I am a long time lurker on these forums and could really use some advice concerning my marriage from a Catholic perspective (especially other spouses who have been there.)
My husband and I have been married about 2.5 years (we've been "together" almost 7). We have one child (18 mos) and another on the way (just about through 1st trimester). While we are both Catholic, neither of us were taking our faith very seriously until after our son was born. We cohabited, I was on birth control, we didn't regularly go to Mass. After our son was born, I experienced a "reversion", and came to understand how destructive these behaviors were to our relationship. My husband disagrees and thinks all that we did is fine.
Any time I am hurt or upset, he acts completely bewildered as to the cause, even if I explain it to him. I have become a bit of an expert with the "I feel [x] after you do [y]" language, and have tried really hard not to accuse him of any kind of flaw because he becomes very angry if I insinuate at all that he has done anything wrong. He is not violently angry, but becomes passive-aggressive, and every disagreement we have ends in me apologizing to him for not understanding why he behaved the way he did, or somehow "driving" him to the behavior. If I want an apology, I have to specifically ask for one and it is not given graciously (which leads me to think it's not genuine.)
There have been times that I have suspected that he has manufactured illness or injury to take any kind of pressure off of him (for instance, about two weeks after our son was born, my husband "tripped" on the stairs - I didn't see it happen - and complained of a sore ankle. He did not want to go to the doctor, but lounged around the house "unable to help" for several days. After a weekend away where he seemed to be doing much better, he "reinjured" himself and was back on the couch.) More recently, after about 4 weeks of some really cruddy morning sickness, I went to urgent care and was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum. My husband drove me there and made sure to remind me every five minutes about the important meeting he had at work and what a sacrifice he was making by taking care of our son. After he came home that afternoon, he complained about how exhausted he was taking care of the two of us. I have already apologized several times for inconveniencing him, but have received no sympathy.
We have been in marital counseling with two different counselors. I had postpartum depression after our son was born, but it was not diagnosed until after the first marriage counselor did not work out (he was referred to us via Catholic Charities and claimed to be Catholic, but much of his advice contradicted Church teaching and he seemed to think I was some kind of religious nut, which thrilled my husband but offended me.) I then entered individual counseling. My counselor is very kind and suggested some communication strategies to try and help my husband "get it", but after trying to implement them over several months they were not working. I asked my husband to come with me and he said it would be hard with his schedule but he'd do it. I told him that I was really hurting and that I needed him to show some sign that he cared about our marriage. He told me I was ridiculous to think that but he'd come to a few sessions. After three sessions, he "forgot" to write down our next appointment down and we missed it. The counselor called him three different times before calling me to try and schedule. I asked my husband about the voicemails and he said he never got them, but that I can't schedule the next one because of his work. This was two weeks ago and he has yet to call our counselor back.
There is a lot of other stuff going on, but I've come to the conclusion that my husband may be a narcissist. He seems to have little to no regard to my feelings unless they directly impact him (e.g. he'll be sweet when he wants sex, and then afterwards he goes back to the previous behavior.) I have threatened to leave him, but I don't really have the means to do so and I have no family or friends nearby (my parents live on the other side of the country). I don't even know if that is an "okay" option. I suggested Retrovaille but he claimed it wouldn't be right for us to leave our son for an entire weekend, and he didn't want his family to talk about why we were gone. I have gone through Dr. Popcak's books and tried to get him to follow along with me, but he gives up after a few chapters.
I don't know if I'm supposed to throw in the towel, if it all really is my fault like my husband says it is, or if I'm responsible anyway because I didn't choose a husband responsibly so it's now my duty to lie in the bed I've made. I don't know if there are ways a person really can cope with a spouse who is narcissistic or just extremely self-interested. There were signs before we got married that I ignored or attributed to "just being a guy and not getting it" or general immaturity. If I had a do-over, I would not marry him. It really hurt when I finally admitted that to myself. :(
Since I think it's unlikely that my husband will ever contact our counselor, I may set up another individual appointment and tell him exactly what I suspect, but he is not religious so I'm not sure he'll understand why exactly I find the idea of leaving so problematic. I really would like our marriage to work, but my husband doesn't seem to think there is any problem we're having - except the ones I'm making up to prevent him from having a good time.
Does anyone have any suggestions of resources or personal experiences they can share on dealing with incredibly self-interested people, or insight into his behavior that might offer an alternative explanation for it that I haven't considered? I just really don't get it and I am sick of feeling like I don't matter to the person who was supposed to choose me.