i started having doubts in my late 20s. I would try to ignore the doubts and tried to pray for spirituality and help on overcoming my doubts. I have felt bored at meetings and conventions/assemblies for years. At our most recent I didn't take any notes and barely clapped. My husband knows I'm struggling with my belief in a god. He is very kind and understanding.
Just tell him that........... also how much you love him. But that you have been struggling with your belief in a god. While he was away you skipped the meetings and took a vacation. You have decided that you are going to take an extended break. During that time you do not want to discourage him or anyone else who is happy in their faith.
I don't know what else you can say. But you have crossed a line and it seems like the time has come to unstick yourself. You can do a gradual fade to allow for him and you to adjust or take an open ended break and see how he handles it.
Based on what you have said a fade sounds better for your marriage and that's the main thing at this point.
Hello Cindy. My wife was in your situation 7or 8 years ago. She didn't feel Jehovah was real to her, the meetings made her feel bad about herself and she hated being different to people in general. I was the opposite at the time, giving public talks, zealous, utterly indoctrinated. I knew she was 'weak' in 'the truth' but was still shocked when she stopped attending. I didn't realise at the time just how brave she was; despite all the pressure, to leave the organisation. It hurt me at first but I did accept the situation after some time passed. In conversation she at no point attacked the organization and was not confrontational over doctrine. If you do investigate some of the shocking scandals on jwfacts that watchtower has been involved in don't share them with him. Allow time to pass, so he can accept his new circumstances, before thinking of sharing such information. I would be careful about discussing your doubts in too much depth too, depending on what doubts you have. But sometimes doubts can be deemed 'apostate talk' and discussing them with your husband and the elders when they come around, may make things more difficult. My point is there are less controversial ways of leaving the organization, that won't raise eyebrows or suspicions so much. It sounds like you love your husband, he sounds like a great guy. I wish you the very best!
Thanks everyone for understanding and the advice. It's a tough one. If I did anything it would be a very slow fade. For the last few years I have been decreasing ministry time. I go out 4-5 hours a month max. My husband doesn't push me to do more thankfully. It is also time for me to go off the ministry school. I can't fake it anymore. I rarely comment at meetings. We are moving soon, so I just won't join up on the school. (Easy!).
My husband isn't serving. He was an MS at one point early on in our marriage. His brother was disfellowshipped a few years back and my husband just doesn't have it in him to serve, it affected him deeply. His brother did some terrible things, and is still doing drugs/is an alcoholic and treated his ex wife and friends/family terribly. I didn't like him before or after all of this went down, he just isn't a nice person and has been awful to my husband too, once threatening to kill him. My husband has minimal contact with his brother, but what went down broke his heart. My husband is the kindest person I know. His parents are controlling and still ask him why he isn't serving as an MS. My husband had to tell them to stop asking. They are very evangelical and preachy. My parents are just happy we are happy and have a strong marriage. Thankfully we live close to many dear friends, and not my inlaws! They mean well, and are doing what they know to be best. They are helicopter parents.
As for me, I have an independent spirit. I believe in being a good person, kind and true to myself. Rules are hard for me, unless they make absolute sense. INTJ female here.
i suppose it will be a journey. For now I want to support my husband, less than I used to, but still provide some support and attend meetings with him. I am not sure whether or not i believe in God, but if it weren't for JW religion I would never have met my husband, for that I'm forever grateful.
thanks everyone. It helps to know I'm not the only one out there with this struggle. It makes me think many fellow attendees at the Kingdom Hall are perhaps having the same internal struggle. I think I can now tell who they are.
I have read your words as well. Gratulations for the love between you and your husband, I have never had "spiritual" bonds, praying together and this stuff. I think the love is a gem that is worth to condone some other bad circumstances in the religion. You are already doing what is good for you, never accept activities that are boring or make unhappy. Variety in activies and vacations with husband would be for me on 1st place to get over actual situation. I was depressed and bought St. Johns wort herbs and took them in the winter months to care for health.
I was in/am in exactly your shoes. I discovered TTATT and it was a devastating shocker to me. My husband is an elder and fairly zealous but not unbalanced. Essentially, I just did a very long, slow fade and here I am, inactive for about eight years and never happier! We kept out marriage together and just agreed to disagree. In fact, my husband helped me in my fade by running interference between me and elders who wanted to "talk" to me (we know what that means). So I never had to face official questions or anything like that.
It's hard--don't get me wrong. I let my field service time dwindle, as you are doing, right down to an hour a month and then, one August, I just didn't turn one in. And guess what? Nothing happened. About two years later, we moved to a different state and that made everything even easier.
The point is, you WILL get through this. It is quite possible to make a happy life for yourself and keep your marriage intact. And coming here and getting support is part of that.
Cindy, it's so great that you happen to be moving. I think this will be good for both of you. Love what John Free said about his wife, that the meetings made her feel bad about herself. IMHO, this is way better than playing the depression card. Meetings DO make people feel bad about themselves! Anyway, keep doing what works for you; my very best wishes for your fade and marriage.