DEAR ABBY: After three years of marriage, my husband, "Jeff," and I decided to have a child. I became pregnant immediately.
What I thought would make us both happy and bring us closer actually did the opposite. I had a miserable pregnancy and felt abandoned. Jeff grew emotionally distant and stopped communicating almost completely except for our constant battles.
Our son is now 16 months old and the apple of my eye. Jeff has a new job with a good future. We bought a house and live in a great neighborhood, but he is still distant and picks fights constantly. He agrees counseling might help, but refuses to go. I have tried to improve our relationship, including private counseling, but it's not working.
Jeff is a great father but a lousy husband. We both changed with my pregnancy -- he went from a helpful, happy husband to a miserable, frustrated man. Divorce is expensive -- financially and emotionally -- and a battle will most likely ensue over our son. Where can I go from here? -- UNHAPPY IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR UNHAPPY: With no input from your husband about what is wrong, it's difficult to say. However, one line in your letter, "What I thought would make us both happy actually did the opposite," makes me wonder if your husband felt trapped by the pregnancy -- and his subsequent behavior is the result of feeling pushed into fatherhood he didn't feel ready for.
Where you go from here depends upon how much longer you're prepared to tolerate your living situation. One thing is certain, nothing will change until you BOTH have laid your cards on the table. If your husband refuses to go to counseling, perhaps your next step should be to consult a lawyer about what your options are. There are worse things than divorce. A contentious marriage like yours is one of them.