I feel like I am going crazy at times ...
COVERTS- Man, I really feel for you bro. When I started having doubts about JW's in my first marriage with my JW wife , my kids were 13, 11, and 10 , a little older than your kids , but not much. We separated not long after that. Then divorced. As others have said here- there is no easy way to play the pretend game. First off- it's unhealthy physically & emotionally on you, your mate, and our kids are smarter than we think- they can feel the tension in the family atmosphere.
That being said if you are hoping to stay with your wife and kids for the long haul , I suggest not discussing any JW topic with your wife or your wife's family. Anything you say can or will be used against you by the " court of judicial committee's " if you get my drift. I know one thing some folks have done on the board here is follow Steve Hassan's advice ( he's a cult exit counselor ) when we are stuck in a family of cult members and they take time to do lots of activities away from the kingdom hall with the family. Activities that have nothing to do with JW's, WT, or anything religious.
For instance - ask yourself, what hobbies or activities does your wife enjoy doing that has nothing to do with the Witnesses ? Does she enjoy shopping ? Going to movies ? Bicycling, walking, going to parks or nature walks with you and the kids ? Do either of you like music ? Going to an outdoor concert ? Even growing a vegetable garden in the back yard ? I'm grasping at straws here- but you get the point. Any activity that you can engage in with them that will take up your wife or your children's time and get them into thinking in terms of reality in the here and now can be a positive influence to their too narrow JW world views. It gets their mind thinking on other things than only JW things.
Just a suggestion buddy. Some have tried this and it has helped. All the while telling your wife and kids you love them and that you enjoy doing these things with them. If your wife is a hardcore JW , it probably won't get her out of the cult- but it will help make your existence and your relationship with her and the kids easier than just looking at it as a " good guy / bad guy " situation. You and your family could actually have some bonding doing non-JW activities ! Isn't that a hell of a concept ! ? lol.
I wish you the best of luck. If you ever want to chat, just PM me, I'd be glad to talk sometime with you. Peace out, Mr. Flipper
COVERT - your family situation is a challenge in your life, not an insurmountable obstacle.
You now have to prepare your personal strategy, because you well know what the strategies of the cult are. Continue showing your wife that you're a loving husband - by any means you think she'd appreciate.
As others have said, you will have to fade and by the sounds of it you'd better do it carefully & quickly, because psychologically you're going to suffer the longer you delay things and bottle them up. Do not reveal your anti-org thoughts to anyone - especially your zealot wife.
You have a P.M. I wish you well.
Covertsad - your whole strategy should revolve around undermining the faith your kids may have in the cult. There is nothing more important than that.
But you have to do it in a way that doesn't push them away from you
...I am holding back as I know if I come clean I will loose so many people , family , etc, But I can’t take it too much longer - it’s already dragged on way too long. Thanks for listening - this is my only outlet. If someone has had a similar path please give me your thoughts...
Sorry you are going through all that. I know that people who are very family-centered (and you sound like that) have a harder time with their relationship with the loved ones. There aren't many easy answers, but just keep in mind that I'm sure that they care about you as much as you care about them. Don't underestimate how powerful that is. I hope your situation gets better for you.
If you decide that you want to open the lines of communication a bit, do it with questions. Ask questions about the issues that concern you and then STFU. Let your wife "help" resolve the issue by doing her own research. BTW -- your issues can easily be things that you were confronted with in service or at work, etc. "John Smith showed me "this" about JW child abuse hearings in Australia." It appears to be legitimate. What to say?
Plant seeds during Family Worship. Questions to prepare the kids for issues that could come up in school or at the door. Why do scientists claim man is more than 6,000 +/- year old? If you discover scientists are correct, what does that mean to the Genesis account?
Defiantly plant very parallel ( to the org) seeds in your kids. Seeds that lead to questions. Also praise questions as being the bet way to learn.
