Ok. I’m continuing my post here. (Please see above for part 1.)
One of the things that happens when people get married is that we bring all sorts of expectations with us into our marriages. Unfortunately, many turn out to be very unrealistic, even if we’ve seen many of our friends have those experiences or we’ve seen too many movies where relationships seem to be so fulfilling. Marriage takes place between two inherently selfish and flawed human beings, each having his or her own agenda. For some couples, the distance between what each person wants and expects is very small, and compromise seems to be achieved more easily. For others, the differences in expectations between the partners can be much greater than we would have expected, and the potential for conflict is greater.
All of that is obviously exacerbated by external factors (i.e. relocation, stepchildren etc.) What tends to happen is that each of the partners ends up pulling away to avoid the pain, in essence “exiting” the relationship through any number of means (hanging out with friends instead of the other spouse, watching too much TV, playing video games excessively, over eating, etc.) By doing this consistently enough, couples begin to feel very distant from each other.
My Darling Husband and I went to counseling to learn how to overcome some of our differences and adjust our expectations. It wasn’t an easy process, but we both found it to be helpful. (We also are both strong Christians and oppose divorce, so we knew we were going to stay together, so we might as well learn to enjoy being married while we’re here.) With God’s help and some very useful resources (I’ll recommend those in a moment), and some good counseling, we have learned how to be better partners to each other.
I think your marriage can be saved if you and your husband are willing to put in the effort to try. I highly recommend finding a counselor who is trained in the Imago model, because it really explores the dynamics and phases of relationships as well as the wounds that people bring into marriage from their families of origin.
I also recommend Family Life’s website (familylife.com) They have a ton of great resources as well as conferences across the country every spring and fall. They are designed for couples in all situations, from those who are newly engaged to those who are happily married to those who are in the late stages of divorce. I gave a set of CDs that I received at one of the conferences to a couple I barely know who were ready to divorce, and the resources helped this couple choose to work on their marriage. They are still together years later and had another child together.
Finally, I also recommend the book Love & War by John and Stasi Eldridge. It probably was the single most important reason that I was able to begin to understand what was happening in my marriage and what I needed to do to help fix it.
I wish you and your husband and developing baby the very best. Please don’t hesitate to PM me if you would like. It would be my pleasure to try to be of help.