Roll call of those of us stuck in for our spouse or whos spouse is still in!
Some of my thoughts...... I was once a staunch JW mom whose 1st husband saw TTATT but stayed in for family and business and to keep me. I realized he didn't believe even tho he only left hints. The effect on me was that even tho I stayed married to him I lost all RESPECT for him. I thought it was HYPOCRITICAL of him to warm the seat at the KH when it was obvious he was somewhere else mentally. It angered me that he was "setting a bad example for the children" by not being gung ho. I HATED it when he would plan fun things to do on Sundays to try to distract me from the meetings- I saw it as being used by Satan to keep me and the kids from everlasting life. In time he was dfed for lying about his adultry and many other vices (I thought he was wrongfully accused) Seeing how hatefully the shunning was carried out by the cong and the family actually helped me think negatively about the borg and draw me closer to him. Had he not been a sociopath we could have made it. LOL Gentlemen, you are not doing your wife and children any favors by faking it. Be loving but firm for your conscience. Give her something to admire and and if she is too blinded to appreciate you then it is her loss-move on. Children would rather be FROM a broken home than IN one.
In addition, I stayed with hubby #1 for over 10 years after he was DFed the first time. (yes, there was a second time, I'm a SLOW learner) The marriage was unsustainable but neither of us wanted to be the moving party IOW the "bad guy" to our kids and onlookers. I didn't want to have to make the tough decisions about what would come next like child custody etc. Instead I just PROLONGED the AGONY. Instead of starting over when my kids were little it blew up when they were in their mid teens-sooooo much worse! After surviving the divorce and loosing my kids for a time I realized we were all STRONGER than I had thought. Please don't waste any of your precious lives. BTW, By loose the kids I mean they chose to live with their non-JW father. They were unbaptised pubs but soon left the Borg because dad was smart enough to let them have lots of "worldly" fun yet offered to drop them off at KH if they wanted.
Husband in and a fervent elder. I'm out and my teenager is, too. My husband and I have been able to keep our relationship together, somehow, and I have to say our marriage is stronger now than ever. Basically, the religion is a no-fly zone and we've learned to respect each other's differences. Easy? No, but worth it to stay married to this man, whom I love deeply.
I think you're probably on to something, and thats kinda similar to the idea I've been slowly coming around to. The problem is that the JW system forces anyone to hide any and all doubts for fear of retribution (aka DFing). It forces any doubters into a situation where they don't even feel they can discuss it with their spouse. At least, that's how I felt. Then, one day, your doubts reach critical mass, and the scales tip and all the doubt goes out of your mind. Except the doubt that leaves is the doubt in yourself, and you become certain that the JWs are all completely misled. This, I think, is at least somewhat by design. The tendency when this happens is to want to explode all your realizations over anyone who'll listen. There's a huge disparity between your experience and everyone else's perception of your experience. For you, it's been a long transition into being 'awake' but to everyone else it will appear as though you've been possessed all of a sudden, or perhaps you ventured off to a website created by one of those "mentally diseased" appostates and you caught yourself some mind-flu. The system is designed so that anyone who 'turns appostate' appears insane. You can't share much TTATT while still appearing to be fully 'in' either because it'll out you, and again makes it look like a sudden change.
It seems the only way to go is to reenact your slow awakening (but likely in a somewhat accellerated fashion) but do it out in the open, at least to those you hope to reach. Then you'll come to that same critical mass point in your reenactment, and you are now free to act as you wanted to the first time, since the process has been visible externally. It's no longer a sudden possession or a whim that can be dismissed by others, it's part of something that is truely a long, arduous journey that you clearly didn't take lightly.
At least that's where I'm currently at with my strategy. I feel like there may be more I can do to win my wife from the outside than from the inside. As the 'spiritual head' and as the more studius of the two of us, I can't very well start asking her to explain doctrine to me or anything like that without bringing extreem suspicion upon myself. I'd rather demonstrate for her the reasons why I leave and the amount of consideration it took me to get to my decision to leave then trying to plant seeds that will never get watered. My wife is pretty clever, but she's not much for research and due to lifelong indoctrination she seems to be happy to accept most things at face value.
At least that's where my situation seems to be leading me, though I know many others are very different.
I agree with 3rdgen. I am now 58 (30 years in) and hubby is 60 (58 years in), two years ago I started to read some books and it opened my eyes. I was so angy when I found out and I could not keep it to myself. It never even dawn on me that I shouldn't tell my husband what I found out. I felt he had the right to know. He gave me the canned answers at first and that made me angry so I came back at him and he agreed to read COC. It changed his life. Yes, I did the direct approach but it worked!! You never know until you try doing something.
My husband is very thankful I helped open his eyes. Yes, it has been an up and down roller coaster but we are so much happier and healthier as a result. Do not waste precious time. Many of you are very young and you can go to college and do some things with your life that you can't if you stay in. Your spouses may be thankful that you get both them and your children out. I am very thankful that we happen to be one of the ones who has done well financially but so many have such dead end jobs with little to offer you both financially with little rewards.
Read Steve Hassen's books so you know how to approach your spouses or look at others who have been able to get their families out and use their approach.
Here are two example of JW brothers that left and were in 30 year marriages with two of my closest friends. Both couples had two boys each and they were both elders for years. The men woke up and stopped going to meetings and they both told their boys they no longer had to go to meetings if they didn't want to. At the time neither of the men knew (TTAT) but they knew they didn't want to be part of it any longer. Their boys are know free of the WTS and the sad part is that both marriages did break up but not because they left the WTS.
Your children will have so much more respect for you if you do the right thing and stop the madness of the cult and their lies. My parents were never JW's and I can look at my parents with so much love and respect because they were good honest people that never lied to me and they did everything in their power to give me a great childhood. Sad to say, I was 1700 miles away from them when I was love bombed into the religion which broke their hearts but they made sure they never lost me during those 30 years. They cried many tears because I was in and were so happy and relieved when I called them 2 years ago and said we are free.
Here is another part of my story, we have a grown son that never came in. Our relationship was very strained with him because of the religion but when we got out we called him and told him how sorry we were that we put him through it. He was so loving and told us he understood and our relationship has grown so much since we left. My daughter in law told me the other day how different we are and we are so much fun to be with.
They love when we come to visit and you can see the change in them when they are with us. Our grandkids and their friends call us the "Cool Grandparents" which I love.
Life can be so good after leaving the WTS. Don't be afraid to take that leap and do the right thing for you and your family. You could end up like I did with terrible health problems and thinking about ways to end it all. I am so thankful I didn't take that route but found out the real truth instead.
Hang in there all of you.
BU2B's recent thread made me think back to this one. Bumping for the folks that have joined more recently or may have missed it.
Thanks OneEyedJoe for bumping the topic.
I am still in, not as active as used to be still get parts in the meetings but i dont show up in ministry and keep putting the 10hours to keep elders away! Wife is 80% in but has her doubts based on few things i have slipped in our discussions. Unfortunately all our extended families are JWs and there is too much at risk - mostly it's a cultural thing.
We attend regularly. My wife knows I no longer believe. She wants to keep the status quo because change is stressful for her. I have been able to discuss a few things with her about TTATT but I have to be careful and back off when she starts to get anxious. The organization has done a great job of mental control. My 15 year old daughter has her own mind and we encourage rational thinking. She is not baptized and my wife sees the common sense of not pressuring children into a lifetime committment. All in all, I am biding my time. "Change a' gonna come."