Me and my wife were at the beach the other day and I finally told her, I don't think I believe in god anymore. I fessed up to the fact that it started with me doubting some JW beliefs and then it just led me to this point where I don't even believe in god. I wouldn't say that I even have a negative view towards JW's or religion in general. Giving up belief in god moved me to see that all institutions are man made and we should expect the same human injustices and imperfections to persist. However, this poses a huge problem in our marriage. We have considered having children but now my wife wants to wait. I hate putting it this way, but we're still young enough to rebuild apart. Does anyone have any experience staying married and having a family with an active witness? Would you get out earlier if you could? I assume that if I went public about being an atheist I'd be eventually df'd, would it be best for me to just keep it really quiet and just hit a meeting here and there?
Should I stay married to my JW wife
Wow, that's a very individual decision, it's not something that someone could answer for you. Many have stayed in such a marriage and been happy, others have struggled and wish they hadn't. Some questions you might ask yourself:
How comfortable will you be having your children raised in something you don't believe in? It's one thing to deny your children sports, holidays, birthdays and higher education when you believe in it, it's another to see them missing out for no reason.
How does your wife feel about being with an unbeliever and having to go to the meetings alone? I was a JW married to a disfellowshipped person for 28 years. It was not a great time for me, I was often lonely and never really felt accepted in the congregation, I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
How strong is your marriage? Can you see yourself happy with someone else? Will your wife possibly leave because of this?
How committed are you to remaining inactive (as opposed to DF or DA)? Do you have other family you would loose if you get disfellowshipped or DA? Are you OK with living a JW life (no voting/holidays/birthdays)?
Is there any possibility you could get your wife out? It's not easy, but some have done it.
Gator, welcome to the forum.
It is the most considerate and wise thing to do - wait to have children if you have any doubts about your marriage. Dissolve the mis-match before precious children arrive, and start over, like you say.
If you love her how could you ask this question? I don't get it. If you are fighting all the time and miserable I could see it. Will it be that way? Only you can determine. NO kids if you are this fickle. Good luck.
I think the best question asked is how strong is your marriage? Can you talk openly with your wife? A big indicator could be seeing how she reacts to what you've told her so far, whether or not she tells the elders about your lack of belief.
If you can answer yes to these two questions then you can be fairly confident your family will be stronger than the cult. after a period of time I would go for having kids, why miss out on life's greatest experience?
What Lisa said - that's a decision that no one here is qualified to make for you, but it's definitely a tough one. Have you thought about seeing a therapist? They can help you work through things to figure out what you really want and what the best course of action is. A good therapist won't influence you, they'll just help you to make the decision yourself.
I eventually decided to end my marriage. I gave it some time after leaving the cult to try to make things work, but it went downhill fast. From your tone, it sounds like your wife is handling things in a much more measured and respectful manner than mine, which bodes well for you. You'll have to figure out what sacrifices you're willing to make, though. I couldn't keep going to meetings and I didn't want to live by the cult's rules. I wanted to start living a normal life but my wife would never support me in that and was only negative about anything new I did.
It'll probably take you both a while to settle in to the new normal, whatever that is. Once you start to see what that looks like, you'll probably have a better idea of what you want to do.
There's no need to rush this, just be honest with her and yourself and it'll either work or it'll start to become clear that it's not going to. Good luck!
Personally, I would back off. Not marry or stay married to a JW when no children are involved, even an inactive JW. It would be difficult even if they were seen as awake and physically out, since a life event can sometimes reel them back into the "fold". It is very difficult to be sure of the mindset.
it is so different than just two different religions in the same households, it is two different cultures, with one culture despising the other with a requirement to always be finding a way to convert the other.
It is toxic, I know and live this.
Children within this environment are the ones that suffer the most.
I would give her time to deal with what you said and then see how she reacts. If your relationship goes down the tubes an it and she becomes cold towards you then it's time to move on. You have one life , I repeat you have one life! When it's over it's over so you want to make it the best you can. Do what you need to do to make your life the best!
Gatorguy, you have come to a discussion group to ask STRANGERS about how you should plot the course of your most intimate life.
Unlike others here who back away from the issue by saying they are "unqualified" to offer advice, I can assure you that >I< am "fully qualified" to offer MY OPINION, because:
1. I am a stranger to you, and as I said, you sought the advice of strangers
2. No one else here knows what MY OPINION is, only I know that
3. I have been criticized here as a "self-appointed elder" by persons who appointed themselves to criticize ME. See the irony there?
So here you go; MY OPINION is that because you are already thinking of finding a new mate, that is exactly what you should do. Leave this relationship! You have no cosmic obligation to stick to a BAD DECISION. You are not required to sacrifice your peace of mind and self respect for the rest of your breathing days on this earth in an effort to be someone else's easter bunny.
Having kids to fix an unhappy marriage NEVER works. Any kids produced from an unloving union will be prisoners of your bad decision even more than you are.
That is what I think you should do. Now the ball is back in your court; what will you do?
If having kids is a critical issue for you, that may transcend the issue of religion, it might also show you what you are in for if wife balks at even having a child with you because of your thoughts about God. It isn't getting easier if you have kids. Now she is withholding children from you, but she could relent only to use the child to keep you in the organization effectively. Kids are great little blackmail tools.
If holding off on kids is a brief panic response, it's one thing. If used to manipulate, it's a whole different story. You know her, so you can discern.