Warning of a long boring post ahead. I feel like i need to vent my story out, as I feel quite helpless at the moment.
I'm 31 year old, married, father of toddler with another one on the way, due later this month. I've been serving as elder for about 4 years now in a south Florida congregation. I've always had certain questions about some bible verses and how they applied to our doctrines, but as most faithful JWs, I always put them aside with the typical "I'll receive my answer one day". It was only recently, due to certain events in my life, that I started meditating on these doubts again, making me realize that they were much more important than I gave them credit for.
Realizing our organization's doctrines were not as easy to explain with the bible as I once believed, I went on a personal study binge, reading and sucking up all the info I can, looking for answers to my "doubts". I even started looking for archived watchtower mags and books, which ended up only causing me more doubts, as I saw then how many failed predictions our org has made throughout the years, and how our core doctrines have changed dramatically as well.
Then, that moment most of us have gone through here: Realizing there is a very big possibility that this is not the truth. That moment hit me like a ton of bricks. I've been born and raised in the "truth". Its all i've ever known. All my family is in it. My wife and her family as well. I'm serving as elder with good standing in the cong; brothers always looking up to me as a "good example". Needless to say, those were some terrible days of sleepless nights, shedding many tears.
Since then, I've allowed myself to visit "apostate" sites such as this one and jwfacts. These of course opened my eyes further on the matter. So, some time went by and I realized I must do something about it. I started by talking to my pregnant wife about the matter. She of course was shocked. However, she took it well, mostly trying to blame my issues on the stresses of our new life as parents. Since then, I've continued seeking opportunities to "study" with her and subtly mention new things I've found which I continue to question. As many of you know, it is not an easy task to open someone else's eyes. It seems doctrines and failed predictions do not seem to matter to her as much as it does me. She casts them aside as imperfections from imperfect humans, but overall we have the "general truth". So I dont know how I will handle this, I'm guessing with much patience, love, and directly from the bible (no apostate literature whatsoever as that will turn her off right away).
Next step, I turned in my letter of resignation as elder. This was terribly difficult. Elders almost cried in front of me when I told them of my situation. Of course, I lightened my matter some ("I'm having some doubts as to certain things and I need time to work on myself, my conscience hurts teaching something from the platform which I'm not too sure of). In reality, I'm sure this is not the truth now. But, and this is the reason for the title of my post. I feel like I need to fade as gently as possible.
All my family is in the org. I've got no friends, no family, no one outside of it. My wife is also the same. If I DA or get DF, besides losing all those I love, I know my wife will cut off "spiritual conversations" with me and so also will be gone my chances at trying to open her eyes. With my second child on the way, my wife has told me that if I am to leave the truth, she will teach it to them, regardless of my spiritual position. She also told me that I've made her life so much more difficult now, as she married me, knowing that I was a spiritual man; she never thought she would have to deal with this. Needless to say, this breaks my heart. I love her very much, and do not want to cause her, or anyone else pain.
So, this is my situation. Elders are still in process of sending my details to CO and branch, awaiting their approval for my resignation. My wife does not share my doubts. I've got two children. My family is somewhat aware of the matter, as I've told them I'm stepping down from being an elder because of doubts and circumstances. They are also heart broken, but still "talking to me" at least. My road ahead is a difficult one, as has been for all of you in similar situation. I dont know what to believe, but I know this is something that I can't believe in anymore.
Just a side note: I don't hate my fellow brothers. Even those on top of the ranks. As a matter of fact, I love them very much. Having served as elder for a while, I must say it is quite a difficult task. These men sacrifice a lot of time and energy to complete the tasks put in front of them, and i have nothing but respect for those that do it wholeheartedly. I know many of them are imperfect and have handled things perhaps not in the best way. However, overall, these men are genuinely trying to follow what they've been taught to do, as best as they can. So, you will never see me criticizing an individual. It's the organization in general, that has been setup as it currently exists, that is the culprit and the reason why good individuals can be completely blinded.
If you've made it this far reading, and are in similar situation to me, especially regarding having had a believing mate that did not want to open their eyes, I would love to hear from you, and any advice you would think worth sharing. Thx again.