I mispoke a bit - she's not unhappy in general. She's just unhappy with the quality of our relationship. And she's told me that by far the hardest thing for her is knowing that dissatisfied with her and often don't enjoy being married to her.
And she's told me that she does feel like I help a lot at home. She's also told me she wishes I could give it less grudgingly and more happily too, but that she thinks I do a great job.
But she's also told me that she definitely doesn't feel like I'm meeting her needs. And what she needs is to feel like I love and respect her and enjoy being married to her. But I don't know how to give her that because those things aren't necessarily actions I can perform. They're feelings she wants me to feel.
As for her explosions and freak outs, she recognizes she has a problem but doesn't feel like there's anything she realistically can do to stop it. The children just keep pushing her buttons for hours and her stamina is low and kablam off she goes and it takes her a long time to recover. Or if it's not the children, some random fear or disequilibrium will grip her (the fear of burglars, the fear of accidental medication overdosing, the stress of getting a new puppy) and she'll go into fight or flight mode until eventually she finds some way to calm down, but it takes a long time.
And she does participate in the sessions. Really all we've done thus far in the sessions is (1) get asked a lot of questions, and (2) receive what kind of felt like an hour long lecture trying to explain to us that it's the other person's responsibility to make you feel in love by meeting your needs. Really no other take home message on our last session besides that we should try to familiarize ourselves more with the concepts.
So basically it just seems like we're doomed to be unable to meet each other needs. She's never going to be able to meet my needs for sexual fulfillment and peace in the house (lack of angry outbursts) and domestic support so that I can have a teeny bit of a life. And I'm never going to be able to meet her needs for admiration and affection and superhuman levels of domestic support.
I mean, I could bring her flowers every day, but if I'm frustrated at her for frequent angry outbursts at me and the children, she won't let the flowers mean anything to herself. And I can express admiration to her of all the many good qualities I see in her, but if she knows that I'm frustrated at her because of her inability to be intimate with me, she also won't allow herself to feel the admiration is sincere (although it is).