I think I trust what you have suggested; although neither of us has details enough to really know. But I suspect you are right about the death of his son (child) as not a primary factor here. Such an event would be enough to make most of us off for awhile. But I think, without knowing, that something bad occurred to him during his childhood. To test this, I asked the classic question, "How is your mother?" He never speaks of her or his father. When I asked, he stammered and seemed unclear in his speech. This struck me as an indication of an undisclosed trauma of some sort. A man that speaks well or at least often or at all of his mother, based on my experience, usually implies a healthy sign. In general, he has not spoken of his parents although has stated he has a brother. He seems (?) to be at odds with them although without asking, I have no sure idea.
To be frank, I suspect child abuse. Perhaps sexual in nature. He does not seem a narcissist but could be, albeit a subtle one. Or perhaps as a reaction to rejection. Rejection...that is, if someone is abused one way or another, by a family member, would likely be someone with a misplaced sense of inferiority. Perhaps a narcissistic response is a form of self defense? He strikes me as more intelligent than he admits. He has a master's degree in computer science and is an IT manager of his company which is employed by his native country of Austria.
I note normally he is a very clear speaker and modest and honest but sensitive. He has an artistic nature, a fairly good photographer, a lover of opera, etc. But he is no braggart.
I think you are insightful Kate.
Thank you! That was very kind of you, and so nice to hear :)
I agree, not speaking of his mother may indicate issues with his mother or both parents. And his reaction doesn't necessarily mean that the trauma originated with her. It could be that someone else traumatized him and his mother stood by and did nothing or even defended the person if he told her. It happens often in families that the dysfunction is not with one person but with many members of the family.
If he was rejected as a child, he could shut off his feelings so he doesn't get hurt again as a protective measure. Also, people can have some traits of a personality disorder but not have the full blown version, enough to be diagnosed. So that could be true for him. Mixed with past trauma and abuse, it could explain why he acts as he does with others.
The key here is to be sure you are protecting yourself. When people begin a relationship, they bring all their own issues with them. And it is easy for the feelings to get transfered to the other partner. So you can easily get hurt by someone who has not dealt with their own problems before they enter the relationship. So it is vital that you proceed slowly if you do consider a relationship with him. And learn as much as you can about personality disorders so you can be on the lookout for signs that your relationship is abusive or that you are getting hurt in any way.
Thank you so much! I enjoyed talking with you. If you have a question or just want to talk, I'm here. Thanks again.
Hope you got my response! I think I hit the right buttons here. If not, I will recompose if needed.
I must not have. Sorry. If you want to try again, I'll let you know if I get it.