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?