The Pain of Coming to a Decision
I think you need to tell her how you feel. As to waking her up the Socratic method works best....things like " I've heard a lot of worrying things about child abuse ( show arc site) if there are so many peadophile elders, can they really be appointed by holy spirit? What do you think? "Then let her work it out for herself. Gently coach her critical thinking skills,they will be rusty..encourage don't berate with argumentative attitude or just spout facts. If she "discovers" ttatt herself it will become " her own" and not a source of resentment toward you.
Its good you want to protect your kids from cult indoctrination. However, who knows..if you'd forced the issue previously you may have driven her back to their arms and confirmed their prejudices. You did what you thought best at the time it as you've matured you've realized the danger the cult poses to your kids.
Do get marriage guidance councilling..
Daniel-P we joined about the same time 10 or so years ago. I remember your first post. I remember it because it was so raw and emotional - it really captured your feelings and pretty much what I was going through at the time too. I am really sorry you are going through this. As I was looking for your first post I ran across a thread you posted on (maybe even started) about your feelings and your marriage. It was 3 or so years ago. I wish you would take just a few minutes and re-read your posts to that thread. Here is the link: staying-married-jw (i hope the link works).
Hang in there and know that you aren't alone. We are all out here reading, listening and feeling for you. And many of us are in similar situations.
If your main concern is your children then leaving your wife will likely only make it much harder to prevent their indoctrination. She may take refuge in the organisation for her loneliness and grief at your leaving.
It sounds to me like she is not really serious anymore about the religion anyway if she's not out in FS. She's perhaps mostly only now going for the friendship and community it offers (like any church does.) Seems almost that she is trying to back off the religion as much as she can to accommodate your needs. Cut her some slack on that regard, and don't get so hung up on a 5 year olds comments about Christmas.
It sounds like your wife still loves you very much but the real issue is youre not meeting each other's needs sexually (common with having young children and arguing over them). Make it a focus to discuss this frankly and honestly together. What exactly is the problem killing the passion. Has she put a lot of weight on after the children and you resent it especially since you've lost a lot of weight running etc?
It sounds like you are very numb emotionally, although otherwise quite motivated and energetic. You feel nothing much for your wife, get irritable at your 5 yr old daughter, and theres the comment you tacked on the end of a paragraph out of context that your little son clings to your leg crying wanting you to pick him up (why would you let him cry and not just pick him up...1 year olds need to be picked up and held a lot?). This all says you're emotionally shut down.
Please...NEVER argue with each other and raise voices in front of your little children. Can't emphasise this enough.
It sounds like you may be on the wrong medication tbh. Some anti depressants work by shutting the emotions down. The active ingredient in many does just that, numbing you mentally and you're ability to respond emotionally and empathetically. Strongly recommend you talk to your doctor and counselor about all this...they may feel you need to switch to something else.
Otherwise, trust the instinct that is telling you not to leave your family and little children who love you dearly. Work on your sex life with your wife, and on whatever is making you feel so numb and irritable towards her. If you are holding her in bed then there is still strong love there deep down. Cling to that feeling and work on building it.
I am in a similar position, although separation is not imminent. I can't give you any better advice that what the others have posted. I can't even solve my own situation.
My approach is to concentrate on the issues and decisions I can control, and do what I can to protect the kids from the cult.
My decision is to stay put. Your situation may be different. Only you will really know if you have to make a tough decision. If you work out that a tough decision is required, it is less painful doing it sooner rather than wasting a few years in misery and doing it later.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
If it's any consolation I am in a similar situation but just a few years further down the road. My kids are older now and all are jw free, my wife is still a witness. My wife and I stayed together and I put all my energy into my kids and building a strong strong bond with them. Including putting off things I wanted to do for myself or with friends and even my career at times. Even during the rough years with kids I see the benefits of my close relationship with my kids. My wife didn't build a relationship with them, perhaps because they won't survive Armageddon, and it shows as well.
