Pretty much what happened in the scenario I gave... long story short... I am a giver, can't stop myself. I know that, I know I often look like a doormat, but hey, it's what make me happy. That said, I know I am not likely to get equal giving, i am fine with that BUT I am not invisible either.
Maybe it's just me, but it sounds like what you would ideally like is something close to this: "If I notice your neck is hurting and I make the effort to rub it, then YOU notice that MY neck is hurting and make the effort to rub it" because it sounds like you perceive that as "fair." I'm going to say something that may sound REALLY harsh, and I want to say before hand that I mean it in the way that means "Think for a minute and see if this is possible." Is it possible that rather than believing you are valuable and worthy of love because you ARE a treasure...that you think you have to "earn" love? For example, do you earn his attention by "giving" to him and then when he doesn't "give" to you, think that he doesn't "love" you? Do you think that maybe it's sort of a little like a scoresheet in your head that says "Hey I've tallied enough points now that I've earned some love by being good, and you're not loving me!"
If that is maybe the case, you should know that I noticed or recognized it because I used to be that way myself! In fact, to this day that's one of my personal weaknesses--giving to someone with the hope/expectation of earning their love. It's a hard struggle, but I would suggest one thing. Rather than getting your value from earning love by doing "nice things"...get your value from within YOU for being the rare and precious person you are.
Fast forward through the "honeymoon" phase when it was all peaches and cream.... My needs were invisible to the point where I was walking around with a pinched nerve in the neck waiting for a rub (I would do that the second he did a neck crack) then went to "gee my neck is killing me, a good massage would be great" to finally "OK, I will ask, can I have a massage here" then MAYBE get it. OK fine, but then when it goes to I ask (for nothing big) put on paper pretty specific instructions as to what he might do or say in response to things from me (cuz ya, he was THAT slow no joke)
Actually this example is a pretty good example of what I was talking about. In his head it probably goes something like this. He would go to work all day and his neck would be a little sore so he'd crack it. You'd jump over and rub his neck, and he'd think, "Wow, cool. That feels good. Thanks"
The end. He may or may not have needed the rub--may or may not have wanted the rub. But you did it and he thought "Yay, nice."
The problem is that a teeny portion of you was giving him the neck rub so he would notice YOUR pinched nerve and hoping it would make him think, "Oh hey I wonder about her neck...."
but that's not where his head went.
Next, you would say something like "Gee my neck is killing me; a massage would be great" and he would think "Boy I agree with you. When your neck hurts a massage really does help."
Did you notice though that you didn't come right out and tell him what you thought or felt--nor did you ask right out loud for what you wanted? You hoped/expected him to "figure it out" or I suspect possibly thought "I've earned his attention by giving him attention so many times, and he's not giving me what I earned!"
By then you've already built up some resentment over the fact that you're not getting what you earned, and you finally say in some exasperation: "OK, I will ask, can I have a massage here?" Now in his head this is the first time you've asked, and he may be thinking "Well gee I just got home from work and I'm kind of tired at the moment. Can I do it later?"
but in your head you are already not getting what you have earned, and you're already kind of peeved! So he doesn't really have the right to say 'no'--I mean what if you asked "Can I have a massage here?" and he just outright said "no"? Would that be allowed? Because for me, when I was trying to earn love I thought of it as something that was OWED to me. I had already put in the work to earn it, and not giving it to me was not an option! But all of that was in my head and my hubby had no idea all that was going on in my head! When I rubbed his shoulders he accepted it as it was. When I mentioned the thing about massages feeling good, he agreed. When I finally got around to asking, he is an equal partner in the marriage and has the right to say "no" but by then I already had decided I had earned it!!
So long story short, #1 consider the concept of trying to earn love from another person rather than loving you from within yourself because you're valuable. And #2 consider just asking right out in a respectful request, giving your spouse the freedom to say "no". If he does say "no" ask what he would be willing to do and then give him a chance to tell you!