“The louse is still here,” a friend said. “I’m so enraged at his gall that I can’t see straight.”

Do you blame her? She found out he’d been unfaithful with not a stranger, but with her friend.

The shock of betrayal threatens to crumble our world. It dismantles all we hold trustworthy. And insecurity and doubt saturates right down to our lingerie.

So, what to do when he gets on his knees and begs for forgiveness?

Some believe him and forgive. Others want to make sure he pays big time. And yet others say they forgave but deep, really deep inside have tucked a container labeled, “Resentment.”

In the last scenario, life goes on. Marriage continues. Routine follows. But, the relationship is empty of passion and joy.

Here are seven ways to restore the romance and recover the joy eaten up by infidelity:

*Take a good look inside. What part of you can’t forgive? It could be that you still hold a huge imaginary bat wanting to clobber him again and again, but you can’t because you want the marriage to continue. So resentment wiggles in between the two of you during romantic nights. It’s time to open up. Let him know you need to wash out that residual hurt that has stuck in your heart like burnt cheese on the casserole dish. If not counseling, let him know in specific detail what you need from him to move beyond the hurt and resentment.

*Identify what area has suffered the most. It could be the fact you learned from someone else. Or the fact others knew and that you were the last one to find out. Or perhaps the “other person” was a close friend. If so, bitterness doubles because you now have another person to catch your wrath.

No matter how you learned, confidence must carry you. Your self-worth hasn’t been tarnished because of your spouse's lack of judgment or weakness. You still must display poise and grace. Why? Because you are still worthy of respect.

*Suspicion still nags when least expected. He’s late one night, so your mind takes a jet to the airport of worst-scenario thoughts. They simmer, and pretty soon they have your spouse in that same pit of infidelity. Pretty soon your emotions flare up and you nearly break out in a rash. Thoughts of suspicion can damage your security, your emotional balance and even your health.
Control your thoughts.

The Bible says we must hold our thoughts captive, and think of what’s right, lovely, good and praise-worthy. Your thinking will usher a healthier attitude. And when your spouse walks through the door, you’ll display a secure and attractive person worth admiring.

*Fear visits you at night. The “what ifs” taunt you like a pesky intruder. What if he or she would do it again? So you want to have that discussion again just so you can hear the, “I’ll never do it again” for the umpteenth time. But even that repetitive phrase doesn’t delete the fear of going through the same episode again.

It’s time to put fear where it belongs. “The Lord is my life and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” David said those words in Psalm 27. Standing on that conviction and truth closes the door to fear. Whether your spouse falls for temptation again or not must never affect your sense of security. Besides, fear and worry won’t change a thing. Fear focuses on the obstacle to joy; faith focuses on the secure outcome of our convictions.

*On guard. That’s been your mode since the reconciliation. You’re on guard to make sure your spouse is never close to that same situation. So you limit your social events. You make sure to stay away from the group of folks who learned about the ugly touch of infidelity. You have the solution—you choose the comfortable and secure-- just the two of you at home, safe from temptations.

You just put yourself in a prison.

Socializing and expanding our horizon with integrity-driven friends is healthy for you and for the relationship. And displaying a mature, confident self before friends and acquaintances will make you even more attractive to your spouse.

*Talk, talk and talk some more. When those moments of doubt and hurt bubble up, let your spouse know. But the key is to exude poise and wisdom as you try to express and share your intimate feelings. But what if he or she is fed up with your constant mention of the same old thing? A counselor might be the next step. Sessions will identify what walls you put up that keep you from offering complete and unconditional forgiveness.

*Declare your freedom once you recognize you didn’t cause the unfaithfulness (by the way, no situation can be devastating enough to justify infidelity in a marriage). You can take a deep breath; sit back in the comfortable sofa of integrity. You were the better person who remained faithful. You deserve a life of contentment and joy. And you can further declare that you will achieve it—not through your spouse or the relationship—but through God. He can bridge the gap left in your heart. He can put the salve on the wound. He can bring wisdom to control your thoughts. And He will bring back the confidence to live the abundant life He’s promised.

Your spouse promised to stick by you for better or for worse. But he or she never vowed to be the author of your happiness or to bring fulfillment or significance to your life. All mentioned depend on you, on your commitment to God’s ways, and your resolve that no other human can determine your sense of security, degree of contentment, or level of joy.

Author's Bio: 

Janet Perez Eckles is an expert in overcoming painful adversities. Her messages and writings reflect her own victories. She coaches women to triumph over physical disabilities, infidelity, heartache and sorrow.