Non JW wife/JW husband Christmas tree debate
First post here and looking for advice and help. Sorry in advance for it being so long :(
I'm a happily married woman (no kids) who is a non-JW, Presbyterian to be precise. I was raised and baptized a Presbyterian and have no plans to ever become a JW. I married my husband when he was disfellowshipped a few years ago. He was raised a JW, disfellowshipped for a few years, married me and now has recently been accepted back in. I love him dearly, he is a WONDERFUL man, and we agreed long ago for him to do his thing religiously and me to do mine. His family accepts me too and him coming back was very important to them. My feeling (and my family) was that if he wanted to worship something, it wasn't the worst thing a person could do...there are worse things. Our circumstances led us to have to live in separate states the first year of our marriage, but this will be our first Christmas together living in our own apartment. The topic of me putting up my tree came up last night and ended with me in tears all night and now into the morning.
While living on my own, I always had a tree. He was there for 3 Christmases to see the pride I take in decorating my beautiful tree every year and how special the ornaments are to me. Many have been passed down to me through the generations, and the thought of not putting a tree up this year makes me sick.
I've passed on other holidays to appease him, I've gotten used to him never wishing me a happy birthday but this I feel I cannot accept. Not putting up my tree had never come up until the day the movers arrived a few months ago and he told me to leave my tree at the curb with the trash. I freaked out and got very emotional because this was the first I had heard of this, not to mention the fact that I was giving up my job, leaving my friends and moving far off to the midwest. The tree and all the trimmings made it with me here by the way.
He wants to talk about it in a few days when he gets back from a work trip. He was kind about it, but wants to get "his thoughts together" and talk it out later. I found this site this morning and have been reading for hours.
On a thread this morning I read this:
"Even if his wife is an unbeliever, he must see to it that his children receive proper Christian education and training both at home and at the Kingdom Hall, and he should do all that he can to help his wife see the truth of God’s Word. At the same time he ought to grant his wife freedom to worship God her own way, and she may at times insist on taking the children to her place of worship. Granting her freedom of worship may even mean letting her have a Christmas tree in one room of the house during that season, although the believing husband would not let other rooms of the house or its outside be decorated. By thus extending freedom of worship to his wife he shows that he loves her as he loves himself.—Eph. 5:28, 29."
Please help....Is this accurate? Will elders be stopping by to check in on him and that's what he's worried about? Can we compromise somehow? I can forget other holidays, but being oppressed by a religion I don't believe in has officially gone too far for me without my tree :(
I have never read that. Be prepared for a big deal about this. Be prepared for everything in your life to revolve around his cult and their views. Your marriage will always be a menage a trois with his cult as the third party. Im sorry to be so blunt but prepare yourself.
Welcome spacegirl443. So sorry to hear of your plight. (I'm a faded J.W. by the way)
Without getting into all the scriptural rights & wrongs of Christmas, you and your husband need to have a very straightforward conversation about both of your equal rights in the marital home when it comes to beliefs/religion. Explain to him that you are willing to remove from the home everything connected with your form of Christianity, except your Bible, insisting that he does the same - no J.W. literature whatsoever allowed in the home, then wait for his "loving" response. This should tell you all you need to know about having children with a JW.
Husbandly subjection is a big deal in
La-LaJ.W.-land, so be prepared to defend your individual rights.
I hope you can find a mutually agreeable solution.
p.s. @ Morpheus; w60 12/1 p. 735 Questions From Readers
Granting her freedom of worship may even mean letting her have a Christmas tree in one room of the house during that season, although the believing husband would not let other rooms of the house or its outside be decorated.
Explain to him that you are willing to remove from the home everything connected with your form of Christianity, except your Bible, insisting that he does the same - no J.W. literature whatsoever allowed in the home
That was a good advise from the The Fall Guy
I am an Ex JW and my wife is still a JW. I could completely understand your situation. My wife demonizes Christmas trees as well as festival lights. She never wishes me for my birthdays and pretends as if she doesn't know its my birthday, year after year.
It was my greatest desire to plant a real Christmas tree in my home for which my wife vehemently opposed. I tried to convince her that this was Gods creation and there is nothing wrong to plant a real tree for its beauty. I finally planted without her consent. She still views it as demonic.
I am taking it slow and steady, to make her realize she is in a CULT. Takes a lot of patience for sure.
