The conflict of living in a divided home is finally getting to me - 8 years later - advice please
To cut my long story short, having left the religion in 2006, my marriage with 2 young kids involved went through a fairly difficult time. For a few years. As I rebelled against the belief system I was astonished that having pointed out reasonable & logical objections, my wife just stood by the religion. It even got to the point where she agreed that the beliefs had damaged my daughters view of me (she had a meldown at one point about me dying at armageddon), yet she stood by, still willing to take our kids along to be exposed to the damage.
After I banned the kids from going for a while, I mellowed. I was done with fighting. Done with the idea of ever breaking up our family. I became the 'resonable' unbelieving mate. Even went to a few JW partys etc. Had a small degree of contact with my wifes friends, all the while keeping my strong objections to the religion.
A number of years have passed by & we have discussed very little of my wifes religion. We reached a point of mutual respect which went well. I had came to a point where I could reasonably appreciate WHY my wife believes what she does, despite not accepting it myself.
But I find that every so often it rears it's head. The reason I think this happens is that sub consciously, you are never really accepeted for what you are. My wife is always hoping that I'll return. In addition, you are married to a woman who believes that you are worthy of being put to death by god. I find this plays on my mind often. Especially given the fact that I am a very hard working dad in my job and at home. At one time I did practically everything in the house due to my wifes depression. This despite the fact that any energy she could muster at the time got spent on the religion. Not the house, not the marriage etc, etc. I have been loyal & faithful to my wife also since the time I've left the religion.
I also feel that my wifes depression is in part caused by being part of such a negative religion with a twisted & completely unreaslitic world view. Of course, she denys this.
Discussing matters like this is incredibly difficult. She just can't see my problems with things such as the insane & illogical bible accounts, disfellowshipping, blood policy, etc, etc. I begged her the other day to think for herself. But the blinkers come down. Absolute 100% loyalty to the religion.
We have three kids. I have never wanted to break up our family but I'm spending my life with this situation & to me it's BIG. It's something that's always there. Always in the background. Two marriage mates going in opposite directions in life. And life & time is passing.
Has anyone else been in this sitiuation? Thoughts?
Oh boy. I would venture that when those moments occur that your wife brings up then its because of something some one else has said, along the lines of "Well you have to get him along" or "Its a pity we never see him". I have been subject of such inane and shallow statements. These comments will come from those who scan the hall at every second to see who hasnt turned up with their spouse or perhaps come from some one-liner from the program.
The wts lubrictaes its wheels on peoples guilt. please seek counselling please a solitary person can not carry such a load on their own. at a guess your kids will be entering 'tweenage--cum teenage years' and they will need you with a sane head on your shoulders.
I marvel at you for being a good provider faithful and true but such fine attributes get you no points when it comes to the 'truth' such things are expected of us males. Do you have any Y-O-U time? Do you spend any time doing some hobby or interest?
Please seek counselling.
and my warmest regards
Do you think you and your wife could find clarity, healing, peace, wholeness and common ground, if you both agreed to make a pursuit of the actual theme (or central message) of the Bible, which although in the Watchtower library, is very different from that effectively taught by the Watchtower?
It worked wonders for our family, although initially my wife thought I had become apostate.
My wife has been transformed from mindless Watchtower drone and spiritual dunce, with no voice and no opinion, to someone a tradesman elder working on our home this week was afraid of and ran away from. I am so proud of her, considering all she has been through with the Watchtower religion/ists and cult/ists.
Not only are we completely religion free, but we are enjoying a vibrant faith and spirituality, and frequently have great, passionate, in-depth and exciting discussions.
Please let us know if we can be of any help (for example by supplying a sequence of "simple" questions for research in the Watchtower library).
Our best wishes for you and your family
I too am a ubm that detests this cult and the damage it can do to families. The big pink elephant is ALWAYS in the room. We do not discuss anything jw related or try not to. Every now and then, like in your house, it rears its ugly head. I never accepted it and never will, if he thinks otherwise he is truly deranged. (my jw joined up later in life, we have no family or friends in the cult)
I never allowed my kids near a kh and did all I could to minimize the damage. I also did not allow any wt literature to be lying around and that helped enormously. Now? I'm sure he uses his devices but at least I don't have to look at the rags. Holidays are still done in this house complete with Christmas decorations outside and in, birthday dinners for the kids, etc... The kids are grown now and out of the house, they have gone on to become Christians and are very happy in their churches. They do many volunteer activities at church, usually involving the poor or less fortunate.
When I say I didn't "allow" the rags to be lying around I mean he could have left them out as the house is half his afterall, however if he did I would find horrible news stories involving jw's, apostate books, apostate print outs, etc... and leave them out because the house is also half mine. Did we go through WW3? yes, for a short while but to me it was well worth it not to have wt crap staring me in the face 24/7. The house should be neutral space, a refuge for the marriage and family.
