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Are You Being Fair To Your Wife?
August 01, 2006

Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #063, August 1, 2006

=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========

· Are You Being Fair To Your Wife?

· Is Cryoablation For You?

· New Study: Cell Phones Excite Your Brain


Written by Noel McNaughton (c) copyright 2006


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Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

I noticed that as I entered my 50s, I irritable. I have since discovered that is a common symptom among men in midlife transitions anytime after about age 35. With some men, it leads to treating their wives poorly, which can cause long-term pain.

If you are a man in your fifties, or even forties, you may discover you have prostate cancer. One of my sons-in-law is a medical doctor, and he says literally 100% of men in their late 90s have it, but it grows slowly enough that it is not a concern. Some fast-growing cancers are a concern though, and if you have one of those, or know someone who does, you might want to look into cryoablation.

Using your cell phone a lot? It is doing stuff to your brain.

There are about 1250 words in the articles in this newsletter, which should take you about five minutes to read.

All the best,



Are You Being Fair To Your Wife?

I get many emails from women wondering what is going on with their men. Here is a fairly typical example:

Hello Noel,
I have been married for 10 years. My husband is 44. We both work. My husband was always so sweet and kind to me, but about 6 months ago I saw a change in him... he always called me when he was away, always told me he love me, missed me.

Now if I say I miss you or love you he turns off the conversation, also he NEVER calls when he gone now.

I try not to say I love you or miss you, or call him. I feel so lost I don't know what to do. I feel like he has died. Please can you give me any advice? I've started seeing a counsellor,(he won't).

He is just so mad all the time when he comes home he's mad, he blames me for everything that happens at home and at work. Help.

Often women write to say their husbands have left home after ten, or fifteen, or twenty five years of marriage, saying they suddenly realized they never did love their wives, and want to be free. The women are devastated.

I have no judgement about separation and divorce. I was divorced from my second wife during my forties. It was her idea, but it was a relief to both of us.

What seems unfair to me is that many men treat their wives disrespectfully. Some become downright mean, and say things they never would have said when they were 'normal'. That is not fair to their wives.

I know midlife can be a confusing and difficult time, and that one very common symptom of midlife transitions is irritability. I remember in my early fifties noticing I was more irritable than I used to be. When I mentioned this on a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio call-in show one day, the phones lit up with other men ranging in age from early thirties to late fifties, saying they were experiencing the same thing. Jed Diamond wrote a book about it: The Irritable Male Syndrome, which I highly recommend.

When a person is feeling irritable, it is easy to say nasty things to other people, and for some reason it seems easiest to say nasty things to people who love us. But I don't think that makes it ok. I have even heard men say they can't help themselves; when they get angry, they just blurt things out. But I have noticed these guys manage to control what they say to men bigger than them!

The other thing almost every woman who emails me complains about is that their men won't talk to them about what they are feeling. I know having our wives badger us about what we are feeling can be irritating, as half the time we don't know ourselves. But again, it isn't necessary to be mean when responding to our wives' requests that we talk about what we are feeling.

Here are a few strategies that can help you have honest conversations with your wife, even if only to let her know you are feeling irritable and don't want talk right now:

  1. Use 'I statements'. When we are having emotional conversations, at home or work, it is very easy to slip into 'you statements', which tend to point the finger and blame others for whatever is going wrong. All this does is make the others feel angry and defensive. 'I statments' allow the others to hear what we are saying without having to become defensive. It makes communication much easier. If you aren't sure what 'I statements' are, check out the article in Midlife Wisdom For Men #6
  2. Remind yourself that even if you are feeling irritable, the people around you deserve to be treated respectfully. This is particularly true for your family. Even if you and your wife are separating, acquit yourself with dignity. You will be glad you did.
  3. If you are going to have a potentially emotional conversation, pick a time when you are rested, not hungry, not pressed for time, and are not likely to have any interruptions.

I know that during midlife transitions things are changing, and we can feel 'lost at sea', but being mean and uncommunicative with our families is not fair to them. It is not their fault we are going through these changes, and I believe it is up to us to treat them and ourselves with dignity and respect. We are men, not boys.


