This is a rambling, highly personal follow-on to the more organized and generally-applicable Zombieland gender roles post; please read that first, and skip this if you don't want to read wandering idiosyncratic and somewhat whiny chain-of-thought following that.
I said that we pick up the idea from action movies that a man doesn't feel that a woman's love can be real if the man hasn't risked his life rescuing the woman from certain death. I don't have that idea as strongly as the men talked about in The Action Movie Fairy Tale. Instead, I don't feel a woman's love is real if I regularly lick her clit in the morning and she regularly can't find time for a handjob in the evening. But what I did have from the "Action Movie Fairy Tale" was that thousand yard stare, watching the treeline for the zombies to emerge, waiting to rescue her and then, maybe then she'd love me enough for the handjob. I wasn't really expecting the zombies; it just seemed like I'd already tried so hard, and she kept refusing to try counselling with me, and I was tired of trying, and I was trying less and less with just as much emotional effort, and I saw no hope in the real world; my sense of optimism was living in the action movie fairy tale. I know she felt she'd tried so hard too, and she had, but in a way I couldn't understand.
It seemed to me like she tried everything but what I suggested or requested. She came up with a really hot costume for a con one year. Somebody put a picture on Facebook, and some guy commented with "I'll be in my bunk". I asked her time and again to wear it for just us sometime. She never said yes or no.
I asked her not to disturb my home office. "Yes it's a mess, but I know where stuff is, so please don't move anything."
She carefully cleaned the office for me and never wore the costume except in public.
There was so much like those examples. Maybe it was because she hates to be advised; if she doesn't get it on her own, she feels stupid (I've seen this a lot when we took martial arts together). So maybe she just avoided my requests for that reason. Or maybe the things I wanted just weren't her; and she was fooling herself and me when we talked about that kind of thing before marriage, just as she was when she took the vows. I don't know. This is the thing I wonder about the most; how could she spend so much energy trying while ignoring what I told her I wanted?
Maybe I just saw the answer, when I looked back at that last question and asked "what was she trying to do"? Maybe she was trying to fit her image of a good wife, and had no interest in what mine was.