I feel like I have a platonic marriage because she never wants to have sex, abhors PDA, and practically never wants to kiss, hold hands, etc.
The last time we had a talk about sex (in) frequency, she said she loves me and doesn't just have platonic feelings for me.
Somewhat recently, she occasionally wants a big hug from me but I kind of think that may be because subliminally she probably is noticing I don't have any romantic love left for her.
Now I'm a goody two shoes at heart and a man of my word. When I was a kid I used to judge people who got divorced because it meant they didn't honor their wedding vows (or perhaps had really atypical vows). I also greatly dislike when people are hypocrites. To make matters "worse", my own mother stayed with my father despite him being verbally abusive and a bully to her their whole lives.
Lately though, I wonder how honest it is to stay in a relationship where I feel this way
Now for the wrench: I have amazing kids with this woman and there's nothing I treasure more than these kids. The oldest has begun saying frequently that she doesn't like it when we argue and she doesn't want us to get a divorce.
I would do anything within reason to help maximize the happiness of these kids and staying together seems the optimal way to do that, at least while they're under our roof.
My relationship with my wife isn't unpleasant so I can certainly endure sticking with the status quo until the older two go to college but the third won't go to college until the older two are likely seriously dating or considering marriage. I dread the day where I try to give them advice about their potential spouse and reveal then that I don't think their mother is really a great match for me.
I shudder to imagine how tumultuous it would be for them to have their parents divorce now.
I'm scared of marriage counseling because I don't really want to tell my wife I don't care for her romantically and don't really respect her choices (nothing drastic here).
It seems like unnecessary pain to inflict on her.
I don't want to be with anyone else and am not looking to have flings or find another partner.
I don't like that my wife expects me to give her massages 4x per week with nothing in exchange and she takes offense if I say I'm very tired.
I don't like that she rarely cooks nor cleans but am particularly unhappy that she doesn't clean up after herself. A third of the times I'm complaining to the kids about leaving messes around, it's my wife's stuff.
(Btw, I end up cleaning up around the house at least as much as her and before the new job, did most of the cooking despite coming home relatively late.)
I'm pretty sure that if I did pursue a divorce then everyone we know would be in shock. (Not that their opinion matters so much but just saying so to indicate that I don't we appear outwardly as a broken couple. It's a little crazy to me that she doesn't see it as broken so I guess that's 100% my fault for not sharing more about how I feel.) I personally would feel like I'm shirking a major responsibility if I just broke off the marriage but I don't feel like I'm getting much out of our relationship besides her contributions as a mother to our kids (which is humongous) and that she really does support my work and gives me a day each week to indulge in my hobbies.
Overall, I have a ton to be thankful for and if I just focus on the kids then it seems like staying together and keeping up the facade maximizes the kids' happiness as well as general harmony within the household.
My mother stayed with my father because I apparently complained about missing him when she tried to run away from him.
My own relationship with my wife is nowhere near as bad as their relationship was.
The funny thing is that now my mom would never consider leaving my dad because the familiarity of him is better than what she imagines his absence would be like. (He's also greatly mellowed out since I was a kid.)
Wow. Thanks for reading this far! I'm not sure what my goals for this post are. I'm probably just venting and looking for reinforcement that I'm a whiny punk who needs to go to marriage counseling despite the fear and try to find more constructive ways to improve things without simply starting the discussion with I feel no romance for nor from her and don't believe we make a good match as a couple except as parents to our kids...
Go to a counselor/therapist. You're afraid she'll discover how you feel. That's the wrong attitude. Hiding your feelings won't help anyone. Just make sure to express them positively.