Cyber infidelity creates profound hurt and a deep emotional wound on the part of the betrayed partner. It levels a terrible blow to self esteem. A sense of inadequacy and inferiority can be created or exacerbated. Vulnerabilities and body image are worsened. Childhood insecurities are raised and inflamed. Feelings of sexual inadequacy can develop. Anxiety, panic, insomnia, loss of appetite or excessive appetite, loss of joy, depression and overall emotional liability may develop.
The therapeutic approach consists of both identifying and validating this profound wound. The person needs to be helped to understand that while they may not be the cause of the problem their constructive participation in the treatment process is vital to the solution of the problem. Their thoughts and feelings must be understood and validated not just by the therapist, but also by the offending partner. The offending partner must show complete tolerance, acceptance, and understanding of the harm that’s been caused. Tolerance for the roller coaster of emotion that will unfold and the repetitive questions about the cyber affair must be demonstrated time and time again. Acceptance of responsibility, tolerance, and even providing support in the face of the wounded partner’s anger and lashing out behaviors must be demonstrated. By using this collaborative team approach over time the wound will heal. The emotional scar may remain, but the wound will heal.