Men's Discussion Topics and Possible Exercises

by Tony Bushman

Men's Path to Fulfillment:
A Guide for Men's Groups and Individuals
With Personal Exercises

By F. Anthony Bushman Ph. D., M. Divinity.


• To share opinions about topics of interest to men
• To have a good time sharing and being with men


This activity could be done at a men's breakfast, or in a men's group, or around a campfire. It can be done in many other formats as well.


Step 1: Agree on a topic, procedure, and a facilitator/ timer.
Step 2: Start talking

Future Action:

Think of other issues you would like to have discussed and indicate the five most interesting ones for you and share that with the group the next time to determine what topics to discuss in the future.

Reference Materials:

Some possible topics are listed below.

  1. Take any of the headings for the exercises in this book and use it as a discussion topic. Also many of the exercises have interesting questions within them for broader discussions.
  2. What is a healthy relationship?
  3. Mid- Life issues
  4. Vacation with the kids?
  5. Being positive
  6. Being more assertive
  7. Accepting ourselves
  8. How to handle male bashing- getting respect, being valued
  9. When and how to complain effectively
  10. Listening more effectively
  11. To be or not to be honest
  12. My partner just doesn't understand me
  13. Divorce- the good, the bad and the ugly
  14. How to create trust
  15. Nurturing your relationship
  16. Getting more balance in your life
  17. Building self-esteem in myself and others
  18. Intimacy- its risks and rewards
  19. Power, control and love
  20. Is it time to move on?
  21. Relationship responsibility
  22. Putting old resentments behind us.
  23. Managing to disagree
  24. Financial management / budgeting
  25. Investing wisely
  26. Preparing for retirement early- power of compounding
  27. Developing long term relationships
  28. Feeling loved
  29. Feeling valued
  30. Travel ideas
  31. Low cost activities & outings
  32. Sexual harassment outside the workplace
  33. Time to separate?
  34. Your next relationship
  35. Aspects of compatibility
  36. Living the single life
  37. Making marriage happen
  38. Setting acceptable limits
  39. What to do when your partner is withholding love or support
  40. Getting the love you want
  41. Can you give too much?
  42. Jealousy- love or insecurity
  43. Getting out of your rut
  44. The separate languages- his & hers
  45. Whatever happened to romance?
  46. Is your _(pet, TV, Computer, etc.) fulfilling your relationship needs?
  47. How to stay in love
  48. What are we thankful for?
  49. Creating ritual in your life
  50. Asking for 100% of what we want 100% of the time
  51. What are the major choices you have made in the last year?
  52. What are you looking for? Is it realistic?
  53. Focus in our lives- are we really going somewhere intentionally?
  54. Can we be truly honest
  55. What does it take to be your real self?
  56. Safety: How do we make ourselves safer
  57. What would it take for me to dare to live my dreams?
  58. Should I vent or hold back most of those things that bother me?
  59. What do many men not know about women
  60. What are the ways to express "I love you"
  61. What are the ways you would like someone to say "I love you"
  62. How to train your willing partner to give you what you want
  63. How to select a good advisor, psychotherapist, or confidant
  64. How to select a church or synagogue or place of worship
  65. How to pray / meditate
  66. How to hug, why hug
  67. What to do about a bitchy partner
  68. What to do about a selfish partner
  69. How to develop a healthy sensuality in your children (0 to 12)
  70. Thriving in early fatherhood (0 to 3 years)
  71. Developing fathering skills for children 4-10
  72. Developing fathering skills for children 11- 15
  73. Rites of passage for children (initiation rituals)
  74. Dealing with your parents after you no longer live with them
  75. Dealing with your in-laws
  76. Relating to gay men
  77. Giving gifts to your partner
  78. Giving gifts to children (2-5) (minors)
  79. To marry or partnership unmarried?
  80. What to do when your princess turns into a witch
  81. Getting your priorities straight- living a full, balanced life
  82. How to become less sexist
  83. How to become more tolerant
  84. Moving from domination to partnershipping
  85. Putting more comfort in your life
  86. Putting more pleasure in your life
  87. How to affair- proof your marriage
  88. How can you make your sex life more fulfilling
  89. Getting more recreational companionship from your partner
  90. In what areas could your partner be more open & honest with you?
  91. What do you need to do to be more attractive to your partner
  92. What can you do to provide adequate family financial security?
  93. Can your costs be reduced with little change in your quality of life
  94. Are you getting the domestic support you want?
  95. How can your partner appreciate and admire you more?
  96. What improvements could you make in your parenting skills?
  97. Is it really the little things in life that matter?
  98. The best vacation I ever had was......
  99. A good way I could have more fun with this men's group is.....
  100. What are some things I would like to discuss with a men's group?
  101. What is loving behavior
  102. Are you ready to marry?
  103. What are your self-limiting beliefs and how can you change them?
  104. How can you develop a surplus in your life?
  105. Being compassionate
  106. Alternative healing methods
  107. Apologizing
  108. Coping with defeat
  109. How much sacrifice?
  110. Overcoming anxiety
  111. Finding and befriending my shadow
  112. How to be a coach
  113. Betrayals
  114. Handling the desire that makes me restless
  115. When I feel abandoned
  116. Journal writing- pros & cons
  117. The internet and e-mail- present and future
  118. Should I have a Web page?
  119. Do we have any musicians here? Shall we jam?
  120. Do we have any hikers here? Shall we hike?
  121. How to stop giving more than you get in love (BD p. 111)
  122. What to do when your partner gets upset or emotional (BD p.138)
  123. What to do when your partner is stingy/ not giving?
  124. How to say "no" to your partner
  125. What to do when your partner says "No" to you
  126. The value of starting your retirement savings in your 20's.
  127. When will you have enough funds to retire?
  128. Have you sufficiently acknowledged your friends?
  129. Do you have adequate Long Term Health Care for your parents/Self?
  130. What kind of exercise program could actually work for you?
  131. What kind of nutritional program could actually work for you?
© F. Anthony Bushman, January 1, 1999

