Relationships, Men, Women and Watchtower

יהוה_saves

Well-known member
I’ve briefly written before about relationship experiences within Watchtower (WT), how they’re cultivated, maintained, the pain of losing them and how the dynamics carry over to adult life post-Watchtower often in the form of complex post Watchtower relationship disorders (PWRD- and i’m certain it’s in the DSM-5, ar ar!)

Any/all relationships in WT are subject to its control, its decrees and rules- friendships, close sibling relationships, parents/children, even the closest and deepest relationship of all, one that Jehovah himself created- husband and wife, is subservient to WT instructions and guidelines.

With that in mind, there are some things that I believe, stunt JWs ability to cultivate the deep loving bonds of any relationship, and i’m going to list them in no particular order of importance or impact.

1. shunning policy. Many or most JWs, even if consciously unaware, do not cultivate deep loving bonds with others because they know, in fact they fear, that even their most cherished relationship(s) can be ripped from them in an instant, for any reason- reason(s) they will likely never know. All JWs understand this, and so they hold back a part of themselves as an internal defense mechanism to the pain of loss due to the shunning policy.

2. This next one is related to shunning, and this is Watchtower’s policing policy. You’d be hard pressed to hear for any elder to admit or to find anywhere in WT literature that WT has an official policing policy. Nevertheless, it’s well known in JW culture that they not only police each other’s conduct, but also each other’s words and thoughts. All JWs understand this and it impacts their ability to be authentic. If you cannot be authentic for fear of being judged or worse, your relationships will not be authentic.

3. This, perhaps most important, deals with the way men and woman relate. In WT culture, it’s not believed that men and woman can be friends. WT prevents friendships from forming with the opposite sex by telegraphing that neither party can or should be trusted, and that you can’t even trust yourself. This mistrust or distrust carries over to post-WT adult life, if, for example, a man (or woman) recalls his deeply imbedded WT indoctrination, and abandons what would have otherwise been a wonderful friendship with someone i’d the opposite sex, one providing mutual companionship, joy, happiness, mutual support, because he or she senses some “inappropriate feelings” that just aren’t there. There is nothing inappropriate about a man and a woman becoming friend good friends, even best friends, as long as social norms are respected and followed, and as long as both parties respect each others boundaries.

Conclusion: Watch Tower stunts JWs ability to have authentic, deeply cultivated living relationships and that’s very sad. Humans are social and it’s part of our humanity to have these relationships.

Learning how to deal with people authentically, and trusting them and myself is something i’m still learning how to do, post WT.

I just wanted to share.
 

Driven

Well-known member
3. This, perhaps most important, deals with the way men and woman relate. In WT culture, it’s not believed that men and woman can be friends. WT prevents friendships from forming with the opposite sex by telegraphing that neither party can or should be trusted, and that you can’t even trust yourself. This mistrust or distrust carries over to post-WT adult life, if, for example, a man (or woman) recalls his deeply imbedded WT indoctrination, and abandons what would have otherwise been a wonderful friendship with someone i’d the opposite sex, one providing mutual companionship, joy, happiness, mutual support, because he or she senses some “inappropriate feelings” that just aren’t there. There is nothing inappropriate about a man and a woman becoming friend good friends, even best friends, as long as social norms are respected and followed, and as long as both parties respect each others boundaries.
You may have valid points in your statements, but on number 3, I will say that although that is a theory that I have heard and even bought into before I became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, in practical terms I found it most often does not work that way. Way before I became a witness, I came to the realization from personal experience and observation that when people of opposite sex become friends, then most often (not always but most often) one of them develops romantic feelings. I have personally witnessed it time and again and so I’ll just relate one experience from when I was a young business owner. I had an older male client that I thought of as a trusted friend and when my client came in my office we would close the office door so that all of my employees wouldn’t hear us talking and have hearty laughs about whatever was going on in the business world and so forth. And, this was in addition to whatever his work requests or updates were. I really trusted it was just a friendship and in fact both of us were married but again this was pre-Watchtower and I was married to my first husband and not Medi-Tator. Then, on the very day that I decided to not wear my wedding ring because my first husband and I were well on the path to divorce, this client came in and IMMEDIATELY noticed that I did not have my ring on. I never confided in him about my marriage and yet he actually noticed that. He started giving me jewelry and it became obvious that he had a romantic interest in me. I felt that it was a betrayal of what I perceived our friendship was and I was so disappointed and felt that I had been naive. I should have recognized it earlier.

