During the COVID crisis, I am continuing to see most clients via telehealth, but I am seeing a few select clients in person.
Please feel free to contact me at 240-485-6053 for more information.

6917 Arlington Road Suite 216
Bethesda, MD 20814
Day, Evening and Weekend Appointments Available

It's not as hopeless as it feels...

For many of us relationships serve as the very foundation of our lives. You build your home, your daily routine, your parenting and your very identity around your relationship. Relationships, even unhappy ones, give your life a sense of predictability and meaning.

An affair can rob you of that sense of certainty. All of a sudden, all that seemed true is thrown into question.

The emotions of the partner who had the affair are oftentimes just as confusing or conflicted. Their feelings may lurch from guilt and fear to impatience and anger to fear of losing their marriage to wanting to run away all within a few hours or days.

The Secret to Staying Together After an Affair

The good news is that your feelings about the affair won’t last forever (hard as that might be to believe right now). The roller coaster of emotions that both of you are on is just your minds way of trying to make sense of something so shocking.

In fact, the majority of couples who experience an affair remain together. The strongest predictor of success is what you say and how and when you say it. Research has shown that if you talk about the affair in the right way you are roughly 60% more likely to stay together than if you don’t talk or talk very little.

I’ve been helping couples get beyond the trauma of infidelity since 1995. My mission is to not only help you to avoid all the pitfalls that have led others to divorce or stay in an unhappy marriage but to rebuild trust and connection. To laugh and have fun. To have great sex.  To help you see one another in a new light so that you can treat each other with the love that you both want and deserve.

Every couple is different but in essence affair recovery therapy can be broken down into 3 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 relationship


In practice, these aren’t truly stages that follow one another sequentially but are often interwoven together. For example, it’s often very difficult to get over the shock of an affair without having some shared understanding of what the underlying reasons for it are. It’s also difficult to get over the shock without making sure you make the time and effort to have fun together to remind you that rebuilding trust and your relationship happens through shared experience as much as through serious conversations.

Why Such a Strong Emphasis on Rebuilding the Relationship?

My immediate goal is to help you to recover from the affair, but the ultimate goal of my system is to help you recover your relationship.

Research has shown that the number one reason both men and women report themselves to have affairs is because of a loss of intimacy or connection in their marriage. Despite everything you may have heard, most people don’t have affairs for sex but rather to regain a sense of connection or of feeling valued and desired.

You might be able to get over the shock of the affair, but unless you relearn how to trust and become intimate with each other you most likely will end up with a shell of a relationship, sharing the same roof but not the same lives.

Because of this, I have developed a process based on scientific research and 25 plus years of experience of working with couples in distress that will provide you with some very simple tools to help you rebuild your relationship into something stronger than it was before.

Affair Recovery Therapy can help you:

Stop the roller coaster of emotions that occur when a marital affair is uncovered

Talk through the details of the affair without destroying your relationship

Stop the power struggle

Learn to communicate in ways you never have before

Discover what is missing in your relationship and how to get it

Learn to forgive

Restore trust

Restore love and connection in your marriage

Take some time and look around my site. It will help you to understand how my affair recovery program works, learn about the different types of affairs, how to recognize the signs that a partner may be having an affair and much more.

10 Signs Your Relationship Needs Help

  1. Communication seems like it is going in circles
  2. S/he seems unwilling to compromise
  3. Our personalities seem incompatible
  4. His/Her family gets in the way
  5. Fighting is cruel
  6. Fighting never seems to reach resolution
  7. Your fights become physical
  8. You rarely or never have sex
  9. You can’t agree on how to raise or discipline your children
  10. You have discussed or fantasized about divorce

What Kind of Relationship Do You Have?

Fulfilled: You are best friends and lovers in every sense of the word. You feel supported by and are supportive of one another. You can’t imagine a sharing your with a different partner.

Friendship: You are a team and may or may not feel like your partner is your best friend. But the passion is gone. It may feel more like you are running a business together than being lovers. There are some simmering resentments underneath that you can’t seem to resolve and your fights may have a repetitive quality to them.

Detached: You feel like two ships passing in the night. While you may each know your roles in keeping the house running there is no sense of teamwork. You have lingering disdain for one another. You are together more out of habit than any sense of passion or love.

One Foot Out the Door: You’re planning or fantasizing about your exit.

The Secret Ingredients That Make a Relationship Work

Dr. Joe in the Media

Your Journey Begins with a Single Step

After over 25 years of practice I’m convinced that the hardest part of therapy is reaching out with that first phone call or first email to inquire about an appointment.

In all likelihood you came to this page because you’ve been struggling or suffering for quite awhile and you don’t seem to be able to find the answers on your own.

Chances are that if there were an answer you could find on your own you would have discovered it by now. Every day you wait makes it a little worse.

You don’t have to struggle on your own; give a call (240-485-6053) or drop a line (DrJoe@DrJoeJames.com) for a free 20-minute consultation where we can talk and figure out what the best course of action may be for you.

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