you are up late almost 3am
you are up late almost 3am
Welcome! First off, my heart goes out to you. That is such a rough and stressful spot to be in. I really hope you can reach your husband.
When I no longer wanted to go to any meetings my wife went out of her way to have the elders come over to counsel me repeatedly. I watched R rated movies. I drank beer. I sometimes said curse words! OMG! As time passed, she really went out of her way to report all three of these to the elders every single time. Considering I wasn't going to meetings, and that I wouldn't even let them in my house if my wife wasn't home... I got DF'd, divorced, lost family, etc. My wife was such a b*tch and gung-ho JW that fading was not possible for me. Plan your moves carefully!
There is so much great advise here, and I'm so happy of not feeling so alone, free to speak my mind. Having a husband open up to this is EXTREMLY difficult but not impossible, it may however take years of work. But if things get ugly, in the end, divorce is not so bad. I understand you may love him and you are a family, but do not be afraid of a custody battle... if you are not an alcoholic, drug addict or abuse your kids... a judge is always going to grant the mother custody. I went thru a divorce and I was hard in the beginning, however my kids are happy and very well adjusted, their father picks them up for meetings and preaching but they are with me all the time. I guess it's all about what works for you and your family and slowly finding a solution.
As far as your children go, In my case I have two teens and an 8 year old, and I have been able to slowing explain during regular conversations in very simple terms how wrong Society is... for example, one day I told them that I loved them so much that if they ever needed a blood transfusion I would give it to them... that God would never condemn them since it was my choice as a mother and not theirs, and how I know God being so loving would not condemn me for trying to save my child’s life. They actually agreed with me. Little by little I have been introducing MY SEED OF THE TRUTH, but with their father hounding them I know it will take time. My biggest problem now is my oldest teen being pressured to get baptized, at age 14. I want them to have the opportunity and choice to go to collage, be and do what they choose to in life; this was something that was robbed from me.
I think Farkel is concerned that so many fakers come on here just to waste our time. I would rather try to help and waste my time on a faker than just refuse to discuss these matters when the person might be genuine.
There are no easy answers. LWT is right that you cannot admit that WTS is not "the truth" or "God's organization" and expect further dialogue.
While I didn't strictly follow a guideline from Steve Hassan's books, I tried to apply the methods mentioned in his two books with my wife. RELEASING THE BONDS; EMPOWERING PEOPLE TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES is not better than his first book, but it seems to apply better to the long-haul method of helping JW's.
In the end, I had to move forward toward exiting the JW's on my own for my own peace of mind. My wife is still in and won't discuss "spiritual" matters with me now. But because I tried delicately with her rather than clubbing her over the head with insistence, we still have a strong marriage.
Whatever you do, ease into it. Think carefully before deciding your course.
Money is not the object, but I have considered having someone like Steve Hassan sit next to my wife on a long plane ride and try to help her. Ultimately, I know she would tell them to quit bothering her and I would spend a thousand or two thousand dollars for that. In my wife's case, it's because she just "knows" WTS has the truth and it ain't about the doctrine or the restrictions. Still, I might do it one day.
Great seeing you post again.
But, maybe its your ghost. Or a zombie. Or maybe someone related to Farkel that has access to his computer.
You can never be too skeptical, right?
Welcome. My wife and I have been working through a similar process. I was serving as an elder and began to question WT teachings first. She resisted many of my early questions and doubts. She became scared for me. This is largely my own fault because I was letting my emotions get in the way and also because I piled way too much information and opinion on all at once. We have since found a good balance and she is in the process of letting go of many WT doctrines. We don't always agree, which is really a good thing. Most importantly, we are both committed to thinking for ourselves as opposed to letting the leaders of the Society do our thinking for us.
You said a couple of things that I would like to comment on. I'll be repeating the sentiments of some of the previous posters. But I feel like in your position, the more support, the better.
