How do I handle this situation?
I'd keep my mouth shut and keep watching my email for more messages. The messages may get nastier and I'd want to know what's being gossiped about me. I don't care if some people think it's spying. If it's about ME and coming into MY email it's MY business. And like Crazyguy said above, they may end up working in your favor should you have difficulty with your family in the future.
I am actually struggling to understand why anyone could see any advantage in presenting this information to elders. Is there any reason to suppose the MS is wrong about the general view of the situation? Given the elders too probably share that view, why on earth would they take the side of a DFed person? You can't use JW rules against them. Because when the rules are in their favour they'll use the rules suit themselves. And when the rules don't suit them they find a reason to bend them a little. But allow a DFed person to dictate to them how they should apply the rules to a MS expressing dislike for a DFed person? Not likely.
I would probably not mention the corresponence on the FB account. It gives you an idea of what is being said about you behind your back (or in this case in front of your back).
I would change halls, as it appears that the elders are likely to be punitive toward you. The elders at another hall could be your advocate in case they stonewall your reinstatement.
I had a situation like that with my ex-wife. She would keep stirring the pot with the elders from her hall. I moved back to my home congregation, and those elders requested that my original committee should reinstate me. They had stipulations on it (instigated by my ex). After 4 attempts and getting the CO involved I finally got reinstated. Sometimes you need to have a fresh perspective when you have someone badmouthing you.
That was a long time ago, I am gladly out now. Good luck!
I am not going to give any suggestion on what to do about the MS or whether you should move to another congregation (you have more than enough opinions on that ---good or bad) but I would like to offer you from my own similar experience some suggestions and support on taking care of yourself.
I was DF'd for refusing to attend a JC investigating whether I had committed adultery (I had, but they had no proof) AFTER my ex (an elder) had first committed adultery, but of course he was only given a slap on the wrist. I had asked for help from the "brothers" through many years of domestic violence at his hands---but they were unhelpful at best, and downright abusive at worst during that entire time. Since he remained in the congregation, and I did not, the other members rallied to his side and listened to him destroy my reputation by calling me an "apostate" (funny...I wasn't then, but I sure am now, lol) and a "woman's libber" because I went against the elder's encouragement not to divorce him, even though he gave me scriptural grounds. During my separation, divorce, and for some time afterward my ex continued to abuse me in many ways. He stalked me, rarely paid court-ordered child support and alimony, tried to have me declared an unfit parent in the courts, and wrote very nasty messages about me (no internet at that time) on the back of the very few checks he did send, thinking I would be embarrassed to cash them at the bank. The elders would not support me in any way, because I was DF'd. So I really get what your situation is.
Here is what I hope you will do. Get some therapy to help you heal and recover from the abuse you are being subjected to ---from not just your husband, but from the abusive attitude of the organization, and from the men of power there who will abuse and neglect you instead of supporting you. NEVER expect better from them---they are not trained or encouraged to care. Find a divorced women's or abused woman's support group through the Victim's Services agency in your hometown. I am taking advantage of therapy with a counselor there. Move on with your life...become the strongest and most capable woman you can be...you may have to dig deep within, but it is there. And I did get reinstated (story for another time...but it was an act of taking the power back from the elders who were threatening my son (MS at the time, but faded along side me today) because he refused to shun me. I looked up all my former friends, and they gave me a cold shoulder and refused to accept me back. Don't expect better. Hugs to you...live the best and happiest life you can. It's possible. Hold your head up---you made a mistake and that does not make you a "whore." Your ex and that MS calling you that says far more about THEM than it does about you. After all, they arrogantly claim to hold themselves to the highest standard.
Cangie, your advice is spot on. Good for you getting out of this monstrosity of a cult. Hugs to you and your son.
Cangie- your post is incredibly touching and spot on.... Beautifully worded and it has moved me.... Thank you...
Hi Barely There,
Unfortunately it's always a sticky situation when dealing with anything JW. But as a former elder, I'll give you my views based on experiences while serving on JCs.
While one's sense of justice would say print the emails and expose your ex and his MS pal, don't do it. If you want to get reinstated, don't mention the emails. In most cases the elders will ignore the information, or even worse turn it against you, even though the messages were posted on your email account. In retaliation for exposing one of their own, they could add months to your sentence. As others have advised, don't reveal your hand just yet. Besides your ex may later reveal something really scandalous in the conversations that he posts to your account. This could be valuable once you are reinstated and begin your fade.
Regarding a change of congregations. If your present congregation is too toxic for your spiritual health, it's best that you change to one that is less so. But changing congregations won't necessarily speed or hinder your reinstatement. It all depends on the elders in both congregations.
The elders in your new congregation will need time to evaluate you, which can add more time before reinstatement. Also they can only recommend that you be reinstated, the final decision rests with the JC in your original congregation.
In most cases it will be the same elders who DFd you, who will reinstate you. If you are on good terms with them, there shouldn't be a problem.
Again these are my observations based on my experiences as a former elder. Other ex elders may have better advice. Moreover, the members of this forum have posted a lot of information for you . So don't make any hasty decisions, but take your time and carefully read the posts and see what you are most comfortable with.
Cangie, these are sick men that encourage you to stay with an abusive man. You must have gone through a terrible time and to think that they wanted your son to shun you instead of providing some REAL and sincere support is pathetic.
Thank you for sharing your story and I'm glad that you are no longer in that situation.
Barely there, if this MSs dislike of you is indicative of the attitude in the congregation, which includes a willingness to gossip about you behind your back then it could take a long time to be reinstated. Do you want to put yourself through the humility and hatred for the next couple of years? The feelings of the congregation members do have a large bearing in these matters.
Another option is to forget about reinstatement for the time being and live a normal life for a while and think of reinstating in a couple of years or longer.
Hello..im absolutely brand new on here, so this my first comment. Regardless of how you came to find out your information on your ex husband and the soon to be elder. I wouldn't lie at all, i would confront it head on. Screenshot the messages as proof. Give them no room to deny it. Or ask them first for an explanation and if they give you a twisted answer, then show them the proof. Not only have you caught them out once but twice then. Make sure you have someone else with you as a witness as well. Good luck