09/17/2013 05:53 pm ET Updated Nov 16, 2013

In a Marriage, Is Silence Golden or Deadly?

I've been married 14 years and with my husband for 17 years. Suffice it to say -- yes, there are times we have become that couple who I swore we'd NEVER become. We have indeed, sat in a restaurant, at our kitchen table, in the car, in our bed, in our living room and in just about any other situation you can conceive of in pure, unadulterated -- and at times deafening silence. And not just silence for a minute or two -- but silence that stretches far beyond those moments in which you take a breath and/or swallow your bite of food and then continue your conversation.

So how does this bode for my relationship? Does the fact that we sit in relative silence -- quite often -- mean that our relationship/marriage is in the TOILET?! Does it mean that we've run out of things to say to one another? And if we have run out of things to say to one another -- does that effectively spell the end of our relationship? Does this mean we are doomed to become one of those couples who simply STOP TALKING TO EACH OTHER -- and the kind you see in a diner sitting across from one another and eating a meal without uttering a single word -- and you think, I feel so bad for those two.

Before you start writing us off -- and taking bets on who will get to keep the house (FYI -- my husband says he will be buried in our house) here are my thoughts on the all-important "is silence golden or deadly to your relationship?" debate:

#1 It is okay to run out of material. When you get to a point in your relationship/marriage where conversation is not forced and you simply feel comfortable enjoying the ability to be together in the same space and enjoying eachother's quiet energy, that is a GOOD THING.

#2 Women often feel like they need to chatter and fill space. Don't be THAT PERSON. Don't force conversations. Don't be afraid of silence -- don't just fill space. It is important to give each other time and space and to be OKAY with the silence. In fact -- practice healthy silence -- for example when you are in the car -- let music be a shared silent experience.

#3 Remember there is good and bad silence. Being in the same room on your devices- can be loud ignoring silence whereas good silence can be simply being in the moment in nature, on the couch watching TV or just being together.

So -- spill it -- are you afraid of silence in your relationship?

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