Joseph W. James, Ph.D.
4400 East-West Highway
Suite 712
Bethesda, MD 20814
Day, Evening and Weekend Appointments

Maryland Affair Recovery Center
Maryland Affair Recovery Program Description
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Dr Joe’s Marital Affair Recovery System

Research has shown that your chances of not only surviving a marital affair, but using it as a catalyst to a better relationship are 60% greater if you talk about it at the right time and in the right way.

I’ve spent over 15 years of research and practice with countless couples developing a systematic program to help you recover from the pain of a marital affair.  My program is designed to help you to avoid all the traps that most couples fall into and to have the marriage you’ve dreamed of.

My marital affair recovery program is divided into three stages:

1)  Getting through the immediate shock and trauma of the affair in ways that provide a foundation for healing

2)  Working together to understand the marital affair: what it was about, what caused it and what you need to do to begin to rebuild your marriage.

3)  Rebuilding your marriage

Lets take a quick look at each stage in some detail:

Stage One: Crisis Management

The focus in the short term is more on crisis management than healing. Healing can’t occur without both of you being in a place where your emotions are not changing from hour to hour. 

Because of this, the heart of stage one is directed towards getting over the shock and learning how to talk to each other in ways that will be productive rather than destructive.  While there’s not a lot of healing that’s likely to happen right now the chances of your healing down the road could be strongly affected by how you deal with things in the immediate aftermath.

At this stage of the program, your therapy will vary between individual and couples sessions.

For the non-involved partner we will focus on getting over the shock of learning of the marital affair, how to retake control of your emotions and how to eliminate obsessive thinking and mental images about the affair. We’ll also focus on your sense of self worth.

For the involved partner we will focus on the feelings that led you to have the affair, how to permanently break off the relationship with the affair partner, how to deal with any feelings you may have about ending the affair, how to deal with the questions and emotional ups and downs that your partner is experiencing without becoming resentful and how to begin to rebuild your partner’s trust.

For you as couple we will focus on how to begin healing some of the wounds, what to talk about at this stage and how to talk about it, how to co-exist without constantly fighting and developing transparency and communication skills to trust that the affair is not continuing. If necessary, we will explore whether or not it makes sense to consider a temporary separation.

Stage Two: Understanding the Affair: What Led to It,
What Happened and What to Do About It

In stage two the vast majority of sessions will involve both of you. The focus of this stage is working together to understand both of your roles that led your relationship to become vulnerable to a marital affair. The story of the marital affair is usually shared at this stage of the program.

In Stage Two we will discuss:

What made your relationship vulnerable to an affair

Why its important to tell the story of the affair

The three stages of disclosure

How to constructively talk about the affair

How to forgive

Stage Three: Rebuilding the Relationship

In the final phase of the program we will still focus on the aftershocks of the affair, but the majority of your work will be on how to transform your relationship into a rock solid, affair proof partnership.

In Stage Three we will discuss:

Why people are attracted to each other and what causes relationships to sour

How to intuitively fulfill your partners needs while getting your needs met too

5 five minute techniques to build a stronger connection than you’ve ever had

The importance of shared rituals

The three levels of communication

How to plan your dream future together

Please feel free to contact me at 301.657.1144 to schedule an appointment or to find out more about my practice.