My wife and I have been married for 3 years and our first child is due in 3 months. My wife has told me that she is not happy in our relationship and doesn't have the same love for me she had when we were engaged. We met with a marriage counselor to discuss this. I want to work things out and stay together. She wants a separation and then a divorce. The main issue has been that I have taken her for granted and put my other interests ahead of her. I am not an affectionate person while she is. I am willing to do anything to stay together. I love her and want to be our child's father.
I'm glad that you two met with a marriage counselor and I hope that you continue to see this therapist. One session is not enough to solve your situation. The three year mark in a marriage is often a watershed. The first romantic thrill has diminished and now you're looking at the reality of long-term commitment. Love DOES change over time. It's too easy to drift apart as the demands of careers, family, etc. intrude. You say that you put other things before her. Is this your assessment of yourself or her assessment of what happened between you? If it's her assessment, do you agree with it? Is it possible for you to reorganize your priorities so that she again feels that she has a special place in your life?
You also say that you are expecting your first child in 3 months. Was this pregnancy planned? Did one of you want to have the child more than the other person? Perhaps your wife is feeling scared as the birth approaches. The effects of the pregnancy coupled with the impending responsibility may be overwhelming her. For example, if you are someone who works long hours she may be worried that she will often be on her own with this child.
When you say that you are not affectionate, what do you mean? Your wife may be looking for more physical attention or emotional reassurance or both from you. She may be concerned that your reserved manner may mean that you will be emotionally withdrawn from the baby. You two need to talk this through.
I hope that your marital therapist helps you and your wife to explore what underlying issues are at work to cause this crisis. If you truly want this marriage to work you need to have patience and encourage your wife to be honest with you about why she is so unhappy. Be prepared to listen and see what changes are possible so that this marriage survives.
Dr. Louise Klein