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Midlife Wisdom for Men Newsletter Issue #010, May 15, 2004
May 14, 2004
Midlife Wisdom for Men - Helping Men Navigate Midlife Transitions.


Written by Noel McNaughton
(c) copyright 2004


If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May 15, 2004 Issue #010

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

· The World Does Not Need More Successful Men

· Is Your Computer Safe? Take the Shields Up Test

· Are You in an Abusive Relationship?

· Just for you: FREE Do-It-Yourself Retirement Planning Report

· New 'Extra Income' Section on the Midlife-Men site

· Classifieds


The World Does Not Need More Successful Men

In the Cree tradition, the seventh stage of life is "teaching", which usually comes around 'andropause' time - say around age 50 and onward. The idea is that we have now largely fulfilled the obligations of our younger years - established ourselves in the community, raised a family, established a career, and so forth, and now it is time to pass our knowledge on to the younger fellows.

Being 'true to ourselves' is particularly desirable at this stage, as we (theoretically at least) have less to fear from the consequences of speaking our truth.

Here is a little advice from Thomas Merton, adapted from an article entitled 'What is Education for?' by David Orr, in 'In Context' magazine , issue #27.

"There is a myth that the purpose of education is that of giving you the means for upward mobility and success. Thomas Merton once identified this as the 'mass production of people literally unfit for anything except to take part in an elaborate and completely artificial charade.'

When asked to write about his own success, Merton responded by saying that 'if it so happened that I had once written a best seller, this was a pure accident, due to inattention and naiveté, and I would take very good care never to do the same again.' His advice to students was to 'Be anything you like, be madmen, drunks, and bastards of every shape and form, but at all costs avoid one thing: success'

'The plain fact is that the planet does not need more 'successful' people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, story-tellers, and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these needs have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.'"

Surely now is the time for us men to become 'peacemakers, healers, restorers, story-tellers, and lovers of every shape and form'! N.


Is Your Computer Safe? Take the Shields Up Test

I remember a few years ago I got an email which had a website link in it that I could click on to 'see something scary'. I clicked on it, and it showed everything that was happening in my computer! Scary alright. That was back when I didn't know much about computer security, and I didn't think 'bad guys' would get into MY computer.

I have since (at the insistence of my computer-geek sons) adopted some security measures. My sons said this is particularly critical now that I have a high speed hook-up, because my computer is literally online all the time.

There are little 'spider' programs, written by devious and unsavory characters, which run around the net looking for open ports on computers from which to invade those computers, steal data, launch virus attacks, and do other nasty things.

If you are not sure whether your computer is vulnerable, there is a website where you can test it for free. Go to Shields Up and click on the various buttons to check File Sharing, Common Ports, All Service Ports, and so forth. I am happy to say my computer is totally secure.

NOTHING gets through, mainly because I use a router (a piece of hardware) as a firewall to network my computer with my wife's computer. Before that I used a firewall (a piece of software) to the same effect. I like Performance Pro , because it is a firewall, ad blocker, pop-up blocker, and file cleaner all in one.

Take the test at Shields Up, and if your computer is vulnerable, take action to make it secure, even if you are on dial-up. There are bad guys out there trying to get into your machine!

BTW you should also be using virus-detection software (I use the free version of AVG Antir-virus and update the virus pattern files every day automatically.

I scan my computer for spyware every few days as well. (Spyware programs are not dangerous, but they hide in your machine and track your internet surfing patterns. They send the information to marketing companies who analyze it with 'data mining' programs which figure out how to market more successfully to us unsuspecting home folks). They also slow your computer down. I use the free version of Lavasoft Adaware V.6.

I also scan my computer every few days with 'A squared' anti-trojan software . Trojans and worms are nasty programs that sneak into your computer from some websites, and CAN be dangerous. They can track keyboard strokes and send them to bad guys. If you key in passwords to bank accounts, for example, those can be copied and evil-doers can empty your bank account!


Are You in an Abusive Relationship?

There are many abusive relationships, and the ones we usually hear about are where men are physically violent with women. There are other forms of abuse though, and I have experienced some emotional abuse myself, in a former marriage.

I got this letter a while ago from subscriber Robert M., which tells of his struggle with an emotionally-abusive wife. At the end of Robert's letter is a link to a website where, if you wonder whether you are in an abusive relationship (including whether you might be an abuser), you can take a quiz and get some advice.

Here is Robert's letter:

I subscribed to your newsletter and I am looking forward to future issues. As a teacher I have always run into situations where I noticed the male in need of support. I once ran a class for dads on teaching math to their children. It just seemed that all the dads ever did was make the kids cry instead of helping the child learn.

