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Should We Stay Together? Try Discernment Counseling

Meet Emma and Lucas (not their real names).


After years of misunderstanding and failed attempts with therapists who didn’t grasp the nuances of their neurodiverse relationship, they’re at their breaking point.


Their latest fight was the last straw: Emma felt dismissed when Lucas forgot their anniversary, and Lucas was overwhelmed by Emma’s emotional response.


Emma threatens divorce. But it doesn’t mean very much because she never acts on it.


They don’t know what to do.  


Desperation brought them to me with one GIGANTIC question:


Should we try to save this relationship?

On the Brink


When a neurodiverse marriage is on the brink of falling apart, couples face the hardest choice of their lives.


Here are some of the questions that haunt them:

  • Is this a phase in marriage that will pass? Is this just a personal crisis?  

  • Do I even want to work on it?  

  • If I make a decision to work on it, how can I be confident that it is the right one for me, or for us?  

  • What have I missed? Do I have a blind spot?  

  • Is my neurodiverse partner capable of change? Am I?  

  • Is it fair for me to ask him/her to change if that's not who he/she really is?  

  • What happens to our children? Will they be better off with us staying together in an unhappy marriage?  

  • Do I really understand the downside of divorce?  

Whether to stay married or get divorced is a multi-layered decision process. One that will confound even the most discerning people.


You will second guess yourself, ruminate over the decision, and even drive yourself to depression.


Sometimes you'll be tempted to decide just to end the misery of uncertainty. 

Discernment Counseling: A Path Forward 


Fortunately, there’s a way to help couples get unstuck: Discernment Counseling.


The goal of Discernment Counseling isn’t to solve your marital problems but to determine if they can be solved.


We answer 2 questions:


  1. What would have to change to make this relationship work?  

  2. Are we willing to sign up to work on the relationship for 6 months?


The Big Difference:


Unlike traditional couples counseling, which fights to save the marriage, Discernment Counseling focuses solely on helping couples decide what they want to do with their relationship.


Ready to Take the Next Step?


Nuts and Bolts of Discernment Counseling


Discernment Counseling:


  • Is a structured assessment process, not treatment.  

  • Is a brief, time-limited process, typically completed in five sessions or less.  

  • Slows down the impulse to act, encouraging a longer view of your marriage and a broader range of choices.  

  • Provides the key information needed to evaluate the relationship and take action—either to pursue a divorce or commit to a six-month course of intensive neuro-informed couples therapy.  

  • For neurodiverse couples, this information includes the input of a neuro-informed couples specialist who can explain what a 6-month therapy roadmap should look like for a neurodiverse couple.  

  • Identifies core areas each partner needs to work on, giving clarity on what each person needs to change.  

  • Answers the question: "Are you willing to work on changing your contributions to the marriage?"


If both partners answer "yes" to this question, they move forward and start working on their relationship intensely.


After six months, they revisit the question about whether to divorce, but by then, they have more knowledge and clarity about the true viability of their marriage.


By the way, some couples just can’t sign up for 6 months. It’s just too long so we break it up into 2 blocks of 3 months each where we revisit discernment after the first block to make sure we’re on track.


If either partner answers "no", your discernment counselor will support you in a healthy separation process or find ways to make the best of the status quo.

Beacon of Hope

We understand how lonely and desperate couples feel when on the brink of separation or divorce.


Discernment Counseling offers a beacon of hope.


Couples who go through this process often feel much better, no matter what path they ultimately choose.


It provides clarity, reduces uncertainty, and instills a sense of empowerment.


There is always hope, and we are here to support you every step of the way.

With heartfelt best wishes,



Dr. Harry Motro, LMFT, Clinical Director

Founder Neurodiverse Couples Counseling Center


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