Leaving the org and marriage possibly ending

by atacrossroads 51 Replies latest jw friends

  • Bruja-del-Sol
    Relatives of mine have managed to stay happy in their marriage, while the man has faded. The elders came to their house one day, and the man was well prepared. He gave them a list with questions to answer and his promise that he would return to the kingdom hall if they could give him satisfying answers. That was over ten years ago, they never came back and he has never returned to the hall. He and his wife never talk about religion, he became a 'born again christian' but he kept a low profile, never celebrated holidays or birthdays. His wife is still a very dedicated JW. Their only child is allowed to make their own choices, although the woman of course tries to influence that, but the man is showing the other side of everything, so there's some sort of balance there.

    Bottomline is: it is possible to successfully fade and keep your marriage intact, but only if you're willing to give in on things like holidays. Total freedom of speech and doing what you want is not in that package... So it's the question for you, atacrossroads, if your husband and marriage are worth that price!

    Wishing you all the best, and welcome here!
    Bruja x
  • Sabin
    Hello Atacrossroads, it`s so good to have you on board. It sounds to me that you have a good marriage that has just hit a rough patch. That fact that you could be so honest with your husband is a good sign so many high & mighty JW marriages don't have that going on. Start as you mean to go on. Love him & ask only that he loves you back. Yes I believe it can work if you both want it to. The elders are wrong if they encourage him to leave. Keep your pecker up.
  • SecretSlaveClass

    Hi there Atacrossroads. This forum is filled with people with a genuine compassion for one another. There is some fantastic advice left in this thread by folks far more experienced and mentally equipped than I, so I'll just offer you my sympathy and wish you all the best.

  • OnTheWayOut
    Has anyone here been able to sucessfully fade and keep your marriage intact with an active JW? Are both of you happy?

    My situation qualifies. But it is a bit different when the husband fades away instead of the wife. I was fully involved as an elder, and my wife was a good witness who didn't really follow the doctrine as tight as I did.

    Anyway, I kept seeing things that seemed wrong and finally researched Jehovah's Witnesses and went wherever Google took me. It didn't take long for me to see that I was not in "the truth." Rather than immediately share my revelations with my wife, I made plans to resign as an elder and figured we would be able to discuss these things better after my resignation.

    So I resigned and tried to help my wife see why I resigned, what was wrong with Watchtower. She would hear none of it. She literally put her fingers in her ears and shouted when I was talking, stating how she was getting a headache from all this.

    As months passed by, I finally totally stopped going to the Kingdom Hall. I did manage to have a discussion with my wife about that. I said that I had been reading materials that helped me to be an independent thinker. I told her that the repetitive nature of meetings at the Kingdom Hall interfered with my independent thinking and I would not be accompanying her anymore to the Hall. She took it rather well. I cannot say exactly what she was thinking, but I am pretty sure she recognized that we had a wonderful strong bond in our marriage and she was afraid to lose me. I think she decided to let me "fade" away from Jehovah's Witnesses in the hopes that I would continue to be a loving husband. She wanted to keep her husband AND her false hopes.

    When she asked if my decision to stop going to the Hall changed anything between us, I said that it didn't have to. Further, I asked one thing of her. I asked that she not be reporting anything about me to the elders. She agreed that my relationship with Jehovah was between me and Jehovah and she wouldn't try to report/spy for them.

    She honored that part of the agreement very well. Over the years that have passed, I have occasionally tried to tell her of some things I read about the Watchtower, but I have mostly tried to indirectly reach her to make her think independently of Watchtower teachings. While she has never shown signs of weakening her beliefs, she has been able to strengthen her ability to decide things for herself without automatically falling in line with Watchtower teachings.

    All I can say in a hopeful way here is that I would have divorced her had I thought that she would have been happier without me. My wife recognized our strong marriage and probably figured the financial security of staying together versus the alternative.

    Since I was free to be my authentic self in our marriage and put Jehovah's Witnesses aside for me, and since no children were involved, it has worked out okay. I put up threads about the occasional problems we have over religious issues, but we do pretty good considering.

  • Ding

    I don't have any advice at this point beyond what has already been said, but I do want to welcome you and let you know that I care.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Oh, I made my response all about me. Sorry about that.

    You say you are living in limbo. That's just a situation with the congregation. It sounds like you are moving on with some difficulty in finding a workable situation. You say you and your husband "are spending time together again and he does not nag [you] about going in field service or to meetings."

    Nobody knows if it will work out, including you and your husband. But you have a better gauge of that than anyone else. Your husband either really means he has no plans to divorce you or feels he has to say that as a JW knowing that "Jehovah hates a divorcing" unless you cheat on him. Only you can decide whether to stay with him if that is the case. When the elders come after you, you will see some of your husband's true colors. And I don't mean whether he supports the elders' side of things, he probably will. I mean, you will be able to see if he supports you despite agreeing with them or wants to throw you under the bus and do more for them than just agree with them.

    If you want to stay in your marriage, you can work on it now before that judicial committee happens, then see how he handles that. Best of luck to you.

  • Indian Larry
    Indian Larry

    Hang in there. I too almost lost my marriage to one of the best women in the world. Yes, she is under the "spell" of the governing body but she is still a wonderful person, loving mother and my best friend. When I first learned TTATT I almost lost all of that. We actually slept in different rooms for several weeks.

    For me what worked best was this:

    Tell brothers you are depressed and meetings increase your anxiety (which in my case was true)

    It helps if you change halls and just never start going to the "new" hall.

    Don't try to shove TTATT down their throat. It does not work. You have do do it little by little and they will only respond when they are ready, not on your time table.

    I show her respect for her choices and she shows me respect for mine. I do not attend meetings, or assemblies, however I do go to the memorial once a year.

    I got to this point over time. What friends I have in the organization are still my friends, we do things socially and we just don't discuss these issues one way or the other. In other words I don't try to "convert" them and they don't try to "convert" me. I can not say that this is the way that it should work for everyone, but for me it seems to be working fine. My wife and I (and my daughter) have a good relationship now we enjoy each others company and just try to live an let live.

    That is my two cents.

  • freemindfade

    Welcome my friend and

    Welcome to the limbo club...

    Your story is very touching, many of us here are going through similar things.

    I was in a pretty good place, but now things are awkward again, I don't think either of us want it to be this way, but this is what religion and cult religion do to relationships and human interaction. They ruin them, or at least strain them.

    I wish i had more positive things to say, but right now I am just on the eve of a massive fight myself and pretty tapped out.

    FMF at your service

  • DesirousOfChange

    I don't know if he can handle me celebrating holidays and openly hanging out with apostates.

    Taking those steps will force the hand of the Elders to DF you and just make things more difficult at home. The holidays are not worth it. If the apostates you hang out with are family, you can pull the "necessary business" trump card.

    Good luck,


  • Rattigan350

    "I plan to celebrate the holidays this year "

    Why would you want to do that?

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