JW family trying to compensate for us being "spiritually weak" through increased activity

by cedars 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • cedars

    Hi folks

    One of the things that has been most frustrating for my wife and I since beginning our fade as been the way certain family members have responded by ramping up their own involvement in the organization seemingly in a bizarre attempt to compensate for our lack of activity.

    Close relatives who were once doing precious little study and weren't going out of their way to attend meetings or go on the ministry are now studying every morning and busting a gut to attend "theocratic" arrangements.

    It makes no sense to me, because salvation is supposed to be based on the beliefs and actions of each individual, not on those of his or her loved ones. Just what is the logic by which they think they can make things better by doing more themselves?

    If the aim is to set a good example, then why do they need these particular circumstances to arise in order to truly exert themselves? If it's really the truth, shouldn't they have been doing all of this before our fade began?

    It's deeply frustrating and irritating, but we are getting used to it. It's just a shame because more study and meetings = more indoctrination and less opportunity to make inroads with the real truth.

    I'd be interested to find out if any of you have had similar experiences.


  • dissonance_resolved

    I'm experiencing the same thing- my husband who was irregular at best, never reached out for privileges and frequently skipped out on TMS assignments has been ramping up his activity seemingly in proportion to my decline in activity. And he is the very one I most want to learn TTATT. I chalk it up to cognitive dissonance- seeing my change in beliefs makes him question his own so he changes his behavior to convince himself he's right and reduce the dissonance.

  • BluesBrother

    Er, No I have not encountered that......Around nobody seems to give a toss about my fall from grace or expected early slaughter to provide food for the carrion crows.

    They carry on as ever , no more no less. When family are around it seems that the whole religion is "the elephant in the room" that no one wants to mention

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    It it's anything like most of the cases I've seen, these surges of spiritual enthusiasm are a facade. Like one brother that would aux. pio. for a month, but then drop to 2-3 hrs the rest of the year. Of the brother that became so zealous... to hide the fact that he was banging his sister-in-law.

  • problemaddict

    While that is not neccesarily my experience (wife is beginning to see the light, family and friends in tact and doing their thing), I think DR is onto something. When people sometimes are confronted with a hard truth, or a feeling of "attack" real or imagined, they can start to dig deeper into routine. It is comfortable and safe.

    They are not doing more thinking they are going to be helping you make it. They are doing more, because they are compelled to do more. If it is related to you, its probably because of their own frustration or questions. You are probably a pretty reasonable person, and at one time maybe you were looked up to.

    I take one thing back. My mother has seemed to kind of step it up a bit. She is upset her boy is no longer a JW. She feels she failed, so she compensates with routine and what is comfortable.

  • 3dogs1husband

    For my mom our fading makes a cognitive dissonance (why can you say you are HAPPY??? ) and the only way to make it right again is to put her nose to the grindstone and show us how awesome things are when you do things proper. She has never been so proper!

  • LisaRose

    You have challenged their choice in religion by your actions, so they are reacting by increasing their level of activity, to prove you are wrong and to assure themselves they are on the right path. It will probably die down once the thrill of thinking themselves better than you wears off. Of course if they become aware of your apostate activities it will start all over again.

  • ABibleStudent

    If JWs ramp up their activity possibly because of fading family/friends, do they also say they are happier to those that are fading in hope of inticing them back?

    How would active JW relative/friends, respond to a fading JW relative/friend who is happy and talks about non-JW things that (s)he enjoyes doing, and then asks their active JW friend/relative simple questions like "You look tired. How do you feel?" or "How are you doing on (some non-JW activity/task that they use to love doing)?".

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


  • Phizzy

    The only hopeful thing about this phenomenon that I can see, is that it proves, in their own cult-driven way, they really do worry about you and the lovely Mrs Cedars.

    We have experienced a sort of similar thing, the few JW relatives who still talk to us now feel compelled to talk about lots of JW related matters and "experiences", this from people who rarely did this when we were "in".

    I think this emotion of love for you comes from their real selves, not the cult personality, all you have to figure out is how to use what they feel, to help them wake up.

    Not easy, good luck my friend !

  • Separation of Powers
    Separation of Powers


    I have noticed the same, both in my own situation and those that have been in the same position. It is akin to the human body favoring one body part over an injured body part. The guy whose left hip hurts so his right hip and leg have to compensate. That is the way it is for many family members. They recognize that one of the family is "failing" to live up to the "standard" so they feel they must compensate as they expect the eye of scrutiny will quickly peer in their direction. Additionally, it addresses the "holier-than-thou" aspect so prevalent among Witnesses and particularly prevalent among family members. Why? Because "he's gonna die at Armaggedon" is flying around in their brain and in order to solidify their own feeble expectation of reward and salvation they must appear to be doing more. Sorry...I am starting to rant.


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