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 often live with more 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.




27 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. I wish us all peace. Nearly four years on and for me the pain is greater today than at the point of discovery. I cant feel the same about my husband and I am stuck in a kind of perverted purgatory state.
    Do I stay or do I leave and start again fresh ? Should I not free my husband so he can find happiness rather than stagnant in guilt. Should I not be setting my three daughters a better example? I want so much to move on. For now I wait and hope for the strength to know what to do.
    Happy New Year Brave women x

  6. 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.

    • I am now 5yrs from dday 1. We were married for 24 yrs when i discovered his year long emotional. .turned physical (after 9mth long distant)affair.(don’t know exactly because he still to this day doesn’t answer any of my questions,so i can only go by the emails,texts,phone records that i found). I have stayed with him although after confronting him in dec 2012 he left to be with her jan 2,2013. He returned 4 days later due to a health issue.It has been a struggle, I love him,but i will never BE In love with him like i used to be. I don’t trust him still ,i feel lonely most days. Some days i want to run away,but my 3 grown kids and grandbabies are what keep me here. I question our entire marriage together,especially after reading things he wrote to her. I made a commitment before God,family and friends all those years ago and feel as i will fail them if i leave. Not to mention he has alot of health issues that i couldn’t live with myself if i were to leave and something happened to him. We are both still pretty young (me 46,him 51,although his health makes him never wanting to go anywhere or do anything), this is supposed to be OUR time to enjoy things..we don’t.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. I am 2 years post discovery and resonate with your feelings. The bucket takes longer to fill, but fill it does. I wish it didn’t. There are more good days than bad, but there isn’t a day I don’t think of the OW and how we got here. People think we are the power couple because he shows show much affection and caring to me. I just want to scream and yell the truth. Then I sit back and realize how hard he is trying to rectify the mess he made. He knows he has broken our marriage vows (over and over again), and knows that trust will be hard to build again. We have changed many things the last 18 months – we workout together, we go on dates, we cook and clean together, we talk. I encourage him to spend time 1:1 with our college aged daughter whose trust he has also betrayed and that is going better for both of them. So for 2018, I too want balance. I want the trust to grow, but I seriously doubt that it will ever be 100%. Those scars are there for a reason. But God wants us to love Him and He will guide us. Put our trust there and the rest will be taken care of. Good luck and best wishes for a balanced 2018!

  10. Wow I’m only a few months in on finding this blog. I’m also just shy of a year since discovering my husband’s affair. It will be one year on Jan 13… our sons birthday. I feel that since the discovery of the affair happened in the new year, it’s like a chance for a new beginning when the New Years ball drops. This blog enlightens me and depresses me, but gives me hope. I’m not alone!!!! It’s been such a lonely lonely year. I’ve lost friends, gained new ones, rebuilt my life, was a crazy mommy now a calm mommy. To be with a group of women who understand what it’s like: priceless. I also have been married for 16 years, 3 kids, and wasn’t willing to give it up. Not yet anyway. I look forward to this blog like a candle in the night. Thank you to all the brave women who share their truth. Blessings.

  11. Thank you so much for your blog. It has really helped me get through this. My D day was only 2 1/2 months ago. I have no idea how Iam going to get through this but I just take it day by day. We have been married for almost 15 years with 2 children. I need the strength to get through this and find my peace.

  12. 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.

  13. I cheated on my husband in 2016 and when he found out I decided to stay and Work this relationship because I still loved him. Two- three months of fighting he said he was going to give me another chance. Jan 2017 I was pregnant. He had doubts about the pregnancy but as a women I was sure it was his. Still in my later months of pregnancy I started having doubts too. I was scared that I didn’t wanted to ruin our relationship I texted the guy I cheated on to make sure. After I had the baby in august 2017 I found out my husband was having affair in October 2017.
    PPD and breastfeeding did not help me be calm. I texted the girl begged her to leave my husband. I cut my wrist because I was so hurt and alone. The cut was not deep and I didn’t end up in hospital. He then took me to my gynecologist told me he was going to stop talking to her. We went to therapy but we stopped because he said it was not working. In the beginning of December he said he wants to go away and think about this relationship. That he needed some alone time. He went away for the weekend that was supposed to be to Austin, but I found out he was visiting the girl. She was from New York. I found out after snooping around that he had got another phone line and that’s how he has been in touch with her. He has been buying gifts to her. Now he is saying he wants divorce.
    I am completely broken and weak, alone with a four month old son. Which is his we also did a dna test. I am going away for three months to my country in a week and I was hoping and praying he would change his decision and his heart. Please pray for me. I really love this man. Even though I found out he is buying her stuffs and sending it to New York. And even though I am pretty sure he will or she will visit while I’m gone. I just want my husband back. Is it wrong??

