A recent conversation came up about how love is a gift but as soon as we put conditions on it, it becomes a wage. The reason I love my wife is not what I can get out of her (although honestly I go there a lot!) but because I get her. A woman who feels like sex is a condition for love, will never enjoy sex. A woman who is constantly reminded of all the things her husband has done for her and how she has failed, will never enjoy sex. We all have a hard time not putting conditions on others, especially our spouses, but when have our unrealistic expectations ever been met or really satisfied us? The thrill in expectation is just like researching about something before you buy it. You look up all the information on it, find the best one, then when you finally get it, the thrill is gone and your onto your next purchase. The same is true of expectations. We put all our efforts into getting others to meet our expectations and when they do (or don't) the thrill is gone and we're onto the next expectation for the other or ourself to fail. Life in Christ is free of expectation and our marriages, in dependence on Him, can reflect that! It's not that we don't do anything or fall into passivity, it's that we're free to be ourselves (good, bad, ugly) and we're loved in spite of even our best efforts.
What and how are you communicating to your wife that she has yet to fit the bill of your expectation? It might even be in the things that your haven't said. Your emotional consequences/pouting. It's important to nurture fondness (truth thinking) toward our wife. (John Gottman) To nurture fondness toward your spouse is just that, not check in and see how she is failing. (expectation/condition). Whether she does the same or not, that's her deal, not yours. We're only responsible for ourselves. For men its important to clearly communicate how you feel about her (truth/positive) not about how she is failing to meet your sexual or emotional need. Sex is just as much of a gift as is love and even the condition of "because I have needs"(right or wrong on her part) can be a turn off. If you have more questions I'd love to hear from you! I believe this is a part of the journey all men (and women) are on!