Copyright © Bruce A. Holt. All Rights Reserved. (Comments are welcome!)
What have I learned?
1) Steer clear of narcissists.
2) Seek fidelity in others.
3) Be faithful (non religious context) to others.
4) Find a friend in your spouse.
5) Be a friend to your spouse.
6) Eschew religion.
7) Think critically.
Odds and ends (from my perspective, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)):
1) After a shift in view, from religious to secular, and realizing your family members still remain in the clutches of a cult, don’t be too vigorous in your efforts to deprogram them! The Backfire Effect is real!
2) Gentle discussion and Socratic questioning may avoid the Backfire Effect and promote better, more loving, discussion.
3) Have patience. Loved ones in a cult are not easily removed. It will take time.
4) My own mistakes and missteps in my first marriage and second relationship have left scars on some family members, particularly those involved and some close in relationship. Patience may win them over but they may also choose to hang on to their scars. I will let them. It’s no longer my problem but theirs.
5) Be honest. Have personal integrity.
7) There is nothing inherently wrong with Apostate Behavior. Religion is, ultimately, a leftover from humanity’s childhood. Adulthood (apostate behavior) is preferable.