Stuck in JWs are in a toxic relationship

by skeeter1 9 Replies latest jw friends

  • skeeter1

    Are "stuck in" JWs in a toxic relationship? I think so.

    This past two weeks, I've been realizing that a few of my JW relatives are very toxic people (they fit the description below). I realized that alot of ex-JWs who are stuck dealing with JWs may also be in a toxic relationship. (This may not be news to alot of you, but it was for me). Defining the problem, you can then work towards a solution with how to deal with these people.


    “A hallmark of a toxic interaction is that both people have created a conscious or unconscious story with judgment, fear or blame about the other person and boundaries that were crossed,” Tatsumi said.

    Signs You’re Surrounded by a Toxic Person

    Gale shared these signs:

    • You’re emotionally affected by their drama
    • You dread (or fear) being around them
    • You’re exhausted or you feel angry while you’re with them or after your interaction
    • You feel bad or ashamed about yourself
    • You’re stuck in a cycle of trying to rescue, fix or care for them.

    Tatsumi shared these additional signs:

    • The other person doesn’t respect the word “No” as a complete sentence
    • When you’re with them, you feel like you’re “walking on eggshells”
    • You ignore your own values
    • You emotionally “check out”
    • You feel like you’re being controlled, or you’re being overly controlling.

    Again, it’s important to explore your own role in the interaction. For instance, how do you compromise your own values or boundaries? Do you lash out because you feel misunderstood or not listened to? Do you withdraw because this is how you react to criticism?

    What to Do With Toxic Relationships

    Gale offered these suggestions for navigating toxic interactions:

    • Tell the person how you feel in an assertive way. Use “I” statements. For example: “When you act/do/say _____, I feel _____. What I need is _______. The reason that I am sharing my feelings and needs with you is_______ (because I love you, I want to build a healthy relationship with you etc.).”
    • Set and maintain boundaries.
    • Focus on taking care of yourself.
    • “Find ways to protect yourself from their unhealthy behaviors.”
    • Reflect on the relationship, and consider how you’re caught in an unhealthy cycle of relating to the person. For instance, you might be making excuses for them or trying to fix them.

    “If the person’s toxic behavior doesn’t change, or the relationship is just too toxic for you, send them forward in life with love and compassion, and then move forward with your life,” Gale said.

    Ending the relationship may be painful, particularly if you have a long history with the person, she said. “Ultimately though, you will have created space for much healthier and far more nourishing relationships in your life.”

  • quellycatface

    Thanks for that Skeeter. This is exactly my relationship with my JW mother. I just talk to her on the phone now, it's less traumatic.

  • Dis-Member

    This is good sound advice that I wish I knew about long ago. Thank you Skeeter.

  • AndersonsInfo

    Wonderful advice. Thanks.


  • ABibleStudent


    Good advice skeeter1 for people in a toxic relationship, whether one or both are JWs or neither are JWs.

    I know from personal experience how trapped I felt being married to a toxic person (neither of us were JWs). There is no simple answer(s) that applies to everyone to save a toxic relationships. When it gets too toxic for someone, it is better to end the relationship with love and compassion without expecting it to be reciprocated.

    Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,


  • His Excellency
    His Excellency

    Great ADvice

  • skeeter1

    Got to put in in practice today!

    A toxic relative of mine continually contacts me about the JW religion and Christianity. I think the person also has Obsessive Thought Disorder. I keep telling him "No". I've told it nicely, meanly, sternly, jokingly . . . he doesn't get the picture. Been going on for 10+ years. So, today, came a 7+ page letter in the snail mail, an instant message, and an e-mail . . . all about Jeruselum or something. I did my own advice. We'll see if it works. Somehow, I don't think it will with this one. He's not only toxic, he's OCD. Just a pisser to piss my day.

  • LostGeneration

    So what did you tell the relative? Just that you are done with him/her?

    A really big problem with the JW religion is that it does nothing to help people deal with their issues. Rather, its the kick the can down the road theory that everything will be solved when Jehoopla kills off everyone else and awards panda bears and fruit platters to his faithful servants. So the messed up JW simply persists in all of their crazyness under the guise of serving Jehoopla.

    Being five years removed makes me realize there is no way in hell I would submit to a relationship with 98% of JWs simply because of the cult glasses they have to wear around. The idiotic statements they make about the world around them simply are too stupid to tolerate.

  • skeeter1

    I did the

    "T ell the person how you feel in an assertive way. Use “I” statements. For example: “When you act/do/say _____, I feel _____. What I need is _______. The reason that I am sharing my feelings and needs with you is_______ (because I love you, I want to build a healthy relationship with you etc.).”

  • sparrowdown

    So many good points there as it is so easy to 'lose" yourself in a toxic relationship.

    Finding your voice is key and as you point out that's where assertiveness training comes in handy- for

    drawing up the "terms and conditions" of the relationship, so to speak.

    As LostGen said adding "jehovah" factor to the equation makes it impossible to negotiate a healthy

    relationship with that person as they have to run everything past their WT trained conscience first.

    At some point you have to ask the yourself "is this really worth it?".

    With some people it's a case of "call me when you can think for yourself, and our relationship means more to you than the WT does".

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