Thank you to all who have replied. I am most grateful. I find it extremely hard to cope psychologically and have read a book on what shunning does.i have read the reluctant apostate too and my wife has opened my mind up to the real history behind the organization. I served as an elder for many years,spoke at assemblies and conventions,pioneered, I was a service overseer, you name it I was involved.The tragedy of a life event called Divorce sent me into a tailspin.I unlike many others who returned to the organization or kept going to meetings went in the opposite direction.The difficulty though is after 40 years of being a witness it's very tough to open ones mind up to a new way of understanding the Bible which I still respect very much.Where do I now stand as a human who is a non witness in Jehovahs eyes.I keep asking my Dad who is an elder who reaches out to me illegally mind you,if I am wicked.He says I am not .I think it's tough for him as no Dad wants to call his son wicked.Yet the organization says do not have anything to do with the wicked and they don't want any of my family to reach out unless there is an emergency.Imagine this too,my beautiful new wife who was never a witness has had to experience never getting to know my family.They will not associate if I am around.How would she ever feel like the Witnesses are attractive. A few weeks back my Mom who is a witness sends a message saying my witness Aunt would like to have a coffee with my new wife and meet the woman who has made me so happy,all of this being offered as long as I am not there with my wife as I am disfellowshipped. At my brother's wedding 2 years ago I broke down and collapsed in tears and had to rush out of the reception with my poor non witness wife in tow. The pure emotion of seeing fellow family members who are still witnesses broke my soul. The effect of being there but knowing I am shunned killed me.Whilst I sat outside sobbing my Dad and other witness family members danced inside and ignored my emotional collapse. In there mind I should not even have been allowed to go to my non witness brothers wedding as I would make them uncomfortable. My step mother went so far as to say she would not sit at the table of the wicked and eat with me. Yet she approached me later and reminded me how thankful her and my Dad are that I have looked after them financially and given them a flat to live in even though I am disfellowshipped. Her exact words were,Craig if it wasn't for you , your father and I would be on the street. My poor wife was not only heartbroken for me but very angry.She cannot see how parents and family members can treat disfellowshipped children of any age this way.There truly has been nothing that would attract my non religious wife to the witnesses. It seems that the organization is happy for disfellowshipped sons and daughters to take care of their loved ones financially but heaven forbid if they share a meal with them or spend time with my wife if I am around. It's so messed up that it had even caused stress between my wife and I. I have years and years of Bible understanding according to what I was taught and my poor wife has years and years of pure goodness without the bible. So all she sees is witness behaviour and says "no thank you,I don't want any part of that horror". And you know what.I get how she feels......Now I'm left with not even truly knowing how to interpret the bible anymore. After 40 years of knowing the so called truth, I don't even know if I understood the bible properly for so long. I have a horrible suspicion that this may be why so many witnesses and ex witnesses commit suicide.Lets be honest folks.If you spent 40 years believing in a new world and then you got disfellowshipped and had a change of heart.How would you feel?. You see I got disfellowshipped for fornication,smoking and drinking.I actually confessed this to the elders. At that stage I was so messed up after a tiring and messy divorce that I actually wasn't in a fit state to return to the congregation. I did try go back last year but I cannot kick the habit of smoking and along the way have had a lot of information shown to me about child abuse, and the real history behind the organization.. worse of all I am close to now being seen as Apostate by my family.The bible speaks of apostates unfavorably.When one has spent 40 years knowing what is termed the truth and then you don't feel worthy anymore, who do you now become? It's a bending of the mind that is so damaging. I know I am not alone in my thinking but whether I like it or not I will spend the rest of my days without my family who I love dearly.There will always be an emptiness.All because of a policy, a policy that says have nothing to do with a disfellowshipped loved one unless they come back to meetings and prove they are truly sorry...To my new wife Karen I say from the bottom of my heart..I am so sorry you married such a complicated man..you don't deserve this..But I do love you
Coping with a change of heart
Good grief sir. Go find a counselor who has experienced 'cults'.
A trip to your gp would be beneficial as well..
I too struggled with smoking when I left the JW's. I stopped when my son was born, but even now, 4 years later, I'll have the odd cigarette when I'm in the pub. It's awfully hard to stop. This is what I tell myself though:
"You are basically an awesome human being, who occasionally fails in your goal to not smoke."
You see, I don't deny that I fail, but I do deny that I am defined by my failings.
From reading your post I get the impression that you are the same. You are a good, decent, honest person and your wife is as lucky to be married to you as you are to be married to her!