I am 45 and after 23 years of marriage I left my wife. She was never really a partner in our relationship because she was always living on the edge. She struggled with depression, anger, suicide and panic.

I told her she only went over the edge 10% of the time but she was on the edge 100% of the time. Thus we (my children and I) lived walking on eggshells for many years. The kids are grown and I don't have to be the 'calming force' in the house anymore. I don't have to be in the house at all and that is what I have chosen.

She on the other hand chooses to believe that I am just having a midlife crisis. The crisis has been all my life and I have just finally chosen to do something about it.

I think the most eye-opening part of my experience was when I read a pamphlet for women on domestic violence. I read it and realized that the things they were telling women to do when living in an abusive situation, I had done.

I had a code word with my son if things were to get bad. I had a place I could go stay and I was willing and ready to leave everything just to feel safe. It made me wonder about how many men are in this situation for years - like me. One problem I had was that I never told anyone.

If I had told people that my wife was as off-balance as she was they might have suggested that I do something about it. By myself, I didn't know any better. I came from a family where there was no fighting or yelling. No one was ever mad at me. I didn't know what to do with this person that was so angry and depressed.

I met a man the other day who said he was retired and would love to take yoga but he said his wife is still working and if he has 'too much fun' he will pay dearly. I told him that maybe he should get rid of his wife and have all the fun he wants. I have met more men that are under the thumb of their wives, be it manipulation through guilt, sex, anger, depression, moodiness, etc.

Men are afraid to have friends, go out with friends, have interests outside of their wife, go to bed when they want to, watch TV if they want to, etc. I now find that I just don t like women in general. Some of my midlife experiences have been a result of living with someone that never approved of me. I was never good enough. Though I know it wasn't me, that doesn't make it any better.

Now that I don't live with her, I don't have those experiences.

I know these aren't really questions but I think they include ideas that I think many men deal with and would be good topics for discussion or research.

- Robert

Thanks for the letter, Robert.

Now, dear reader, if Robert's letter is ringing a bell, or you just want some information about abusive relationships, I recommend Blain Nelson's Abuse Pages You might also want to check out Domestic Violence - Another Perspective at the website.


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

All of us hope to retire sometime, and most of us have some kind of retirement plan, even if it consists of buying a lottery ticket every week ;-)

George Slater, intrepid subscriber to this newsletter, has written a 27-page report on 'DIY Retirement planning' that he is offering to you for free. He says with proper planning, we can have a LOT more money when we retire than we would if we just follow the crowd and do the usual things. And he has grown his retirement fund VERY FAST using the principles he talks about.

For your free issue of this report, go to my hidden web page at: DIY Retirement E-Report , click on the link, and follow the instructions.



There is a New 'Extra Income' Section on the Midlife-Men site

Statistics say many baby boomers already know they will not have enough money to retire on. There are two solutions to that problem:
- keep working
- make some more money

I have added an extra section to the midlife-men site to address the second approach. Take a look at



Announcement: The Irritable Male Syndrome: Managing the 4 Key Causes of Male Depression and Aggression, by Jed Diamond will be available October 1, 2004.

Jed is the author of the international bestseller Male Menopause (now translated into 17 foreign languages). To get a copy of Jed's Free e-newsletter and get pre-release information on the new book, write to him at and come visit his website at

Editor's note: Jed is one of the foremost experts in the field of mens' midlife struggles, and I have no doubt his book will be well worth reading.

Here is a pre-publication quote:
"Male aggression and depression are underestimated conditions with enormous medical and societal implications. Jed Diamond once more succeeds in bringing an important men's health issue to public awareness and at the same time offers a valuable resource for all health professionals. CONGRATULATIONS!"
--Siegfried Meryn, M.D. Professor of Medicine President INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR MEN`S HEALTH Editor-in-Chief Journal of Men's Health and Gender Vice President European Men's Health Forum

If you have something you want to advertise, just send me a note at



Is Your Computer Slower Than When You Got It? And Are You Protected From Hackers? Performance Pro is a POWERFUL little program that gives you:

  • Personal Firewall - Protect your privacy against online snoopers and hackers
  • System Cleaner - Delete old, unnecessary files that waste valuable disk space
  • File Shredder - Securely shred files and folders with military precision, so they cannot ever be recovered
  • Speed up general system performance and hard drive searching performance
  • Block annoying pop-ups and banner ads - this alone speeds up your Internet browsing experience!
  • Delete all traces of your Internet usage, so nobody will ever know where you have been online


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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