Just wrote my DA letter....
In response to your question about family relationships, it can work to some extent. I have zero contact with my siblings. But my parents and I talk to at least weekly, and we meet up in vacation spots a couple times a year. Never at home where someone might see me. It was rough in the beginning, but I made it clear I don't want to hear anything about the religion. And they have respected that, but I reversed shunned them for more than a year while I got my new life in order. I didn't want anyone influencing me while I was trying to figure things out. It is nice to have a small relationship with them as they get older.
Make no mistake, Disassociating is the NUCLEAR option. It isn't just closing the door, it is barricading it and nailing it shut. Now as a fader, I can see the appeal. Kind of a ripping off of the band-aid. I loose people it seems every once in a while. Some close, most not really. It just kind of stings each time. Nobody wants to live in fear.
But I still don't want to DA. Not because its a play by their rules scenario, but because why should I do them the favor of cutting off my influence on people around me? This is played out more and more often, when I am able to share a little thought, mention the RC in Australia, ask about a particular teaching......just little things. I know these things may or may not make an impact. However, they cannot "un"know what I mention. So it means something to me to be able to do that.
I haven't been to a meeting for two years, and this year I did not attend memorial. There has been a new hall structuring in my area, and cards have been moved around. I had an elder I know call me just last week. Said he wanted to come by and say hello yadda yadda. I spoke plainly and kindly. Asked him what the nature of the visit was. Once he said something about encouragement etc..., I simply told him that I wasn't interested in any encouragement but i appreciated his call. He asked me if I was attending meetings anywhere, I once again asked him what the purpose of these questions was. Doing this makes them uncomfortable. See I spoke to them like a telemarketer. Do you hide from telemarketers? I don't. They have a crap job, and probably aren't terrible people. I simply tell them I'm not interested in what they are selling and wish them a pleasent day. If they are persistent, I just very plainly communicate.
You have no need to fear these guys. No need to be sick. Take the call. Let them know you'll contact them if you could use their help. No thanks on the "call". thats it. Very simple. Have your conversations with your family on your terms. Not in a barrage of letters.
Or don't. Rid yourself of all of it and start over. I get that too.
So this morning we took our second car to the shop for repair. (This is going somewhere, I promise.) We went to work and came home a bit early. We watched some videos online of a young couple that were posted here who left the organization. My wife told me on the way home from work that she was ready to disassociate, but I wanted to give her time. So, we're discussing dinner and everything that she throws out as an option is something we're out of, lol. She decides that she would like pizza, and I agree. So, she takes our one car out to get pizza. When she returns she asked if I had visitors. What visitors? Well, it turns out that the elder that called us yesterday that we ignored tried to stop by with his wife. Seeing no cars at the house, they moved on, despite the fact that I was sitting in here watching tv and waiting for pizza.
So, they are clearly coming after us even if we don't want it. Why? I don't know. However, they didn't take ignoring as an answer and suddenly after ignoring us for years we're a hot item. Our letters of DA are now stamped and ready to go out tomorrow in the mail. We've asked for a letter confirming receipt and the announcement. The circumstances that led to them missing us today, which wouldn't have been welcomed, just confirmed to my wife that Jehovah has got this. He has been there for us during this entire journey, even while those bearing his name have ignored us for years. The chance of all of those things happening in that timing tonight were very slim. So, although it still feels like a kick in the pants because nobody wants to have to make these decisions, we await official freedom from the bondage to a religion that only wants to talk to us if they think we may have done something wrong. We will be able to sit on our porch in peace.
I hope you can get the freedom and peace of mind that you deserve. Difficult choice, but there are no easy choices. My wife and I are wishing you and your wife lots of happiness and closure!