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Getting Out : Leaving

Thoughts on Married SGAs leaving

from ErikMagnusLehnsher - Sunday, June 19, 2005
accessed 1285 times

Thoughts on Married SGAs leaving

I am interested in thoughts and opinions and observations on how SGAs who were married prior to leaving adjust to life on the outside and the challenges facing such a union. There are many, many factors that I can think of that would contribute to the dissolution of a marriage forged between young people in TFI:

1) In TFI, it seemed as though marriage would be a far less "permanent" pact.

2) In TFI, marriage was far less exclusive or monogamous. I mean people cheat on each other all the time but that is not a component that is built into the marriage contract like it was in TFI.

3) During certain eras marriages between younger teenagers were strongly recommended as the will of God a la "Make it Work" so you had young people marrying at as young as 14 or 15 when they are still figuring out who they were…much less who they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with.

4) Marriages were often expedited due to pregnancy. (Okay this happens everywhere but with birth control being so taboo it was basically a matter of time before a baby was produced). The evolution from semi-serious relationship to marriage seemed pretty fast.

5) It seems common that those of us who leave go through a time self-discovery where we assess what we really believe and think about many issues. I would guess that two people could very quickly generate vastly different views, lifestyles, goals, careers, hobbies, religious choices, etc. that could create a lot of tension in a relationship.

6) The perception of marriage within the TFI was a far more "old school" than is prevalent these days. Women are far more independent and empowered than it appeared they were in Family marriages.

It appears to me that the majority of the participants here were younger and/or unmarried when they left but I thought this would be an interesting topic to discuss. Even if it turns into a Mars/Venus debate...those are always interesting.


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from paganini
Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 20:29


For my wife & I it's gone fairly well, we both were never into the LOL theory/doctrine fo which we also came under fire. Perhaps the fact that our leaving occured gradually, etc...

I can honestly say that while in people really had it in for our marriage & wanted to see it undone. Thank God, since leaving we're much closer now than ever (8 yrs so far).
(reply to this comment)

from vixen
Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 08:09

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Almost half of all marriages end in divorce, so the odds are high that many ex fam couples would not have stayed together anyway, regardless of the backgrounds of those involved. That said, I personally feel that issues such as the Law of Love, marrying young, having children young and all the other issues related to TF's teachings regarding relationships are secondary when considering this issue. I think that by far the most important influence is the act of leaving TF and the subsequent process of individuation. No matter what age you are when you leave a cult like TF, you are, on some level, still a child. The normal process of growing up and finding out who you are has not been allowed to happen, and therefore upon leaving you will, at some point, realise that the person you are today is nothing like the person you were a year or two ago. I was 26 when I left all the way (meaning psychologically), and within the period of a year or two following that I went through a tremendous amount of change - not just in general attitude and views, but also in the direction I wanted to take in life, and what I wanted for myself. For me this meant making a very difficult choice regarding my own marriage and learning to live with the consequences of that decision, which I continue to do day by day.
(reply to this comment)
From ErikMagnusLehnsher
Wednesday, June 22, 2005, 20:54

So true. You make some great points.(reply to this comment
from Married young
Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 07:46


Most of the "SGA's" I know that left TFI, got separated and/or divorced eventually. Most of the reasons were the ones mentioned above, but I think self-discovery often played a big role. IMO most young marriages dissolve due to the fact that you are an entirely different person at 17 than at 25. Either a young couple changes together, adjusting constantly, or they realize that they are too different to go on living together. (DUH!) I do agree with your point that TFI considered marriages not quite so permament, and that in the back of one's head was always the thought "oh well, if it doesn't work out I can find someone else!" Outside of TFI it's rather difficult to just find someone new if you are a single Mom, no education and 2 kids or more to tag along.

As far as women being less independent in TFI, I have to mention that I rarely saw women drivers in TFI. Anyone else agree? We had an older woman in our home, who had been driving for over 20 years, and still they had someone go with her each time she took the car.

I think one of the reasons a lot of ex-member women I know that have issues with jealousy, are due to your point Nr. 2! TFI told you that it was considered wrong to be jealous, wrong to not want to "share" your husband, wrong to want your marriage to be it's no wonder that a 20-year indoctrination like that can screw you up!

All that to say, I got married at 17 in TFI and am now 26 and still married. (More happily now than before, to be honest!) I don't know why it worked for us and didn't for most of my ex-member friends. Maybe I just got lucky!
(reply to this comment)

From ErikMagnusLehnsher
Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 22:56


You make some good points. It seems like statistically the cards are already stacked against marriages these days so when you throw in a background in the TFI where couples seldom stay together and with a screwed up image of marriage, it creates that many more obstacles.

I cringe to think of couple getting marriage counselling (after leaving) and explaining: "Well, see, we both grew up in cult...I had two moms and half a dad. My husband's a Jesus baby. My husband and I used to regularly permit eachother to have sex with other people outside our marriage, etc., but we stopped doing that now...RIGHT, honey?" I'd love to see the look on the counselor's face.

I guess if people really connect, they can ride out all the turbulance associated with adjusting to life outside. Glad to hear things worked out for you. (reply to this comment

From Married young
Wednesday, June 22, 2005, 06:10

Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5(
Well, honestly, my husband and I were never convinced of the whole "law of love" thing, nor did we try it. Guess we weren't whole-hearted zombie soldiers for Geezus and Zerby to begin with. We were always looked down on a little for not being "into" the Loving Geezus or sharing and all that poo! Maybe that makes a difference.(reply to this comment

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