice - was, "Run like HELL!"

    But I'd forgotten that nowadays people tend to have the kid FIRST - and ask questions later...

    Stay on the fringes, be VERY noncommittal, keep the child as far away from the meetings as you can, be SURE that your child has PLENTY of scientific magazines to read - National Geographic, Smithsonian, Scientific American, Sky and Telescope, Archaeology magazine, to name but a few...

    Learning about rocks and volcanoes woke me up to the true nature of the biblical 'god' when I was 7 - 8. If both parents hadn't been hammering me into the cult, I would have left, right then and there.

    So have plenty of childrens' books - ACCURATE books - on dinosaurs, rocks, stars, and so on, for the child to read. Who knows? Maybe hubby-to-be will read them and wake up, too...

    Good Luck...

  • jgnat

    Hi, I'm a regular Christian gal married to a Witness. We won't have children together. I've taken a lot of time to figure him out and what the religion is all about and I'd like to save you some of my early mistakes. I'll recommend two books:

    Combatting Cult Mind Control by Steve Hassan


    The Secret of Family Happiness (Published by the Watchtower Society). Get him to pick this book up for you.

    I'll give you a fast recap. There are two personalities in a cultist; the natural personality and the put-on cult personality. Everything that makes your husband special and unique makes up his natural personality. A fright can bring the cult personality to the forefront, who you've met. Cultists are freakishly alike. You know what I mean if you've visited the Kingdom Hall. You can briefly snap a cultist out of their lock-step behavior by mentioning hobbies and interests. I've had many charming conversations with Witnesses until they snap back in to cultist mode.

    Here's the important part. Don't frighten the cultist that you are about to take his religion from him. It could bring the cultist personality to the fore, completely subsuming the natural man.

    Read the Secret of Family Happiness book and discuss with your fiancee (hopefully his natural self) and ask if this is how the two of you are going to live out your marriage?

    I'm a little doubtful because your man is waffling quite a bit; promising one thing but then snapping back to the way he was raised. It's like in times of crisis, he knows no other way to live. It's going to be a long road if he ever makes the final break to leave, and he has to understand that there is a good life outside the society.

    He'll be vulnerable to leave shortly after baptism. This is when the love-bombing stops and he is expected to start taking up his load of field service work.

    I worry for you, too. You are not religious so the witness message may not seem that bad. It's when you dig further that the whole deck of cards comes tumbling down. I attend services on occassion, but I am careful not to attend too many times in a row. Otherwise the Pioneer biddies start eyeing me up as a potential convert. One well-meaning soul asked if didn't want to be a "support" to my husband? Hah. I don't have to become a Witness to do that. I am much better being my opinionated glorious self, flawed and all. That is who he married and that is who he loves.

  • moshe
    2. We started dating last March, I got pregnant within two weeks.

    You made a fast, bad choice and you find out you didn't know him as well as you thought. The best future you can hope for starts with dumping this guy and finding a new man who is better husband material.

  • jwfacts

    It will be very hard for you to trust him after what he has done, and you should let him know that.

    As much as he tells you he knows it is the truth, do not back down with him that the only reason he thinks that was is because he was raised a JW. If he was raised a Mormon, which is a remarkably similar religion, he would be equally convinced that is the truth.

    He is about to embark on a family. which is a huge undertaking. If he is honest about wanting to know truth, and is honest about wanting to care for you, then the least he can do is research his religion before he gets married. If he is unwilling to sit and read Crisis of a Conscience with you, it sets the tone for how much effort he will put into caring about your needs.

  • 30 years out
    30 years out


    Your post is truly heartbreaking and I am so sorry you find yourself in this position. Several others have already said it, but there is little to no hope of a happy ending to this story as it is currently unfolding.

    If your fiance does return to the church you will be expected to acquiesce to your husband's guidance and wishes in all aspects of your life including the health and welfare of your child. You can expect a lifetime of challenges to your concerns, beliefs, and feelings and a relentless effort to beat you into submission.

    Please do not confuse the smiles and pseudo concern of the members of his congregation with genuine feelings. They are selling you a used car and as soon as the ink is dry on the contract those broad smiles will vanish.

    I really wish there was something positive I could add to this post, but there isn't. Get out now and make sure you have a fair and legally binding parenting plan with child support.



  • GLTirebiter

    Welcome JuneBug!

    You are in a difficult situation, with your family under pressure from the start. It is not unusual for former Witnesses to return to the organization when going through life changes or a difficult period, such as a marriage, childbirth, or a serious illness in the family--you are dealing with all of these

    This relationship will be difficult for you, a woman, because the Watchtower organization teaches that the wife must be submissive to her husband. Your fiance will be seen as "spiritually weak" if he does not have the children and you with him for every meeting at the Kingom Hall, regularly going out for "service" (the door-to-door preaching), and attending several weekend assemblies and conventions each year.

    Also, think about your son's relationship with your side of the family. The message at the Kingdom Hall is that all non-JWs will be anihilated in horrible ways at Armageddon, which will happen Really Soon Now. That includes Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins and you (unless, of course, you become a Witness). Until doomsday arrives, you and your family will still be called "worldly" and "bad associations".

    That is fine with me, until he decides that we're not having sex until we get married (supposedly June 30, 2012)

    Yes, he has to cease pre-martial sex (and any other sins they know about) to get reinstated as a Witness, which is a slow and somewhat humiliating process. The time-line suggests he wants to be reinstated before you marry. Have you discussed where you will be married and who will officiate? He may be planning on the Kingom Hall and an Elder for that, which means he must be back in good standing, probably with you following him as an "unbaptized publisher". Going to the meetings with him is the first part of that process: once you are attending with any kind of regularity they assume you will join them in due time. The pressure to come into the organization may be so subtle that it seems like nothing, but it will be very persistent and difficult to resist in the long term (speaking from personal experience).

    Please visit the Freeminds web site, and read the articles under sociology-marriage and sociology-women. Then consider carefully if this is the life you want for your son and yourself. Mixed JW-non/JW marriages can work, my ex-wife and I made it for over a decade. You can't make this work by yourself, he must show as much respect for you and your beliefs as you do for his. It takes extra effort and accommodation both ways to make that happen. Be sure you both are prepared to live up to that committment; don't say "I Do" unless you both really mean those words.

    I wish you the best, whichever decision you make.

Share this