Were You Part Of a Divided Household?

by minimus 31 Replies latest jw friends

  • songmistress

    Sisters with Unbelieving Mates got to fellowship with other Sisters with unbelieving Mates. I remember being told all the time how I was such an encouragement to the congregation for remaining so loyal and being so regular at the meetings and out in service. Problem was, that was about the only way I ever got any association by anyone other than "my own kind". I can only speak for the sisters with unbelieving mates because that was my experience.

    I remember telling an elder once that I was so tired of being told what an encouragement I was to the congregation, and if I heard it one more time I thought I might scream. The look on his face was priceless. When he asked what I meant by that, I told him that I did not care to be an encouragement to the congregation. I was in a lot of emotional pain and needed some heavy enouragement. My children were spiritual orphans, but since they had a worldly father, no one wanted to step on any toes, so they were ignored.

    Being in a divided houselhold is it's own kind of hell. I was not close to my husband, because he was not a witness and was going to die at armageddon so why get close, but I was not real close to most in the congregation because they did not want to associate with my husband, not only because he was an unbeliever, but also had drug and alcohol problems. My oldest son had a severe case of preachers kid syndrome as he hit his teenage years. Major bout of juvenile delinquency with further distanced us from the congregation. My younger son got lost in the shuffle. And I continued to get lip service.

    There was a time that the elders thought that it would be encouraging for me to be of help to one in the congregation who needed transportation for her and her son since she and I lived in the same apartment complex. Heck of it was, she was disfellowshipped at the time.

    Ok, I am rambling here so I will stop. But for what it is worth, this is my experience as part of a divided household.

    Blessings to all


  • minimus

    WOW! You expressed something that hit me. Why bother trying to make a relationship with someone, whether they be a spouse, child or friend. They're only going to die at Armageddon. That's EXACTLY what the Watchtower Society has produced, a bunch of cold hearted, sanctimonious hypocrites.

  • songmistress

    It wasn't like I married outside of the witnesses or anything either. I had been married for a couple of years before I became a witnesses, so you would think I wuld not be penalized for that. But being the "loving" organization they are, the unwritten rules applied to me as well as every one else. The drug and alcohol problems also made it very hard for me to be close to my hubby as well, but if I had not been a witness, I think I would have related to my hubby differently.

    I learned to be alone, and that sticks with me to this day. I am afraid to let people close. Afraid I will be judged for who I am or what my circumstances are. I joke around alot, but deep inside, I feel very alone and being part of the JW's who tell you "we will love you if you do this or that" has made this very much worse.

    I see the love going on around me. I look at those like Onacruse and Bikerchic, and Lyin Eyes and Wild Turkey and others who are truly couples. Those who were together as Witnesses and left together and those who found each other afterward and while I am happy for them, it makes the loneliness inside all the more lonely.

    Having spoken to and heard the stories of a couple of men on this board who were divorced by their witness spouses when they left the witnesses, I do not understand. I stayed in a bad situation because I had become a witness. As far as I know there was no adultery involved on the part of my husband so according to witness teaching, I was not free to divorce and remarry, so I stayed. These witnesses women who divorced their now non-witness husbands found themselves in a situation not so different than many others in divided households and in my case, having met the men in question, since they were married to men who were and still are fine, responsible men, I wonder to myself, how these women dare to have been so cold and calculating to have done such a thing. Of course for both of them, the end result has been new relationships that are far superior to what they left behind, so I can see the blessing in disguise.

    Minimus, you have hit a very tender spot and one that apparently needs some purging. I know you probably did not intend for me to write a book when you asked your question.

    I hope I am making sense. If not, I am sorry, and clarifying questions will be considered.



  • minimus

    Cheryl, I'm glad that you can use this forum as an opportunity to express yourself. Sometimes, we do need to vent and deal with what we have had to go thru in our lives. Please don't be afraid of people getting close to you or judging you. They don't really matter. YOU DO!!! It's hard to see you in anguish and despair , all because you've wanted to do the right thing. ENJOY your life to the fullest, NOW. Make that your goal. We can all learn from yesterday's pain. I hope that you will be able to cope with your sadness by not separating yourself from good people....stay in touch.


