Leaving the org and marriage possibly ending

by atacrossroads 51 Replies latest jw friends

  • atacrossroads

    I was raised a witness, baptized at 16, vacation pioneered, got married, etc. I was very much your typical witness and believed it was the truth until last summer. A very close relative of mine left the witnesses. He tried to go quietly but the elders would not let him fade and he was disfellowshipped for apostacy. This devastated me beyond words and I was even a good witness for a few months and shunned him. I missed him so much I used any excuse possible to contact him under the guise of necessary family business. We never discussed religion but I was dying to know what he found out about the witnesses that would cause him to blow up his life and not look back. I was afraid to ask him but I went on the internet and started researching myself. There was so many articles about false dates and child abuse. I read some of the articles and was shocked by what I read. Then I closed my mind again and signed up to auxilary pioneer. I decided right then and there was not going to get sucked into apostacy like my cousin and told him I was disobeying Jehovah by having contact with him. I was good for a few months but I could not forget what I read.

    I went back on the internet AGAIN and started researching. It took me another 3 months to accept the fact that I could not be in a religion blessed by God. I stopped going in field service and reduced my meeting attendance. My husband was worried sick about me and why I was getting "spiritually sick". I kept all this from him and he did not have a clue about the research I was doing. I told no one not even my cousin until I decided I could no longer go in field service and spead lies. My cousin strongly advised me if I wanted to fade that I should not share my new found beliefs with the family. He told me to go back to college and go full time at my job and be considered weak and not to get disfellowshipped. That is easier said than done.

    I took his advice and went back to school in January and I told my husband I wanted to finish my Bachelors and I was going to step back from going out in field service and would not be able to attend meetings on the nights I had classes. He did not accept this explanation at all and looked at me like I grew two heads. He blamed himself for a lot of this and said he was a neglectful husband and was going to resign as a ministerial servant so he could spend more time with me. This made me feel extremely guilty and I told him not to resign. He was suspicious and asked me how much contact I've had with my cousin. I told him I did not discuss religion with my cousin.

    He called my parents and they had this intervention and I told them to back off. I had to figure things out. He would not let it drop and I finally told him I did not want to be an active witness anymore. He cried and this man does not cry. I told him I learned lots of damning info about the organization and if I spoke openly I would be disfellowshipped. After I told him that he backed away from me big time. He did not hastle me about going to meetings or in field service. I was expecting to be summoned to a JC but I was not. He ignored me for a couple of weeks and then he finally started speaking to me again and he said he did not sign up to be married to an apostate and asked me how far gone I was and that I better be honest with him and stop lying. I told him I could not go back even if it meant he ended our marriage.

    He wanted me to speak to an elder who was an "expert" at dealing with witnesses who allow themselves to be taken in by apostates and would talk to me about any concerns I had. He was mad at me by this point. I told him not be be naive about this so called "expert" would get me disfellowshipped. He told me my cousin had coached me well. So my husband goes back to ignoring me and I still was not summoned to any elder meetings.

    When I went back to college I was way more open to experience new things than I had been when I was a good witness. My cousin advised me to make friends and for my mental health I needed to build a strong support system outside the witnesses. By new experiences it could be something as simple as having coffee with a worldly person in between classes. I started having drinks with my coworkers after work. I did everything possible to avoid going home to my husbands disapproving looks. While all this is happening I am getting lots of concerned messages from my friends and family. it was very hard for my to enjoy building this new life because of the dark cloud still hanging over my marriage and I felt so guilty for letting him down. He's a really good man and has been a really good husband. He has treated me very well and I love him dearly and I was tempted to stay in for his sake but as you know that bell cannot be unrung. Once you know the truth about the truth there is no going back.

    I am living in limbo. My husband and I are spending time together again and he does not nag me about going in field service or to meetings. I attended the memorial but that is it. I skipped out on the convention and hubby said nothing to me. I don't know how long this can go on and I am very surprised the elders have left me alone. They went after my cousin with a vengence. I asked him if he was going to divorce me and he said no. I think its just a matter of time before the elders come after me. I plan to celebrate the holidays this year and I no longer hide the contact I have with my cousin. Sorry for all this rambling. Has anyone here been able to sucessfully fade and keep your marriage intact with an active JW? Are both of you happy?

  • Wasanelder Once
    Wasanelder Once
    I'm sorry I have not had that situation. I think though that if you go full out "apostate" in appearance, ie: Birthdays, holidays you are asking to move from fade to DA in your husbands eyes. I would be concerned if my wife sought company of co-workers for a drink after work that we had some serious problems. Maybe you do, maybe not? I don't envy you. Keep a low profile and let him get used to the idea that you are done with it. Perhaps he will open his eyes in time. Do you have kids? Doesn't sound like it. Probably a good thing. Welcome here. Others will have your situation. Good luck.
  • cultBgone
    Atacrossroads, I've not been in your specific situation but just want you to know that you are welcomed here and loved. I wish you all the best.
  • Iown Mylife
    Iown Mylife

    Hello, Atacrossroads! You are in a good place here, so welcome!

