The Seduction of the Betrayed If you’re a regular on my blog, you’ll note that I make no excuses for my infidelity or anyone else’s. Bad marriages don’t cause infidelity, bad choices do. Betrayed spouses often believe if they would have just had more sex with their spouse, or paid attention to their needs, they wouldn’t have cheated. That reasoning is flawed entirely. Sure, sure there may have been vulnerabilities within the marriage, yet the fact remains, we cheat out of selfishness and dysfunction. It’s at this point however that we must note the battle the betrayed must fight. It’s a battle against seduction. Typically, I see the betrayed seduced by bitterness, anger and resentment. Don’t the betrayed have a right to be angry? Absolutely. However, what I’m speaking to is the seduction to be consumed by anger, resentment and perpetual disrespect to the detriment of your recovery and your ability to experience peace and freedom in the future. We focus a lot on the struggle of the unfaithful to no longer be seduced by their addiction, their affair partner, or even their selfishness and it’s definitely valid. Yet, not to be overlooked, the betrayed has a battle to fight as well. The betrayed has to fight against holding on to anger and holding on to resentment and an unleveled playing field with their cheating spouse for the rest of their lives. Do they have a right to process their feelings? Without a doubt. Do they have a right to hammer away asking question upon question till they get the truth? Yes. I truly believe so. Do they have a right to remain bitter and resentful? I don’t believe so, and I see it as a deathnail to marriages every week. I make this point solely because I hope you understand that remaining angry and bitter - while valid - only destroys you. You are punishing yourself more than your mate, and you don’t deserve that. The intensity of emotions during recovery is where the seduction comes in. It seems invigorating. It seems as though you have a right to this bitterness and your pain entitles you to do whatever you need to do to survive. It seems terrifying to let of this anger. You don’t want your spouse to get off easy, yet it only clouds your judgment and reasoning faculties. It’s seductive because it seems like it’s the right thing to do, yet in the end will only exacerbate things and make life harder for both parties seeking reconciliation or even seeking new life. How long you say, will the seduction last? Probably about a year or even two years; Rick says 18-24 months. It really depends on the personality and life experiences of the betrayed, but typically one has to fight this battle as a betrayed for between a year and two years. It also depends on the severity of offense or multiple offenses. Hence the reason it’s vital to get the right help one needs to process through the anger and bitterness, while refusing to allow the seduction to win. I heard long ago, “there is some truth in every lie,” and that’s what makes the deception so difficult to fight off. Our sense of entitlement when we’ve been wronged can seem like a friend, yet turn on us at just the right moment. It’s hard as hell I know. From watching Samantha fight her own battle against it, to helping numbers of other betrayed spouses fight through this war, it’s not for the faint of heart. It is in fact, possible though. You’ll need help to do it and you’ll need community who can stand with you. I’d give Harboring Hope a try before I’d do any other support group as you need a specific group of people (and game plan) who are also going through betrayal to stand with and come out on the other side.