Sign at a Chicago Radiator Shop: "Best place in town to take a leak".


Is Cryoablation For You?

A fellow I know went in for a radical prostatectomy surgery yesterday. He and his wife were both worried, and I don't blame them. There can be several unpleasant side effects from this surgery, including impotence, and poor bladder function.

Now, according to an article by Carole Jackson in Bottom Line's Daily Health News, there is a less-known alternative treatment called cryoablation that destroys the tumor but not the prostate. This can mean a future free of impotence or incontinence.

Gary Onik, MD, director of the Florida Hospital/Celebration Health's prostate cancer research program developed the technique, which uses an extremely cold gas to freeze a portion of the prostate and some surrounding tissue, including one of the prostate nerves, in order to then destroy the tumor. In an ongoing study of 60 cryoablation patients, one year later 95% had stable prostate specific antigen tests and no evidence of cancer... 78% remained potent... and none reported incontinence.


According to Dr. Onik, 75% of all patients are candidates for this type of surgery. The key is that the cancer be mostly contained in one-half of the gland.

Dr. Onik says that cryoablation surgery is now starting to be available in other areas around the US. I don't know if it is available in other countries yet, but if you end up with a prostate cancer diagnosis, it is worth asking your doctor about!


If a man is talking in a forest and there is no woman with him, is he still wrong?


New Study: Cell Phones Excite Your Brain

I read a statistic some months back saying the accident rate for people talking on cell phones while driving is the same as for drunk driving. I wrote an article a year or so ago about a British military study that showed cell phones interfere with brain waves.

Here is a report of another study, this time from Dr. Daniel Amen's newsletter. His website is at: .

Talking on a cell phone excites the brain, Italian researchers find - but they don't yet know whether that's good or bad.

Could this affect your brain? Yes, according to neurologist Paolo Maria Rossini, MD, PhD, research director at Fatebenefratelli Hospital in Rome and his colleagues. The researchers say they have "shown definitively" that talking on a cell phone increases electrical activity on the side of the head where the cell phone is held. The effect mostly wears off within an hour.

Rossini's team studied 15 healthy young men for the impact of cell phone use. They found that electrical activity was enhanced in the side of the brain the cell phone is on, but not on the other side. "It could be argued that long-lasting and repeated exposure to electromagnetic fields, linked with intense use of cellular phones in daily life, might be harmful or beneficial in brain-diseased subjects," Rossini and colleagues concluded. "Further studies are needed."

So, are you safe when using your cell phone? The World Health Organization (WHO) says there have been reports of cell phones affecting brain activity, but they concluded these effects "are small and have no apparent health significance." The FDA says, "Available scientific evidence does not show that any health problems are associated with using wireless phones," but it also notes "there is no proof that wireless phones are absolutely safe." The American Cancer Society says it's "unlikely" that phones cause cancer.
To Your Brain Health,
Daniel G. Amen, MD


Actual newspaper headline: " Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash", Expert Says

I do this newsletter and host the website as a service to other men, and am happy to do so. Just the same, it costs some money, and if you would like to make a small contribution to help with those costs, I would really appreciate it. If you would like, you can make a donation at:


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Just go to Picking Up The Burning Feather: A Spiritual Guide For Midlife Men.


Just For You: A Free Do-It-Yourself Retirement Planning Report

If you are a new subscriber to this newsletter, you will recall I promised you a link to a secret page on the Midlife Men's site where you can download a free 27-page report on 'DIY Retirement planning' by George Slater.

Welcome to the newsletter, and for your free report, go to: DIY Retirement E-Report , and follow the instructions.




A Destroyer of Compasses by Wade Bell, published by Guernica Editions, (Toronto, Buffalo and Lancaster UK) $15.00 Cdn

One Man's Mid-Life Crisis Led to Spain. Planning to spend six weeks, he stayed five years.

A book of stories the Toronto Globe & Mail called "an assured and sensual portrait of a culture" with "precise and ironic examples of human idiosyncracy." The review went on to call stories "gems."

Available from Amazon, E-Bay and local bookstores.

I Need Your Questions and Feedback!

Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.


Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.

All the best, Noel

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