It seems you have veered beyond the consolation of virtually everyone who may tell you from a theoretical position that things will really be OK if you just "hang in there". You and Brian had very little time to reestablish a "connection" after your separation of six months. I'm sure he returned expecting "marriage as usual" not realizing all the changes that may have taken place in both of you during that time. In this, he may have been somewhat naive, but he is still a very good man who, I think, is very typical in that he shows his love through action rather than emotion. It could be that Brian doesn't understand how to deal with sensitive issues like death or separation. If he is a typical guy, he either doesn't know how to deal with emotion, or has been taught the misguided principle that emotions are for women, not men. This is quite common.
During Brian's absence at academy, social penetration stopped for both of you. Consequently, there's no more sharing of hopes and dreams, admissions of fear and angst and how to deal with them or sharing of personal identities and core values. The dyadic relational tension seems to reside in the dialectic of connectedness-separateness. And now, because you are weighing the costs and benefits of remaining in this relationship, your interest in the relationship generally and in Brian as a husband specifically, is put on hold until you make a decision to continue or withdraw from it. This is why I said, "Absence makes the heart grow colder". The truth of that statement reveals the changes that take place in people during relatively lengthy periods of separation. It's what a lot of military families go through as well when their spouses return home after 14 months in a foreign country.
So now, what are you going to do? There are two perspectives - the first is theological, the second is practical.
From a theological perspective, marriage is the eternal union of man and woman determined to be for mutual satisfaction in a lifelong relationship of love and trust for the purpose of bearing and rearing children, if God wills. Given this perspective, it would seem that divorce is out of the question. Therefore, couples who experience relational tension either resolve it or tough it out -- for life! Also from this perspective, counseling is spiritual in nature, meant to help solve occasional relational tension so that the couple may remain mutually happy with each other throughout their life together. This type of counseling is not designed for the kind of relational tension you are experiencing.
From a practical perspective, once social penetration stops, uncertainty about the relationship increases and one begins to weigh the costs and benefits of remaining in the relationship. There is only two ways relational tension can be resolved - either by stepping away from the relationship and re-evaluating it or withdrawing from it completely. In stepping away from the relationship, counseling becomes a mediation process where the couple remains together re-create the relationship by recasting it and seeking win-win strategies. The affirmation here is that relationships are messy at best, yet working through them can be fun and rewarding. If given the proper help, you and Brian could learn what is unique about each other and your relationship and focus rebuilding the relationship around the paradoxical theme of interdependence/independence. But learning about each other, then devising strategies for dealing with needs (in your case, the connectedness-separateness dialectic) so as to reduce relational tension takes a lot of time and commitment. Usually, if these measures fail to produce coherence and coordination between the parties, the relationship fails.
Those are two perspectives. My guess is you are torn between your religious convictions on the one hand and your desire for self-preservation on the other. So there are two things I advise you to do:
1. *MEDICAL TREATMENT: *Your persistent thoughts about harming yourself are cause for great concern. If the level of unhappiness in your marriage is causing you to think these types of thoughts, you must seek medical help, even if it means taking anti-depressants for a short while until you decide either to remain in the relationship or withdraw from it completely. I don't think you have an option to deny medication that may help relax you and think more clearly in making what may be a life-changing decision. This doesn't mean that you have to become a pill-popping freak because you need a little help just now. It probably does mean that an altered state of existence may engender less thoughts about self-inflicted harm and more thoughts about how to resolve this problem rationally.
2. *ADMIT YOUR FEELINGS:* Step number 2 is that you must tell Brian how you are feeling about the relationship. Know that for his part, he feels inferior to you because of your education so you must be straight with him and speak from the heart. Putting on a facade to hide your true feelings is nothing less than deception. As a pathology, deception requires much mental effort in order to maintain the appearance that things are alright when they really are not. The bad thing about it is that, in the long run, the deceiver becomes false to herself and sacrifices her needs in order to maintain homeostasis in your marriage -- not a good situation. Finally, deceivers always display leakage (either verbal or nonverbal) which ultimately gives them away. Know that, at some point, the truth will out. So, be as honest with Brian about your feelings as you are with me. Be sensitive to him about how he's feeling as well. Together, both of you must make a decision.
Now, Lucie, you must know that whatever decision you and Brian make with regard to your marriage, I will stand by you. That shouldn't even be a concern for you right now. Neither of you will ever lose my love for you, whatever you decide. I do think it’s best not to tell Judy and others who may call you about your relational concerns. I'm glad you and I are able to talk and exchange emails and if this helps, I urge you to continue to call and email me.
My hope is that you will follow these two steps outlined above and come to a resolution of this problem with Brian. As always, know that I am thinking about you and praying for you.