Why So Many Jehovah’s Witness Marriages Fail?

Sylviane Nuccio
5 min readJul 27, 2017


Truth be told, many Jehovah’s Witnesses end up in failed marriages, even though their religion would want you to believe otherwise.

I feel that I have all the necessary background to give you valuable insights on the problem since not only have I been one of Jehovah’s Witnesses for over 10 years and married one of them, but today I am a relationship coach helping women with bad relationship patterns to understand what’s going on with them and how to heal their issues from the inside out.

There are three main reasons why most Jehovah’s Witnesses' marriages are bound to fail and it’s somewhat related to the fact that some 63% of born in Jehovah’s Witnesses end up leaving the only religion that they’ve ever known.

So let’s consider those reasons one by one.

The 3 Main Reasons why Jehovah’s Witnesses Marriages Fail

1- Husband and Wife don’t Know one another

In the real world (people living outside of the cult) young or not so young people who intend to get married have all the time they want and need to get to know each other. And if they ever made the mistake to get married to someone they barely knew it would only be their own doing.

In the world of Jehovah’s Witnesses, however, it’s a whole different game.

For one thing, a young man or woman who is dating is not allowed to spend time ALONE with the person they’re dating.

The only instances that such a thing might slightly be tolerated would be in public places, such as cafes or parks.

If they ever were to be in a house or room together they would have to have a chaperon.

This means that candidates for marriage will probably never get to discuss deep, important and personal matters that could help them know each other since whatever they might discuss could fall on the ears of a third party.

Only if they were to disobey that rule, and escape on their own at times, could they manage to be able to share at least some personal matters with one another?

Unfortunately, those who would do such things could be considered “spiritually weak” or “disobedient” or yet even “bad association.”

This means that even if one of the two fiancés would want to spend some time alone with their future partner, they may not dare to suggest it for fear that the other might not take this well, or worse even, report them to the elders for disobeying the rules.

Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses are trained to snitch on each other. No matter who that may be; children, parents, spouse, etc.

As a result, the person that the future wife or husband knows is the public figure that everyone else knows. After all, they’ve never seen them outside of a public setting.

They really don’t know the private person at all.

On top of this, even if the elders of the congregation (the church leaders) knew of something of concern (especially about the man), another outrageous rule of the cult obliges them to stay silent and keep it to themselves.

As a result, a woman could marry a sex offender or pedophile, for example, and not even know it before it’s too late.

2- They Base Marriage Happiness on an Irrelevant Matter

According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses teachings, in order to have a happy marriage, all that one needs to do is find a “spiritual brother or sister” to marry.

Spiritual in the world of Jehovah’s Witnesses means someone who is totally involved with their organization propaganda.

Someone who goes to all the meetings regularly spends a lot of hours preaching the organization doctrines to strangers every week, gives regular comments at meetings and reaches out for positions in the religion such as being a pioneer, a ministerial servant or an elder.

Problem number one is that a person that is believed to be “spiritual” could totally be fake.

There are actually plenty of cases that have proven that some Jehovah’s Witnesses who were considered “spiritual” were really leading a double life.

Problem number two, even if the person is a “spiritual” person according to what Jehovah’s Witnesses call spiritual, it’s completely irrelevant to love, physical attraction, mutual interests and the fact that their true personality will match at all with that of their future partner.

Unfortunately, Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that the above doesn’t really matter as long as their future husband or wife is “spiritual.”

Because of this incredibly ridiculous belief and teaching, many Jehovah’s Witnesses found themselves married to someone they had nothing in common with, didn’t really love or were truly attracted to.

In some cases they married violent and dysfunctional people, learning about the facts once they were already married.

3- Childhood Abuse

As a professional relationship coach helping women with destructive relationship patterns, I can tell you that 99.9% of people who have had a bad relationship story, this was due to childhood abuse; whether it was sexual, physical or emotional.

This has been the case for every single one of my clients.

As a matter of fact, once you understand how the mind works, it makes total sense that so many Jehovah’s Witnesses' marriages fail.

Abused and depressed people will most likely end up in a bad marriage, and that is even more so in the case of born in Jehovah’s Witnesses as both parties have most likely grown up enduring some kind of abuse and some type of depression due to the teachings of their religions.

Here are some examples:

  • A child is reminded from early childhood that he or she will be destroyed at Armageddon if he fails to please Jehovah God.
  • A Watchtower video implied that even playing with a piece of plastic in the form of “magician warrior” was enough to make “Jehovah sad” and in order to appease Jehovah the child had to throw the toy away.
  • Even if he or she is a good kid, this child quickly becomes aware that all his schoolmates will be destroyed at Armageddon because they are not Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • And sadly it’s the same thing with any family member such as one of their parents may be, or grandma and grandpa that are not Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yes, they’ll be destroyed too if they don’t become Jehovah’s Witnesses soon.

Listening to ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses experiences as children it’s obvious that most of them have had a very tormented childhood with frequent nightmares and panic attacks based on the Watchtower teachings alone.

But let’s also add the fact that in most cases a Jehovah’s Witness child has been spanked, slapped or worst just for not staying still during the long weekly meetings.

And last but not least, let’s not forget those who have been sexually abused by someone they trusted without any way out or help… and the abuse in all its forms is undeniable.

Toxic upbringing and depression are the perfect ingredients for bad relationships and marriages, and Jehovah’s Witnesses the perfect candidates for that.

Finding the ideal marriage partner is not an easy task for anyone, but when you belong to a cult such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion, the odds against you are multiplied a hundredfold.

This is why so many Jehovah’s Witnesses' marriages fail.

~Sylviane Nuccio



Sylviane Nuccio

Sylviane is a relationship coach for women and helps ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses who struggle after their exist of the cult. Blog: http://sylvianenuccio.com