Did I challenge my JW husband too much?

by wordlywife 57 Replies latest jw friends

  • wordlywife

    In case all of you don't know, I'm married to a wonderful JW man, for a few years now. He was reinstated ater we were married. Anyway, I have children from a previous marriage and at times disagree with my husband on discipline, how things are explained, etc. I don't like to feel like I don't have a say in what they are taught or what kind of discipline is warranted, and often times I feel he does this without any input from me. I interrupt/corrected him during a talks with the kids, and I guess I have done this too often as he has let me know that I do. I did not really realize I do this, I thought I was giving my interpretation to the disciple, and want the children to know that Mom has an opinion as is an important person in the decision making processes.

    This led to him starting to talk about Jehovah's organization, how world wide all men are taught be helpful to their wives, head of household, etc. I stated that he makes it sound as tough nobody else teaches this, I know other people who do, etc. He took offense and said he had never said that, etc. I said you imply that, that you are the only ones.......... I said from what I have heard and observed that doesn't seem to be tha case with all witnesses, they are human too and make mistakes, etc. I said it is a joint partnership, not one over another, which of course he knows I feel this way.

    He then started to ask me what would happen in my church if people were turned away because of adultery, etc? The phone rang, so we never got into that. I wanted to say that that won't happen, pepple are human and make mistakes and would never be shinned or turned away.

    We continued the conversation and he challenged my on my use of the word "evolved" when I was talking about an animal. How could I use this when it is an unproven theory, etc.?? He was hostile about this too. I was going to try to say that perhaps I shoul dhave used the wrod adapt, or something else. But I guess I interrupted him while trying to defend my position, and he has not spoken to me since.

    This has never ever happened before, to this degree. I respect his right to believe what he wants. I guess this is where he is letting it show that he doesn't repect mine.

    Is it that no JW man should let his wife make the decisions or over ride his? Is it male ego? He said I undermine his authority as far as the kids go and they are going to see division, and I said they already do, in holidays, etc. I don't know where to go from here.

    And I know he still has a DA letter which he hasn't thrown away. I doubt he has forgotten about it, who could?

    I'm stunned and hurt, and want to hold my ground in teaching what I feel is right to the kids, as well as them learning things from him too.

  • JustTickledPink

    I found most JW men to get off on that headship stuff. I don't have any advice for you, but we know you're right and he's wrong. And that is all there is to it!

    Learn to roll your eyes at the stuff.

  • LeslieV

    Unfortunately you have run into the JW's belief of male privilege. They are really into headship, authority etc. It is the main reason of why I left with my three daughters. Their father is still an active JW elder in a local KH. I was bound and determined that no one was going to decide for my girls what they could do in their lives. By the time my oldest was 12 their father was already deciding who in the cong would make a good husband for her. I flipped to say the least. Now my two oldest girls are in college and my youngest in HS. I can tell you that they will decide for themeselves what their lives will be enriched with.

    You need to be totally involved with the disipline of your children. If you are not they will think that the way they are treated is normal. What you said to your husband was accurate. A true healthy relationship is a partnership not a dictatorship. You can have a healthy relationship with your JW husband, but it has to based on respect. You need to sit down with him and tell him that. Don't hold all your pain inside or you will begin to hold grudges, and become consumed with anger. If indeed he explains that this is his religon you need to remind him that when he married you he was well aware that you were not a JW, and do not ascribe to their beliefs. Find a way to compromise so that it will not come between you and break down your marriage. Good Luck!!!!!!


  • Balsam

    Hi Worldlywife,

    Know your feeling hurt and confused. Your husband is not respecting your opinion. JW's women are to listen and learn in silence, though few of us ever did. There are plenty of opinionated JW women. But they always have to defer to the husbands wishes even if he wrong that was the rule. It is a great mistake on your part to not stand your ground with him, though you might want to do it in private and not in front of the kids. And if you hear him telling the children something contrary and disrespectful about women then correct him in front of the children. I did even as a JW, and thankfully my sons have a healthy respect for women. But that is not due to their Dad's direction. Your husband should not be correcting or educating your children from another marriage without your full support or input. These are your children, he is their Step-Dad.

    He is not making your children attend meetings at the KH is he? If he is I strongly suggest you stop that. He can have his religion without indoctrinating it into you and your children.

    Are you the gal who was studying with the JW's and considering baptism but backed away from it? It could be that he had this authority of the Husband thing all sewed up with you accepting the JW way of doing things. Now you are resisting the JW way, he don't know what to do.

    I hate to tell you, but you will be seeing changes in your husband probably over time since he has returned to the JW. He will be encouraged to take control of your family, bring you into submission, and to train your children in the ways of JW's.

    Have a talk with him, state your position, and let him know what you will and will not stand for. You are in an equal partnership, or should be. Remember JW men have a whole different view of their authority in the family. They take the lead and your suppose to follow, and so are the children.


  • peggy

    Sadly, you are married to a spiritually weak man, which may be worse then being married to a spiritually "healthy" JW. You might point out some scriptures referring to the husband. I don't have my bible available, but the bible talks about "loving your wife as you do yourself, feeding and cherishing her" also, "do not be bitterly angry with your wife".

    Sadly, some men regardless of religion, veiw there manhood as the ultimate authority. That authority takes precendence over ALL else!

