Thank you for your insightful answer Dr. Paige.
I accept that I am imperfect and may have contributed to this in some way - but I have always beleived in talking through issues and sharing problems. Originally I thought my wife was just having a bad month, which turned into a bad 3 months then a bad year etc. Then I realised something more serious was happening and rather than arguing I wanted to "talk" to resolve things but my wife would not open up to me - she kept saying that I didn't "listen to her" but she was not talking to me!!!! So I thought OK - lets open up together to a professional - thats fair on both of us but the down right refusal to do that I do not understand.
In the arguments we have had two things seem to be a factor she does not like about me: 1) That I keep a tight control on money now and therefore need to know what is spent when and on what - she sees that as me trying to "control" her. 2) My realtionship between myself and our middle daughter is poor. It has always been like that since an early age. I get on well with my two other kids but my middle daughter ignores me or is just plain rude. Its more than a "teenage thing" - she has been like that from an early age. When she was about 12 (I think) I lost my temper with her. She had been rude to me and I was under pressure with work or money and I lost it. I shouted at her and insulted her back. Apparently I used some bad words (cannot remember now), I did not hit her or anything like that and I immediately realised I had gone too far. I apologised the next day and brought her a box of chocs. I was in the wrong I know even though I did not instigate the argument - my anger was triggered by her adolsence rudeness. My wife raised that incident as significant during one of our arguments. The thing is I cannot change what happened, I admited I was in the wrong and apologised at the time. Given how long ago it was could that still be festering - what more can I do other than apologise?
There is anoher aspect of my wife's life that I should tell you about though... She is an only child of Irish parents who settled in the UK in the 50's. Both her parents worked and like many Irish families the extended family lived together in the same house. As a result her grandmother (on her dad's side) lived with them and brought my wife up - to the extent that they shared a bedroom until she was 14! Her upbringing sounded very strange to me. Although they had a lot of material benefits (both parents worked in the airline industry so they they travelled the world for holidays where as I would have a camping holiday at home at the same age) and her parents lavished her with gifts like new cloths and bikes etc. they owned their own home but also moved a lot from north to south london and back so in her junior school days she was not able to build up an established peer group. This was completely different to my up bringing with 3 brothers living in a rented house on a council estate and staying in teh same area for all my schooling. I have 3 good friends I have known for 40yrs! My wife on the other hand has only one true friend who she grew up with (next door neighbour) until she was about 10.
She always stayed close to her parents even though they lived abroad for a time. Then they retired and moved to a house about 1 mile from us about 7yrs ago. I thought she would love this but she did not seem to visit then at all when they moved although they came to us. then about 4 yrs ago they took us out for sunday lunch, my wife was in one of her bad mood's that day and there was a silly argument in the pub. Her Dad stormed out and they have never seen/talked to each other since. We had borrowed money off them as we were in difficulties and I was paying off on a monthly basis, Her Mother came to us a few times but got a very frosty reception, I used to go around to them to try and keep the peace and see if I could build bridges - then 2 Christmas's ago I was there and her Dad got angrey and actually physically assorted me!!! So we have had no contact at all for at least 2 yrs.