"...maybe I can help him to see the 'truth' for what it is." This is very diffcult since most JW religious doctrines are not really based on a foundation of real truth to begin with. Also, JWs make the "Truth" work for them, whether it is really true or not. They are convinced it's all real and absolute. That's a tough mindset to reason with. Your comments on helping your family develop critical thinking skills show that you already recognize the challenge. But again, therein rests another problem. Critical thinking is discouraged within the JW community. Even the best critical thinking, if used to diffuse a JW teaching, will, no matter how sound the logic, be viewed by a JW as faulty or maybe even one of Satan's tricks. This requires one to get on their level to help them think.
"I would like to stick a round for a little while to try to get my family to think for themselves...get them to view things sfrom a different prespective." Admirable goal. IMO, the best way to do this is with love, patience, positivity and a very delicate hand. One idea at a time, presented in a non-confrontational manner. Plant seeds and see what grows. Don't set high expectations. Don't "over water."
"But on the flip side, my kids are young and I feel sorry for them growing up in the borg. I feel bad lying to them. This tears me up inside." It really hurts me to read this. One thing to keep in mind: YOU don't have to lie to your children. Is there a way around teaching them the things you disagree with and just focusing on the things you are currently comfortable with? Perhaps certain Bible stories or basic lessons of Christian love?
Regardless of religion, you have a natural purpose, based on the life decisions you have made so far: To be a good wife, mother and citizen. You don't need the Watchtower to help you fulfill those roles to the best of your ability. Rememeber that, because from my experience, when the die-hard JWs closest to you get a sense that you are letting go of the "Truth" or becoming too "worldly" in your thinking, they will often resort to attacking your character or stating that without the "Truth," you will become a godless heathen.
Ask yourself, "What is the most important thing in the world to me?" Maybe it's your marriage, your children, your family, your sanity. Whatever it is, be true to it and be true to yourself.
Farkel, maybe you're right and maybe you're wrong. I personally don't care. Joining in a conversation like this continues an important dialogue. There are countless people like Angel Face in the JW religion, many of whom head to the internet to search for questions that have been bothering them for quite sometime. Maybe someone will stumble upon this thread and see all of the advice and real-life experiences and retain even just a tiny piece of information that will help them through a tough time. Personally, it does me a lot of good to put my own thoughts on these matters in to writing. A forum like this is truly therapeutic for me and it forces me to be accountable to myself when considering my stance on all things Watchtower.
You cannot be divorced on the grounds of being inactive and you do not have to be disfellowshiped either. I myself have never been disfellowshiped.
Play them at their own game but become even more proficient at it than they are. If you run circles round them they will be aware of it but can do nothing.
In essence, a person chooses to be disfellowshipped by making their actions and thoughts known. I know sisters who have left their husbands (who were tyrants, I might add) and are now living with another man but have not been disfellowshiped because they have nothing to do with the congregation despite the elders being aware of their actions.
In short, I think you can get away with an awful lot these days as long as you know how to work their system to your own advantage, and that of your family of course.
If you run circles round them they will be aware of it but can do nothing.
A word of caution: This exercise is becoming more risky as the BRAZEN conduct card has the deck stacked in their favor. THat changed the rules. Do anything that is "BRAZEN" (which could be damn near anything they want it to be) and you'll find a brick wall at the end of your run.
this is a difficult process espeacially if one half is very focused on spiritual goals. Your husband does not want to hear you at the moment because what he hears is all his ambitions being crushed by a wife who isn't cooperating. You need to go into this with your eyes open and prepare for the worst whilst hoping for the best.
First of all don't hit your husband with all that is wrong with the society he will shut down and cling to what he knows. Ask questions to reconnect the authentic person, such as "if you weren't a witness what would you have wanted to do in life?" Ask him what he likes about your life together. Non threatening helps.
The sixteenth wife (I think it's called) which is about one of Brigham Young's wives (mormons) is an excellent read and is a great book for helping to open up a discussion of cults. It helped me to start thinking.
I wish you well in your efforts
Nevertheless, any inteligent person can out-wit them because they are embroiled in endless rules and red tape and can't make a single move of their own initiative.
Experience is a harsh mistress and I learned my lesson well. Once and for all time!
I treat them as I would mushrooms: Keep them in the dark and feed them on $#1t