You could consider your current position as a great opportunity to properly study the bible. Think about it, no avenue of study is closed to you now. Anything that doesn't sit right with you, you don't have to blindly accept and "wait on Jehovah", you can reject or accept it based on the facts. You can pursue the truth wherever it leads you and no man can tell you not to.
AS for the awful shunning situation, once you can change your thinking to the fact that you're a great guy, you'll see that they are only hurting themselves by excluding you. It still hurts, but the reality is that they are victims who are trapped in a lie, doomed to live their lives by other men's rules.
I'm glad that you did not throw the baby out with the bathwater Struggling. Thankfully rejection by the Pharisees does not equate with rejection by God. Smoking does not make or break a Christian. Like the rest of us, you are not perfect yet. I urge you to trust God's grace for your life and situation, and remember your JW family members in prayer. God loves you more than you know.
Jesus Christ Strugglingrsa, enough already!
This is a garbage religion with made up rules and Dogma that is affecting your mental stability.
Did you ever ask for this as an adult? When and by what reason did you become a JW? On your own as a convert? Or was it handed to you from birth?
Do you understand that you are in a death cult? The only religion that bans a life saving blood transfusion. Even the very most Orthodox Jew accepts a blood transfusion. It's not about a transfusion it's about eating blood. A transfusion is a transplant not eating. How do you know this ? It's really simple.....if your starving and you get a blood transfusion you still die from a lack of nourishment. If you lost blood because of any number of things and you get a transfusion you may survive.
So how many JW's have died for lack of a blood transfusion? I ran the numbers 3500 Jw's need a blood transfusion to stay alive every year in the US. If 1000 of them die each year just in the US and this has been going on for 73 years............. can you do the math? Boy that's about a lot of needless deaths. Jonestown every year.
Only in the minds of the Society and it's followers is a transfusion the same as eating or drinking blood. It's a death cult.....if you die for want of a transfusion it's a good thing.
Since the WT Society says that no one else will survive Armageddon ,,,that means Billions it's......... a death cult.
What did Jesus say about Armageddon...... actually nothing. Did he say anything about an early resurrection other then raising Lazarus from the dead? And where is Lazarus today.
Where in the bible does it say Paradise Earth....no where.
Do you really think the GB has god's spirit? How many stupid beliefs had to be surrendered to New Light?
There has been no one at WT Headquarters who had god's spirit on them. Russell was a divorced scam artist, Rutherford a joke with 3 large groups of believers leaving during his administration. Knorr a guy who talked about masturbation to new Bethel arrivals both boys and girls. Freddy Franz an idiot who predicted 1975 which cost the JW organization half a million members.
Now they have stopped doing Jehovah's will and are trying to save money while they get sued over their two witness rule and the pedophile problem they have world wide.
I think it's time for you to man up. Stop the whining and thank your stars that you are finally free to make your own choice and have a wife who is supportive.
In the meantime find out what's going on with you by taking a look at a site that can immediately tell you why you are living in a shit storm.
Believe it or not your not alone. We have all come through this shit storm.
Read about how serious a problem this can be here:
A few weeks back my Mom who is a witness sends a message saying my witness Aunt would like to have a coffee with my new wife and meet the woman who has made me so happy,all of this being offered as long as I am not there with my wife as I am disfellowshipped.
Why would your wife want to meet with some assh*le aunt who rejects her new husband? Tell her you are a "packaged deal" -- all or none -- and to f*ck off.
My step mother went so far as to say she would not sit at the table of the wicked and eat with me. Yet she approached me later and reminded me how thankful her and my Dad are that I have looked after them financially and given them a flat to live in even though I am disfellowshipped.
Enlarge that "package deal" to include your money! If they don't want YOU, then they don't get YOUR MONEY! Tell them that Joe Hoover (or the Cong --haha) will take care of them. Just trust in Joe Hoover!
As I see your situation, you have 2 options: Suck it up and get reinstated for the sake of family (and perhaps for your mental health); or decide that you will get along (without family if necessary) and strategize how to rescue your family from the mind control of the Cult.
As noted above: GET COUNSELING. You sound as if you're losing it. Unfortunately, many others here have faced this exact same situation. Everyone here will be glad to listen and give support in any way possible. There is no other place that has as much personal experience with what you now deal with too.
The WTS/JW's is a wicked Cult. There is no other conclusion. Read Steven Hassan's "Combatting Cult Mind Control" and you will see that JW's are the "poster child" for Cults. BUY IT TODAY!
The greatest revenge is living a happy & successful life!
