How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
And if anyone is looking for the book (like I was), this seems to be a more recent edition (with better availability):
It's tough to offer any kind of advice for your situation because you talk in a lot of generalities.
However, my wife and I have struggled quite a bit over the last few years and it sucks. I feel like things are getting better, but there are always mis-steps even on the up-swing.
If your wive really has checked out, there's not much you can do. It takes two to make a couple.
However. You can work on yourself. In so doing, you might find that it helps your relationship. Or it might not. But even if your relationship falls apart, you will be in a much better space to cope with that and move on -- as difficult as it seems right now.
So, here's my suggestions ... things that I have been doing and reading over the last couple of years that have really helped me.
Stop looking at all the things she is doing wrong. Focus on what she is doing right. This is tough and requires a huge shift in thinking and an even bigger thinking around letting go of your ego.
Every day do something to show some appreciation for someone in your life. One person every day. Say thank you and tell them what they mean to you. This will help you focus on more positive things overall. Include your wife in this, though she doesn't need to be the focus of this every day.
Be honest with yourself and her. Can you give her what she wants. There are some things that I just can't give my wife. And some things she can't give me. How important are these things? And are there other ways to get them?
Adopt a meditation practice. Download the Headspace app. It has a nice introduction to meditation. It has helped me immensely.
If you don't exercise, start. Personally, I enjoy weight lifting. Try Strong Lifts if you can. It's a simple program that will show fast results.
If you don't eat healthy, start. There are so many diets out there. Even if you just start eating smaller portions and cut out snacking, you'll see some positive results. That's where I started. I eventually started doing the Alt Shift Diet. Yeah, you can call it a fad diet or whatever. I don't care. It works for me and that's the key -- find a diet that works for you.
Read How to talk so your kids will listen and listen so your kids will talk. Great advice that applies even when you are talking to adults.
Read People Skills. This is a great book on active listening and conflict resolution. Helpful in so many situations.
Read this post and some of the posts that follow it. Incredibly insightful
Read Never Split the Difference. Another great book that is geared more toward business negotiation, but has been a great help in my personal life. I can take the time to understand someone else's perspective without letting go of mine. Also great to help assert myself better in my relationship. His description of active listening was also helpful.
Read Come as You Are. A great book on women's sexuality specifically, but it's really about sexuality in general. It's backed by a lot of research. Has a lot of insight into human sexuality. Great reading. Helped me understand myself and my wife better. (Goes beyond the typical High Libido and Low Libido stuff that I always found less than helpful.)
Do stuff on your own. Go out with friends. Go to the movies by yourself. Make sure both of you get breathing room away from each other.
Be honest. If you feel something tell her. You don't have to be mean. But do be honest. "You are making me angry right now, can we talk about it later when I have calmed down." "Your tone sounds rude and condescending. Please talk to me like I am an adult or we can wait and talk later." This one is tough and statements should be made from your perspective rather than made as statements of fact.
Anyway, those are my suggestions and have helped me immensely. Take what you think will work for you. Ignore the rest.
Best of luck!
I've seen a bunch of docs give out "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk" for some behavior and basic stuff https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1451663889
I don't have any good advice, and obviously some children are different than others. But I think there are some alternatives to spanking, but probably not as simple as just "use redirection" or "use time-out". Alternatives may be more core to your whole parenting style and relationship with your child. There are some books on this subject, like
I encourage you to give it a look. How old is she now? If you set patterns early, they just get tougher to address as they get older, as you mentioned.
Personally, I agree with Louis CK, at least in that I think it teaches kids that it is okay to hit people.