    When we first started studying and going to the meetings we met a sister with three teenage kids, and for years never met her husband, he was not a jw. The two of them got along fine.

    My husband began getting inactive and then after a few years, only attended the memorial every year. He worked hard to support us. My daughter and I went to meetings by ourselves, and everyone would greet me like this: "Tell him we said hi!" We lived like that just fine for quite a few years, until a big chunk of Life blew up in our faces and finally I could not kid myself about that disgusting cult any more. So now the three of us are out of there and got my granddaughter out as well.

    Maybe you can tell your husband that he should just live and let live - that you don't judge him for continuing in his religion, and that you can love one another without controlling each other's beliefs.

    The trouble is, when the cult-captive spouse sees the free spouse enjoying the weekend, instead of sharing in the stifling drudgery of the cult routines. You might say, "I understand that you need to be part of the WT organization. I'll see you when you get back."

    I sure wish the best for you and hope you can relax, let time go by, you don't have to hurry any decisions.


  • atacrossroads
    No children thank goodness. I am trying to make friends outside the organization so I socialize with them after work.
  • wallsofjericho

    Kudos to having the gonads to tell your husband the truth

    i was terrified to tell my wife, so much so that when I did I actually capitulated and stated "in"

    i went the route of focusing on our family and marriage and my wife was amazed at what happiness we had without me being active or an uber-dub so she backed waaaay off and now we are very content living on the periphery of the religion.

    despite this, I often wonder what would have happened if I had the balls to stand my ground

    i have my reasons for doing what I did, but I commend you for standing your ground for your beliefs.

  • atacrossroads


    I am very careful not to speak negatively about the witnesses beliefs to him and support him in still wanting to be a witness. I can live with him being a witness. I don't know if he can handle me celebrating holidays and openly hanging out with apostates.

  • HeyThere

    Sending you hugs. I have experienced much of what you have, although I was never a baptism witness. My husband met and married when he was inactive. We've been together almost 15 years.

    A couple years ago he went back in full on. I started going with him, and proceeded to unbaptized publisher. I always thought of jws as an eccentric brand of christian...I didn't know all the "rules" special so to speak.

    There were many strange things that rubbed me wrong...such as the talk about worldly people, independent thinking, etc. The way they would "answer" questions s from a watcower by repeating the words in the paragraph and then everyone coming up to them telling them how wonderful the answer was...just weird, but nice people.

    I was going to have major surgery last year, and I was nearly harassed by the whole blood thing. Major red flags. I actually assigned my sister to be my poa after that to ensure I would get blood if I needed it. Then I started doing research, tons of it, even buying old watchtower pubs and such. And I discovered Candice conti. And then the fact there are numerous child sex abuse cases and more.

    I started to ask questions and my husband got pissed...just over questions!!! Also, the sister I was studying with disappeared after I asked about the blood policy. The elders talked to my husband about why I was asking questions. I was like wtf. Then my husband started getting upset when I hung out with my non jw friends...even going as far as telling me they weren't my friends.

    He then threw away my CoC book saying that it would bring demons in the house. I put my foot down then and told him no more, I was done. No more meetings, studies, etc. He shunned me for weeks.

    He them told me he had never thought he would marry a nonwitness, that he always pictured himself with a faithful witness woman, etc.

    I finally asked him to move out. I was done. He did not want to leave, said he would not behave that way anymore, and now we just don't talk about it.

    But I am left wondering if he just doesn't want a divorce due to his beliefs. I am not sure how long this marriage will last.

    I am sorry this was so long-winded, I just wanted you to know that I do understand the type of crazy you are dealing with. Sending you hugs, hang in there and do what you need to do for your sanity.

  • LoisLane looking for Superman
    LoisLane looking for Superman

    Hello atacrossroads and welcome to you.

    We had a star member, jgnat, who had been on for 13 years, with almost 25,000 posts. She was very level headed, kind, thoughtful, loving and had a brilliant mind. I am sure she would have posted something positive and up building for you.

    i think you are a very brave and honest individual and I am sorry that your awakening to WT lies, has caused sorrow to you and your husband. Just know that you are not alone and keep posting for there are people here who have been in your shoes. It is summer time, so some might be on vacation. There is a search engine in the upper right hand corner. Maybe do some searching for past threads and comments that pertain to your situation.

    Kind regards to you.


  • baltar447

    You could try to connect with him in ways that don't involve religion. You obviously still love each other, give it done time. Maybe try and spend some of that time you would with coworkers and find new things to do together. If you start openly celebrating holidays you will get DFd. But you know that.

    Others have dealt with zealot spouses. It doesn't have to end up in divorce but it isn't easy.

Share this