* [Edited to add]: Have your wife go meet with them but get her prepared to drop all the bombshell questions that JW's can't stand to hear and can't begin to answer. Beat them with their own Bible and WT Publications.
Thank you for your Frank replies and concern everyone. Appreciate the comments
I was baptised in 1967 and left last year, so that's a long time to be trapped in a cult.
I was totally traumatised when I left as I just didn't know what to believe. But I watched a lot of exJW YouTube videos and I remember one man saying that if you leave the WT that doesn't mean God leaves you.
Take your time, get counselling if you can because it really does help.
You sound like a very kind person with a lovely wife. She is your family now. It's hard and you are so hurt but remember your wife loves you and there are hundreds of exJWs who shared your pain and are here to listen to you. This forum was and still is a life line for me, so many people helped me and they will help you too. Stay talking to us and take care of yourself.
Remember, your brain has been trained by some 'master minds'.... The GB/ WT are very good at their art of brainwashing.
For years you have heard, "Where will you go?" as IF that was a life or death question, right? They WANT you to panic, they WANT you to turn around and come back because you can't decide or need to know "Where will I go?"
You actually don't need to know. You can take it one day at a time. Enjoy each second, minute, day with your wife. Live in the 'here and now' instead of 'Armaggedon will be here soon'... See what they do?
Your brain, just like the rest of us, was trained to worry. It was trained to think in the grooves that were deepened over time of repeated phrases, just like a record, and those phrases play over an over.
Take a breath, breathe, and live. All of life's problems do not need to be solved 'right away'. Enjoy your new wife, she can help you think in another way.
Hugs, cha ching!
The replies and compassion I read here are priceless to say the least.I am so thankful to you all for your understanding and care even though I have never met you. I almost feel selfish that i have such deep seated painful feelings and confusion, and yet you all have your own pain that you have, and are enduring. The most difficult thing is to plot a new course of thinking and to try and reprogramme the mind in a new and more positive course. I Literally spent years worrying that the end is right here,and to this day I still struggle to not notice the sorry state this world is in.I can honestly tell you that even though I was always busy in the organization ,i was always anxious that i was good enough.I was always concerned that when the end came ,would Jehovah see me as fit for life in the new world.Its only now that i am no longer a witness that i can start to see things from another angle.When I was a witness I worried that I wasn't doing enough yet I was so busy in congregation activities.I never stopped to think about how people who are not witnesses go about their lives.So many people not attached to the organization live very full and positive lives as I'm sure you all do.Yet the organization pounded it into my head that their lives are totally empty,devoid of any real long lasting fulfillment.. The amazing thing is that's not the case from what I have come to realise.Life is tough but most humans are actually good at heart from what I can see.Yet because they don't have the Jw stamp of approval they are doomed to death.Unworthy of association..and a danger to ones spirituality..I wonder at times if brothers and sisters still active stop and ask themselves just how unworthy they actually are .I have many years of associating with so called brothers and sisters,most of whom were lovely people ,but many who weren't so clean so to speak,yet because they had the Jw stamp felt they were safe in Jehovahs eyes...I'm not here to pound anyone into the ground for their faults.I am fully aware of my own.What I do want to be able to feel one day is that I am whole and worthy of Jehovahs acceptance.I want to be able to truly feel reprogrammed and able to help others in forums like these to feel emotionally safe again.It still amazes me how deeply scarred one feels only once you are disfellowshipped.. As a human I have this sick feeling that I put myself on a pedestal ,judging others including those who weren't witnesses.It was only once I felt the full might of being cut off that I truly understood what disfellowshipping does to people. I feel,and may be wrong, that disfellowshipping either scares you back into the truth for fear of losing your life ,but in most cases the inability to cope without family and past friends ...Or it sends many into a state of deep depression and suicide..I have actually had it easier than many.But for disfellowshipped loners who have zero social and other coping mechanisms it must be brutal to say the least..I often heardat assemblies interviews from those reinstated that they missed their family and friends so much that they came back..I don't recall ever hearing that they missed their relationship with Jehovah and that bugged me.. it told me that they could not cope alone..and that they had never been able to form a bond with God whilst being a witness.It was all about association and family ties... And that in effect is what I grapple with... ITs been 4 years and I still cannot study the Bible or Pray on my own.. I am wondering if I ever had a real bond with God whilst a witness or rather it was that I enjoyed being part of a so called elite club ....a religion that taught me for decades that I was privileged to be part of Gods chosen people...That in itself seems arrogant now that I am on the outside..That is actually who I was for so long..