Listen... I went to mass with her and kids for about 12 years. It was reasonable "okay" until the kids came along and she felt the need to attend every event, read every book and defend every behavior that had the word "Catholic" attached to it. She was fairly devout before kids but OMG, after kids her immortal soul now at stake as necessitated by the imperial-style "rule" of raising your kids "in the <Roman> faith." In her view (and as any good RC will tell you), that means shaming, insulting, degrading and even using physical force to coerce them to adhere to all aspects of canon law. I understand that is part of RCC "tradition" but you have to admit it all that is pretty far adrift from the teachings of Christ.
You are correct, RC is a lifestyle for some and if done correctly is akin to physical/emotional/spiritual child abuse. Jesus invites he doesn't manipulate/coerce/abuse... I have studied RC church history for a solid 5 years and it is clear to me that many of the rules/doctrine enacted by Rome are to keep their subjects in order (or risk eternal damnation), and the conveniently ordered 7 sacraments is nothing short of a theo-political system of human bondage from cradle to grave.
Now let me apologize, it appears you are RC and I don't mean to offend you... I understand you are trying to help here but if you have witnessed what I have, you might be ashamed to be associated with the RC "faith." I can tell you that 2 of 3 of my kids have expressed they want nothing to do with it, they are literally afraid of her tyranny is their only reason for going at this point in time. Francis' call for a jubilee year of mercy was apparently lost on her, although she does claim to be a supporter... she just has to ratchet it up a bit where the pope evidently falls short, with all his silly talk of love/mercy/compassion and "who am I to judge" crap (sarcasm in case you missed it). If I seem a little hostile you might want to step back and ask yourself what behaviors you are willing to defend in order to protect Holy Mother Church from its constant companion known as scandal... giving knew meaning to the verse "Jesus wept" for sure.
I was raised Protestant and am a convert, so I can understand your point of view.
I'm honestly not sure how much of the problem is the Church and how much of it is incompatible parenting styles. Your wife seems to be the kind of parent who demands respect and obedience cuz she is the mom and she said so while you seem to be a bit more relaxed in your approach.
If your kids were complaining she shamed them for low grades or said they were only practicing the piano daily because they are afraid of their mothers tyranny, would you feel the same? Is the root of the problem her faith or how she handles the kids when they put up a fuss?
Also, just curious, but what would the kids be doing with their time if they weren't participating in Church activities? Frankly, I wouldn't let a kid skip a religious ed class or bail on Mass to go goofing off with their friends or sleep in on Sunday.
And, another curious question, how long has this been ongoing? It might just be a matter of waiting it out. When I was taking my kids to religious ed classes and the accompanying enrichment retreatss, it ate all of Sunday and part of the preceeding Saturday, too. Then there were my own classes, volunteering, and retreats. That usually meant a few hours spread over a couple days during the week, plus drive time. It was hectic, to say the least. However, once we had completed the classes, the schedule of religious obligations was reduced to weekly Mass and Holy Days obligations.
Where are your kids in terms of religious rites? If the older ones are doing Confirmation prep and the younger is doing First Holy Communion prep, the obligations will lessen once they have completed their Sacramental prep and the furor should die down a bit.
When DS was giving me grief about Mass attendance, I told him he was welcome to stay home. However, he wouldn't be allowed to sleep in or watch TV or goof around online. Oh, no. He'd be up and dressed with the rest of us and spend his Sunday morning being useful. On the days he didn't want to go to Mass, he had to spend that time sweeping, vacuuming, wiping down tables, washing dishes by hand, etc. and woe unto him if the assigned chores were half-assed or not done. Amazing how often he'd rather go to Mass.
Oh, what about the other kids in the classes and going to the retreats? Do your kids have no friends at Church? I know mine made a couple of friends and sometimes only went to socialize, but again, once they're there it's up to the Holy Spirit. I lead them to water, but they have to drink on their own.
Are you certain you want a divorce or are you just very frustrated right now?