Hey all :) I'm new to this website, just happened to of stumbled across it and learning lots from all of your posts! I just need a bit of guidance, not for my self but for my boyfriend. I myself have never been a JW but he has grown up in "the truth" and recently realized the real truth ;) Both his mom, his dad, his step mom, and step dad are all witnesses and try to bring him back continuously, even though he has only gone to the odd meeting or 2 in the past 3 years. Now having that said, he's having trouble completely being honest with his family with risk of them shunning him. (They've already decreased their communication with him) Is there anyway to prevent or lessen this from your experiences? He is only 22 and it would be a shame for him to loose contact with his family all together...
Looking for some help
Face it: he's going to lose contact with his family, and that's how it is. Forever.
Soooo, I guess the two of you better make some new (permanently accepting) friends.
There's no "Out" clause; it's one way or the other, and shunning is permanent.
BTW, shunning also occurs in Amish and Old Order Quaker families.
Hi and welcome, manda-xo!
I'm a non-jw with some friends and family in, and cannot even maintain regular contact with my two jw "friends", so don't know how helpful I can be.
I'd say whether your BF can maintain contact with his jw family will depend mostly on how hardline they are, rather than on him. This religion is quite effective at breaking up families, unfortunately!
Perhaps geographic distance could help; if his family doesn't constantly see him living a non-jw life it might be less of an irritant.
Most importantly, if you plan a future together, make sure he is really free of jw thinking and there is no danger of him reverting to the religion he grew up in. Keep reading here and you'll see exactly why. It's important that you understand the issues also.
Best wishes, and hope you stay around, Retro
As has already been stated, there's no way out of being shunned if his family are hardcore jws. Please also listen to Retro's advice...before you marry or have children with your boyfriend, make sure he's done all of the reading that is necessary for exiting jws: Ray Franz's "Crisis of Conscience" and Steven Hassan's "Combatting Cult Mind Control" at the very least. It would also be a real good idea for your boyfriend to go to therapy. Refer him here as well as to freeminds.org and jwfacts.com .
Welcome to the forum Manda
If he is baptised, they can get really snooty if he gets Disfellowshipped (DF) or Disassociated (DA). If not, it's a slightly different story, as they can't DF/DA him and the incentive to shun him isn't pounded into them from their books and platforms.
If he is baptised, a bit of dishonesty is probably a good idea if he wants to maintain some semblance of a relationship with his family.
Either way, his relationship with them will remain disfunctional until they leave the church, or he joins/rejoins.
If you have children, they will need to be immunised against cults, as his parents will start telling them about demons, armageddon, god is going to kill Mummy and Daddy if they don't join the cult etc. as soon as you have your back turned.
I appreciate all of your advice I feared that would be the case as they are quite hardcore. We've been dating for the past 5 years and it caused quite a stir when we began. Kind of like Romeo and Juliet.... JW style I have shown him they're falsehoods and hes been doing more and more research and continuously finding more. I do agree therapy would be a great idea for him. As well, that is a fear of mine that one day he'll decide to go back. I guess I can only hope and pray for the best!
The primary doctrine is that Jesus selected them in 1919 to be Jehovah's sole channel of communication.
As long as they believe that, the WT has them under control.
As long as he thinks that there is even a small chance that might be true, there is a danger that something will trigger him to jump back into the cult.
You should encourage him to thoroughly investigate anything that the WT uses to support that doctrine. Once he fully understands that it is a load of crap, he is in the clear.
MANDA-XO- Welcome to the board ! You've had great advice so far ! All of which I agree with. The only thing I might add is your boyfriend is going to need to be more committed to you and your relationship than pleasing his parents by returning to the Witnesses just to please them. There is extreme pressure put on Witnesses who stop attending to come back because the JW's errantly believe your boyfriend will die at Armageddon and be destroyed by God if he doesn't come back ! I know it sounds weird ( which it is ) - but that's how they think. So they mistakenly think they are saving him .
One thing you may try to do is encourage your boyfriend to only discuss non-JW topics with his JW relatives when they want to talk. If they bring up for him to " come back and go to meetings " - tell him to change the subject. Ask his family how their work is going, their garden, anything NOT JW topics. In this way you and your boyfriend will avoid confrontation with them as the JW people are mind controlled to defend their faith.So don't debate it with them, just talk about the latest movies, shows, anything not a JW topic.
Or the other option is to just stay away. But I don't know how close your boyfriend is to his folks. So it may not be an option, I don't know. Anyway, good luck, you have your hands full with this relationship. Give it some time. Hopefully your boyfriend will show he's more committed to you than the JW's. Take care, keep your chin up
It is generally best for his emotional wellbeing to keep a relationship with his family. For this reason I would recommend he does not talk about the religion or his research with them. It is highly unlikely that he can change their point of view, and talking will get him labelled as apostate. They are far less likely to shun him if they do not think he is apostate and think they may get him back involved.
I have many friends that drifted from the religion and out of respect for the parents do not talk about religion. As frustrating as that is, at least some of them have been able to keep a level of family contact.
Welcome manda-xo and I am sorry that your BF's family is reducing contact with him. I agree with the other posters, especially jamiebowers's and flipper's suggestions. Encourage your BF to post on the JWN to help you and your relationship. Something as simple as getting married and having children could trigger your BF to return to the WTBTS. Never debate JWs! Asking questions to control conversations and changing subjects is better than lying. The only other suggestion that I can think of is for your BF to show unconditional love by sending emails with pictures to his JW family showing them that he is still a good person and is having a wonderful life. Maybe one of those emails may help awaken one of your BF's family members.
Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,