Thanks all - it was reassurring to realise that I ma doing a lot fo the things you suggest - so I am not getting it completely wrong. Off to wrok now but I will post more later. Cheers BTW - I am an Australian living in London
How to stay married to a born-in JW?
hi frazzled--welcome to the site. i was married to a born in--& will reply about it later.
meantime--as your in the UK--heres a link you might find interesting:
I have found the "good news" according to the Bible to be the most powerful yet innocuous eye-opener for my family - we all walked out at the same time after an intense 30 to 42 month study of the "good news" in the Watchtower's own Bible and publications.
Oh, and did I mention we were from 2nd to 4th generation born-in.
At any rate as others have said questions work best. The Socratic method.
One of my favourites:
“Can I claim to be ‘in the truth’ or to ‘love the truth’ if the ‘Good News’ according to Paul, Isaiah, Psalms and Moses is not in my heart or on my lips?” (2 Cor 3:16; 4:4; Gal 2:5,14; Eph 1:13; 6:14,15; Col 1:5,6)
(Why do followers of the Watchtower religion call themselves “publishers of the Good News” whilst unfamiliar with the “Good News” according to Paul, Moses, Isaiah and Psalms?)
Fernando - Ah yes the socratic method - being a lawyer by training I am well-schooled in this. I put the following questions to my wife 'How can you be sure the Society is who they say they are? What is the basis for their authority as Jehovah's mouthpiece? How were they appointed, including what was the original appointment and how did the succession work?' First response was 'That is very difficult to answer.' My response was 'This is critical to your belief that you know the Truth so you must know the answer.' After that only silence. I have no idea whether it made any impact. But I agree questions are better than statements. I took delight in pointing her to the passage in the Bible that talks about removing the 'nails' plural from Jesus' hands to show that the stake interpretation is inconsistent with the Bible. She was dumb-stuck but to no avail - mind you I am an atheist so I did feel a bit hypocritical.
Lisa Rose - don't feel bad about reading the Bible Stories book to your daughter - the Society uses parents as instruments to propagate their propaganda and applies a lot of emotional and psychological pressure on them to this effect. You sere a victim as my wife was a victim when she read it to my son. Luckily I worked out what was going on in time. I do feel that there must be a human rights/child protection angle to get the book banned. Unfortunately the Society is very practied at using 'Freedom of religion' as a sword to intimidate those who seek to curtail their indoctrination techiniques.
A Bible Student - I have done a lot of what you suggest particularly having fun together and with non-WJ friends and family but she has a habit of trying to sabotage such events and we are constantly late for such gatherings as she makes excuses - I am sure she received warnings about the risks of mixing with worldly people by haing a UBM. But when we get there she enjoys herself. She coudln't make it to a convention the other weekend because there were no trains to get her to the bus pick up point in time so I took her to Legoland one day and to a historic home and then shopping on the next day.
I hear you in relation to my son but I think I have that covered - my parents are academics and I was spoon fed critical thinking so I am instilling this in my son. I am always banging on about the importance of curiosity. So far the signs are all good in that direction.
I am not so sure about your advice re learning about investing. My wife has no money to invest and I have an applied finance degree (and invest very conservatively because I work for the local equivalent of the SEC so I know about fraud, which is why the fraud of the Society is so obvious because it has all the same trappings as a financial fraud including the fact that the victims of the fraud refuse to believe they have been conned even after we lay out all the evidence. It is also not surprising that lots of JWs have been victims fo fraud by other JWs - it never occurs to them they are being deceived. Still I thnk finding a hobby we can share is a very good idea.
I think this site will be incredibly useful for me to VENT - I have done so much research but am unable to share it with my wife so that without an outlet I think my head will explode. I feel like I have already done enough ranting but there is still so much still in my head.
Also Lisa Rose you are right about the importance of showing the positive side of human nature (I believe that while humans are self-interested they are also capable of great compassion and kindness) so I went out of my way to point out all the acts of kindness and bravery during the big storm that hit New Jersey and new York last year to try to undermine the ngegative characterisation fo the Society and when the news talks about a drop in crime levels I am quick to repeat it to her. I also point out the fact that we are living in an unparalleled period of peace contrary to what the Society says (are any of you old enough to remember the Society referring to the US and Soviet Uniotn during the Cold War as the two princes who would cause a major world war and were harbingers of Aremageddon. That was all conveniently forgotten when the Cold War ended). Unfortunately we were in Tokyo when the big earthquake and tsunami hit in 2011 so that had an impactg on her and my reference to earthquake stats to show this was not outside the historical experience made no impact...again
Frazzled UBM - I have done a lot of what you suggest particularly having fun together and with non-WJ friends and family but she has a habit of trying to sabotage such events and we are constantly late for such gatherings as she makes excuses - I am sure she received warnings about the risks of mixing with worldly people by haing a UBM. But when we get there she enjoys herself.
