January 2012, at the age of 24 I “woke up” to The Truth About The Truth. March 2012, I joined this esteemed message board and was welcomed. This forum was such a help. A relief when I was stressed, and an excellent source of info and advice. To the users who were around and active back then, I thank you. My fade is as complete as it will ever be. I have kept my family, and the friends who really matter. I consider that a 100% success. I'm writing this in hopes of inspiring some in similar situations. Also, this is therapeutic for me.
So here goes…
After much reading and thinking, I sat my lovely young wife down one day and admitted that what the WT preaches is complete bullshit. Top to bottom, front to back.. all bullshit. She had a visceral, fear-based reaction that I had never seen before, and have not had since. We argued/discussed this often. I made a point of keeping my cool, allowing her to ask the questions and not pushing the subject. Always keep that door open and welcoming, people!
She saw I did not become a bad person, instead I was growing into a self-aware, conscious person who thinks logically and is educated on the subject. This is key my friends… at no time was there any talk of our marriage ending or being conditional upon serving 7 old men in Brooklyn… er.. I mean Jehovah.
Over the course of two years I lost all of my faith completely. First JW teachings were seen to be false. By holding myself to the same standard of finding facts and being honest with myself, I became an Atheist. If we’re to be truly honest with ourselves and accept only what can be proven with evidence, there cannot be a loving creator in the sky who has anything to do with events on earth at any point in history.
After some time, of course our JW “friends” grew distant. Word got around that I was “inactive” and they just.. moved on. We live 1700km from our hometowns and families, and only visit once or twice a year. This also helps a lot.
Over the course of a year, I went from almost no “service”, to none. Almost no meeting attendance, to none. Once they didn’t expect to see me there, it all became “normal”. My fade was complete" within two years. Now my weekday evenings are spent walking with my dog. My summer Saturday mornings are spent chatting with my wife, sipping coffee. My Sunday mornings are spent on the golf course. Winter weekends are spent snowmobiling in the mountains. No more JW busywork.
My wife soon started to feel the lack of love from the congregation because of being married to me. She also started acting less “JW-ish” which divided herself from her friends who she was still hanging out with.
As of now, she doesn't go to any meetings and hasn't been in “service” in years. She has no hard feelings toward the religion, she projects everything onto our local cong. Our JW families have both committed to never letting JW beliefs get between them and us, and for that I am ever grateful to them. We avoid the subject, unless the conversation is private and fuelled by whisky with one of our dads. It seems that they both have some doubts. It also seems that they are both unable to fault my wife or myself for what we’ve done. They may not agree, but who would they be to lose respect for us when we’ve only followed our hearts and done what is truly best for our family?
Right now, we are 29 and 30 yo. My lovely wife and myself are expecting our first child and we couldn’t be more excited! Our families know that our children will not be raised as JWs. They don’t like it and will likely still talk about JW stuff around them, but we can work with that. As long as it isn't presented as fact. That will be a hard and fast rule For them with our kids.
We have made non-JW friends, though it took some time. We still have some JW friends, though we don’t get to see them very often and that’s fine with me.
There is something to be said for committing to living one’s life in a way that they can be proud of. A person needs to live their life according to their beliefs. To deprive oneself of this is to be weak, and fraudulent. To pretend to believe fantasy, just to avoid rocking the boat is to rob yourself of true satisfaction. You also rob the people closest to you from knowing who you really are. Is that what you want to teach your children? Tiptoe around your feelings and beliefs, let others decide how you will live your life and not let you be who you really are?
I am not DF’d and don't plan to ever be. For this reason I will keep my name to myself. I have done nothing to get myself DF’d and would like to keep it that way. This is how I get to keep my family together. Yes people it is quite possible to get your wife out without burning your entire family down. You don’t need them to believe as you do. You don’t need them to lose their faith. You might be the only close example they know of leaving JWs and living a fuller, happier life because of it. This is how you will “preach” to them. Their own ignorance will be laid out for them to see plainly by watching you.
There is a small chance my wife could get dragged back into the cult, but we will deal with that when the time comes. Our marriage is built on love and trust, and no religion can get in the way of that. I have made sure of it. She still believes there could be a “higher power” out there somewhere, but attributes to it no personality or responsibility.
I know how some of you are feeling right now, and my DM inbox is always open for anyone who might want to chat. I live in a certain town in Northern Alberta where we dig oil out of the ground mixed with sand…
Live life to the fullest, be who and what you truly are meant to be. Life may not be everlasting, but it is certainly too long to live to please others. At first it may feel like you can lose everything you’ve worked for by admitting you don’t believe. Play your cards wrong and that will be true. Play your cards right, and there is a fulfilling life waiting for you. Be who you were meant to be. Anyone who doesn't want that for you doesn’t deserve to be in your life.
Possibly my last new topic post ever..time to close this chapter of life.