For anyone who is so inclined, I am openly asking for prayer over my relationship with Bryan. I really, really like this guy a lot – he is a smart, talented, attractive, godly man with a kind heart and generous spirit – but we are really struggling with communication.
We have the same fight constantly, only over different subjects. At its core, the theme always remains the same: I will be discussing some part of my life (past, present, or future), and Bryan will offer an alternate perspective, but instead of couching it as simply an alternate perspective, he has a way of making me feel like he is scornful of my decision.
For example, tonight I was telling him about how I have chosen to continue working in my job at an oil company while attending school part time for graphic design. It seemed like the wise, prudent, responsible choice to test the waters of graphic design to see if it’s a career path I would actually enjoy before completely quitting my stable, lucrative job at an oil company.
Instead of saying something like, “Did you ever consider just quitting work completely and going to school full time?”, his response was:
“Sometimes the only thing to do is to just DO something. Imagine the opportunities you would have had if you’d just moved to San Francisco to do graphic design full time. Imagine the people you would have met; the experiences you could have had. You could have had such an adventure!”
His chosen wording and tone made me feel like I had to justify my safer, more responsible decision as opposed to his clearly preferred option of having the grand adventure. Only, it wasn’t necessarily his preferred option. He was just stating a counterpoint.
But, regardless of the subject, Bryan never makes it sound like just an alternate perspective; his word choices make me feel like he thinks this alternate perspective is the RIGHT perspective. Then, in my insecurity, I get defensive and lash out, which causes him to withdraw from me, which only deepens my lack of security in his affection for me. We are in a vicious downward spiral, and I think I see where it’s headed. Only, neither one of us wants it to go that way.
We had a long conversation about this tonight after yet another disagreement. He said that he really likes me a lot but is concerned about my defensive behavior. I really like him a lot but feel insecure in his affection because I often don’t know where we stand and, as a result of this insecurity, exhibit the defensive behavior that is then his reason for not investing further in me.
This is the way my engagement started down the path toward a broken engagement. Bryan has asked me why I always have such a pessimistic view; why can’t I expect good things? But I think I see the writing on the wall, and life has a way of delivering self-fulfilling prophesies on a silver platter.
So again I state: Prayers appreciated.