In my last blog I talked about the three reasons given by the organization that one can leave their spouse. I thought about this a lot after I finished the blog and I believe it is worth spending a little more time on – hence this post.
It gives much insight to the role of women within the organization – and with God himself – if you buy into it.
As a refresher, the reasons are:
- Your spouse does not provide materially for your family;
- Your spouse causes grave spiritual harm.
The first one is the only one where you may divorce legally and be scripturally free to get remarried. What always struck me as odd was that it is also really the only one that can apply to both men and women. The other two mainly apply to sisters in the congregation. Sisters look at these two crumbs and most know that these are extreme situations and don’t apply to 99% of the real problems in marriages within the organization. So, they just put up and shut up.
As a side note, I will even add that recently the organization came out with an article that added “extreme physical abuse” to the reason a sister “may” want to separate. This must fall under point #3. This one especially infuriates me because victims of domestic violence are known to minimize the abuse. They zone out and compartmentalize as a form of self-preservation. They rarely are be able to admit to themselves that the abuse is extreme. Also, what constitutes extreme? Who gets to judge it? Is it when you end up in the hospital, neighbors notice, you have to wear a cast or are put in traction? Or maybe when you are lying in the morgue? Saying this, the organization is socially, morally and ethically irresponsible and put women’s lives and that of their children at risk. Just when a woman gets the courage to leave she picks up a Watchtower and reads this garbage. I know, because I have been there! But, I digress.
All of these dogmatic rules are a deliberate way to keep the sisters in line. Consider this. If you did feel like you were not being provided for or were in grave spiritual harm and you separated, or even divorced, you could never remarry. This is a lifelong sentence of either putting up with a terrible mate or being alone for the rest of your days. Talk about emotional blackmail!
It is so rare that a human can actually stay single after this that in a recent episode on JW Broadcasting there is an experience where a couple whose relationship was so bad that the wife divorced the husband. Decades later they reconciled and remarried (insert applause here). I did not find this “encouraging” or a “blessing” as they tried to spin it but I found it sad. These two people listened to the organizational policy masked as God’s direction and gave up so much time unfulfilled.
It is a simple case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t!
In a future blog I will discuss what it feels like for sister within the organization to turn over her mind, common sense, and intuition for the sake of wanting to be approved by God.
EDIT: 5th October 2018 – this article is now available to read in Italian thanks to JW Analyze – Come lasciare tuo marito con la benedizione di Dio in 3 semplici mosse