I spent an hour trying to wrap up my feelings in previous post, and didn't succeed, so I'm just dumping this on here....
After 13 years (7 married), I've realized that I don't feel like my wife & I have any real emotional connection. We get along well, the business of daily life and a family goes more or less smoothly, but there's no intimacy or attachment behind it. She doesn't care about my day or my job or my opinion on the news (quote: "I don't care"); she doesn't do hugs; kisses are perfunctory; and sex is at her convenience and her desire (1x-2x a month). If I want more, I'm told to leave her alone/take care of it myself/stop bothering her/deal with it. We've recently stopped altogether, at my insistence. We have different hobbies, different interests, and different sets of friends.
She was content with everything until I told her we wouldn't be having sex; since then she's reluctantly agreed to go to counseling, but since she thought everything was "hunky-dory", I feel like it will devolve to being "my" problem.
I just don't care about "saving" the marriage at this point. I think a decent, civil relationship can be salvaged (we have a 3-year old daughter), but not an intimate, romantic one. So I don't know what I'm hoping for from counseling.
I've also gotten emotionally involved with someone else (old friend; geographically distant; no sex). I don't think it caused the issues: I feel like it made me aware of what was not (nor ever had been) in my marriage, and I like to think that I'd be pursuing this course with or without someone to lean on (although the few family & friends I've confided in have surprised me with their support), but the cliched timing of it all makes me wonder if I'm making mountains out of molehills as an excuse to pursue some idealized fantasy girl from my youth.
I feel like I've tried to address things over the years (we've discussed sex, and intimacy, and that it hurts me when she interrupts me to say she "doesn't care" about my day, or doesn't have time for a quick peck on the cheek), and gotten stomped on, and any change on her part will be temporary or pretend at best. I don't have faith she can change, though I have no doubt that she'll try. In many ways, she's becoming eerily similar to her mother, who is so emotionally blind (without malice) and rigid in her habits that we've wondered if she has aspergers or some form of dementia (no sign of cognitive disfunction; just a near-complete lack of understanding on how to relate to others), but my wife has strong social skills and can be charming, witty, and seductive when it comes to getting what she wants. I guess i think that she'll try less out of genuine care or concern, and more because she doesn't want her life disturbed.
The several family members I've confided in have all expressed concern about her attitude towards/treatment of me; they've said that she's extremely critical, judgmental, and intolerant.
I guess, at this point, I'm looking for some kind of separation, but financially moving apart isn't feasible (I'm a full-time grad student; she works full-time and her mother supplements our income). I don't know what counseling is going to be like.
I actually feel much better than I did a month ago, and that I'm doing the right thing...but there are just so many doubts.
I understand your problem I'm going through the same thing too, only it is a little bit of both of us are detaching. As a women, I find myself uninterested in my husband because he has not been there for me. Marriage is a give and take, if one person feels they are doing all the giving and the other is doing the taking they begin to shut down. If your wife is person that keeps to herself, don't expect her to be verbal about what is bothering her. But make no mistake, something is bothering her. Have you asked her, I think if you stress the severity of the break down of your marriage and tell her you want to work on it (if you still do that is) she should be receptive. If she is not, well either way I guess you have an answer. One more thing, your relationship with this other women is dangerous. In most women's eyes an emotional affair is worse than a sexual one. I'm willing to bet your wife knows whats going on and this may be part of the problem of her ignoring you. If you truely unhappy and do not want to salvage the marriage do the right thing and tell her, don't lie or live with the status quo because no one wins in this situation.
Be careful about the distant relationship... if it's a old-flame then keep it extremely plutonic... and don't discuss your current marriage with her.
Get the counselling, don't be afraid to talk your mind in counselling, and finally be prepared for any outcome.
I married the first time very very young and my Aunt was a very wise woman when I was procrastinating over making the actual split (due to finances) and that was "there's never a good time, just get it over with"... that said counselling could very well provide the breakthrough to put your marriage on track.
Could be that you're a man being kept by a woman and her mother. You guys have basically reversed roles and her inner desire to be protected by her mate isn't being met. Still at some point she agreed to this setup and shouldn't deprive you of intamacy. Your telling her that you no longer want any means the carrot she has been dangling has been removed. I am really shocked more men don't use that move. Had an older buddie in the military tell me once that the best way to more loving is to turn it down every once in a while. He's probably right.
Kobo makes good point... when we were dating she went a little cold on me, so I didn't call or anything for a few days. Sure enough I came home from a bar one night with the message lights flasing like a fire-engine on my machine ... am I the only one who misses the old-style message machines? LOL!