I don't do this well.. I'm not a JW, never was never will be. I knew nothing about the JW's until I met my son's father and even that was only that they didn't do birthdays/holidays. It was always in the back of my mind, but he wasn't a "practicing" JW and the issue never came up. His family never really had anything to do with me, I shrugged that off as their loss. Well, as is prone to happen, life interferes and throws sticks in the spokes--we got pregnant. (we weren't married). I didn't see the big deal, I had planned to be with him (we were engaged-ring & all)--but hindsight being what it is, this caused him to rethink his position in his JW life and I became your typical "I'm in love with a JW but..." statistic. He left our family under pressure from the JW's and that's where this site came in. Things went way south as you'd expect and I'm bible illiterate at best but was forced to do a little investigation as to what insanity this man was now making in everyone's life. I knew what I believed my whole life, I've visited many different churches, but never really ever belonged to one. Never really read the bible. My parents are not real "religious" but my mom never once told me what I HAD to believe, just what I was and passed on her knowledge of the bible to me. If anything, this site and others has caused me to view what I believe and why. I have tons of questions that swarm my skull from time to time, and I am thankful I have the ability to research. First off my reaction is WOW...Outside looking in I can't comprehend how anyone can be told how to live, love, etc and how twisted their views are but on the other hand I see how it can be done--it's normal-- for those growing up in it (just like it is for me). I believe what I believe and no one is going to TELL me to believe something else if it doesn't make sense..and this JW thing just doesn't make sense. I don't disagree with "most" of what is taught (morals, etc) but holy crap some of the things I've read and what most of you have been through is scary to me. He fit the mold 100% to most of the experiences I've read about and worse he was passing this to our son. I really really wish I would have done this sooner (before our son was even a reality), but I guess better late than never. I don't have a choice in the JW thing with our son, he's going to take him and I can't even keep my son away from it. I read "don't let your kids around it" and I panic but I don't have a choice. The court has given him time with our child and he takes him with him to the KH. All I do is tell him that his dad believes one way but that doesn't mean it's the only way. Ironically, during his marriage (after he left us) he alienated himself from his family due to his wife. She's one of those controlling people so insecure they have to create their own island of reality and kill the outsiders to maintain her own twisted sense of life. He lost all his friends, family and me. He became this horrible monster that had us in court several times trying to maintain some normalcy in our sons life and all the while the wife was stirring up the problems. He had no balls to fight it, he let it get out of control. It was during this time that his family came to me as they had lost the ability to spend time with our son and made peace. We compared notes and I found myself actually liking them, spending more time with them, basically making up for missed time. His mother admitted that she didn't like our arrangement when the ex & I were together (not married/living together), but never liked not talking to me. Yes, I take these things with a grain of salt. But never have they forced their religion on me, or come close to it. I've never been talked to about it, they don't ask to take our son (ok once but I said NO) and even tho the cloud of JW hangs over their heads, it doesn't affect me so much. When it came to the crap I was dealing with the ex and the wife THEY WERE ON MY SIDE!! For once I wasn't a pariah and that was a nice feeling. He kept one eye on the situation and during tirades from his wife, I know he felt regret and embarrassment, but had to keep up the facade. This is long...sorry Today things are way different, my ex is now almost an ex again and we are talking. My son is thriving now that his parents aren't at each others throats. He knows his dad has different beliefs and he actually adapts conversation to fit where he is, he doesn't speak of the holidays around them, etc. I keep a close eye on that but it's not rammed down his throat by any of them YET. We all hang out together now & again. Weird. Of course there's more but if you made it this far without slitting your wrists I'm impressed! Thanks for this site..thanks for sharing all your wisdom & experiences and helping me, a lurker...to better understand what to look for, etc. I would have been lost without this site.