Love Is Not a Victory March

In the midst of holiday celebrations I felt my imperfections more. As I stood in a darkened church sanctuary on Christmas Eve I stared at the glowing cross and felt the scars of my brokenness. In the stillness of Christmas Eve I felt sadness and pain.

Over the past four weeks I’ve listened to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah play over my car speakers at the loudest volume possible. I sang the lyrics and wept through the impact of each word. Each lyric echoing through my head and into my soul every single day.

Love is not a victory march

I oscillate between feeling whole and broken, grateful and disappointed, happy and sad. On Christmas Eve, in that moment of absolute peace that overcomes a church sanctuary as everyone raises their candle in celebration, we shouldn’t feel sad or alone or pain. We should let go of all those emotions that keep us tied to the past. I know this yet I still stumble on my path towards grace. In my need and desire to believe that life can go smoothly, I am still living in fear that things will fall apart. Broken trust has crept into my  my minds-eye. This broken trust creeps into my relationships and holds me back. I live with my fear than joy, and that is a problem. I want to know that a broken hallelujah can still be beautiful, and that coldness is not death or failure. Being alone is not something to fear. Love is appreciating what is.

In my never-ending quest to understand I found this quote from Leonard Cohen about the lyrics that I’m holding onto so tightly:

Hallelujah is a Hebrew word which means ‘Glory to the Lord.’ The song explains that many kinds of Hallelujahs do exist. I say: All the perfect and broken Hallelujahs have an equal value. It’s a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion.

I have yet to come to terms with my own fallen nature, my brokenness, the cracks that, perhaps, are equally as valuable as my perfections. It’s easy to get caught up in pain, failure, and disappointment but we must surface and rise to appreciate what is. It is impossible to get through this life with your heart and mind undamaged by life, but we can find and feel joy, peace, love, and hope. As 2017 comes to an end, I want 2018 to be filled with balance. An understanding that failure and joy can coexist within.




12 thoughts on “Love Is Not a Victory March

  1. Beautiful words of comfort to me as always. My wish for 2018 is for balance and peace within me as well as regaining the trust of my husband and others. After 2 over years I realize it will still take time for my heart to heal. I love your parallel to the song Hallelujah, it’s a favorite of mine, Katie Vogel also does a nice rendition. Thank you for this post and best wishes to you in the New Year xo.

  2. Your words are always soul touching. As each new year comes I do wonder if it will get easier and the thoughts less invasive. Will I be able to let go of the ‘do I actually know the whole truth of the affair’ and if I don’t will I be able to live with that, with him, knowing that? Or is that another reason to not trust completely, hold myself back just enough to protect myself from such evil again. So I go into 2018, as I have the last almost 4 years, believing this is when I will rise above the pain and torment and actually live and love freely, this year is the year I will do that, God I hope so.

    • I wish you every luck in rising above the pain, Its almost 4 years for me also since I discovered my husbands affair and I still have moments where I feel I’ll never be able to let it go totally and move on completely. I’m not sure I want to to be honest as I feel I’ll maybe leave myself open again and I now feel like I always need to protect myself. It’s so hard. Xx

  3. Yours is the first blog I found almost 3 years ago. I had no idea there were blogs on infidelity.
    A new year and new hope. It’s hard living in a sort of half existence. Caught between hope and despair, love and hate, stay or go…. I keep waiting for my ah ha moment. That moment where I feel like I fit again. Where I am confident. Where I can breathe in and feel peace.
    Thank you for your post.

  4. A new year. We live in hope that we will find peace. It still seems out of my reach 2 and a half years later. Will there ever be a time when I don’t deal with the sadness and pain every day? I can’t feel the same about my husband- too much deceit, too many lies. However, I hope that at this time next year I can look back and say that there was some equilibrium in my life once more.
    Peace and hope for all in 2018.

