Trouble explaining my life story to my boyfriend of almost 2 years

by findingmyway 20 Replies latest jw experiences

  • findingmyway


    One of my best friends is also df'd and she said the same thing...share everything...even the gory details. I don't know why I feel like I should shield him from this, but it may be the best therapy for me. This board has been awesome. I lost my password, so I had to create a new profile. I formally used 9thWonder. I can't wait to put all this behind me.

  • evita

    My first real date with my future husband was the same day that my mother informed me she was no longer speaking to me. I was devastated of course. So on our date I drank too much and spilled my whole life story. Talk about a lack of boundaries! He was very understanding and we continued to date. We have been married 18 years.
    My husband had many reasons to be wary of me. In addition to the JW stuff, my parents had a very acrimonious divorce and my family was hugely dysfunctional. Before the dubs I had been a wild hippie child. Then my mom became a dub and my Dad got involved with est and married an est trainer. Plus I am Jewish and he comes from a very large, stable Irish Catholic family. Talk about some scary baggage!
    We kind of blustered our way through the whole thing because we were young and in love. But our communication skills were sorely lacking. He rarely spoke about his feelings and I couldn't stop talking about mine. I am amazed we have made it considering...
    In retrospect, I wish we had sought counseling early on. Nothing too intense, just talking with someone who had more wisdom than we did would have helped.
    I know how difficult it is to carry the burden of a JW background and I wish you the best.

  • urbanized

    Lots of good advice here, just adding my 2 cents... 1. DON'T spare the gory details - your story is not just another family rift due to fundamentalism story, so don't leave out the gory details! 2. DON'T be ashamed of your JW past! I was, now I'm not. It's not your fault!

  • findingmyway


    He must be in angst over this because he is the one who is open and I am the reason for our communication barriers. There is just so much shame and embarassment. Not that I wasn't ashamed and embarassed living as a JW, but now that I know that this isn't what I want - to admit that this is how I lived the majority of my life - even as an adult does cause some level of embarassment.

    I understand that it isn't my fault, but it's something that I try to hide nonetheless.

  • Low-Key Lysmith
    Low-Key Lysmith

    Maybe you should have him read this thread and others like it. People who have not been through what we have tend to have a really hard time understanding what's going on. It doesn't make any sense to them. My girlfriend went to my mom's JW funeral with me last year and was shocked and disgusted by the whole thing. She is supportive of me and tries her best to figure it out, but she grew up in a nurturing, loving, NORMAL family. She cannot comprehend how parents can just turn off their love for their children. She does understand that it causes me a lot of pain sometimes, and she is there for me. It sounds like your boyfriend is trying to help you too.

  • wanderlustguy
    I'm thinking I just need to sit him down, shut him up, swallow a glass of wine and start from the top. So much to tell, but I guess I'll leave out the gory details (you know, JDC meetings, etc.).

    Do this. It's so hard, but worth it in the end. Either way whether he stays or goes, the elephant will be out of the room...and you will have healed a little more. What would you want if roles were reversed? Wouldn't you want to be trusted to handle the truth? Good luck, let us know how it goes. WLG

  • GoingGoingGone

    Hi Findingmyway,


    First off, everyone has baggage. It's called baggage because it's not pleasant to have to drag around.... but it's there, nonetheless.

    The fact that you cannot be close to your family is not because you're an uncaring, unloving person, but because of the rules of the cult to which you belonged, and to which they STILL belong. I agree with the posters that feel it is important to educate your boyfriend on cult-mentality. Otherwise, it's impossible for a non-cult-involved person to understand how JW relatives can act the way they do, and why the df'd relative doesn't fight harder for the relationship to continue as before. And if you haven't already, educate yourself on cult mentality, too. It's a real eye-opener, and it may very well help you understand some of your own feelings.

    Hope everything goes well for you and him!


  • manicmama

    I have always stood by the old addage "honesty is the best policy". I was lied to all my chidhood about this religion and the one thing I detest is someone lying to me. I can deal with honesty, maybe this is what your boyfriend needs. I don't mean dumping everything on him all at once but sitting down and having some straight forward dialog, maybe its that he just doesn't understand, and let's face it unless you grew up in this religion it is very difficult to understand. Maybe you can pick a few topics from the board to let him read, that way he can see that you are not the only one feeling this way and gradually he can come to understand.

    Good Luck it sounds like you have a great guy!


  • evita

    I do understand the embarrassment of admitting we were once part of the cult.
    The other day I met up with some very hip homeschool moms and the JW's came up in conversation. Someone asked a question and I had to admit to the group that I had been a dub. No one could believe it! I think they felt sorry for me.
    I especially hate it when people say, "Oh, you were one of those jehovahs". How humiliating.
    That said, it is a part of my past just like a lot of other things but I don't let it define me. It sounds as if you have moved far past them also but your family keeps you attached. That is not your fault.
    I don't think you will regret being honest with your boyfriend. This is the stuff real relationships are made of.

  • anewme

    Hi Findingmyway. I'm happy for you that you have this forum to consult and you have a lovely caring boyfriend who wants to understand. He just wants you to move forward and be strong. You will. You are moving in that direction.
    People who know nothing about cults have no idea how strong they can be!

    To move forward and eventually to move on means to keep coming to fresh new understanding of what happened to you and what is continuing to happen to you.

    The JW provided a family for you early on with rules, boundaries, restrictions, praise, commendation, everything a young human needs from a real functioning family. No wonder so many gangs are joined by young people needing structure in their lives. Some young people join the military for the same reason... for structure, discipline and direction. Its not a weakness, its a human need. Ok so it happened to you that for this reason and that reason YOU FELL IN WITH THE "JEHOVAHS".

    Not as bad a street gang or the mafia....they kill you if you leave. At least the witnessess just politely refuse to talk with you.

    Its not your fault as one forum friend put it. And you can do nothing about it, (how they treat you).
    What you can do is to get more hard headed! Since my dfing I have been observing how some people would never ever join a cult which interfered so much in their lives. Others, myself included, are more open to allowing outsiders tell me what to do, when, how and where. We are moldable, amiable, cooperative.
    Some people are down right stubborn and rebellious and obstinate when it comes to anyone telling them what to do. I now see the self protection in the latter's thinking. Somewhere in between lies the happy medium for you and me.
    Healthy self esteem and self preservation needs to be practiced.

    Stop answering the phone. Let the answering machine always answer first. Do not call back anyone you do not wish to talk to. Get call screening or protect your heart from hurtful words said on the machine.
    Put up no trespassing signs.
    Start protecting yourself from sad thoughts about the past. Stop missing people who are hurting you.
    Protect your self from manipulative people!
    You will heal faster if you begin right away to take this advice.
    Your boyfriend will never be able to hear it all. He has a healthy mind that rejects all the crap we went through. And he shouldnt have to hear it all. That is why we are here for you.
    Take care sweetie. You will get through this.

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