My Boyfriend is a recent Ex Jehovah Witness
Welcome! Glad you are asking questions and welcoming feedback.
I don't consider he decided to leave the religion, but is simply taking the path of least resistance once his parents and congregation put pressure on him. He only decided to hide from his parents and congregation, his relationship with his 'worldly' girlfriend.
He did lie to you already as he wasn't upfront with you about who he really is.
Even as he is now no longer practising, unless he recognises for himself the JW religion is not "The Truth' and is a cult, he will likely continue to view JWs as god's only true religion, and have high probability he will start feeling guilty and want to return.
Even after being away for some time, even decades, he may decide to return when there is a major life event such as the death of a close family member, a major local or world event (ie: 911) or birth of a child. These events cause a person to contemplate the purpose of life and then often result in wanting to regain practising what they are familiar with and told is "The Truth", so as to save themselves and their spouse and children.
If he does return, he may attempt to convert you and failing that, demand any children you may have together, to attend with him.
Although married to a JW, you will not be the most important relationship to him as Jehovah and the organization will always take precedence over you.
If you search this site's archives, you will come across numerous postings on people asking similar questions as you Even as they asked for advice, many of the prior posters didn't appreciate the advice offered.
I would agree with everyone that stated you need to find out if he still believes the religion. If he does run run as fast as you can , your life will be a misery. If he says he doesn't ask why and make sure he convinced. If he's kinda doesn't believe but isn't completely convinced better to get him to come to a place like this forum or the one over at Reddit.
WHATISTHIS- Welcome to the forum. You've had such excellent advice here - I cannot add much to it ! One reason I love all the folks on this board- so helpful to people needing advice.
The 2 major things people have mentioned that I agree with entirely is :
1. Make sure that your boyfriend is not only out of the JW cult physically ( not attending meetings ) but out of the cult mentally for good. Some here have given you great websites to check out information on that .
2. If your boyfriend was not honest with you for one year in keeping you a secret from his family- it very well may mean that he values his PARENTS opinion about his life over the importance of your and his relationship in his life. And that would set a very dangerous precedent for trying to build trust, honesty, and sincerity. He needs to grow up , or mature- like right now in a very real and fast way in order to show where his loyalty lies- towards your relationship - or towards needing approval of his former JW church or his parents. And since his parents are JW's - the whole approval thing is wrapped up with the JW & parent approval all tied in together- a package deal quite realistically.
I wish you the best my friend, but I suggest asking some really deep, probing questions to your boyfriend to see where he's at mentally, emotionally, and physically or spiritually with the JW organization. As others have correctly stated : if you don't address this now, it will be much more difficult to address it down the line . Just my 2 cents. Take care, Peace out, Mr. Flipper
Just for emphasis I have to repeat what's been said before.
Before you allow any hopes of a good lasting relationship, make sure that your boyfriend is in solid grounds. This means that he is 100%, absolutely and unquestionably out of the cult, physically and mentally. You and he must learn everything that is bad about this religion. There's mountains of information out there. Just type the word(s) and you will be overwhelmed.
Imagine this scenario:
Down the road you and your boyfriend decided to have children. There's a terrible car accident and your child needs a blood transfusion if they are going to live. Imagine he responds before you do (perhaps you are unconscious as well). Will he allow the child to have a blood transfusion?
Heck...imagine YOU need the blood transfusion to save your life and are unconscious. Will he try to prevent the blood transfusion?
What about fractions of blood? Will his conscience allow them? What if the fraction isn't a "conscience matter" as defined by Watchtower?
Imagine this...what if he takes the kid the Kingdom Hall on occasion? Or decides he wants to have someone at the Kingdom Hall "study" with the kid (perhaps secretly...this has happened). Imagine this...the elders are aware that one of the JWs has molested children in the past, but have not warned the parents. In fact, that JW still goes door-to-door. Or perhaps the elders have heard of reports about a JW, but because there aren't "two witnesses" to the molestation, their hands are tied and they can't do anything about it.
There are all sorts of nightmare scenarios if he is not mentally out. His parents would be actively attempting to study with and makes sure any children become JWs.
I feel like i will always be the girl that made him lose his relationship with his family and friends.
Whenever you're talking about this stuff, emphasize he is free to make his own choices. He is used to others making choices for him, so be sure to remind him he gets to make choices now. That may lessen the likelihood he will blame you if he later regrets his choice.
Encourage him to develop genuine friendships besides you.
Honestly though, this situation is long term. Leaving a cult gives you scars. It will take years for him to deprogram himself and then he can start the work of becoming his authentic self. If you are not able to deal with the prospect of him being in some level of emotional pain for years, then I'd say you have a decision to make.
Nobody is free of emotional baggage.
Once he is fully open to it, he will examine the teachings and his beliefs will start falling like dominoes, one by one, but fast.
If he is in an early state of this process, that doesn't mean he isn't going to progress later on. It does mean you have most of the work ahead of you though.
He has been out less than 1 year. That's a newbie.
I feel I should put my 2 cents in since my situation was very similar to yours. When I met my now husband he was a mostly inactive jw. He didn't tell me for many months that he was raised a jw and when he finally did he downplayed the importance of the religion and made it sound like it was just how he was raised. I didn't think anything of it and had no idea that it was really a cult disguised as a religion. We married and lived without anything jw in our lives for many years. We lived a normal life with Christmas etc... So fast forward a couple decades and when his parents died things changed. His family started working on him and pulled him back in. Then they started working on me and I started going to more meetings, conventions, studying etc.. Once I learned what it was really about I wanted nothing to do with the jws. Now he is semi active and basically lives a double life. Things have dramatically changed between the two of us as well. I am now seen as worldly and have been told that I'm a follower of satan. I know this sounds shocking, but it's the norm for a jw. You either follow jehovah or you follow satan. He regrets not marrying someone in the truth and uses me as an excuse to his family as to why he hasn't progressed more in the religion. Those types of comments never came out of his mouth until he became involved with the jws again. He struggles with all of the guilt and pressure to hurry up and get on board before it's too late. As always, armageddon could be here any minute and if he doesn't survive it he will never see his parents again. His family tells him this weekly by either phone or text. It's not a happy way to live!
I apologize for the long post. Please think very carefully before you pursue any type of commitment with your boyfriend. I know it's probably not what you want to hear but this jw indoctrination can be seriously damaging even if it is dormant for many years. I wish forums like this would have been available back when I was deciding to get married. I had no idea what marrying a jw would mean in my future. You are much more informed than I was and that is a great thing. I wish you the very best!
Your with a guy who is only months into deprograming from a cult that has the persuasion that the best salesman would be proud. If you take this guy on he will need a lot of help. You need to use the search bar on this site with the words ..family and sadness, and read these stories of real people who have had a religion destroy their families . If he believes the Jw doctrine and is not open to apostate views you need to run like hell , because if this religion gets in your home with children then it will repeat history with another cult affected child, also remember Jw children won't have blood transfusions this could also complicate things. I wish you well with your complex decisions. Cheers Chook
It seems to me that he should have opened up to you about being an ex-jdub sooner than he did. That in of itself should give you pause.