My 12 year old daughter ( she is not a JW her Dad is a born in but never baptized) watched all of Leah Remini's Scientology series with me. We talked about high control groups. I brought it up whenever I found an opening, such as herbalife, and talked to her about high control, the BITE Method, twisting scriptures that some people do to make any scripture say basically what they want it to say. We talked about the danger of any group that is high control and how to recognize them. ( never brought up the JW)
We talked about making to to go find the context of any quote you read before making a judgement or decision about if you believe it.
The kids need guidance on how to SEE for themselves. You will not be able to just tell them. They need the skills to do it on their own. You can provide that, carefully, non threateningly. it's a challenge! It will keep you thinking all the time- on your toes. That can help with the frustration of not being able to just pull them out.
While working on the kids skills, your wife will be a observer. I fear if you directly try to encourage her with questioning etc, she will balk. Observing is the least threatening, and hopefully most effective way to reach someone.
Context of this advice- This is coming from a never been JW, with a never been JW child, and a wanna be jw , but now maybe not, husband.
So far the seed planting has been highly effective on my daughter who now actively asks about the JW and recognizes the high control herself.
My husband may or may not be actively questioning the JW in his mind. I like to feel that he is. He has been POMI most of his life.
You are still at home, head of the house (per WT rules). Use it to your advantage.
Teach your children science and logic. Plan trips to natural history museums. Los Angeles has one full of dinosaurs. LaBrea Tar Pits too. There is one in Alberta, Canada also. (Don't know where you live).
Get them interested in astronomy. How many light years planets are away from earth. Tell them the people who have computed the answers have studied for years in their field.
Earth sciences, the study of tree rings, geology and studying rocks and learning how they were made and the forces behind that from events that happened thousands of years ago. Mexico and New Mexico have wonderous caves full of exotic formations and crystals. Can you look at available videos of volcanoes and caves and anything of special interest to them and you watch them all together?
Physics is fun. Help them learn.
You can teach them science and math while cooking and baking (and eating the results) while all together in the kitchen.
Make your precious time with your children something enjoyable, that they will treasure in their future when they think of you.
Win your family through love and kindness.
Be gentle with them. You picked their mother. You both picked the same religion. They picked neither. They are stuck in the middle.
Hugs. We all know this is hard for you. Please keep posting and venting.
One chap started family study evenings where he would have a guided study, starting with the very basics of the faith. Sort of let's " make the truth your own"but with a difference!
He would always use socratic questioning when he came across something which didn't make sense and the Jw's couldn't answer. Never making statements, always posing questions to get them thinking. so, for instance when did Jerusalem fall...587 BCE .
https://youtu.be/_erVOAbz420This is an absolute MUST to watch with your kids, I think it's on prime or netfliks or you tube maybe. Please find it.everyone will concur Neil DeGrasse Tyson's remake of Cosmos is essential
First, I would like to say I understand. Second, it will get worse before it gets better because you will become an "instant" enemy to everything that is Jehovah's Witness (except for Jehovah himself. However, you may be able to show your children a fuller life closer to God. I have learned more about Jehovah and real truth than I ever thought possible. The True God created us to be all we are capable of being. To do less is not respecting His gift of life. I never saw that in the WT. In fact, it was discouraged and learning how to deal with "the world" was like learning how to handle snakes. That's NOT the way it's supposed to be. We are supposed to learn how to exercise our choice to become stronger and closer to God.....or not while living our individual lives. We have the right to choose, but the consequences are not optional. WT doesn't teach how to do that at all. And preach as they might, they DO NOT take care of each other or "shore up the weak." I sympathize with what your going through, but it's your decision. I'm just getting over all the feelings of rejection and anger when I was just protecting myself from someone that had a documented plan to kill me (they wanted more proof than three witnesses that were "wordly") and tried to follow through. I read somewhere that there is more mental illness in the WT than any other religion. That I believe. You have my prayers. Make some heartfelt prayers yourself to Jehovah to light your intended path (if your willing). Might be a lot different than you think after the bumps and bruises heal and you may find yourself closer to HIM than you ever thought possible. Ask Him for a clear path, and pray for an open mind and heart to hear His message and act upon it.