Just looking for answers.
If you want objective, let's try this. If you become a JW you will not celebrate the following: Christmas, New Years, St. Valentine's Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, or any birthdays. You should not see your friends and family on any of these occasions.
Hold on! First off this person is not going to become a JW. And if he were, he would be shown why JWs don't celebrate holidays thru a Bible study. HOWEVER, JWs are not prevented from seeing friends and family on holidays if that is the only time they can visit with them. How many families do you know of anyway, that hold hands around the Christmas tree and sing songs? Mostly they are gatherings for dinner. Going out on New Year's---who wants to? Too many crazies out there for me! I used to watch Guy Lombardo when I could stay up! LOL
Like many others, I would suggest going slow, slow in your relationship and slow in anything you might find out about the Watchtower that you might want to share with your girlfriend.
I am not a JW and didn't know much about them, even though I grew up 5 or 6 blocks from a Kingdom Hall, until I married someone who had been inactive for many years, and after marrying me, decided to return. As others have suggested, I would research not only the organization, but "cults" or "high control groups." In this way you can make up your own mind as to whether the WTB&TS is such a group or not. A good place to start would be Steven Hassan's website at: www.freedomofmind.com. Steve is a former Moonie who has dedicated his career to helping people involved in high control groups. He has a couple of books that are excellent in letting one know how to communicate with someone involved in such a group in a manner that doesn't set of alarms, triggering thought-stopping behaviour.
I also recommend going slow because you may find yourself questioning certain behavior and attitudes your girlfriend has. Your research will answer many of these questions, i.e. you girlfriends reluctance to share your relationship with those in the organization.
I wish you the best of luck. A relationship with a JW and a non-JW can be extremely trying and frustrating; more so I feel for the non-JW, but that may be just my personal prejudice. I cetainly wouldn't recommend such a relationship.
Sounds to me like your girlfriend is already backing away from the JW's. I never tried to push my wife to leave. Always remember that it's a very personal decision with dire results (shunning) if she decides to leave.
At first my wife considered staying in and started thinking of ways we could fool everyone. I was not comfortable lying about us and she soon saw that trying to keep everything quiet was just imposible. Give your girlfriend time, listen to what she says, and just be there for her. I think she knows that sooner or later she'll have to make a decision.
This is actually my first post here - have been lurking for weeks, but this post I just had to reply on.
As my native language is not english I hope you can accept any misspellings or grammar errors you may find.
The reason why I feel I can contribute to this thread is that I've been in the EXACT same situation, and in a way still are...
For a couple of years ago I met this lovely JW girl who I loved from the very first minute I saw her. Not knowing exactly how to tackle the situation, I decided to brake up. Couldn't keep away from her though and so the relationship continued with some pauses.
To make a long story short we are now happily married (fast decision - surprised our parrents). I have a great relationship with her parents and the rest of her family. I keep to myself what I think and know of their "religion", I have even attended meetings in the KH and in the home study groups. (Last night I dreamed that I was going to disguss the org. with her family - so I guess I'm getting more confident that I have the arguments needed).
I have so far not done anything to show her what I find of negative info of her "religion", but I know that one day I will... If not before then when we get children. I will show them all the creepy details and their mum will undoubtly hear some of it.
Well I guess I'm talking to much so I will try to get to my point.
I (And I guess Thinker will agree) know that a mixed relationship can work. But you will have to make you this clear.
1) If she continues to be a JW will it be a problem for you? Could you accept that she went to the meetings and all week after week?
2) If she left the org. would she blame you? (Nooo!, you think - well she probably might not - but I'm not sure what happends to a person when she is abbandoned by her family). And how would that change your relationship?
3) What about birthdays and christmas etc.? How are you going to tackle those situations? Personally I didn't plan anything, but I can now see that I will have to decide. (Havne't celebrated my birthday for 2 years (my parents do visit us and bring presents though - and they give my wife birtday presents too ;) ) The 1. year of our marrige we didn't celebrate christmas, but last christmas we wen't to my parents house and had a "present game".. went ok.
If you think you can change her over night you're wrong. It takes MANY hours of reading and planning.
My best advice will be: Talk, talk and talk with your girlfriend. You HAVE to discuss your (the) situation. Honesty will be rewarded in the end.
wow...some great advice... thanks again.
and to answer mr.magoo's questions:
1) her meeting don't bother me. she goes sunday, monday and wednesday ... although she's been missing a lot of the wednesday meetings.
2)I talked to her briefly last night about her meetings .... and I honestly don't think she's aware of what would happen if she left. Maybe she is, but she just doesn't think about it.
3)I love Christmas .... and I've told her so. Pagan origins aside, I think Christmas has become something very important and spiritual in my life. And she didn't make an issue out of it.
The more I think about it, she seems to be attending the church simply because that's where she grew up. She has never invited me to a Bible study , or tried to show me the "perfect" Watchtower ways. So it's possible I'm just making an issue out nothing.
Please don't let go of this girl. Be patient. It isn't easy to be a JW and fall in love with someone who isn't. I'm sure she will get tired of the hiding after awhile.
My most wonderful man has waited for over 3 years for me to come to my senses. He never pressured me, and even tolerated my hiding our relationship.
Once when I told a "friend" about my feelings for an "unbeleiver", my business dealings were threatened. I would have lost my only source of income. The JWs will do anything to keep you two apart. It is such an emotional rollercoaster. I then realized the friend really isn't a friend. It's a lot of manipulation.
We are now planning to be married, and I am so very happy. I still am at risk of losing my business, but I'm sure there's life after the JW.
Nice to meet you.
If you want objective, let's try this. If you become a JW you will not celebrate the following: Christmas, New Years, St. Valentine's Day, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, or any birthdays. You should not see your friends and family on any of these occasions. - larc
Hold on! First off this person is not going to become a JW. And if he were, he would be shown why JWs don't celebrate holidays thru a Bible study. HOWEVER, JWs are not prevented from seeing friends and family on holidays if that is the only time they can visit with them. -flowerpetal
I've been a jw for 30 years - imho, larc is correct. I went to my daughter's for dinner this christmas day, low key, her fiance's immediate family, blue jeans, no gifts, no prayers. My husband's elder brother chastised him for going because how would they know that we didn't celebrate christmas if we were over there for christmas dinner?
As for thanksgiving, some jw's do have big gatherings & turkey and trimmings. What makes that any different that the way worldly people celebrate thanksgiving? None.
In all honesty, jw's are not *prevented* from doing a lot of things, including voting and receiving a blood transfusion. But we have been told that the organization will consider that we have disassociated ourselves if we choose to do many things, including celebrating holidays. And appearances are everything to a jw - look like your celebrating - and some are going to conclude you are.
The expression *frowned upon* comes into play. All the holidays that larc mentioned are not forbidden by the Bible. They are forbidden by the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society. Even going to someone's house on those days to eat dinner is *frowned upon*. Even eating with fellow workers for a thanksgiving/christmas/new years/4th of july dinner/picnic is seriously *frowned upon.*