I feel like I'm missing some posts. I don't see where the OP says that she belittles, complains, nags etc, so I don't understand some of the responses.
OP, I think people naturally map their own experiences onto descriptions, filling in the missing pieces. Are you a really hard working competent woman with a lazy, unromantic husband? Are you an evil controlling person who belittles him at every opportunity? Some people think the first, some the second. Only you know. Personally I don't see anything negative in your behavior from what you have posted.
A different question: Does your husband have good self respect? Does he believe he is talented and does valuable things?
I've seen failures both ways. I've seen men depressed because they think that they are worthless and so don't d anythign. I've also seen me who think that they are god's gift to the world and that their mere presence for you to bask in is all that one could ever ask for.
I don't belittle and nag. I'm not that kind of person. I am a firm believer that once you say something, it can't be unsaid so be careful what you say in anger. My husband, on the other hand, does not think that way. He's not a vicious person, but when provoked he can say some nasty things. And he is not one to come back later and say "I'm sorry, I said that in anger. I didn't mean it." So when he says things and doesn't apologize later, he must have meant what he said.
I feel like my husband puts me in a catch 22. He constantly forgets things, some important, some not important. He also frequently says to me "Remind me to ........fill in the blank here with any number of tasks, appointments, etc." But if I remind him more than once I am "nagging". The end result for me is I do as much as I possibly can so that I know things get done. I don't like asking other people to do things for me, so I don't ask him for much of anything.
I am posting here because I am at my wits end. I've been holding all of this inside and ignoring things for years. I know that is not healthy. And yes, I am seeing a therapist. My therapist says I am an overly responsible person. I don't air dirty laundry with friends and I have no family close by so I talk to a therapist. I have suggested marriage counseling but my husband has resisted. He FINALLY agreed to talk to a therapist and has been to 3 sessions. The therapist talked to me once for background data. Last night I asked my husband about how it was going and he said "I think he (therapist) is about ready to wrap things up." I thought......what?? 3 or 4 sessions and that's all. Wow.
Here are some random thoughts and nagging issues that may fill in blanks for the nice people posting here.
1) I do think many (not all) men have some inner need to be praised by their wives. But they often don't think of reciprocating. Many men take women for granted.
2) My husband puts many responsibilities on me without thinking. One of my dogs (100 lb labrador) had some terrible skin problems and infections. I had to bathe him frequently with different medicated shampoos, and I tried a lot of different things. I tried to get my husband to help because it was hard on my back and the poor dog hated the baths. My husband wouldn't help because "I don't want the dog to not like me." He said this with a smile. And I asked was it OK for the dog not to like me and he just laughed. I loved that dog so much. He was a very special dog. He ended up getting a terrible kidney infection and the vet couldn't save him. The dog had to be put to sleep. When the time came, my husband said "I can't do it. You'll have to". So I had to go by myself to the vet. IT was truly horrible for me and I tear up every time I think of it. I had no choice in the matter. It had to be done so I did it. My husband got a choice because I am responsible and shouldered the responsibility. He also never thanked me.
3) A few years ago I had a "female" minor procedure that required anesthesia, which affects me far more than most people. On the way home I told my husband to stop at CVS so I could get an item plus a post-op prescription filled. He sat in the car rather than offering to get the scrip for me. I went in and started to feel sick. I asked the clerk where the bathroom was because I was feeling sick and dizzy. She told me, and I had a really hard time getting in there because I was so dizzy. I made it in, managed not to vomit, and sat there for a little while to recover. I recovered somewhat, went out and got my prescription and another item I needed. I was in CVS way longer than I should have been. My husband sat in the car and never came in to see if anything may be wrong. When I said something about it later he just blew it off, like so what. He said how was he supposed to know I was sick.
4) In 2015 I had knee surgery. It was a done on a Tuesday. My husband had agreed to volunteer at a tennis tournament out of town that weekend and he needed t leave on Thursday. He had gotten his dates wrong and I am the one that caught the fact that he had the tournament dates wrong. It was the tournament directors fault technically because she had given wrong dates. Anyway, bottom line is that I was the one who caught the error and pointed out to my husband that I was having surgery on Tuesday and he was planning to leave town Thursday morning for the tournament. He didn't see the big deal. I threw a fit and got so upset I cried. Post op instructions are that someone should be around for a few days to help in case of complications. He ended up relenting and stayed home with me. But he resented it greatly and said I was being ridiculous. My surgery went well and I was doing well and getting around by Friday. My husband said something along the lines of......see, I could have gone to the tournament. I was devastated because he felt more obligation to volunteer at a tennis tournament that to take care of me after surgery. And he can't understand why I hold a grudge.
5) I do think my husband is depressed. I think it bothers him greatly that I am very responsible and he knows deep down that there are problems.
6) I can't figure out if my husband really just doesn't like me at all, or he is just dead on the inside and has no idea of what it means to care about somebody. I asked if he wanted me to leave and he says "No", but in a pouty juvenile way. He pouts and won't talk to me for days on end when I confront him about anything at all. I ALWAYS have to be the one to break the silence and make peace when he stops talking. It makes me feel so alone and empty.
7) I hung in there and put on a brave face for a long time. For the last 2 months I cry at least once a day.....always when no one is around. I have long drives to and from office, tennis, etc because we live so far out now. The whole drive I think about how lonely I am and how can a person treat their wife like such garbage. How can a person treat someone as though they don't care at all and claim to not want that person to leave and not want a divorce? It's so contradictory.
8) I feel so guilty for posting here, even though it's an anonymous board to help people. I feel like I am cheating on my husband.