I feel as though I still don’t know Bryan.
Once upon a time, he claimed that I have walls up – that I peek over the top of my curtain but never part the curtain for anyone else. I’m discovering I’m not the only one in this relationship with walls up.
Bryan and I do life together – we have done yard work and grocery shopping and traveled together and go to bible study together – but we are missing a soul-deep connection. Usually if I look into a person’s eyes, I can see to their soul. But Bryan is guarded. He has closed the shutters of his eyes that would be the window to his soul if he should ever choose to let anyone in.
I asked him the other day, as casually as one can ask such a question, “Do you ever let anyone in? Is there anyone in your life who really knows you?”
He wouldn’t make eye contact with me. And he shrugged (of course). One of his best friends said, “Bryan’s response to everything in life is a shrug.” Is he passionless as well?
Bryan replied to my probing, “My mom knows me. Russ knows me. And Toby…”
Interestingly, Toby is the best friend who told me that, close as they appear to be, he doesn’t feel like he really knows Bryan. So for Toby to be one of the three people Bryan listed as “knowing him” speaks volumes.
Does Bryan have a fear of emotional intimacy? Of vulnerability? If so, why? Or if not, is he not self-reflective enough to have any depth of feeling or emotion? Does he stay too busy to identify the emotions he has buried? Is he so determined to be “happy” (because he definitely is determined to be happy) that he maintains a superficiality in relationships, all the while masquerading as a relational person who values deep connection?
I did a post about defense mechanisms once and in doing research for it(I say research lightly) there are so many defense mechanisms. I recognize one in my that I use a lot. Humor. I hide a lot behind it and just not talking too. Sometimes, walls come down, but only for the right people. I think some people are just easier. Have you talked to him about his motivations in life? What his family history is like? I think that almost all people are motivated to please someone in life, whether it is a mother, a father, a cousin, brother, sister and if you can figure out what the dynamic is with that person, you can find an amazing amount about what their “issue” is. But again, it sounds like you are having doubts. I assume you’ve prayed a lot about him and you. What is the spirit saying to you? A scripture in our Doctrine and Covenants says that the Spirit will uplift, and make you feel good, but sometimes if you get a “stupor of thought” then it is telling you to stop. Anyways, prayers for you. BTW, go check out my post today for a little humor, before you get too serious today. Hugs…
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I really don’t know what it is that makes a man’s walls come down, but it seems like it always depends more on his situation in life more than it depends on the person he’s not opening up to (you). You mentioned he’s well-traveled, wealthy and getting ready to retire. I wonder if he’s honestly concerned about fortune hunters and thrill seekers. I would be! That would be a huge wall, especially if I had accomplished so much so young! I don’t know if I would do it consciously, but I’m sure I would at least subconsciously test relationships and try to push people away. I don’t know how you’d get around that. You’re not a fortune hunter or a thrill seeker, but how do you convince him of that? And even if he understood it, would it go deep enough to make him open up? You can’t force it. If he did open up, would he change the way he treats you? That would be the kicker for me. It’s a big IF.
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