Play the long game. Say you want to be a better spiritual head of the house. Start a study with your children and your wife, use it as an opportunity to teach them to think for themselves. The transition from full cult indoctrination to full independent thinking should be very, very gradual. As your children get older, encourage them to think and reason for themselves, never criticise them for asking questions or speaking their minds. Ask leading questions, assign them to learn about the history of the religion to which you all belong. Critical thinking skills are like an inoculation against cults.
What to Do....Please Help. Awakening JW for a very long time
I worry about your kids growing up around all of that screaming, yelling, and verbal abuse. I would hate for them growing up thinking that communicating that way is normal and acceptable.
I was glad to hear you stand up for yourself and reject verbal abuse by saying,"Don't talk down to me." That creates a boundary of respect around your communications.
I would respond to any loud, shrill, out of control, or swearing type speech with, "You may not speak to me like this. When you get yourself together, and can speak respectfully, then we can continue this conversation.
Set a boundary around basic respectful speech in conversations. All that yelling, screaming and cursing: You don't deserve it, your kids don't deserve it, and they shouldn't grow up thinking that this is normal and acceptable behavior.
I think that might be a great place to start carving out some basic communication ground rules.
Social systems mean too much to people. What about yourself? Where's your space? What about you? It shouldn't always be about them. Remember, if they come out saying apostate to you, that's their words, not yours.
In the end, we have to live with ourselves. Be kind to yourself.
I grew up in the JW cult... age 4 to age 41. I was in deep as a single elder with lots of responsibilities. I started having doubts in 1991, but buried them. In 2002 I attended the 8 week MTS. There the scales fell from my eyes, as I seen the hypocritical behavior and speech of men who were supposed to be the "cewam of the crop", but it was another 5 years in 07 before I left for good.
I give that brief history [many here know how long winded I can be], to show that it can take years, or decades, for someone to be ready to leave the cult. I knew something was fishy. It took an ethics class in college in 06 to push me out for good.
I cannot imagine going through the mental turmoil you are going through having a JW wife and young kids. It was difficult enough being single. BUT DO NOT GIVE UP ON HER. More importantly, DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOURSELF.
If you figure out happiness and live it, it will sink in, if she really wants it.
Ultimately, protect yourself and the kids. Good luck
"Initiate marriage counselling" but expect fireworks!
I suggest you have a time deadline each day after which you wont speak to her of wt things. ie over evening meal so your evenings may be peaceful for your sake and the kids.
I've seen more genuine care and "shepherding" on this thread than in over 25 years as an elder in dubland.
I'm proud to be on this forum and I've learned so much.
Hang in there Covertsad ... time is on your side if you can cope with it.
Thank you everyone , and I so much appreciate your kind words. I have had doubts for a very long time - I think I have been waking up for a very long time. This is the most I have been able to talk about this ever; I am amazed and very appreciate everyone. So if I’m long winded or maybe reapeat myself a little - I apologize:) I think I worry about the kids the most. These problems are not new at all, just reached a boil over point. Again thank you everyone - thanks for the sheparding talk ....lol
Huge amount of sympathy for you.
Much respect for your realisation that there is a choice of comfort or truth and that by choosing research, critical thinking and logic .... it’s going to be costly and uncomfortable now ...... but for your children’s sake it’s worth the price that they will know ‘the truth about the truth’ and have a door out of it with you, with which will come a more valuable comfort than the one from pretending it’s all ok now.
There is no defence for denying data/information or logic/critical thinking. The real truth doesn’t need defending, it will defend itself.
I am so lucky that I foresaw that one day I’d leave and didn’t marry a JW. I have no right to an opinion therefore. However..... 😉..... I would humbly advise that if you had no kids you could
do as you please, but with having kids, in my humble opinion, your responsible for raising them to research, be critical appraisars of data and logical ..... and basically as their Dad are responsible for showing them reality.
What may cost your marriage may very well save your kids. Tough decision but not a hard choice.
"she wants to go to all meetings, field service, and indoctrinate our kids"
Your wife has all the rights, including offering herself as a sexual slave to the governing body (not kidding). However, she has no right to enslave her children to any cult. Not negotiable at all.
Actually, his wife has every legal right to teach her kids any culty crap she wants. I was just listening to a podcast (How to Heretic) yesterday and they had a lawyer on and asked him if kids had a right to get away and dictate such matters. Courts even let Amish take kids out of school to live Amish lives on farms and effectively end education. They're your kids, teach them as you wish. Of course, in this case both parents have that right. So dad here is the only hope regarding cult indoctrination.