Hi Frazzled UBM, After you do fun activities with your wife, do you ask your wife what she enjoyed because she looks so happy? Helping your wife to relive the fun she had may help reinforce in her mind that she did have fun. After your wife attends meetings/asemblies/conventions and she says how good the "Spiritual Food" is, ask your wife what did she enjoy so much (Don't ask her a closed ended question like "Did she have fun."). It wouldn't hurt to also mention whether she looks happy or not. Nine times out of ten she won't be able to answer your questions about the "Spiritual Food". Don't push it too much. Let your wife start to draw her own conclusions about how she remembers having fun with worldly people, but cannot remember what the "Spiritual Food" was.
Who knows, maybe your wife isn't paying attention at the JW functions and if she starts she will start to see TTATT.
Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,
Welcome to the forum.
Sounds like you are doing many things right. And yes, trying to get her to reason on questions about the WTS motives will only make her dig in her heels and try to defend thre indefensible.
Patience.....and yes, doing family things together.
Also, read JW facts.com. Did you know that some years ago the WTS said that being married to an unbeliever was like kissing a corpse as all the wicked (sorry, that means you by virtue of not being a JW) will be destroyed? Isn't that a lovely sentiment?
Hi, I'm married to a JW, too. You can enjoy your natural wife now, for longer periods, with some practice of Steve Hassan's techniques. Addressing her natural personality and celebrating her right to choose and make independent decisions is all good. Hassan suggests that many loved-ones set their sights too low. Instead of concentrating your efforts in "getting her out", change your goal to encouraging her be her natural self, independent of mind and heart.
P.S. When her new independent self runs afoul of the elders, which is bound to happen, encourage her to keep her newfound freedom, and reassure her that she is not "leaving Jehovah" by having those independent thoughts.
I just want to add some personal experience. Since I was born-in, family members that I adored were very hard core. My parents were not hard core but would not say things publicly. In fact, when I was very young, people travelled across America to cry at my parent's door. It happened several times. All JW related. The man always served at Bethel with my father. They wanted my mother's perspective and consolation.
No matter how angry I am about the Witnesses I will not be rude to people who saved my life and shaped in many good ways. The Witness angle was the sole bad item. It took great restraint to not tell them in a nice way about what I learned in college and from reading my Bible in consecutive verses. I don't understand the dynamics. People can tell when you are manipulating them. You may think you are subtle but people still know.
Your wife may be ripe for leaving and soon. True Witnesses do not marry outside of the Witnesses. In fact, they only marry Bethelites, missionaries, and pioneers. Once upon a long time ago, I would rather not marry than pollute myself with a mediocre Witness, not matter how wonderful the man. I started at a position far worse than your wife. I marvel at worldly in JW terms I am to my core now. It did not take long to transform with an accumulation of access to a larger world. You give your wife access to the real world.
It is very hard to maintain silence. I coped by silenting praying to Jesus, my Jesus, and telling him that he better award me one trillion extra points for keeping my lips shut. So many times I saw them defrauded and used not just by Witnesses but by every sleazy hustler. I would be in tears. Despite knowing me my entire life, they will not hear me at all. My uncle was so important to me. Yet on his deathbed, we were bonding and saying things never said before. It was sad and touching. Suddenly, a Witness of another race barges in, using family privileges. My uncle was embarassed that I existed. It hurt. Yet, overall, he was a great man.
I don't hate ordinary Witnesses. The top people at Bethel are utter garbage.
Band on the run - thank you for saying you know how hard it is to maintain silence. I certainly feel for you in your situation. I can only imagien how hard it is to be shunned by your own family. That makes you that much braver for searching for the truth rather than accepting what is drilled into you. I applaud you. You say that my wife may be on the verge of leaving because she has married me. Unfortunately that was probably the case when I met her and impregnated her because she was leading a double life but as a consequence of her subsequent dfing and reinstatement she ahss ben drawn back in even more tightly. Still thanks to the kind people here I have fresh insight and a new determination to follow a softly soflty slowly slowly course to opening up her non-cult personality and encouraging her to appreciate the goodness of that part of her life that she spends asway frpom the cult.