Thank you bigbadwolf; i appreciate your input and point of view.
to answer a few of your questions...I guess there is the possibility that she resents me. That would explain her frequent reaction to most confrontations (at any level).
As far as I can tell there is not much mothering going on; emotionally or otherwise. I tend to do most household chores, work our budget, and am a successful business owner. I make sure I'm paying attention to her, and pamper her. I was definitely raised in the old school of treating a lady as a lady should be treated; and work hard at being a gentleman.
But you make a good point. When I was abusing (alcohol) I was an emotional wreck... there may be some unresolved issues underlying there.
To be honest she has always struggled with anger and I know it's her fall back when she doesn't know what else to do or feel... so I also think that there is something else than what I'm hearing.
I really hope I'm just imagining and that everything will get better. I'm willing to put in the elbow grease. But lately (as of the last few weeks) she has drawn herself further away from me (emotionally).
The downward spiral of rejection that causes men and women to build emotional walls is indeed fueled by resentment.
Remember, a woman will find a dominant man that is in control of his environment literally irrestible and be deeply sexually attracted to that male. As humans that is our biological inheritance and in our relationships we ignore it at our peril.
If a woman feels her man is not in control of himself or his environment, she will resent and hate him for that in her deepest part of her psyche, even if she doesn't know why herself. This goes for substance addiction, pornagraphy addiction, sports addiction, work addiction too!
And if a woman doesn't find a man sexually attractive, all the appeasment and begging in the world will not only NOT help, it will make her actually mistrust that male and see him merely trying to bribe her for sex or affection. That is the double edged sword of being "too nice" to a woman, she subconciously views such a man as weak and untrustworthy.
In your situation, it is clear what you must do. You must stop trying to appease your wife and fueling that resentment, and instead focus your energy on getting yourself not only "back together" regarding any alcohol or depression, but FIRMLY IN CONTROL of yourself and YOUR RELATIONSHIP with her so your wife sees you as not only able to take care of yourself, but able to PROTECT and ADORE her as well.
What can you do to show her you are in CONTROL of your past addictions? First, take OWNERSHIP of yourself. Not only abstain from alcohol, but actively avoid even the appearance or opportunity of abuse. Take the lead on whatever you need to do to make this happen, and show your wife that you are man enough to see it through!
The same for the depression. Not sure what this will look like, only you will know (counseling, doctor, etc), but whatever action needs to happen you must be the one to initiate it and be the man that will see it through!
The same for your personal appearance, hygiene, work habits, household chores, bill paying, planning evenings out with your wife (plan the evening yourself, don't ask her, TELL her the agenda!)... take ownership and show her that you are IN CONTROL of your environment and that you are a man WORTHY of her.
I wish you well!