We have uncomfortable, awkward silences

-- Question for John --

We have been together for almost three years. We have uncomfortable, awkward silences, when nothing is said. We do not have a problem talking about subjects, or expressing ourselves, or opening up; it is the simple matter of the topic of conversing. I find that it has become increasingly troublesome to find topics of conversation.

She and I are still very much in love and want to work through this. I, however believe we need help. Please help me.

-- Answer from John --

There is an old trick for writer’s block. Start writing about how blocked you feel. Describe the feelings of being blocked in great detail. Plumb their depths, and it becomes a story in itself.

I suggest that when you get to those awkward moments, you stop thinking that there is something wrong about them. Instead, embrace them and use them as the very topic of conversation. This, of course, takes courage. I mean, you are now thinking this is something wrong and something that needs to be fixed, etc. But what if it’s the very thing that will take you to a new level of opening and connection?

The Japanese have an expression for this: “The obstacle IS the path.”

So I recommend that in order to change course on this, that you yourself change your attitude about this, from dread to curiosity. Begin to embrace it and start talking about it and explore it with each other more deeply whatever the discomforts are for each of you when you hit these moments.