In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I am back to this forum after nearly eight years. I benefitted a lot from reading the different posts. Now I need advice over a personal issue I have been quietly suffering from for the last 13 years. Please hear me out and give me some perspective. I feel lost.
Here is my problem:
I have been married for 13 years. I went to great length to ensure to myself that my marriage was "spiritual", meaning, no lust, no premarital sex, carefully evaluating my fiancé whether he had a good prayer life, asking him his dream of the kind of saintly life he wants to live with me serving the church..., you know, like that of the parents of reknowned saints the stories we hear about all the time. We fantasized a great deal about tithing and having a prayer room in the house we would build, etc. Especially me!
Then we got married. Everybody was happy for us as we were both dedicated servants in our parish. I then wanted to live the life I fantasized and pushed him to do this and that. He on the other hand began to belittle my "saintly" demands on him and myself. He started mocking me when I got up for prayer in the morning. For a while I focused on myself. But he became a once-a-week church goer, and his prayer life totally dissappeared. We lived like that for 6 years.
At the same time, the ugliest truth began rearing its head. We don't have any romantic feeling for each other. I dreaded sleeping with him, and he never seemed to care less. We realized we were both hardbworkers and dedicated servants who care for others, but more was needed between us than that: namely, a spark! A romantic attraction! A physical connection, and emotional chemistry. This caused a disaster on our marriage, added to infertility, and we nearly divorced. But he apologized and we got back together again. It was an embarassing experience because everyone who knew us heard of the marital friction and kept wondering how come the union that was so much envied up on (as some people later told me) ended up at such a place of bitterness, emotional distance, and barrness (both financial and biological). We seemed to never grow!
We still together, trying to groe financially (which we did), trying to conceive, waiting for God's miracle, but with each passing day, I lose my passion for life regretting how on earth my marriage became neither like the worldly couples who prioritize their own personal pleasure and satisfaction in spouse selection, nor like those saints whose lives I tried to emulate (especially the first four or five years).
Now I am begging God for the smallest things, such as an energetic day, and my miracle is not to produce a saint, but I am just asking for a child. I had wish to raise childrrn to serve God, dont get me wrong, I dont force things too much, I know the balance between fun and work/prayer. But my marriage is so messed up. Sometimes, we act like enemies. He is good with everyone else. I am fine with everyone else. We just don't fit with each other. I feel like I asked for fish and God gave me snake. My husband wants the marriage to continue. I don't. I sometimes feel suicidal. Had I been financially stable, I would have left!
Secular counselors tell me to leave. Christian counselors tell me to "bear my cross." But I have never talked this with Orthodox counselors as most marriage counselors in my town happen to be Protestants. Our soul father insisted we should stay together since there is no infidelity involved in our case. As a monk, I dont know how much he would understand romance and attraction. I am afraid he would simply consider me as lusting for some experience outside the marriage.
What do you advise me? Is there any hope for me? Anyone who understands what I am talking about please help!
I am confused and exhausted from years of contemplating divorce! Help!