Dear Friend Dan B, I understand you are going through painful stage right now. It does hurt when after so many years repressed thoughts find words. But, there comes the benefit and the advantage of being born as human being. We have superior, logical thinking abilities. It is the approach to life that we all need to analyse an bring about the desired changes, if need be.
1. "She says the sex and nice kisses she has been doing is just because she fills like she had to do it to avoid a fight but really would be happy to go without".- Look, she has been very honest about her feelings. A time comes when sex is not that important to a person. She will be more happy with fewer sex but more of hugging and cuddling. It is normal. There is no age bracket for such "no sex" attitude, but it seem to happen more after the age of 40 for females, and 50 for males. USUALLY.
And, if you were the demanding type of a male, and she has been accommodating sex to avoid confrontations then you should be appreciative of her for taking the physical and mental abuses with the intention of keeping the relationship intact.
Involvement in sexual acts against the desire, but not being able to complain, lets accumulate the frustration, and one day it is bound to burst. So it did in her case.
2. "She says she is very against an open marriage and will file for divorce if i get it on the out side."- she is again right about it. How can a wife expect the man to get it outside? She loves you, you see.
3. "Should i refrain from sex and all contact like she wants and just work on the marriage and still no guarantee this will work work?"- I think it is a good idea to refrain from sex till she agrees to it. See, she is not against sex. She is against Violations. She feels that she is losing her individuality. She is asking for some show of respect.
Dan, the best approach at this point will be to say "Sorry Honey if I had been a selfish husband demanding sex when you were not in the mood for it. It is good that you told me and helped me open my eyes. I respect you for expressing your mind. I will never want to have sex with you till you are ready for it. You are more important to me than sex. I love you".
Say that from the core of your heart- start believing in what you say-and I think it will work wonders.
4. "Should i believe her that she wants to rebuild the marriage but no sex for at least a year so sh can fall in love with me again and the pressure of sex will be gone....."
Dan, that is a good idea. Start believing in her. I think she is trying to keep the relationship going.
5. Dan, the very fact that you had brought the issue to a public forum seeking help shows how caring a human being you are. You have issue and you are trying to find solutions. That is a positive side of you. I am sure you have many positive sides. Hats off to you for trying to salvage the relationship.