Re: Unaffectionate Wife
OK. Time for an action plan. From the sound of it, you're not afraid of some work. You'd be willing to tolerate the situation getting worse in the short term to get the marriage you deserve in the long run.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Tell your wife that you're not happy with a sexless marriage. (That's less than 10x per year, in case she argues.) You want a wife that returns your affections, not a baby-momma roommate.
2. Tell her that you are going to a marriage counselor. Tell her that she is welcome to go with you, but you're going either way. (Book a session with a counselor.)
3. Tell her you are going to start working on improving yourself. Admit your shortcomings and tell her what you're going to do to improve.
4. Tell her that you and she are going to have a family meeting every day. You'll make a list together on what needs to be done that day and who will do it. (That way you're working from an agreed-upon list. Eliminates her telling what to do from her list.) If she refuses to participate, make your own to-do list and get it done by the next meeting.
5. Start giving your wife compliments and show appreciation for what she does well. Do it many times a day. Show her affection, even if it isn't well received. You need to lead the way by showing her the right behavior.
6. Whenever she has a legitimate complaint about your behavior, own it and fix it. When she nitpicks, tell her, "For marriage to work, we need to say 4 nice things to each other for every complaint. Is THIS issue worth 4 compliments to you?" It points out the imbalance in her conduct and sends the signal that her behavior is affecting the marriage.
7. Don't act like her servant. She can get her own drink from the fridge (unless you're already standing at the fridge.) She can get her own snacks from the store (unless you're already headed there.) Anything she expects you to do can be discussed at the family meeting.
8. If she goes into screaming mode or starts a complain-a-thon, listen quietly until she stops. Then ask, "Are you done, or is there more?" Listen quietly again until she stops, and ask again "Are you done or is there more?" When she says she's done or insists that you respond, tell her calmly, "You've given me a lot to think about. I'm going to take some time and process it so I don't react emotionally." If she demands more from you, just repeat those last two sentences.
Hope this helps!