About 10 years ago I came here years ago looking for some understanding.
My wife was getting baptized, and I was starting to realize that the JW was no mere religion.
Fear led to anger, and anger led to panicked and rushed reactions. I called them a cult.
With time the people here helped me to understand my situation. I read Steve Hassan and worked tirelessly to apply his principles. I studied the Witnesses like an enemy I had to destroy.
I made a lot of mistakes and I did a lot of things right. Eventually my wife felt comfortable leaving the JW, and we really never looked back. I had come to peace with her as a JW, and I knew that my initial resistance prevented her from letting down her guard to see the JW an objective eye. She had to know that she would never get an "I told you so".
So when she told me she was leaving, I just kind of shrugged, said "ok", and went back to what I was doing.
So recently a friend I met here asked to interview us as a follow up to an interview he did with former WCG members. Those interviews ended up being the "last straw" for my wife, as they showed how the WCG was so strikingly similar to the JW, removing the "we are special" perspective of the JW.
The interviews we did together ended up being an enjoyable look back at a difficult time for us. It showed me how much we have grown together.
So finally, the feedback from my wife. Here were some take aways as to what really helped my wife in no particular order:
- I apparently set a good example as a moral, non-judgemental, patient, forgiving, and Christian husband. In some cases, I seemed more of an accurate representation of Christ's love than some of those in God's organization.
- Whenever I directly approached, handed her something I had written up or something from someone else, it was pretty much dismissed out of hand.
- When I FINALLY STOPPED trying to get her out, she was able to evaluate JW
- It was the small, unguarded, unscripted comments that I and others made that seemed to make the most impact. Over and over she would mention some thing I didn't even remember saying, or was even shocked that I said, and how it had an impact on her.
- The blood thing was quite troubling for her.
So my advice for any unbelieving mate, is to try not to be critical of the JW. It sets up an "I'm right you are wrong" dynamic, that is never going to be positive in your relationship. The enemy is outside your home, not inside. Take special care to protect your family from the blood doctrine, interference, and intrusion so you will feel safe. Be patient. Be loving. Be understanding and offer yourself as a place of rest for your JW from the exhausting treadmill of the org. Use jiu-jitsu... never oppose directly, rather redirect the energy of others. You can always count on someone in the congregation to provide a bad example to contrast against. Be honest, but not judgemental of the JW. And be completely ok with the fact that they may never leave. Only then will they feels safe to do so. Odd.
Love you all.