So, in conclusion, I am of the opinion that it is ALMOST impossible for men and women to be true friends unless the friendship is developed as more of a parent/child or Aunt/Uncle/Niece/Nephew kind of thing. Most times one of them eventually feels disappointed. I think this is validated by another scenario between Psychologists and patients, where when people share their intimate thoughts and conversations, they often feel a connection with the listener. That is why Psychologists have to be careful to not get involved with their patients and they even have a name for it, “transference”. So, I wouldn’t blame the witnesses for this one because even outside of Jehovah’s people this is a well argued issue. Just my 1 1/2Cents.
 

יהוה_saves

Well-known member
from personal experience and observation that when people of opposite sex become friends, then most often (not always but most often) one of them develops romantic feelings. I have personally witnessed it time
i agrée with you and i have also witnessed it, in fact i have personally experienced it.

It does def happen.

Sometimes the feelings are misleading or misinterpreted. That’s why i mentioned acting within social norms and respected boundaries.

For example i wouldn’t want my husband planning and doing things with his female friends without me.

On the whole, i don’t see a problem with single men and single women being friends and doing things together as friends.
 

Nomex

Well-known member
and this is Watchtower’s policing policy.
My 3 older brothers were DF'd as a direct result of the policing others, due to the tattle tale policy, and because they told on the offenders and then said offenders lied about what my brothers saw, nothing was done to them, and then those who were ratted out, retaliated, and promptly got their ass3s kicked, leading to unceremoniously, other than the very ceremonious announcement.... DF'ing.
 

BARNABY THE DOG.

Well-known member
You may have valid points in your statements, but on number 3, I will say that although that is a theory that I have heard and even bought into before I became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, in practical terms I found it most often does not work that way. Way before I became a witness, I came to the realization from personal experience and observation that when people of opposite sex become friends, then most often (not always but most often) one of them develops romantic feelings. I have personally witnessed it time and again and so I’ll just relate one experience from when I was a young business owner. I had an older male client that I thought of as a trusted friend and when my client came in my office we would close the office door so that all of my employees wouldn’t hear us talking and have hearty laughs about whatever was going on in the business world and so forth. And, this was in addition to whatever his work requests or updates were. I really trusted it was just a friendship and in fact both of us were married but again this was pre-Watchtower and I was married to my first husband and not Medi-Tator. Then, on the very day that I decided to not wear my wedding ring because my first husband and I were well on the path to divorce, this client came in and IMMEDIATELY noticed that I did not have my ring on. I never confided in him about my marriage and yet he actually noticed that. He started giving me jewelry and it became obvious that he had a romantic interest in me. I felt that it was a betrayal of what I perceived our friendship was and I was so disappointed and felt that I had been naive. I should have recognized it earlier.

So, in conclusion, I am of the opinion that it is ALMOST impossible for men and women to be true friends unless the friendship is developed as more of a parent/child or Aunt/Uncle/Niece/Nephew kind of thing. Most times one of them eventually feels disappointed. I think this is validated by another scenario between Psychologists and patients, where when people share their intimate thoughts and conversations, they often feel a connection with the listener. That is why Psychologists have to be careful to not get involved with their patients and they even have a name for it, “transference”. So, I wouldn’t blame the witnesses for this one because even outside of Jehovah’s people this is a well argued issue. Just my 1 1/2Cents.
I have never had a friend in my life. It is an alien concept to me, like dancing. It does not hinder me from appreciating the beauty in others of their attributes (mental, not physical), but other than that, it’s a mystery.
 

