being less available and not approaching your partner for sex.
I suspect this would only work if the wife WANTED sex, but was withholding it for her 'other' reasons.
I think this strategy would be effective IF it were just a temporary lull....and NOT a long term (YEARS LONG) issue.
This dynamic is all to common in long term relationships.
It takes a monumental effort to defeat it.
A woman must feel emotionally connected and desired to want sex.
Even if you flatter and are thoughtful, it may not be effective as this has become the norm.
The dynamic has to be new and exciting.
This can be brought about by romantic gestures.
It can ALSO be brought about if she views her spouse as an ALPHA man.
STRONG and DECISIVE are turn ons.
There are strong indications from you post that you are NOT being a STRONG alpha male.
For example....your screename RandomMale.
You are NOT a random male......YOU ARE THE MAN....and individual.....far from random.
You asked for us to 'please be gentle'.
I don't mean to insult you, but this is wimpy. It's your internal dialogue coming out on this thread.
Am I being stupid and expecting too much? Why do I feel SOOO hurt?
No sir, you are not stupid and you need to stop referring to yourself in this way.
I feel dirty and ashamed that I am making sex such a big issue.
This is NOT good. You should feel PROUD that you want a good sex life with your wife. A man SHOULD want sex.....ESPECIALLY FROM HIS WIFE. Furthermore.....YOU WANT SEX.....THERE SHOULD BE NO GUILT OR BAD FEELINGS.
I have the impression that you have self esteem issues that need to be addressed. Have you considered therapy? There are MANY good books on this subject as well.