Today my son told me that he can't stand this religion
hard--is your son baptised ?
Captain Obvious really nailed it.
I really liked the way you used the move Divergent to try to reason with your daughter.
You had that conversation, now let it do its work ...
I'm lost here. I don't know what to do. Please everyone help me...
It sounds like you're already off to a wonderful start!
My wife tells me that we have to "help" him. That she has seen that he prefers friends outside the congregation, that those kids are bad association and that someday I will regret it if he leaves the truth.
If this is an issue that you feel needs a response, I'd suggest something like, "He's getting older. We can't just put him in a playpen anymore to keep him safe from the world. Our effort is better spent to give him a good foundation in love, morals, and ethics. If we try to control his every movement we'll just exhaust ourselves and build a huge amount of resentment in him such that when he turns 18 he'll run out the door into a world that he's completely unprepared for. [insert an example, if you know any JW kids that left their controlling parents at an early age] He's got to learn how to interact with people that aren't JWs because we want him to get a job and support himself. We can't afford to support our grown children. [such as in the society videos where the engineer dad seemed to make enough money that he was unconcerned with how his nearly adult children would support themselves or have friends outside their immediate family, or the video where the dad had a construction business and the sons both worked for him.]"
I would spend as much time as you can with him doing stuff he really likes....and always include the sister - but don't force her, just let her know that you are there and you can take her places, do things she enjoys - outside of the religion's claws. show them a normal lifestyle....let them be kids and ensure that they are happy and doing well in school and encourage them to think big - beyond the tunnel. They have a life ahead of them and they can do and/or be anything they aspire to.
H2bme, I have 2 sons and I know that at that age they could be changeable and torn about what they liked and wanted and what others wanted them to do. As a father you too probably have mixed feelings about all this in case you may be sending him down the wrong road.
Your Son will naturally have mixed feelings about not wanting to be a JW. and will feel an urgency to do something NOW like all young people do. A week, a month or a year, is a long time when you're 15 and religion is pretty boring. He won't want to hurt his Mom and he will feel the same JW guilt/fear, we were all instilled with, yet he will want out and will want to be on "your side".
I'd say it's important that you let him bring the topic up, rather than push the issue yourself. Don't make this about choosing between you and his Mom. Kids can be black and white about things, thinking they have to be either this or that, especially if he's been raised a JW. I'd probably reassure him that this isn't an emergency situation where he has to change everything right now and that he doesn't have to make any choice at all. I'd encourage him to take a "wait and see" attitude and help him see the "grey" areas in these kind of matters and the value of not burning bridges. I'd help him see that there are some positives that come from sticking with things even when he doesn't want to, and following a moral code and a set of standards has it's benefits as well. I'd point out that the problem here, lies in the inability to think for ones self, speak their mind and learn from others whose ideas may be foreign to them at first. I'd focus on having nice times when we were working and playing together. Be an example to him and show him that non JW's can be good moral honest people too. Teach him life skills he may not have picked up within the Org and never say anything negative about JW's or his Mom or her beliefs. Make this his decision rather that one the two of you have made and make it clear that whether he's a JW or not, he'll still be your Son. He'll thank you for that, down the road.
Congratulations, you have raised a fine young man with good critical thinking skills and a decisive personality!
You are both on the first step to a REAL life.....
Focus on the fact that it is FREEING to be able to be real with one another. But make sure your wife is still respected. Your kids sound great. With your daughter just encourage her to think. Your wife.....that is another story. I have no idea what to tell you there. If she doesn't know how you feel, then you have to work from the margins.
You see, my wife is emotionally unbalanced. She takes medicine for anxiety. When she gets mad, she always tends to harm herself (like biting herself, pulling her hair, hitting herself). Once she tried to commit suicide. We have been to the doctor several times even with a psychologist. She is just under prescription drugs. I try not to worry her about anything. I mostly do all the shores around the house. I cook, I go grocery shopping. Of course, I take her with me the whole time. We spend a lot of time together.
On the car we usually talk about the meetings. I have tried it to think for herself. Like for instance, I asked her last tuesday: "did you notice something about the watchtower study?" She asked me: "what?" I said to her: "in paragraphs 12 by the end it says: " Such a clear and simple comparison has the hallmark of divine teaching". Then asked her: "if this is now the hallmark of divine teaching, who was teaching us before?". She asked me: "Do you have an issue with doctrine then?" I told her: "yes, cause one day they tell us one thing and another day another thing. If the org is truly guided by holy spirit, then the spirit must be playing with us. I don't know what to believe anymore". (I know that the GB is way to wrong in most of the teachings and all practices they do. I don't even read any magazine anymore cause I know it is just all BS, there is nothing honest in there).
Then she told me as usual: "wait on Jehovah, he has done many things for us. Let's just concentrate ourselves in the kids".
Knowing all of this, what other ways can I try to get her into thinking?
You are a very loving husband and father.
Continue like this and show your family that you love them unconditionally, no matter what.
I am very moved by your story. You're fighting so hard for your family, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I wish you the best of luck with helping them escape.
I hardly feel qualified to give any advice, but is there anything non-cultish your wife loves? Singing, painting, films, walks, animals? I think my love of books helped me develop a personality away from the cult. Again, good luck!