Possible Exercises

  1. How to Find Abundance and Surplus in Our Lives
  2. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
  3. Coming of Age- Transitions RB- 30
  4. How to be More Loving
  5. Managing Disagreement Constructively
  6. Consequences of Being Protective
  7. Bridging the Gender Gap
  8. Learning from Conflict
  9. Communication Barriers/ Listening Skills
  10. Coping with Defeat
  11. Assertiveness
  12. Negotiating
  13. Being Compassionate
  14. Apologizing
  15. Feelings Aerobics- Knowing what your feeling JG2 & p. 32;FB-2;JB-4
  16. How Much Sacrifice is Healthy
  17. Women's Power Over Men
  18. Handling Personal Finances
  19. Handling Insults to Us.
  20. Saying "No" in a win / win Way FB-4
  21. Forgiving ourselves and others TS 4-7
  22. Celebrating Fathers Day
  23. How to Safely Emotionally Dump on your Partner -Harvelle Hendrix
  24. When and How to Leave a Relationship JG- 9; FB-9
  25. Rituals men need for affirming/initiation, midlife crises KT6:14 &64
  26. Handling Male Bashing, negative stereotyping, devaluing KT-17; FB4
  27. Getting thru a crises JG-7; FB 4;
  28. Changing negative complaints into positive suggestions JG 2&5
  29. Pleasuring your partner JG-8; FB-4
  30. How to make a good thing better JG-8, p.189, 201
  31. Overcoming our sexual fears & directing energies MK-10MF 6-7
  32. Accepting my father, finding myself JL- 10
  33. Becoming Good Fathers TO p.108; RB-86 &102
  34. Coping with your Mid-life crises JS 5; FB-6;
  35. Dealing With Loneliness
  36. What is a Playful Relationship FB 4
  37. Men as parents, nurturers, fathers FB-8;FA-17,31,36;JB-2
  38. Men as protectors, the draft, FB -11; RB-215-30; JB-8
  39. Where are you in the Men's Lib Movement? FB-13,14;KC4&8; RF-6
  40. What to do about being over mothered? JF 2
  41. What are Dads for? JF-6, Ellium
  42. Healing our father wound JF 11,12; FA-7,10
  43. Making Amends TS-4-9; AA
  44. Making the transition in new male roles HG-NM-6-8
  45. How to have playfulness in your relationships HG-NM-9
  46. Being an authentic companion without psuedosupport HG-NM-220
  47. How to choose a partner HG-IM-5
  48. Feelings: When are they real -when can they be trusted HG-IM-13
  49. Divorce HG-H-11; RB-126
  50. How to grow old gracefully RB- 277-306
  51. The price of success is often suffering- What to do about it? RF-9,19
  52. Male sex and sexual spirituality JN-1,6, JC- 12
  53. Transitioning into your forties DL-13,14,pg 57; JK-15;
  54. Expressing your inner artist and creator(J. Cameron Artists Way)
  55. Parenting teenagers
  56. Handling your parents as adults
  57. Workaholism
  58. Abusive relationships
  59. Achievement anxiety
  60. Adultery
  61. . Child custody
  62. Harassment
  63. Health care
  64. Housework
  65. Impotence
  66. Pornography
  67. Power
  68. Self-esteem
  69. Sexism
  70. Stress

KT= To be a man, Kieth Thompson

JG= Couples guide to Communication, John Gottman and others

MK= Morton Kelsey Sacrament of Sexuality, Morton Kelsey & Barbara Kelsey

JL = The Flying Boy, John Lee

TO= Brother Spirit, Tom Owen-Towle

JS = John Sanford What Men are like, John Sanford & George Lough

FB= Men Freeing Men, Francis Baumli

JF= The Grown Up Man,John Friel

TS = Male Survivors, Timothy Sanders

KC =Contemporary Perspectives of Masculinity, Kenneth Clatterbaugh

JC = Toward a Male Spirituality, John Carmody

JK = The Intimate Man, James Kilgore

HG-NM = The New Male- Female Relationship, Herb Goldberg

HG-IM = The Inner Male

HG-H= The Hazards of Being Male

FA = New Men, New Minds, Franklin Abbott

RB = About Men, Russell Baker

JB= Gods in Everyman, Jean Shinoda Bolen

MF= Catching Fire, Merle Fossum

RF = The forgotten Man, Reuben Fine

JN = The intimate Connection, James Nelson

DL = Seasons of a Man's Life, Daniel Levinson

© F. Anthony Bushman, January 1, 1999