I have benefitted significantly by learning about the Five Languages of Love. Perhaps you might start there?
Have you tried marriage counseling?My backstory:
I have been married 21 years and have 3 young kids. Sex has always been good although I have always felt it lacked an emotional element. I have always struggled to feel connected to my wife but we have had sex regularly and that has helped. We have have taken off of sex for a while and it has helped me to see the marriage more clearly. I find it hard to feel connected with my wife emotionally. When we have a an argument and settle it I feel so much better. These are the best times to me because it is at these moments I feel our hearts are in sync. She is not affectionate and does not speak of her love for me ever. I could take the no sex if she wanted to cuddle but that is not there. I will readily admit that I have not handled her well through the years. She is quite fragile and have been not soft and gentle enough.
Anyone else have a situation like this? What have you done? I guess I have to consider myself too dependent on her actions to feel good. I feel so alone sometimes and get anxious when I feel disconnected.
Dr,Marital therapy could be very helpful. As a first step try to understand the patterns in your relationship. Most marriages over time form a patterned dance which blocks intimacy, such as the pursuer/distancer dance. (We describe a number of dances in the Couple's Survival Workbook) Once you figure out the dance, try to change your part in it. Second, review what attracted you to each other. Try to build on things that made you feel closer in the early years. Finally, spend some time discussing what each of you need from the other. Attempt to keep the dialogue open.
David Olsen, Ph.D, LCSW