So I know I need to work on me and that my wife needs to work on her. This concept is hard. I know I'm not a patient man which causes me to look at my wife's side of the fence more than I should. As it pertains to affection which is my number one EN, if I don't initiate or ask it just doesn't happen. We had three wonderful nights earlier this week where I felt like my wife, "got it". She was affectionate to me and showed her love to me through physical affection. That affection stopped Thursday, continued into Friday, and continued this morning. I left work early yesterday, stopped by the mall, got her a cute sweat suit, a gift card to her favorite specialty tea store, and an amazing piece of cheesecake. I walked through the door so excited to shower my wife with gifts because I love her. I made her her favorite buffalo mozzarella salad, filet mignon, etc. She was grateful, don't get me wrong, but my efforts to meet her EN's don't really ever lead me to believe that it has an impact like you say that it should or will. I don't believe the intention of me working on me means that I should just "take the scraps" as someone put it earlier in this thread. I have no intentions of being a doormat and giving into a marriage that I get very little back out of. Is that fair to say? My specific question is, how do I approach letting my wife know that she doesn't meet my EN for affection? You've said be more patient and just wait. But you also say that I need to make sure I am brutally honest and say how I'm feeling. I spoke up this morning about this subject, my wife didn't like it, and we are back at the starting point. My wife is the most important thing to me and she said she feels that, the opposite is not at all true. It doesn't feel good to my wife "gets to me when she gets to me." I just don't know when I'm supposed to shut up and when I'm supposed to speak up. If I shut up, like I have in the past, nothing changes. If I speak up, she doesn't like it and gets irritated at me. There doesn't appear to be any middle ground, but I could be wrong, I'm all ears.

I'm not hear to fight you all, just tell me how you see it, ask whatever questions you want and I'll answer them truthfully. I just want forward progress.

Married 15 years
12 y/o DD
10 y/o DS
6 y/o DD