Hang in there Daniel and make sure you take care of your physical health as well as mental health.
Your family is worth fighting for, may I suggest counseling? If this isn't something you haven't explored. Don't give up
I'm sorry you are in such a difficult place but Your last paragraph is very positive and decisive. You haven't given up hope, but you've decided you want no part with the religion. Now act on those decisions.
I was only a few months in the 'indecisive' phase of being half in half out and looking back it was the most painful time emotionally and mentally. I don't know how some keep that going for years. It's also been much easier on my husband also now I've made the decision and made it clear to him now I feel. I'm no longer a JW, he is. But now he knows where he stands. I'm feeling much stronger and happier now I've walked away and I am proud to want to live a normal life, he is disappointed but adjusting.
With my kids, I set the example and my older one who was still in followed me out shortly after. With my little one, I let her do all the celebration stuff at her nursery. I made it clear to him I would not allow him to speak to the teachers and tell them she doesn't do Xmas. I gave her a birthday and she went to her first party for someone else's a couple of weeks ago. My older kids have told me being left out of these things as we raised them was very painful for them. He knows not to mess with me on the these things as I am much stronger and firmer with him about what I will put up with. Having said that, he prays with our little one, reads her bible stories and I let him take her on a Sunday. But she's only 2 so I might have to rethink some of these things in the future.
The main thing is she will never have her associations restricted in any way, she will always be a part of things at school, extracurricular activities, education etc.. Trust me I've got 2 teenagers who've left the organization, when it comes to those years, given the choice, the rule-bound religion has no chance.
Do what YOU want, teach your kids by example, I agree with others that your wife is looking to you to ask her to leave the org.. She probably can't cope with the guilt of that decision.
Why not say to her that trying to fulfil the demands of this relegion of your parents has made you depressed and unhappy and you haven't been able to be your true self, that you don't want the same for your kids. Tell her from now on you want you and your kids to have a normal life, ask her if she will try it with you for a few months, to see if she can see a difference in your happiness. Tell her you don't think a loving God would be angry at a man for trying to improve his life and his mental health for him and his family. If she won't go along with it , you do it anyway, and go out and have fun with your kids as much as possible.
P.s. A tip on this, soft play centers are a great place to take your young kids to get rid of some of their energy & socialize, you can meet other parents too to make friends outside the org. I've got chatting to a few parents at our local one and as a result we got invited to our first birthday party. My 2 year old LOVED it, dancing, laughing, singing happy birthday and eating cake. Wow it feels great to be part of the real world!
Thanks, everyone, for your help and kind words. I'm carefully reading and giving thought to what everyone has to say.
Hey, Daniel. I remember you. I don't come around here very often anymore, either. I'm sorry to hear of your marital troubles. Unfortunately, being a single guy, I don't have much to offer other than a sympathetic ear.
If I'm not mistaken you were considering going to college at one point. Did you ever see that through?
My son is in the same situation and we had a good talk again yesterday. He feels so much like a wounded warrior with PTSD. He can't sleep, his emotional imbalances are evident as it has affected his physical functions. Can't work, his mind is always racing, feels guilty although he is at the point he knows the pain of loss spiritually. He wants to believe yet he wants nothing to do with the society. He is a lost soul in my estimation and there is nothing much I can do but to listen and agree because I too have had soul searching .. and I can't fault him at all.
In essence, we are trapped - I was not brought up in the truth but he was - I can see things differently and don't feel the depression he does, I do feel the hypocrisy and lies and deception but I feel I can handle that - he has lost faith and that can be very tramautic so I tread carefully.
You on the other hand, you have a family to deal with and must tread carefully there too, and it will be a weight on your shoulders - be willing to get help from competent medical staff if you need it. You spiritual and mental health will be key to overcoming this - it will not leave you for a long time.. We are all ingrained and it may take years to get over. Love the kids and wife - take them with you everywhere, don't leave them alone - rekindle what you had and make them your first priority as your mind will fall into place as time goes on as you see them respond to your attention.