Sunshower

Well-known member
I had to think about this for a bit, but I think I agree with you. Although boy/girl friendships can be tricky like @Driven said.

Before covid, my best friend was male. @Something Borrowed and I went to his wedding. I think that's the secret, we talked on the phone (which I always have on speaker cause I don't want that thing near my head) or on Messenger back then but we never met in private without our spouses. And we never talked about intimate details, we had a mutual hobby and it was usually about that, with some stuff that happened in our lives mixed in. Then covid came along and poof went our friendship cause I wouldn't take the jab.

We have never had real friends in the org. My husband and I aren't the poster kids for the org :ROFLMAO: We have a very sarcastic, dark sense of humor and it seems that is not appreciated. Added to that, we both have been suffering from chronic pain for years (thank God, @Something Borrowed is doing loads better since about two years, but he had terrible pain and a matching pain killer addiction for 20 years). You're not fun when you're in pain and it seems that conversations should always be fun.

Friendships in the org are usually very shallow. I think the policing is one part of it, but it seems that most just can't face reality for some reason. Just look at the story @Dove08 told about the covid vaccines being too strong. No, they're not too strong, they're deadly. But that means they have to face consequences and they don't like that. Just like thinking for themselves, that's just not fun. It's all so very shallow and I like people with depth, with scars, with stories to tell. They are the interesting ones. Not the giggly women who don't have two brain cells between them, that's just not me. It just dawned on me that maybe I'm just not fun, although I can always laugh wholeheartedly at my own jokes :ROFLMAO:
 

Something Borrowed

Active member
I had to think about this for a bit, but I think I agree with you. Although boy/girl friendships can be tricky like @Driven said.

Before covid, my best friend was male. @Something Borrowed and I went to his wedding. I think that's the secret, we talked on the phone (which I always have on speaker cause I don't want that thing near my head) or on Messenger back then but we never met in private without our spouses. And we never talked about intimate details, we had a mutual hobby and it was usually about that, with some stuff that happened in our lives mixed in. Then covid came along and poof went our friendship cause I wouldn't take the jab.

We have never had real friends in the org. My husband and I aren't the poster kids for the org :ROFLMAO: We have a very sarcastic, dark sense of humor and it seems that is not appreciated. Added to that, we both have been suffering from chronic pain for years (thank God, @Something Borrowed is doing loads better since about two years, but he had terrible pain and a matching pain killer addiction for 20 years). You're not fun when you're in pain and it seems that conversations should always be fun.

Friendships in the org are usually very shallow. I think the policing is one part of it, but it seems that most just can't face reality for some reason. Just look at the story @Dove08 told about the covid vaccines being too strong. No, they're not too strong, they're deadly. But that means they have to face consequences and they don't like that. Just like thinking for themselves, that's just not fun. It's all so very shallow and I like people with depth, with scars, with stories to tell. They are the interesting ones. Not the giggly women who don't have two brain cells between them, that's just not me. It just dawned on me that maybe I'm just not fun, although I can always laugh wholeheartedly at my own jokes :ROFLMAO:
Eh ….. take it from me you are lots of fun!!!
 

Ms_ladyblue

Well-known member
I had to think about this for a bit, but I think I agree with you. Although boy/girl friendships can be tricky like @Driven said.

Before covid, my best friend was male. @Something Borrowed and I went to his wedding. I think that's the secret, we talked on the phone (which I always have on speaker cause I don't want that thing near my head) or on Messenger back then but we never met in private without our spouses. And we never talked about intimate details, we had a mutual hobby and it was usually about that, with some stuff that happened in our lives mixed in. Then covid came along and poof went our friendship cause I wouldn't take the jab.

We have never had real friends in the org. My husband and I aren't the poster kids for the org :ROFLMAO: We have a very sarcastic, dark sense of humor and it seems that is not appreciated. Added to that, we both have been suffering from chronic pain for years (thank God, @Something Borrowed is doing loads better since about two years, but he had terrible pain and a matching pain killer addiction for 20 years). You're not fun when you're in pain and it seems that conversations should always be fun.