At times I still get angry and feel I must do something! so I go and deliver anti witness literature. It is not as often as I used to but every now and again a story here or elsewhere will move me to get off my duff and deliver. I will take 10-15 min on the way somewhere and depending on the subdivision can deliver 50-100 homes in a short time (leaving in paperboxes). Perhaps it is immature and does no good at all but it makes me feel better to warn the unsuspecting public about these nicely dressed people coming to their door trying to suck them into a dangerous cult.
Lately my jw seems quite disturbed by all that is going on the world at this moment and if he could he would use the jw lingo on me but then he would have his own little war right in his own living room. I will always call out jw "unique" language or if I know he is using prepared statements by the wt (sometimes it is nearly word for word!) I will always stand up against the wt if he tries to use it in public and then the gates of hell are opened and the kitchen sink is thrown against wt (pedophile issue,shunning, ungodly doctrines, etc............ of course it will never open his eyes and I am well aware of that but I will not allow him to attempt to suck someone into the cult in my presence.
Oh my, re-reading this make me sound like a real hard ass huh? Not really, over the years we have found a delicate dance around all things jw and in general get along great. We do many activities together and have many future plans. For the most part his authentic personality shows through most of the time. News is a great stressor for him and I will notice when he is sinking into jw mode and I attempt to bring up some other subject that he finds pleasurable. It is an odd life to be sure to find yourself married to a cult member. Find the humor in it when you can and a good friend that can understand what the heck you are talking about! Most people do not understand the cult mind at all, can't even fathom it.
You are not alone, wishing you well,
(sorry for the length)
Hi jambon1, I'm sorry about how you feel.
Since you cannot change what your wife believes, have you thought about going to a counselor to help you deal with your feeings and coping with your situation? If your wife wasn't a JW, you and your wife had major fights, and she did not want to see a counselor, what would you do? I was faced with that choice once, and I wish that I had gone to a counselor sooner. Don't waste your time being miserable.
If you changed your objective from getting your wife and family out of the WTBTS to helping your wife and family critically think for themselves, would that help you feel better? How would you feel if you could get your wife involved in fun, time-consuming, non-WTBTS activities/hobbies that you both love and would help you both to meet more non-JWs friends? Have you tried to learn how to overcome your wife using thought-stopping platitudes and cult speak? Instead of showing your wife what is wrong with the WTBTS, have you tried asking her simple questions and encouraged her to critically think for herself and do her own independent research?
Best of wishes for feeling better soon.
Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,
Has anyone else been in this sitiuation? Thoughts?
You have to do what's right for you, obviously. You only get one life. If it's of any help to you, as a kid I used to secretly hope my parents would split up so I could live with my normal parent and not be borgified. I silently realized very early that the religion was nuts, even though I was brainwashed/fearful it could be true, and talking the party line. Of course kids will have different reactions and yours may not feel that way.
Good luck with whatever path you end up taking. I imagine the path will go between a rock and a hard place. (( ))
Some people feel an inner need to be guided and when a person perceives how and the way they're being guided in a direction toward
wholesome living they get mentally stubborn. Religion creates that identifying percepton of guidance in the vein of goodness.
The guiding light for the good of humanity as it were.
The JW religion adds other engaging elements such as fear and guilt which further mentally indoctrinates the person to act in accordance
to the WTS direction expressed through loyalty.
The propagation of dividing members from outside non-members adds to sociological exclusion and division, this can really cause
a real problem with men and woman in a marriage arrangement.
From all those engaging elements of psychological indoctrination, its no wonder people who get involved with this religious organization find it difficult to leave
and to compose a really good reason to do so.
jambon1-Your comment "you are married to a woman who believes you are worthy of being put to death by god", a very sad, but true statement. My husband is the one who is the JW in this family. He is depressed too. I think many JW's are depressed because of the negativity of the Organization, looking always for the worst in people that aren't JW's coupled with the stress of being guilted for never doing enough according to them.
Short answer? Divorce. How do you feel about being in the exact same position 8 years from now, with kids 8 years older (and possibly baptized), and drinking the kool-aide? AND, you'll be 8 years OLDER and more miserable. Cut your losses, and save yourself and your childen.
- Wing Commander
I've never even been to a meeting. I attended a few memorials for the sake of my husbands mother and aunt (to show off her new grandbaby) until I learned the reality of the JW. My husband was raised in a JW household (his father an elder) but he was never baptized , thankfully. He was out for around 30 years when he began to get sucked in a few years ago.
Our marriage suffered a great deal during his peek in interest. He has basically gone back to his former inactivity now. He is physically out again but mentally never dealt with it so he is still mind controlled by the borg. For me, it is like a snake waiting to spring in our marriage - his attempt to again be active in working towards baptism.
So far I try to focus on planting non specific WT/JW similarities, seeds, but never mention anything JW at all. I find current paralells in the JW double think etc etc...discuss the harmfulness of such things, and he will agree with me until I see the disturbing congnitive dissonence run across his face and he begins to shut down. I might continue a bit more or just stop at that point. Getting him to be disturbed by recognising the parellel in his own mind is my goal. Even if it doesn't work, it at least helps me feel active in trying to remove this potentially marriage killing snake from our lives. For me to just passivly sit and wait is unbearable.