Monday, April 14, 2008

Spouses and Leaving Jehovah's Witnesses

For a moment let's consider the predicament of a spouse (male or female) who suddenly and possibly unexpectedly, finds themselves married to an ex Jehovah's Witness. Unless you have actually found yourself on one or the other side of this situation the thought may never have crossed your mind. For many JWs this is a worst case scenario, a nightmare. Consider a few facts:

Jehovah's Witnesses only spend leisure time with other Jehovah's Witnesses. Therefore the moment that a spouse is no longer one ALL previous friendships held in common cease. Instantaneously. This is because Jehovah's Witnesses do not say so much as Hello to anyone who has left or was expelled. No exceptions. So was he your best man or she your maid of honor at your wedding? It doesn't matter, he or she will probably not even say goodbye. One's own parents will generally disown you or at the very least have as little to do with you as they can.
So the JW spouse faces the prospect of having no social life with their spouse unless they are willing to socialize with "worldly" people (non-JWs), a no-no, or worst yet with exJWs an even bigger no-no, punishable with expulsion if discovered. They may not even have family to be with if that family is made up of JWs. Talk about totally reshaping the landscape of a relationship. Such a thing cannot even be compared to moving to another area or even another country. This is because the TYPE of people that each will be able to have as friends is now radically different. It therefore can be said that a shared social life that is meaningful and satisfying to both is in short...gone forever.

As if this was not maddening enough consider this: Jehovah's Witnesses consider their spiritual life to be EVERYTHING. Their preaching work is their career. Their numerous meetings, assemblies, and special events take up 15-20 hours weekly. Further many exJWs remain fervent Christians. The Watchtower Society's Governing Body adamantly refuses to allow ANY sharing between the current and former JW spouses of religious, Christian or spiritual ties. This is even if they are in agreement with one other on some things. This is considered punishment for the exJW and a supposed inducement for them to rejoin the Watchtower Society.

So we have one of the most meaningful and core aspects of one's personality and relationship gone forever. Just like that. That is way too much power over people for anyone or any group to have. And yet this sad situation breaks up families and leaves many children in pain every day somewhere in the Watchtower world.

Is it any wonder that when one mate begins to assert their independent thinking the other viscerally opposes? Their entire world is about to be shattered. Mind you this does not include the ostracism that can come to the one left standing in the organization, particularly if its the wife, and the shame that can come on any children involved.

Isaac Carmignani


Danny Haszard said...

This is probably what makes the Jehovah's witnesses religion so controversial in that they: PROMISE YOU YOUR REWARD IN THE HERE AND NOW.

Like holding out the proverbial carrot to the donkey the watchtower promises it's followers an impending new system paradise coming any minute you won't grow old you won't need to save for old age retirement.
The other religions have the good sense to promise you your reward AFTER YOU DIE and nobody has ever come back from the dead and sued for breach of promise.

When the watchtower is made to be held accountable for their false promises and defaults thay just go and disfellowship (kick out) those who dissent.Religions can get away with this any secular business that did this would get their leaders put in jail for fraud.The Watchtower religion has busted a million followers and there are lots of angry ex members who won't go quietly.

It's FRAUD for GOD
Danny Haszard

truthsetsonefree said...

Agreed Danny, so many have justified bad marriaGES because in "just a little while longer" their marital problems would be solved in the Paradise.

Dreamer said...

I resigned as an Elder because I couldn't live up to my wife's ideas of what an Elder husband should be. She harped on me so much about not being perfect I felt guilty about being an elder. Plus I thought ok, if I'm such a lousy Elder I'll resign. After that things got worse. Anything I did that she felt was unsuitable for one of Jehovah's Witnesses; such as movies she thought were inappropriate or questioning some points in the Watchtower, she went to the Elder about thinking she was being loyal to the organization. After 32 years we are no longer married. She is a fine upstanding witness and I am finally showing my true colors because I no longer attend meetings. She will have nothing to do with me and refuses to go anywhere I go even if it involves one of our 3 children. I don’t have any hard feeling toward her but it’s just a shame that a religious organization can have such a divisive affect on a good family.

truthsetsonefree said...

Wow, I know the feeling. It damned if you do and damned if you don't in that situation. I am having to fight for my rights with my daughter because of this thinking.