Hmmm... I see it as layers in a way.
Seeing that you would pick a fight to get a response is super huge and bravo to you for that. I think we have all done that at some point.
Certain things do take a back seat for awhile in my experience. But no relationship can ultimately succeed if you are not getting at least some of your needs met in it. Marriage therapy was good for us in that it provided us a safe place to connect when we were both so full of fear. (Side note, our therapist used to say it is like both partners are covered in gashes and bruises from our past hurts and we would bump up against each other). I have seen many people say that individual therapy has to be going on before MC but I disagree. We all need safe places from which to do our best work. A great marriage therapist can help a couple create safety and this is the best environment for real individual progress IMHO.
All of this aside, have you ever read the Five Languages of Love? Maybe you could email it to your husband and both of you agree to take the test. This would give him a very clear idea of how to ring your bell, even when he can't fully connect emotionally all the time (and the same for you). http://www.polyu.edu.hk/sao/publications/emagazine/issue133/love%20language2.pdf
To me, it was kind of a cheat sheet to meeting each others' needs even when we didn't feel great.
Your challenge personally is to learn to only let in what makes you feel good (and to de-personalize the struggle of the other, aka, it is not about me, I am not causing it, I don't need to react to it). We all have to learn to break patterns and be willing to move toward each other even when our fear pushes us the other way. The withdrawn thing is an old brain coping mechanism in my opinion - and it is not working out for him so he needs to know that it has to change, that it can change, that you will champion and cheerlead the change. Its not nice for you, but it is really destructive for him too.