| | Re: Marriage not what I thought it would be...
This may be harsh, but I am going to call it exactly as I see it and not hold back, but you need to hear it raw. You've been warned.
I hate to say it, but your marriage is not going to get any better, no matter how much talking or counseling you do. That's because for her, things are good. It's only you that has the problem.
Basically you've fallen for a classic "bait and switch" scheme. She got what she needed - to be married and have 'security', status, someone to pay for things, be a dad for her daughter, do all the dirty jobs in life, etc. Her sexual behavior towards you pre-marriage was the bait. Now that she has gotten what she wanted, she's focusing her attention elsewhere... not on someone else per se, but no longer on pleasing you - she got you to sign on the dotted line already). This is not all that unusual an occurrence sadly. It may not have been something that she clearly and deliberately planned out (though she may have).
Think about it - if it was a life shared with you was what she really wanted, would her behavior have changed so drastically because you said "I do"? But if it was all about just getting to the goal line of acquiring a husband and provider, then yeah - she got to the finish line and isn't playing that game anymore (which corresponds to the sudden and drastic change in behavior). You were just the vehicle to deliver what she really wanted, and now you better see what her priorities really are.
In any event, if you confront her about this, she's going tell you that you got it all wrong, that you're crazy, etc. even if you are right. Right now for her, interacting with you means "managing" you so they she has provide the least amount sex and affection to you - (things that cares very little about when it comes to you) but still stay above the minimum threshold to keep you from making her life too difficult or actually taking action to end the marriage. The stress is just an excuse. I've encountered plenty of women who find that sex relieves and lowers stress for them. But it's much to her advantage for her to convince you that stress is the libido killer. That and all the other things in her never-ending list of excuses.
Have you ever thought about WHY she refuses to go to counseling so adamantly? It's because she doesn't see a problem in HER life with not being sexual with you.
All the crap that you've tried - the romance, doing the housework, etc.. you're only rewarding her for her behavior and giving her more reasons to keep ignoring your needs. And her not letting you even bring the subject up? She's used the fact you're locked into the marriage to take the power position and dictate her boundaries to you - and apparently her boundaries include hearing of any dissent from the peons (that's you).
She's not cheating on you... for now... but "she's just not that into you" - she mostly into what you can provide, but not the provider. She warmed on the vacation trip? That's to be expected. She would LOVE it you took her on vacation (and paid for it) every OTHER week of the year. That's a insight to how she sees herself and they kind of life she would rather live.
"Talking" to her is going to get you nowhere but a date with your right hand, and whole lot of gas-lighting ( convincing you that there is no problem, etc ). Look at HER ACTIONS. Therein lies the truth. Words are cheap, words are free, and words are often lies. Actions tell the real story of a person, and what their priorities are.
Right now you are in a marriage with little to no respect for you and your needs. You are looking directly at the rest of your life if you stay in this marriage.
It's time to man up and pull a 180 - you're going to need to put down firm boundaries and expectations, and then have the spine and determination to hold to them under the assault that she is almost guaranteed to unleash on you for daring to assert yourself. It you do this, it's possible she could come around. If you don't, I can guarantee you that it won't be long before you look back at and say "Man, I got a lot of sex in 2011 compared to now".