Emotionally Disengaged Husband
I'm new to this board and decided to join to get some advice from people that may be in or have gone through a situation similar to mine.
My husband and I have been married for 5 1/2 years and the first 5 years were great. We laughed together, enjoyed each other's company, and had what I would consider the normal ups and downs of married life. About 7 months ago, my husband went through a series of major life events -- he was diagnosed with some health issues that were serious but are controlled by medication and don't necessarily interfere with his normal activities. About 2 months after that, his contract at work ended and then in January of this year, we lost our beloved dog. Obviously these are all major events and can take a toll on a marriage but it seems that my husband has gone to the extreme. Shortly after the diagnosis of his health condition, I began noticing changes in his behavior -- he was getting annoyed at me often and for minor things and he started shutting me out. As the months have gone on, this has gotten more noticable. We haven't had sex in almost a year and he never compliments me or touches me at all when before these seem to be daily occurences. I feel almost like he finds me disgusting and would rather not have anything to do with me. He spends his non-work days buried behind his computer and does not like for me to interupt him to talk about anything.
I suggested that we go to counseling and he agreed but he wanted to see the therapist first. He has been to 4 sessions and I'm not really noticing much of a change. In the past couple of months he has told me that he thinks that we should live separately for a while because I am causing him too much stress (i.e., he is really annoyed if I try to talk to him while he's on his computer). Since then I have stopped asking him questions about things that I know set him off (his health, his job, etc.) and have stuck to very mundane topics. I have also tried to be extra nice -- cooking some of his favorite things, buying little gifts, etc. But none of this seems to be working.
I would love to hear from anyone that has gone through something similar. What should I be doing to help our marriage? Why is he acting so emotionally distant and is there anything I can do to help him? Should I "keep my distance" or try some other approach?
I would appreciate any advice. I feel like I've been a very good, loyal wife and I feel so sad and lonely right now.