(This post comes from Roger Mann.)
Sometimes I have trouble being around other men because we tend to get close after a while. That makes me uncomfortable, and I have a tendency to sabotage the relationship at some point. The walls stay up no matter what.
On the surface, I’m very approachable. I’m friendly, chatty, and easy going to all appearances. In public, I laugh and smile a lot. Joke around a bit too. But if I feel someone is getting too friendly, I tend to become unavailable. “I’m married, have kids, and am a busy man, you know.” They usually get the message and back off into the acquaintance mode.
After all these years and being pretty lonely, I hoped the walls that protected me so well when I was young would rot away and fall down. I’d love to have a best bud, a pal, a confidant with whom I could share my thoughts and fears and hopes. But that will probably never happen. The walls are too strong now even for me to share normal husband/wife things at home. I know this hurts my wife, and she feels shut out, but it’s hard. At the least resistance or misunderstanding, I close down. Why am I so fragile?
I know this is not normal. It’s not right. I see other guys with best friends who are very close and protective of each other.
Part of my mistrust comes from feeling that because I’m attractive, I fear being set up like I was in my younger and even more attractive days. I could never tell if a guy liked me because I was a good person or just a good-looking piece of meat. And it’s not just the guys either. I’ve been seduced by both sexes. I hate the way I, too, look at others. It’s warped. We’re attracted to attractive people. That’s normal and a part of reality. But I suspect most people leave it at that and see the person as just a person. For me, it takes a while to move past the initial assessment.
The kind of childhood I had has affected so much of my life. I’ve learned to pray for people I see. I ask my Maker to let me see them as He sees them. That’s helped a lot, even though I need to work at making it a habit.