It’s tempting, because it’s easier, to resolve a fight with calls for coming together. But a desire for healing is not enough.

Prism
Prism
Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

To stay together over the long haul, couples must learn how to fight. How to argue, how to air grievances, how to repair and come back together.

The first step is to stop and listen to the other person — and have them explain their perspective. What just happened, in their eyes. Literally, what did they hear, what did they do, what did their partner say, what did their partner do.

Then the other person speaks.

And it’s surprising to hear the same event from two different perspectives. What you realize, ideally, is that you agree fairly quickly on what happened — but vary widely on how you and your partner felt about them, or how they made you each of you feel and how you both internalized them. …


Writers face a critical decision for the setting of new fiction. Will their stories take place before, after or during the pandemic?

Sunrise or sunset?
Sunrise or sunset?
Photo by Federico Respini on Unsplash

I’m writing a short story about a man driving alone halfway away across the country; he’s moving to a new city, on his way to his wife and child who are waiting for him. He pulls off the highway to stop for gas, and decides to fill up at a station a bit further down the road, one that looks smaller and more quaint than your typical Shell or Exxon. He winds up making friends with the elderly station owner. They shake hands, even. Twice.

As I was re-reading and editing, I realized that this story, first started last year, takes place in a time when such a thing was not just possible, but normal. …


While we long for the past, we need to be creative, bold and empathetic about the future.

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Photo from Shutterstock

Christmas morning, 2019. I sit on my friend’s couch and stare out the window.

The fireplace is on, the tree is lit, Christmas music is playing, we’re on our second pot of coffee, and outside the sky is grey and tree limbs are bare.

No cars drive by, no one is out walking, the street is quiet, and outside all seems still, a serenity deeper than early Sunday mornings settles upon houses and lawns.

As someone relatively new to looking at Christmas as something other than a day off from work with a lot of basketball games on, a day I’d have to plan around even though it meant little to me, I searched for a religious comparison. …


Trust your values, even if they aren’t traditionally masculine. Act in the common good. Take less, and with permission.

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Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash

We can’t save the Earth if half the people on it don’t want to.

Or are unwilling or unable to because they are trapped in mindsets and driven by lifestyles that are unsustainable.

At the risk of a massive generalization, men are the ones standing in the way of a cleaner, healthier planet.

The change required is far deeper than men needing to recognize that climate change exists. Nor is it limited to men taking even the most basic steps in daily life that considers a world — most especially the natural world — beyond and around them.

This not about a label nor an identity, but a mind-frame, a different way of being. It requires an introspection of modern American masculinity itself — and an honest reckoning with traits and manners of being that need to evolve for life on Earth to continue. …


First-time sex with someone new is exciting. But how will months of social isolation make this first time different?

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Photo from Shutterstock

The race is still on between the development of a Covid-19 vaccine and me having sex again.

It’s a race that started at pretty much the same time, but work on the vaccine has been going on around the clock, and there’s been much progress.

On my end? Twitter, writing, working, walks around the block and…yeah.

Part of pandemic existence is anxiety over the future, on every front.

And for those who entered and have endured the pandemic single and alone (even if, like me, you just barely made the cut) one of those anxieties is sex.

In a world where we must remain six feet from each other, it’s difficult to realistically imagine rekindling a sex life. …


Changing what we value in strength will help us redefine masculinity for the better.

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Photo by Krisjanis Mezulis on Unsplash

One man who rejects wearing a mask looks at another man with no problem wearing a mask and calls the mask-wearer weak. The one without a mask derides how the other looks in one.

By going against advice, science and intelligence, he tries to make himself look tough and strong.

In doing so he puts his health and the health of his family and co-workers at risk.

What kind of strength is one that leads to not being able to protect yourself, your family and others around you, and worse, endangers them? …


Interrupting and talking over others is not just boorish and rude. It’s a means of dis-empowering and silencing.

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Image by Giacomo Zanni from Pixabay

What we witnessed during the vice-presidential debate was a man repeatedly talking over a woman. He would not let her speak. He imposed his words, his presence, over hers.

He was trying to silence and erase her voice, and in doing so, make her presence both mute and moot.

We saw similar behavior at the presidential debate. One man continually would not stop talking and interrupting, trying to drown out the other person’s voice, imposing his presence at all times.

Across social media there was a groan of frustration and recognition from women who have experienced this behavior before, especially, but not only, in the workplace. …


In love, deleting your history is far more complicated than clicking a link.

Blank chalkboard
Blank chalkboard
Photo from Shutterstock

Netflix kept crashing on my computer. I thought it was because of my ten-plus-year-old machine.

But then I tried a different browser (from Safari to Chrome) and it worked like a charm. And this MacBook got a new lease.

I had forgotten all you get used to in your normal browser, all the log-ins, and passwords.

I see a promotional “you might like” email from Amazon. They got me, so I add the item (compostable garbage bags) and then see the total cost of my cart at around $96. I’d pay $12 for green garbage bags, but not $96.

So I go into my cart and see four items there that I don’t recognize. I finally notice that I am accessing my ex-girlfriend’s Amazon account. She’d used this computer many times, and I think not only preferred Chrome to Safari but used it as a way to keep her internet stuff and my internet stuff on this machine separate. …


The concept of ‘we’ and repairing the world gets clouded by being so separated from what we want to make better.

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Photo by Sole D’Alessandro G. on Unsplash

One of the things that makes the Yom Kippur Eve service, known as Kol Nidre, so powerful is knowing that so many Jews worldwide are collectively standing together to greet and welcome the holiest day of the year.

I don’t attend religious services as much as I used to, going, at this point, no more than a few times a year.

But I have never not attended a Kol Nidre service in person. Not until this year, of course, when so many of the traditions and rituals I and the rest of the world have followed and depended upon for meaning, for connection, for orienting ourselves in time and space, have crumbled out of respect for nothing less than the value of human life and keeping us and our neighbors safe. …


‘Letting go’ is easier said than done, but it’s the only way to truly recover from a break-up, separation or divorce.

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Image by Andreas Dressler from Pixabay

In the movie Swingers, Mike (played by Jon Favreau) is consoled by his friend Rob (played by Ron Livingston) about his break-up, and the long path of healing from it.

“It’s like you wake up every day and it hurts a little less, and then you wake up one day and it doesn’t hurt at all. And it’s like, and this might sound a little weird, but it’s like you almost miss that pain.”

The pain one feels after a break-up or separation becomes a companion, wanted or not, a constant presence following you everywhere you go. …

About

Scott Gilman

Thinking and writing about my place in the world, and making myself (and the world) a little bit better.

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