  14. A notification of your post came to me in the morning while sipping my coffee. You are my crystal ball — and as I am clicking to open your email — I am holding my breath — I am so hopeful to read that you have been miraculously healed and feel 100% whole again. I see this is not the case and I have to tell you, I sobbed. I sobbed so hard right there in my kitchen, head in my hands, just sobbing. You are just a little over five years into this, which means, I’ve got a long journey ahead of me but your posts are so comforting to me and I am so grateful to have found you ♥

  15. Thank you for blog and support from author and other ladies. Now I know it can happen to the best of us. I never in my bad dreams thought it would happen to me. But again, I never took responsibility for my husband’s affair. It was his selfishness put us to this mess we are living now. I did sign separation papers and can leave any minute but I learn to think more rationally than emotionally. Emotionally it hurts bad, every day (we are over 6 month past) but rationally with all his commitment to fix things, lots of talking and therapy I decided to stay and work on it hoping to create a better and stronger relationship. And if he fails or things do not work out, well, I will have the answer by then. I am glad I didn’t abandon our marriage and separate little children with their loving father (no matter how rotten I though of him as a husband) but I am at about turning point of acceptance and moving forward and letting the pain go because it’s a nightmare to live in it. What haunts me the most and maybe you, wise ladies can help and give advice, is that when I was ready to leave giving him papers and announcing the fact to the family, it was all discussed. I told the truth who’s fault of broken family it was when the questions rose up, so we could still coexist all together and share the love to our children. His parents, siblings, some of close common friends found it out! even though they were disgusted by his actions as they told me (or were they really?) I feel like their attitude towards me has changed too. Now, I just can’t make peace with this though. I can’t be around these people as I feel judged for weakness (not for his betrayal as I know everybody thinks he is lucky to have me). They visit a lot, and I try to hide behind work or duties as I can’t push out a smile and possibly look like an old bitter lady 🙂 (I am just very honest person). Any advice on how to overcome this feeling and enjoy company?

    • Karian-
      I think what you have written only shows what a lonely process this is. Despite the support we may actually have from a spouse or people we know, for me anyway, there is always a sense of sadness I feel in ever conversation or outing. My smile is never 100% real. As others have said staying is the new shame. At 6 months out I felt like a total imposter. I hated being around others even if they didn’t know. Actually we never know who knows are not. It is amazing how affairs get out. The silent epidemic. All I can tell you is today it is better and it’s almost 3 years. We are still together but I am not 100% committed to this relationship. I doubt I ever will be again. I will always keep a part of me at a distance for my own defense. Sorry I doubt they helped at all but I do understand. It’s a conundrum- if you don’t tell others you don’t feel right because you feel like you are a faker , and if you do tell you still don’t feel right, you feel like a fool.

  16. This is so beautiful. So, so beautiful. Your words resonate with me completely and I’ve listened to the song on loop. Thank you for sharing. I also love reading the conversation that ensues. In the literally huuuuge world wide web, it’s so amazing to find others with such similar stories.

  17. It’s been one year today…tonight actually. It hurts…a lot. It feels so fresh again…like a re-opened wound. I feel I am ready to throw in the towel. I tried….I really tried. He is sorry. He has done literally everything he can possibly do for a year. He has listened, talked, gone to countless hours of therapy, and stood strong against my waves of anger. But…it’s not enough. I don’t love him. I wanted to be that couple that came out of this better than we went in. Prior to his affair, I told him that I would never forgive infidelity…I just knew my personality wouldn’t be able to deal. I knew 30 seconds after finding out that it was over between us. I stayed because I thought I owed it to my kids to try. I know now, that was wrong. I shouldn’t have given them or him the false hope. Now I have to re-open their wounds too. I commend all of you who worked and continue to work. I wish I had your faith and your tenacity.

    • It might be that you just aren’t ready to love again. A year may not have been enough time for your heart to heal. If your husband has put effort into helping you to heal and changing his behavior, it seems that there could be the possibility of your trust being completely restored–that is one thing it will take to love him again. He will also need to earn your respect. Only a few months ago, I thought I was in your same situation. My husband had been to therapy and was doing the “work,” But, I just didn’t love him anymore. However, recently my trust in him has started to be restored. I also am feeling respect for him again. On many days, now, I feel love for him again. (It has been over 2 years since this nightmare began to unfold.) This is mainly due to his actions–those related to supporting me in my journey and what appears to be his genuine desire to be a better man. I saw him taking the “beating” without slashing out at me–I had to over and over and over again explain my pain to him and the damage his actions, including dishonestly, had done to our decades old marriage. It is very understandable if you just can’t love him! But, it might be worth it in the end to give it a little more time. I wish you well.

  18. Thank you for this blog. My D-Day was 9/15/2017, although, I had “known” since June…I don’t know if I ignored my husband’s affair or pretended to believe his lies..but by 9/15…I had hard proof. I’m still reeling. I’m still trying to understand not just what the hell he did, but what the hell am I doing? I just found your blog tonight and have been pouring over the entries. Many of your words sound like the thoughts in my head. I am grateful for your eloquence. For the first time, since D-Day, I do not feel alone.

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