It might be different seeing as you are his wife and the whole him being the head etc. But we have a sister in my congregation who married when out of the religion to a non-JW and then she came back into it. Every year they have a tree, presents, cards and decorations and she even goes with him to buy the presents for the kids. She is trying to be fair to him as he wants to celebrate it. Her only stipulation is that he doesn't buy her a gift...he does anyway, tho!
At the same time he ought to grant his wife freedom to worship God her own way,
oh i bet that will go down well with all the female ex dubs on here.
I think the "no religion in the house" compromise is a great idea. First, the husband in this case would never agree to a prohibition to Watchtower publications being in the home. Second, as such, it forces the husband to realize how unreasonable it would be to allow the wife to have a Christmas tree in the home.
The whole "one room/no external decorations" is nonsensical. Like anything else with Jehovah's Witnesses, its an all or nothing religion.
Rotflmao, fallguy. Thank you for that referance. It explains why i never have seen it. Its older than me by 15 years. Wt liturature on line only goes back as far as 2000. That reference will not be respected, im afraid. I am curious to hear how this turns out..
I am a ubm (unbelieving mate) as well. My jw joined up years and years after we were married, our kids were lets say pre teen or so. My feeling is that the house/apartment is half mine and I will do as I please with it. If it bothers him that for a few weeks out of the year there are Christmas decorations & tree all throughout the house then that is a darn shame. He knew before we were married that I celebrated Christmas (as did he). Halloween? Easter? same thing except he usually steals the kids candy.
Why don't I follow the whole 'he is the head of the house routine'? in my mind that scripture is for Christians (and usually taken completely out of context but that is a different matter) and I do not consider jw's as Christian in any sense of the word therefore it has no meaning in our relationship.
As for jw litter-ature in the house, if he ever left jw rags lying around I would then leave the most vile jw crime/pedophile printout or apostate books out. Yes, it can cause ww3 for a short while but it has become an unspoken rule in our home, no literature for or against out in public view, ever. Your home should be a sanctuary for the two of you, a neutral zone if you will. Once the war is over and a truce is called it will calm down and can even be good again.
Think long and hard before you have children with him. Do lots of research about how difficult it is living with a jw. Research how many people have lost their children due to shunning and the blood issue before allowing your child to step foot in a kh. Personally I never allowed my kids anywhere near a kh because I knew about pedophile problem, shunning, spiritual and mental abuses. It was a long road and nobody will ever know how hard it was to keep them out or to what lengths I had to go through to keep them safe from this cult. Paid off in the end, my kids are well adjusted and have chosen a life of Christianity and still love their jw dad. (the kids also do not consider jw's as Christian because a jw has to go through the org and the gb to have any hope of a salvation whereas a Christian believes Jesus is the way to their salvation rather than mere men or an organization)
If you should have children with him let him know well in advance that if he attempts to indoctrinate the kids that you will be exposing them to other religions as well. You will also be educating them on what cults are and how they work. For every 'family' study he insists on you will also have a 'family' study of your choosing. Be it cults your own religion or the history of the wt. He needs to understand that you will fight for your children's very life, their physical, spiritual and emotional well being. He must never leave your child alone with any jw ever.
Sorry for the long ramble!
Get the Christmas tree, decorate it with your beloved ornaments. They are filled with memories that a jw simply cannot understand. Bake your cookies and fill your trays for friends and family with love. Being with a jw at Christmas you sometimes have to fake it a bit. Act joyful even when you don't feel it and soon you will find joy anyway, in spite of him. Merry Christmas!
Wishing you all the best.
Another big Welcome Spacegirl,
Marriage is supposed to be an equal partnership. It appears you may need to force him to sit down to discuss your expectations and requirements for the marriage including how various celebrations are to be celebrated. Hopefully, a compromise can be reached by both of you.
JWs are trained they are the only true religion acceptable to God. There is little tolerance for other religions and beliefs, regardless if they are Christian or not.
JW men are lead to believe they are the head over the woman, so what he decides is how it is to be. This is now 2017 and those sexest views are ancient history to almost anyone except JWs.
He probably expected you would give-in to his every desire, including you becoming a JW. One problem is, you have already compromised your wishes in regards to other holidays you celebrated. He now expects you to give-in to everything he says.