First off, I am so glad TAM exists. It is making this struggle so much easier.
A bit more of my story - married nearly 20 years; slow but steady deterioration in relationship.
On my side, quick to anger, unproductively express expectations (my needs, child rearing, money, etc etc), not as supportive as I could be, selfish.
On her side, all my behavior has caused a huge wall of detachment and resentment. Plus, she hates having any expectations upon her - she views as pressure and if she doesn't perform perfectly (in her mind) feels like she has disappointed me.
So, fast forward to today.....been in MC for about 10 sessions, no sex or physical intimacy for two months. We are taking baby steps in progress. Albeit, yesterday was a step backward - nothing big - just a few events which triggered our storm.
I having been working so hard on myself. Giving her space (physical, emotional), exercising like a bandit, eating healthy, trying to develop outside relationships.
I know she is working on it in her way. I am thankful for that.
Now, with all that said, I am skeptical and pretty hopeless that we will reconcile and have a loving relationship where she can fill my love tank (physical intimacy). As a result, I am living in this fantasy world of....get in better shape, and find a woman that can fulfill those needs. I realize the result of this would be lose the home and kids I love so dearly. But, it is the only way I can cope right now. And, I know it is not making things better.
Sounds from your post like you are both working hard on things...so why is it you are so skeptical and hopeless? simply because no sex yet?
That is a difficult one -- has it come up in MC, or are you avoiding the topic? She may be focusing on the other problems so much that she does not realize how overwhelmingly important the sexual aspect is.
Imagine it this way:
Partner 1: hey, honey, I bought us this new home, and the furniture is gorgeous and the carpet is Berber and hey, look at that Italian marble!
Partner 2: Yeah, but there's no electricity or running water.
Partner 1: Yeah, but look how beautiful the leather couch is! And that dining table, it's hand carved by Amish carpenters!
Partner 2: But yeah, there's no electricity or running water.
Partner 1: But look at all I've done to make this a beautiful home!
Partner 2: *screams*
It's not a beautiful home because it doesn't fulfill the basic needs that a home fulfills. Same with your marriage -- working on all the other stuff is great, but until you get rid of the big honking sexless elephant in the middle of the room, the other stuff is just gravy.
Sorry, I don't have an answer, but I want you to know that I do understand. And I'm not sure that "trying not to bring it up" is really the best strategy. But I'm sure others here will have some good ideas.
Yes, simply because no sex yet! It is that simple.
She knows how important it is to me. It has come up several times in MC and several times on our own. Admittedly, too many times. Now, trying not to bring it up.
Why is it that lack of sex is making me hopeless?
Careful here: remember, it's not JUST the sex part of it, it is the connection, closeness, feeling loved, and physical touch too...because if it was 'just sex' then cheating would make your situation liveable, and from what I know it wouldn't!!!