Re: Am I being naive? Trapped in a loveless relationship?
Yeah, well when you come up with a solution other than an affair (I'm not interested in adding more stress and guilt), let me know. We tried marriage counseling for a couple months, but that didn't go very well. My wife spent most of the time denying that there was even any problems with our status quo - she was shocked that I wasn't happy despite having sex about 5 times in 3 years. And the counselor which I picked randomly from a list wasn't very good.
I tried writing her a heartfelt letter a couple years ago, which just made my wife cry at first, then get upset, then deflect blame to me, and we didn't talk about it again for another 6 months.
Most recently I told her I'd wait a year and see if I noticed any improvements in our marriage. She asked if that was an ultimatum - I said it sort of was. That was about 4 months ago - no changes.
She blames our lack of sex on my chronic health problems that led to two surgeries in the last 4 years, but I don't see what that has to do with hugging, smiling, kissing, holding hands, opening up and talking, showing gratitude, saying thank you or I'm sorry when applicable, or any other nice things that normal people do each day. Most strangers are nicer to me than my wife is. She's a stay at home mom that never cleans the house or even pick up after herself or the kids. She's downright jealous sometimes that I get to go to work and bust my ass to make a good living. And then I go home and pick up the house, do the dishes, play with the kids and help them to bed. Rinse and repeat - that's my life. The slightest comment from me results in her getting this cold stare on her face that she shoots at me along with a bunch of "I can't believe you'd say that" - "do you know how hard it is to take care of the kids" and so on. She looks forward to me coming home for 1 reason - it's a chance for her to have alone time and a break from looking after the kids.
I know the suggestion that'll come next - get a babysitter and go on a date night. She's needs a night out. I've done that too. She treats date nights like a business meeting. We talk about the kids, and our upcoming itinerary, and which bills to pay, and so forth. I put my hand on her leg in the car or at the movies and she just freezes. She doesn't grab it or touch me in return - just freezes. She doesn't exercise, dress up much, and just acts tired all the time. Her favorite weekend activity is to lay in bed even at 11am just 2 hours after she woke up. She gets happy and excited about the kids and takes pleasure in some things, like restaurant food, pets, and the Wii, so I don't think she's depressed.
OK, I could rant all day but I know no one wants to read it, so I'll stop. Hepinnyc, I'm glad I hopefully saved you from my fate - it sucks!