Til death do us part - divorce

by Lady Lee 35 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • LittleToe

    I couldn't agree with you more, Cassi.

    I suspect that when marriages fail, it's rarely just one party's fault. Whilst it's not usually the case, oftentimes the least of the blame should fall to the party that leaves. The marriage wouldn't be failing, if all were right in the world.

    In the case of an abused spouse, I agree, they should get the heck out of there (though that's their decision, in the light of their individual circumstances). Abuse is NOT acceptable, be it mental, emotional, or physical.

    Society at large, and many folks of a religious persuasion, tend to elevate one person over another. Frankly that's just plain unacceptable. We are all equal in God's sight, regardless of what we have done (which was the thrust of my argument, albeit ineptly put).

  • Cassiline


    Your post was far from inept. I read it backward, just as I am until I get caffeine flowing through my veins.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Cassie I will be back later to comment but feel free to add Copyright Lee Marsh 2003 and use it where you find it helpful

    Edited by - Lady Lee on 5 January 2003 11:17:13

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Little Toe and Cassie

    I suspect the added burden of so many who have been abused is that they stood before friends and family and publicly made a vow to stay with this one person and to love them "Til death" The same perhaps could be said of the baptism vows taken by JWs. People take these vows more seriously because they had to give them thought and they made these vows before "God and others".

    I think it is this added burden of making the vow publicly that makes it so much herder to break - as it should be. But sadly somehow the vow got interpreted to mean fidelity only and not the rest of it. And with the JWs infidelity is the only reason for divorce so many JW wives wrongly believe they are the ones who break the vow if they leave an abusive partner.

  • Carmel

    Frankly, I think the Baha'i marriage vows are the simplest and least complicated. "We will verily abide by the will of God." Anything else is superflous.


  • Lin

    Lady Lee and Utopian, this was my experience too. I stayed married to an abusive jw man for fifteen long years. After he would hurt me, he'd cry big crocodile tears and beg me to forgive him etc and for a long time I didn't feel I a choice BUT to forgive him and believe all that baloney he was spewing. I honestly don't know how I came to the firm decision that I would divorce my husband despite what the religion/elders/family and the fact that I have/had six children to provide for, but I somehow did it.

    After everything I had been put through, I vowed I would never again be with a man who would hurt me. I became extremely "picky" about the man I would date, and at the first hint or red flag that indicated the man had/has a violent temper he was history. Sometimes it would become clear within a very short time, days even after going out the first time, when they'd make derogatory comments about their ex or previous girlfriend etc. I figure, if they'll talk about them that way, he'll talk about me that way.

    I met and went out/dated for nine long years before I found the "right one". I'm so glad I was picky. I wish I could understand better how and why so many woman go from one abusive relationship to the next, somehow believing that's all they deserve. I just don't understand. I will never suffer that way again.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    Lin thanks for sharing your story. I think that some of us vow to not repeat the same mistake. It isn't so easy for others.

    It seems there is something called traumatic bonding that keeps many women bound to an abuser or to the same kind of man. Complicating this is that some women think that some of this behavior actually means he cares. - cares enough to yell and hit.

    Also for some women, especially those who grew up with abuse, there is a strong tendency to gravitate to what one knows. And if all you know is abuse, it is hard to imagine a life without it.

    I know I agreed to marry a man I didn't know and didn't even like because I thought the kind of man (without an abuse history) would never like or want me. Besides there was no way I could have told a man from a healthy family what my family was really like. I was ashamed of them. My self esteem was so low after a lifetime of abuse that I thought not being miserable was a high goal. Happiness didn't enter my thoughts because I believed it was impossible - if I even had a clue about it at all.

    It sounds ot me that even after everything you had been through your self-esteem was high enough to say "No more". Bravo for you. It took me a bit longer to get there. And I waited 15 years between the 2 marriages before being willing to try again.

  • MrMoe

    This is a damn good post, one of the best I have seen here.

    Til death do us part... in some cases that ends up becoming rather literal.

    There is a lot I could say here, but I won't, just thanks for such a positive honest message. Spousal abuse is far more common than people can begin to realize.


  • jst2laws

    Excellent Lady Lee,

    You hit the main motivation in my mind when you said.

    No woman needs to feel guilty

    But they do in so many ways. As a man I was motivated more by guilt than by love, hate, fear or anger. Even when our mind is telling us what is clearly right our confused heart is yelling "NO, NO, you know better than that".

    "Walk away", "You don't have to take that". They know this is true, but fear and GUILT keep them from making a move?

    You, Lady Lee, understand this far better then an ex-elder who used to think he really could help people - untrained, unskilled, but dangerously confident that by God's power and authority he could make a difference. I hope I did not hurt anyone. But I did see a lot of GUILT. Misplaced guilt.

    Thanks for your post. Got me upset with myself about all those marriages I tried to save that should have been sent packing. At least I voted to disfellowhship a man for beating his wife repeatedly. Better than that I told her to dump the bum and move on without GUILT. She moved on. I have know idea if she did so without guilt.


  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee


    You did what you did. People, even the victims, know real caring when they see it, even if you are under intructions to say one thing when your heart is saying NO.

    Believe me the abused can read other people better than they realize. We had to learn to survive. You cared.

    One of the elders on my JC cared. I suspect he was out-voted on DFing me. But his comapssion towards me touched me deeply. It sill does 17 years later. He said the words he had to but I knew in his heart and mind he didn't agree. It was alook of compassion and sorrow in his eyes and a grasp of my arm when I almost fainted when they told me.

    We know Jst2laws We know. (((HUGS))) and thank you

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