You know exactly what action step you need and want to take, and you know as well what is holding you back.
You are on the good track!
Alright, so what exactly are you looking to get for yourself? Do you want to have your passion back in your relationship and work on it?
If you could tell me what you want, what would that be?
Well knowing what to do and being able to do something about it are often two separate issues... ask any smoker or overweight person...but I've been trying to work on it.
Here's the backstory:
Met her when I was 18 after bootcamp and we dated exclusively for about 4 months until I was assigned elsewhere. We kept a long distance relationship going though I was not exclusive and dated many other women during that time. Visited her a few times and after about a year apart decided she was the one I wanted to be with. Proposed and six months or so later, we were married at the tender ages of 19 and 18.
She was raised as a devout Catholic school girl and was a virgin until after we were married. Sex initially was absolutely horrendous to the point I thought "OH MY GOD, what have I gotten myself into!" But fortunately she loosened up a little (pun not intended) and through gentle pushing of her boundaries a little bit, we eventually developed a pretty decent sex life.
We had very little money to do anything with in the early years but we weren't living close to any family and children weren't in the picture yet, so we made the best of it with just each other's company.
Three years into our marriage, we decided I would make the Army my career and we began having children. The first born when we were 22 and 21 with our youngest three years later. We both were good, devoted parents. The addition of children didn't seem to impact our relationship much. We were very good about finding a sitter and spending time with just the two of us. It is a tradition that the two of us would always go away alone together somewhere for at least a long weekend during our aniversary, and when the children were old enough, we would send them away to their grandparents for a month or so during the summer. So we often had plenty of "us" time and we always made the best of it.
Now as an Army wife, she had to deal with long separations and deployments (though this was before Iraq and Afghanistan so she didn't have to worry so much about combat) and I'm sure it was difficult for her, especially with two young children. But when I was away and near a phone (cell phones weren't common yet) we would talk for hours and even had some amazing phone sex.
Then about 12 or 13 years into our marriage she just came out of her shell. I was away for four months at Recruiting School in South Carolina and when I was finished, rather than driving back across the entire country to Seattle alone, she sent the kids to their grand parents, flew in, and we drove back together making a vacation of it. It was the best trip of my life. She planned the whole thing, where we would stop for the night, what we would do and see, she bought new sexy lingerie for each nightly stop over, fooled around with me in the car while I drove, sex on a paddle boat in the middle of a lake, blowjob on the edge of the Grand Canyon, got her nipple piereced, etc -- she all of a sudden was pushing my boundaries and I was actually having a hard time keeping up with her!
For the next five years or so her sex drive was on high, we were close and passionate, our kids healthy and well adjusted, we had a little money to do things with, things were good. But then, when my career in the Army began to close, things started going south.
She has always been a bigger woman and has struggled with her weight her entire life. But I'm the type of guy who is attracted more to attitude than just looks. If you'll excuse my crassness, I would rather be with a "fattie" who has a fun and sexy attitude than a supermodel who is a *****y ice queen any day. So her issues with weight seldom bothered me, though there were a few points in our marriage when it got a bit extreme to where it affected things other than how she looked, but we always were able to talk about them and get things back under control.
Anyways, about 18 years in, she was at a "heavy" point in her life and she decided to get gastric bypass surgery (this later turned out to be a huge mistake but more on that later). About the time she recovered from the surgery, both her parents fell ill. Since we were currently living four or so hours from her hometown, we thought it best if she and the kids moved down to help out while I finished up my last year in the Army.
It was at this point something changed and we began to drift apart. I began to feel like I was no longer a priority in her life. At first, I just chalked it up to her sick parents, but when they got better, things didn't change back. Previously in our marriage, if I was away and able, we would Skype every night with it usually ending in some interesting video sex. Now I was barely able to get a five minute conversation. When I would come down every other weekend, there always seemed to be something going on and our closeness just wasn't there. Sex was more like an afterthought.
When I retired from the Army and moved back in with her. I began working for her brother and she, with my help, started a residential cleaning service. Looking in from the outside, you'd think we had the perfect marriage. Two smart, well adjusted kids in high school, nice house, nice cars, successful business, plenty of money, etc. Problem is, neither one of us seemed real happy with one another. I felt neglected, lonely and not a priority in her life, and through the few discussions/arguments on the issue, I gathered that she thought that I was needy and selfish.
Now five years later, things have not changed much. Both kids are now out of the house (the oldest in the Army, the youngest away at college). She has had a hard time dealing with that and it is likely a factor in my boredom. The business is booming to the point where I have quit my regular job and now we work together in it. All the weight she lost from her surgery has returned and she is again at a "heavy" point in her life, but now has to deal with the side effects of the surgery as well as other health issues associated with weight. And to make matters worse, since she has lost that fun and sexy attitude, I'm having a hard time staying attracted to her.
Her priorities in life still don't include me near the top with her focusing mainly on the children (she stalks them constantly on facebook and spends hours planning their next visit), the business (she has even asked me about staffing issues during sex), or her family (she talks to her sister about two hours a day - but hardly speaks to me at all). The only things we ever talk about is kids, work, or her family. She'll give me sex whenever I ask for it, but the passion and playfulness just isn't there. In the evenings, I feel so alone, bored, and frustrated which just seems ludicrous with her sitting not six inches from me.
The only respite to all of this is our annual trip for our anniversary (lately we have been going to Jamaica). This is about the only time of year when we seem to be close and passionate towards one another. But the second we set foot back into the United States, things revert.
I am truly at a loss on what exactly has happened and what to do about it.