Friendships in the org are usually very shallow. I think the policing is one part of it, but it seems that most just can't face reality for some reason. Just look at the story @Dove08 told about the covid vaccines being too strong. No, they're not too strong, they're deadly. But that means they have to face consequences and they don't like that. Just like thinking for themselves, that's just not fun. It's all so very shallow and I like people with depth, with scars, with stories to tell. They are the interesting ones. Not the giggly women who don't have two brain cells between them, that's just not me. It just dawned on me that maybe I'm just not fun, although I can always laugh wholeheartedly at my own jokes :ROFLMAO:
@Sunshower I happen to like friends who have a very sarcastic and dark sense of humor. 😂

And no, I think you’d probably be a lot of fun to be around, even if you laugh at your own jokes 🤣 which, by the way I do too. 🤣
In addition, my life is an open book, I would have a lot of stories to tell. Heck, having gone down this road of life in this old system has been like a roller coaster for me! It’s been dark days….and happy days too!

Hopefully, we can meet one day. Meanwhile, the forum will have to do. 👍🏼
 

Sunshower

Well-known member
@Sunshower I happen to like friends who have a very sarcastic and dark sense of humor. 😂

And no, I think you’d probably be a lot of fun to be around, even if you laugh at your own jokes 🤣 which, by the way I do too. 🤣
In addition, my life is an open book, I would have a lot of stories to tell. Heck, having gone down this road of life in this old system has been like a roller coaster for me! It’s been dark days….and happy days too!

Hopefully, we can meet one day. Meanwhile, the forum will have to do. 👍🏼
I sure hope to meet you one day, sis. It will be a hoot 😁
 

PJ54

Well-known member
I see what you mean. However, I am similar to @BARNABY THE DOG. where I rarely had friends. Genuine friends are far & few between in my life. This goes for my life in the Org & before it. If anything I had plenty of enemies that gave my life hell & when I was in middle school I used violence to solve those problems. When being in the Org. the friends were kind but I believe they couldn't relate to me since many were born in the Society. I am neurodivergent so my behavior may come off odd if not spooky at times & I know that played role. Oh well you get used to it. Lol
 

Driven

Well-known member
I see what you mean. However, I am similar to @BARNABY THE DOG. where I rarely had friends. Genuine friends are far & few between in my life. This goes for my life in the Org & before it. If anything I had plenty of enemies that gave my life hell & when I was in middle school I used violence to solve those problems. When being in the Org. the friends were kind but I believe they couldn't relate to me since many were born in the Society. I am neurodivergent so my behavior may come off odd if not spooky at times & I know that played role. Oh well you get used to it. Lol
You have a friend in me Bro PJ54!
 

Ms_ladyblue

Well-known member
42A6E613-1A87-45C7-96A9-0F8657CE7132.jpeg
Well, I suppose the imaginary friends will have to take a seat in the back! They won't appreciate that. Lol
By the way PJ, I saw this and couldn’t help but post it to you after reading your comment. Plus the added caption under your comment saying “Trying to stay somewhat sane in an insane world“

We’re all a little insane really. Lol
 
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kenmuldoon55

Well-known member
I see what you mean. However, I am similar to @BARNABY THE DOG. where I rarely had friends. Genuine friends are far & few between in my life. This goes for my life in the Org & before it. If anything I had plenty of enemies that gave my life hell & when I was in middle school I used violence to solve those problems. When being in the Org. the friends were kind but I believe they couldn't relate to me since many were born in the Society. I am neurodivergent so my behavior may come off odd if not spooky at times & I know that played role. Oh well you get used to it. Lol
Good for you for tuning up those hellions in school.
Peter had his edgy side for sure as witnessed in the whole cutting off the ear of one of the chief priests club wielding servants coming to arrest Jesus.
I think Jehovah has a soft spot in His heart for men of action who get physical against blatant unrighteousness.
Of course when the eighth kings minions come to grind our faces into the mud with their jackboots , it may require some self control not to retaliate.
That’ll be a tough one at least for me.
 
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