Joseph W. James, Ph.D.
4400 East-West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814
Day, Evening and Weekend Appointments
Maryland Affair Recovery Center
Maryland Affair Recovery: What Not to Do
What Not to Do When a Marital Affair is Uncovered
1) Bury your head in the sand and act as if nothing has happened. The problem with this approach is that you never deal with what led to the affair in the first place. People who talk about the affair are 60% more likely to remain together than people who don’t talk about the affair. Matter of fact, the affair may not end because you haven’t dealt with it
2) Become so scared that your relationship might end that you make mad efforts to recapture the magic and become close again. You may spend more time together, make love more often, and try to recreate in your relationship whatever might have been missing. There are two problems with this approach. The first is that no one can keep that pace up forever (especially if it is driven by panic or desperation) and things are bound to eventually slide back to where they were prior to discovering the affair. The second problem is that you never deal with what it was that led to the affair in the first place which makes your relationship highly vulnerable to the occurrence of another affair.
3) Try to get away from each other, avoid each other, retreat to different corners of the house, or perhaps live apart for a while until the anger simmers down. Sometimes a separation can be a last resort for reducing endless arguments or is important in stopping physical aggression that destroys whatever chances the relationship has. But at other times a separation at this point can deepen mistrust, drive partners further apart, and increase the outside person’s access to the affair partner.
Please feel free to contact me at 301.657.1144 to schedule an appointment or to find out more about my practice.