Living in a divided home
bttt for those new folks who need it
Coondog, I envy what you have.
Coondog. Just curious. Do you have any children?
If so, how is that handled?
Have you been able to find compromises that seem to work?
Well it has been easier for me to find compromises. We married as non-jw, and then she joined. She made the change. In your situation, you made the change.
You aren't what she wanted to be married to.
The most toxic aspect of the jw psyche, as well as the biggest problem they have within their interpersonal relationships with non-jw's is they are certain they are right. All their bad behaviour is justified because they have the truth. You are less since you don't. Very loving isn't it. This is from a thread I posted recently http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/7/109431/1.ashx
The simple fact is that two people can process the same information, use the identical system of logic (or so they think), and arrive at completely different conclusions. Human beings are simply incapable of being perfectly objective. This is the one thing that no person can deny, and is a key aspect of our fallibility. No matter how smart or knowledgeable we are, no person is immune from the need for self-delusion. It is the one common denominator we all share, and is implicit in all compromise. No person can ever be completely certain that they aren't biased in some hidden way to a certain conclusion.
First off, the mistake you made (no offense) is that you approached it as an issue with the jw. The problem with that is she is under the influence of mind control and unable to process any information contrary to that imposed mindset.
Forget about researching the jw. Research cults. (Read Steven Hassan's Combatting Cult Mind COntrol, and Releasing the Bonds)
Just keep making sure she knows you love her. Try to fill in the holes in all the othe parts of your marriage. Get as close to her as you can. Build up her trust in you, that you are still a decent man, and you still want nothing more than that her best interests are served. As far as your religious convictions. Make it plainly known they are matters of conscience, not convenience. You are just following God with the conscience HE gave to you, not the conscience of anybody else. And don't put up with any crap over that.
I am in a similar position to you. We were very active together (my wife and I) and I was a ministerial servant giving outgoing talks and the whole works. My fall was very swift, however, when a few issues had been simmering inside me for a while. As soon as I did a bit of research the whole thing just fell apart. I now consider myself an agnostic and am perfectly happy with it. My wife and I had a few arguments and tearful discussions about things, but we have now been able to come to some sort of understanding. She has stated on several occasions that she doesn't worry about me, and harping on the subject will not get anywhere. I attend the meetings with her, but no longer do anything, as I "stepped aside" as a servant as soon as I realized my true feelings.
I don't say prayer before our meals, but sit silently as she says hers. I do these things out of respect for her (as another mentioned above) - I want to. However, I do not go out in the ministry because I can see how that would put me in very awkward and compromising positions. I am not eager for my beliefs to come out in the open because of the reprisal that would bring and the pressure on my wife. I want her to feel like she has a supportive husband who is present and visible to others. I know she can't respect me for leaving the organization, but at least maybe she can respect me for how I handle myself in leaving.
With the heat I am starting to experience from my other family (mother primarily) I know it will probably only be a matter of time before I DA myself to just end it all. I can't take the drama anymore.
As far as my relationship with my wife - I don't think any other part of our life together has been compromised... we are just as intimate with each other as we were before, perhaps even more so, since I feel I am more honest with myself and her. Honesty with oneself is very empowering. We are begining to gain more common ground on our feelings about matters of life, even though she knows I don't adhere to what the FDS says. All in all, I think we have a very good start. If I had any counsel to give to you, it would be to not rush anything, giver her time, do not force any topics of discussion. We sometimes have to give up our right to defend ourself or our beliefs in order to maintain the peace in the household. I dearly love my wife and companion and occasionally keeping silent is not a difficult thing to do. I have not shown her any "apostate" material, and probably never will - if she ever leaves the JW's I want her to do it with her own mind, like me. She has had her own doubts in the past, I am certain they will surface again in the future.
No matter what, be patient and strong and she will gravitate to you.
ps - oh and one more thing. Do not spare any affection towards her! And I don't mean bringing home flowers once a month, I mean touching gently, look directly into her eyes, that sort of thing.
patience is key.
we'd love to be able to say most JWs get married because out of a combination of love, respect and spiritual goals. but sadly, most JW marriages are based solely on spiritual goals and libido. so after 2 years, when the libido is gone (or dopamine for scientifically inclined) and one party leaves the "spiritual haven" not much else is left.
if you are among the lucky ones where there was an abundance of love and respect in that initial union, then patience is key. with time, your divided home will have that same love and respect, sans the spiritual requirements you initially had.
hope that makes sense.
I take advantage of the JW's nearly infinite ability to be hypocritical, or, to hold two conflicting thoughts at the same time.
- Meeting nights magically become movie nights when he comes down with stomach pains.
- Certain times of the year just seem better for purchasing little trinkets and cards. That is if he wants to maintain a warm marital bed.
- And, my friends are a lot of fun. He gives lip service to staying away, but he just can't help but tag along.
It takes a lot of energy. I have hope. Also, in my favour, my children are grown. I likely would not have married him if we were planning children together.
I'd say get her to re-read the section in the Secret to Family Happiness book, but I feel almost cruel to say so. She is to be tolerant, loving, patient, submissive, keep the house in order, and supply your 'marital due'. Her example is supposed to lovingly draw you back in to the organization.