    In my opinion, humble as it may be. Your children need your guidance and care. They need to be assured of your love and protection. Religious differences in a household can cause much pain for the children. Hold your ground for what you believe, but please consider the childrens feelings while doing that. Fighting and bickering over religion in front of the children is confusing.

    Your husband made a dicision to marry you, he needs to be the humble one. He needs to let you be you. He can worship in anyway he wants, but he has no right to bully you to believe and think as he does!

  • frenchbabyface

    ok ... lots of things have been said already ... in short (YOU ARE RIGHT)

    now the problem is that YOUR MAN FEELS LIKE SHIT (not because of you actually - but because he is leaded by a bunch of people and an organisation that doesn't allow him to be coherent means actually smart enough to react/act the way he should, and want what not brainwashed people want and can achieve - means being as good/big/strong as they can )

    I mean he wants to be a MAN - he is already no matter what ... (Just reading you I don't think you would marry A BABY) but with more control ... well he just need to be coherent, (I mean if you're not coherent anybody can shut your mouth !!!) so that he can have everybody's respect (or at least his selfrespect) tell him to take a little time for himself - if not for your marriage to think about it (nobody cares about the elders and the organisation, since they realise they are just shit in every followers pant)

    Also ask him for instance if he would like you to be a petdog ? (He might not understand the question) tell him that if yes ... not your desire (even with all the LOVE he COULD eventually give you for being a PET), and probably also not your desire to have him treated like a dog by anyone (and certainly not by you)

  • 95stormfront

    Yep...definitely sounds like you've stepped on your husband's toes with regard to his "headship" privilege. Further, you've undermined repeatedly the absolute authority, especially by interrupting him, he should have as a JW man "lording over his home in a fine manner" (sarcasm). And, true to form, he's mimicking his beloved organization by acting in the same manner as the organization would if you question it or undermine it's absolute authority, by trying to punish you with scorn and silence for not being submissive enough and letting him\it win every debate and have the last word.

    How childish......

    I would agree with the other posters here that you should sit down with him and tell him what you expect in the relationship as far as demonstrating the respect you had for each other before his return to the JW fold, especially on the issue of differing opinions. Problem is, it will be very tough if not almost impossible for him to verbalize a respect for differing opinions especially if he's constantly being barraged by WT psychobable with it's incessantly veiled scornful lingo.

    Perhaps he needs to be sat down with and reminded of why he married you in the first place, how he treated you, how he respected you, your opinions, your children, before his return to the organization. Aside from that, I urge you to be entirely "hands on" with your kids with regards to what they want to do with their lives and ensure that behind your back, they are not coerced into falling into lockstep JW just because it'll make him "look good" in the eyes of the organization.

    The issues you're facing right now will in all likelihood will be the toughest challenges in your marriage if it survives should your husband continue to look toward acceptance within the JW organization.

    Good Luck.

  • wordlywife

    In answer to an earlier question, no I have never studied or thought of baptism, never been JW. I did attend with my DF'd husband for a year or so, every other Sunday, never a book study or TMS meeting though. He knew my views before we were married, and it just seems the further we go along the more he wants to use the WTBTS ways with the kids. Perhaps because we are expecting one of our own children together he is feeling now is the time to come down with the "FDS and Jehovah's organization training is so wonderful" thing. I am open and affirming to all faiths. to me there is no ONE way, or one truth. At times it turns my stomach to hear him say "The Society says" to his grown children. But, it is his right and I respect that.

    Hopefully he will sit down with me, some day when he is speaking to me again, and we can talk this over. I'm afraid if he starts in with the FDS WTBTS JW stuff, my mind clicks off and I get defensive, fiercely so, of my own beliefs, which are equality, inherent goodness in people, etc. I don't have all the answers, and I don't want them. It is a mystery and one I won't figure out (how did we get here, is there a God, etc. ad naseum). It seems impossible for him to talk about things without JW things coming into the conversation. Even the lingo is starting to pop out at me and I don;t like it. Why say "Ones" hen talking about people at the KH? Can't you just say "people"? Why does he say "admirable or commendable" when talking about what other religions do, and why doe sthat seem so condescending? During this recent conversation when he said that I turned it right around and said the same things about the society, and man he did not liek that one bit. "It's MORE than commendable!!......etc" And he looked like this:

    Blech.............I do respect my husband. I don't agree with im, but I do respect him. What's wrong with that?

  • Country_Woman

    There is only one point that I think is valid: you said that you interrupted him while he was talking to the children. In my opinion husband and wife have to form a unit when dealing with children. When you are of different feelings, you should tell him without letting the children wittness this.

    That way you are not undermining his authority AND he knows how you are thinking. Further, since it are your children and not his, you are the one deciding.

  • 95stormfront
    Even the lingo is starting to pop out at me and I don;t like it. Why say "Ones" hen talking about people at the KH? Can't you just say "people"? Why does he say "admirable or commendable" when talking about what other religions do, and why doe sthat seem so condescending? During this recent conversation when he said that I turned it right around and said the same things about the society, and man he did not liek that one bit.

    I've found that JWs know full well when they're using that kind of language about themselves, other people, and religions that they're using it in a condescending manner. They know full well the context in which their using that language between themselves, but expect you as an outsider to view it as complimentary even though "they know" it was meant in a somewhat demeaning way when compared to whoever subscribes to and whatever the WT organization is doing.

    It's only when someone uses that same language in that same context against "them" that they take offense to it.

Share this