Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Your wife is special. Hang on to her.
Your experiences are similar to mine. I have a large family, but I don't have contact with most of them, because that's the way they want it. My big "sin" was submitting a disassociation note many years ago. In it I expressed appreciation to the elders and their kindness. I have kept my negative comments of the WTS to a minimum. Since then, I keep most of my feelings (except here, of course) tucked away.
To this day I don't know where one of my daughters lives. She is still active, and lives more than a thousand miles away, but she often visits a city in my area less than an hour drive away. I called her to see if we can meet in a place of her choice, and she said no. She said that she owes her loyalty first to Jehovah, hence she cannot communicate with me. That hurts! (My other non-active-daughter occasionally drops some info.)
And talking about self-esteem, it is difficult to have good self-esteem brought up as a JW Witness. Once out of the WT system, we all try to rebuild our lives the best way we can.
The life and example that our Lord Jesus Christ set forth is encouraging to all Christians. In it we learned how he as "perfect" individual lovingly dealt with sinners. He treated most everyone with dignity and respect, an example not followed by most church goers. Rather than imposing heavy religious burdens on people, he encouraged others to "live freely and lightly":
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away
with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real
rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the
unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on
you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matt 11.28-30, The Message)