I guess I'm with yknot. Unless you're prepared for the marriage to end, back away from her. She's already proven that she has no answers and isn't prepared to really start thinking. Wasn't there already something in a KM or somewhere that the society already told the sheeple to stop sending letters and questions to the branch because they're "too busy"? And the elders are way too dumb to begin answering any of your questions. Personally, I've done very limited conversations with elders and COs, just enough so that I can tell my parents, "they are a dry well. No knowledge to be gained from them."
Toward your wife and kids, I'd suggest that you not come across as "bad dad" that makes things stressful and wants to take away their imaginary pet tigers. Instead, look for fun activities that you can do together and create happy memories. I'd also suggest that you spend more time bonding with your fading family. They'll understand you and your situation far better than I do. They might be in a good position to help.
Billy - I think I am starting to prepare myself for the unthinkable without even knowing it.
I try very hard not to come across as a bad dad and I truly believe I am successful. They are too young to have heart to heart discussions with. I don't prevent them from going to meetings and I don't mention anything to them about what they are being taught. We go to the park, go swimming, play candyland, go to plays etc. There's no doubt in my mind that they'll have very happy memories. I am just so scared that the indoctrination will be too deep by the time they are old enough to be reached.
"The first thing I think you should do is consult a very good divorce and child custody attorney who is either willing to learn about or able to handle jw issues just to have her/him at the ready in case the worst happens. Second, start exposing your kids to crirical thinking skills and the real world NOW! Third, reiterate to your wife how her social standing will be ruined if/when you're df'd and ask her to compare you being shunned with how her father was treated by her grandfather."
I've considered that. I haven't brought myself to do it yet because mentally, I fell like once I've done that.....I've officially thrown in the towel. I've just ordered "Teach Your Children How to Think". I will reiterate how her social life will change.....but she won't care. She is a different kind of person. She has never had many friends because she wears her emotions on her sleeve and gives it to you straight up. There is no sugar coating with her. If she believes in something.....she'll go after it - detractors be damned. She doesn't care what people think. So her response to me when I tell her about the potential change in her social life will be "I don't care. If I were in your shoes and I thought MY religion was wrong.....I'd have been knocking on the door of Bethel a long time ago."
"How long did it take YOU to learn TTATT? It was probably gradual. Appeal to her emotions and not logic. For now, let it rest for two or three weeks. Don't sound or look desperate. Always speak in a calmly manner. Maybe you should have your kids join a sports club or rec league outside of school, and if they're not into sports, then maybe music lessons. I've always wanted to take piano lessons when I was a kid."
It took me YEARS to learn TTATT. This is something I struggle with. If my wife were to have come to me, distraught and nervous about information she found about my religion or my employer or my family or anything.....I'd be all ears. So it frustrates me so much that she is not the same. Then I have to calmly remind myself that I'm dealing with the cult personality....not her. My fear is what I wrote to Billy. What if it takes her years and years and years? What if I wait so long that my children are officially indoctrinated? They both currently take tap and ballet lessons so my wife is reasonable about that (but she certainly does not want them having "friendships" with such worldly kids
"Doesn't it bother your wife that women within the JWs are basically regarded as second class citizens?"
She doesn't necessarily understand it but she readily accepts it because it is "Jehovah's Will"
"Surely she realizes that she's got more brains in her pinky toe than most of the Elders™ she knows?"
Yes.....but it is still God's organization that he has a chain of command that must be followed. She truly believes even when an elder comes across as an incompetent boob......when he is in an elder setting (i.e. elder meeting....judicial committee etc) the holy spirit will come over him and he becomes enlightened.
"That is an angle that will appeal to her intellect, and it could rekindle her affections for you, if you support her growth as a spiritual person by asking her to help you research things."
She knows where I stand at this point. She knows any research I do at this point is not "innocent" but to add more and more proof against teh society. Besides......way in the past I have asked her to help me. She won't do it. She is afraid of what she will find but she won't admit it.
"Try to do some things with her - first on non-Meeting™ nights and then gradually introduce events on Meeting™ nights - "
That doesn't go over real well. Interestingly enough, several months ago we went jewelry shopping on a Sunday. She skipped the meeting. It was her idea....because....well....she was getting jewelry. Then 3 weeks later I suggested we go to the water park on Sunday. I was met with disgust and disdain for trying to keep her and the kids from the meeting. Go figure.
I am trying to do more of your suggestions. We do a lot together as a family but not so much as a couple. I need to work on that.
"I can't stress enough how important it is to slip positive non-JW activities into your life NOW. The JWs will react with shock and horror that you aren't spending every waking moment studying your Watchtowers and going Door-to-Door™, and will start gossiping about your Worldly™ activities."
That won't happen. The congregation is low key. There are a few self righteous pricks but most are fairly balanced. Everyone around here does fun stuff with their families. Some even skip a meeting or two to do it. Believe me....no one will gossip about our activities.
Slow down. Armageddon™ isn't coming. There's no rush to get her out immediately.
I know. I am just SO worried about my kids. What if the length of time "in" is so long that they become fully indoctrinated?