Hi there all,
This is a personal post, so be warned! It'a something that I've been needing to get off my chest and at the same time may be useful to others who are just coming out. I was raised as a JW nearly my entire life, from the time I was in about first grade until just two years ago, around Christmastime when I had just turned 37. I was the oldest of six children in a very serious Witness household, true believers. I was also separated from my birth mother and her family after I was about 5 and I wouldn't see her again until 25. Due to an extremist way of viewing relationships and supported by the JW backing as well. So, I always felt a lot of underlying anger at the situation I had in life, why was I picked to walk this impossibly perfect way of life as a witness? Because during all of those adolescent years I was not allowed to do the things that my entire being wanted to do. i.e. date girls, go to parties, play competitive sports, etc.. I covered it all up most of the time with very excellent talks, good comments, and exemplary status with everyone we knew. So, this good rapport with everyone we knew put me in good stead for 'Jehovah' to provide a wife..so I married one of my sister's friends from the hall who was seven years younger than me. The first relationship for either of us and amazingly we've been able to stay married for nearly 14 years now with two young children.
This is what leads me to post today. During our first year out together, we had so much to share and to have in common, the enemy of the organization now, birthday parties galore, going out and making friends with people. The first year out was pure fun both inside and outside our house. Going out, discovering people and learning a smidgen about how relationships and friendships work. Now, the second year has been a little more challenging, for me I've had to wrestle with real questions about who I am, what do I want in life, and so on. I felt like in many ways I'm still operating from the old playbook of being a good dad, responsible for everything in my world, fixing everything, and being the sole provider at home like I always thought was the 'way it should be'. The whole male/female dynamic is nothing like what I ever thought it was. I tried so hard to be the 'good family head' and believing that it was supposed to be like that and now learning how to be partners. Like my own father who tried to keep our family insulated against 'bad influences' that was basically the model I've been trying to follow for the first 12 years of marriage and taking care of children and now there's almost a backlash against anything 'unforward' thinking. So pretty much everything is called into question as far as rules, it seems.
Now, we both are realizing that we are growing at two different speeds..me not so much (imo) and she developing more than I was ever comfortable or prepared for to be honest, and I am happy for her on one hand, which makes me question is it really love because if I truly love her then I'll be happy for her no matter what, but at the same time it's such a close area of my life and with each change I feel more and more apart inside from the sense of well being that I used to have. Physically, we're in the same house but we're separated and at a real crossroads in our relationship. Basically, if it is going to work it can't go back the way it was. We're both agreeable that we may not come back from it and it's almost a relief to say that to each other but in the meantime it is what it is. Which is not the comfortable life we both had for this long. But it seems easier for her to change and adapt and that's a difficult thing to be cool with for me. I'm taking some time to really find myself (if that's even possible). I just want to find a sense of peace and calm so I can get my enthusiasm back for the simple things.
I was wondering if any people out there are or have experienced something similar, and if not it really feels good to get this out of my mind and into words.