Thanks all, here are some answers to your questions:
First off, are the two of you able to spend any time alone together? If so, how much each week, and how do you spend it?
Yes, my W's love language is "Quality Time" so I have focused on providing that. I was giving her full and undivided attention for 15 - 30 minutes a night initially, until she complained it was too much and she wanted to connect less. She said she wants "a few times a week", otherwise there is nothing to discuss.
I also like to do a weekly date night, but recently she said that with the kids' schedules, weekly is too much, and she wants to do it monthly. WRT my hobbies and interests, she won't engage in any of them.
Second, do the two of you ever fight or argue? If you do, tell us about it; it really does take two to argue, and we can teach you how to not argue with her even if she wants to argue with you. Arguments are like atomic bombs for your Love Bank account balance.
We really don't argue much. One cycle that we do get into, however, is that she tends to "assign" unhappiness to me. i.e. she'll tell me I'm upset with her when I'm not, and won't accept that I'm not upset. That then does make me upset, because I'm not being listened to, it pushes my buttons. Overall we get along really well. If we were just business partners we'd be great.
After your wife is in love with you, there may still be some adjustments to be made, i.e., she may be doing things for you that she would like and may need to learn new habits that you would like, but at this point there will be a lot more willingness. I don't think Dr. Harley uses the following language in the paragraph you cited, but he talks about relationships in terms of the "Buyer's Agreement" versus the "Renter's Agreement." What you are expressing you want is the Buyer's agreement: a willingness to fix things together to make the marriage liveable and happy and fulfilling for both of you, forever. Currently your wife's emotions are leading her to a Renter's agreement: do whatever it takes for now to get by, until next month.
Well, she uses "Buyer's Agreement" language, but "Renter's Agreement" actions. The issue I have with the love bank deposits is that it looks like "pursuit", and we are very much enmeshed in "the pursuer distancer dance", where I am both the emotional and sexual pursuer, and she is the emotional and sexual distancer. She has recognized this dynamic as well, she likes me to pursue her, because it tells her that everything is okay, but her response is to distance. When I eventually burn out and withdraw, she'll pursue me just enough to get me pursuing again and will then withdraw. If you read about that dynamic, continuing to pursue, or make love bank deposits, just perpetuates the cycle, and you can't break out of it.
has your wife read the basic concepts here? Have you? I would start there, and try filling out the emotional needs and love buster questionnaires and sharing them, if she is willing. Don't force them on her.
I have read a huge library of relationship books, including "The Five Love Languages" which is closely related to the basic concepts. My wife read the book too. We "get it", she doesn't feel good about doing it.
The four INTIMATE needs are affection, conversation, recreational companionship, and sexual fulfillment. If she has other things as her top needs, she is likely in withdrawal, and many spouses can be drawn out of that.
Of those four needs, her top one is conversation. She is not interested in recreational companionship or sexual fulfillment, and enjoys minimal affection, she likes hugging, but that's pretty much the extent of it.
I will look into speaking with Jennifer -- in the meantime, any other thoughts, suggestions or questions?