    Kate xx

  5. When I discovered this blog 31/2 years ago it helped me to know that I was not alone in this journey. Late this year I have come to the decision that I can no longer live with the fears and doubts that the damage of the affair my husband had has caused.I deserve to live in peace within my heart and mind. I have continuously looked to hope, praying and therapy in the desire to regain the lost trust so that I could see a bright future with my husband. Unfortunately I have made the decision that I will not reach that goal with my husband due to his choice of bringing another woman into our lives. Was this a difficult decision…yes…after 23 years of marriage and 3 beautiful children. Is it scary…yes. Is it easy….no. Do I still love my husband…yes…but it is not enough. Does it hurt like hell…absolutely but I also know that I will survive as I focus only on my recovery now and start to build a new life. It has been a surprise to me that although my heart aches at the lost of my marriage the pain associated with the expectations post affair have ceased. Best of luck to you all in 2018! I pray that the fears will calm in your heart and mind.

  6. Thank you for your post. Your posts always seem to come at times I need them so much. I am 3 years 4 months in from discovery. I appreciate your description of oscelating from feeling whole to broken, healed to feeling anguish. I relate to this. I also relate to the comments left and it makes me feel normal to read I am not the only one after this amount of time still struggling. But also it saddens my heart for you all.

    I have a question for anyone who would be willing to answer. “Do you share with your husband’s about the fact you still struggle or hurt or fear or have trouble trusting etc?

    I will pray for each woman or man that reads this blog for peace, strength and no fear in 2018.

    Your sister in Christ,

    • @Jen,
      Yes I do share with my husband when I am feeling overwhelmed, angry, or just need to talk it out. It makes him feel insecure about my feelings for him but I also feel it is part of the healing process that he is committed to. So he listens to me tell him that there are times I know I don’t want to be without him but I also don’t want to be with him and I question my choices. It is difficult to feel that way in a relationship and I am sure it is equally hard to hear it. I find that if I don’t talk to him when it is becoming overwhelming for me that it gets worse and I pull away from him even more, and the pulling away gets easier and more comfortable. So I have to stop that cycle. Hope this helps.

      • I had the thought that if I expect honesty from him I too must be honest. Yes, I let my husband know if I’m upset. He actually has gotten quite good at picking up on my feelings that he will ask me. I think he picks up on what Kimberly said about me pulling away without me even realize I’m doing that.
        I once told him it’s as if I am carrying a bucket. Over time the bucket starts filling up with thoughts, bad feelings, concerns, etc. eventually it is full and I need to talk about what’s inside for it to empty again and I then feel better. He will ask me ” how’s your bucket?” The simple gesture of asking means a lot. After this length of time it takes longer to fill “my bucket” but yes sadly it still fills up.

    • Yes I do. But I am careful with it. He is ashamed for his actions and can’t believe he behaved that way and brought pain into or marriage so it’s emotional for him too when I bring it up. He hates the reminder of how stupid and shitty he was. But we decided on NO secrets about anything. No hiding feelings. Everything is open and honest on all fronts. I’ll let him know I’m struggling and he is great about it. And I don’t carry it around and let it build to where I am pulling away from him. It has gotten easier after 4 years, but I’m human and sometimes it comes out of nowhere like a freight train.

  7. Thank you again for your post. Yes like all the others it always seems to appear when most needed. The comments I read are also comforting as we all feel the same just express it differently. It has been my faith that has gotten me to where I am today although it’s not always been easy, I’ve often questioned Gods plan for me and have come to the conclusion it’s what makes me the happiest staying with my husband. I think it’s very brave and honest of the people who get out, it’s what I wanted in the beginning but thankful I didn’t do it. I wish you all a very Happy New Year and that all your fears will disappear with 2017.

  8. Thank you for this. Every word resonated with me. I too let my fear and brokenness find it’s way to the forefront. I know in my heart I have forgiven but my mind doesn’t want to be so forgiving. It will be 4 years this month since I found out. Our marriage basically had to be burned to the ground, but through him seeking my grace and forgiveness and realizing his mistake and just how much we mean to him, it has been built up so much stronger and with a solid foundation. Yet, there is always a nagging fear that there is a crack somewhere and it will all come crashing down. It’s getting better for me, but I wish I could just find total peace and joy with how far we’ve come and look to the future. He has, but I can’t just yet. I hate that. I’m so scared to just let go of the rope and trust that all will be okay, and even if it isn’t, I’ll still be okay. God was there for me before and all through this and will continue to be there every step of the way still.

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