The challenge of restoring trust shattered by cyber infidelity.
Of the many challenges that must be faced in the effort to heal a relationship damaged by cyber infidelity, perhaps the most daunting is that of the restoration of trust. The wounded partner is devastated by the betrayal. The resulting loss of faith in the relationship creates a feeling of being lost at sea. Beyond the great hurt that the person feels is a sense of having lost reality. The feeling of certainty and reliability is gone. As hard as it is to no longer believe in the relationship, even more devastating can be the self-doubt and lost confidence in personal judgment. The person no longer has confidence in what they thought they knew about their partner, their relationship, and sometimes about life itself.
The model of trust that most people follow when embarking upon a new love relationship is that of blind faith or blind trust. A wonderful feeling of confidence in knowing that there is a person with whom I can depend upon and who has my back in life tends to accompany the feeling of romantic love. This feeling contributes to a sense of personal security and well-being. When trust has been broken the blind faith or blind trust model no longer works. As a result, the wounded partner has no way forward. Even if the person very much wants to salvage the relationship, he or she no longer has a model of trust to rely upon. Even daring to trust again can cause the wounded partner to feel foolish. Sometimes well intended support from family and friends can reinforce this doubt.
The evidence-based model of restoring trust is a way forward.
The evidence-based model of trust is a way to regain a sense of reality, confidence, and to slowly restore trust in the relationship that has been damaged by cyber infidelity. By working collaboratively with Dr. Kanaris and the offending partner methods of transparency and cooperation are taught and developed. Transparency and even the voluntary limitation of the use of technologies such as the Internet, social media, tablets and smart phones is fostered. A team approach is created. Conflict is reduced as the adversary is seen as cyber infidelity and not each other. Slowly, the realistic and evidence-based trust is generated and enhanced. The blind faith or blind trust model is discarded. The old relationship is mourned and gradually the new one is celebrated.