    Well...for me, it was just: ME

    My family, were not JWs, nor were they ever interested. It caused some strife at home and some teasing by my brothers and anger from my Mom. My father, couldn't care less. Only if he was drunk and in a surly mood, then he'd natter at me about it.

    One time, he did throw my magazines in the fireplace, and oddly enough, my brothers stepped in and told him: "DON'T!" Weird huh?

    Minamus, were you too also in a divided household? Doesn't matter, but just curious.

    My house nowadays, divided no more. Got my family back, my freedom and peace of mind .

  • SpannerintheWorks


    Dear Fred Franz....What the hell difference does it make to you? OK, I'm a troll and I suck and I'm no good and I like to ask stupid questions and not tell you all the reasons. I work for the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. I check and research all your answers and personally give them to the Governing Body on Monday mornings. I am a member of the elite "Righteous Guard" and I am here to turn in all apostates and their supporters. ....Is that GENUINE enough?.........I didn't think so, Fred.....I hope you feel better.

    Thank you for clarifying the situation.


  • Goshawk

    As a child, yes.

  • bittersweet

    My mom became a witness when I was 4,my dad never became one.My dad didn't care too much....he was glad he didn't have to spend money buying us b-day and x-mas gifts.He let my mom do what she wanted.They divorced when I was 9.When we would go visit him,we would have so much witness guilt embedded in us,that even if he wanted to celebrate something with us,we wouldn't allow it,for fear my mom would find out.We certainly didn't have the best of both worlds!

    Now I am the unbelieving mate,and I know my kids suffer because of it.I am an inactive baptised witness,and as much as I'd like to do certain things(such as holidays,etc)with my kids,I don't,because I don't want to cause problems in my marriage.The one thing my kids do know,is that whatever decisions they make,I will be there to back them up.I do wish that I had that when I was growing up!My dad wasn't around enough to support me if I didn't want the troof growing up,and my mom certainly would not have supported me if I didn't.

  • minimus

    I was raised by a JW mom and family. My father was never a Witness and both of my parents were seperated early on. I was considered more of a "fatherless boy" than anything else. 40 plus years ago, any family that was in the "truth" was pretty much the same. There were very few distinctions. Now, it seems that if a family was not in the right clique, there would be no guarantee of association. I know some kids that were really coddled because of being in a divided household. I know others that weren't ever given the time of day.

  • acsot


    I learned to be alone, and that sticks with me to this day. I am afraid to let people close. Afraid I will be judged for who I am or what my circumstances are. I joke around alot, but deep inside, I feel very alone and being part of the JW's who tell you "we will love you if you do this or that" has made this very much worse.

    I can relate to that, not because of being married to an unbeliever (I'm single) but because of growing up in an alcoholic home, and the resultant isolation - embarrassed to have your friends over, told "not to say anything", etc. Being a JW made it worse, for the reasons stated in many of these threads. I guess that's part of the reason why I tried to "over-compensate" by being super-spiritual, that way I could be "good enough" to get the attention I needed. Problem was, of course, as you wrote, Watchtower love is very conditional, so if you start off with a dysfunctional view of yourself, it only gets compounded by all the counsel/advice/admonition/conditions attached to being a JW.

    When you said that people would commend you for being an example to the congregation, I suddenly remembered that very same thing being said to a sister with an unbelieving, abusive mate. I must have been in my early teens and the JW pioneer said that to the sister with the abusive mate. So pathetic, like "wow, how fortunate you are to have had your head bashed against the wall, now everyone can be encouraged by that!" Must be one of those clichs the dubs love to trot out every once in awhile which serve no purpose other than making others feel worse than they already do .

    At least we have this forum, and Minimus' questions to keep us digging out from all these issues we're buried under. My e-mail is open if you ever want to e-mail me.

    Thanks Minimus for this thread!!!!

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