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The Jennifer Syndrome
April 30, 2006

Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #057, April 30, 2006

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

· Interesting E-Book: Cappuccino U

· Honoring Father: A Gathering of Whole-Hearted Men

· The Jennifer Syndrome


Written by Noel McNaughton (c) copyright 2006


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


Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

We hear a lot about how critical life-long learning is to our continued success and life satisfaction. I certainly enjoy continuing to learn new things, whether they are useful in making a living, or just make my life more interesting. Jerome Martin has written an ebook about new ways to learn. It is called Cappuccino U, and if you ask him for a copy, he'll gladly send you one.

Sean LeClaire, author, coach and facilitator will be leading a workshop for men in June. See the details below.

The 1970 movie Love Story spawned a new syndrome: the Jennifer Syndrome. To find out whether you have it, see below.

There are about 1400 words in the articles in this newsletter, which should take you about six minutes to read.

All the best,



Interesting E-Book: Cappuccino U

My friend Jerome Martin owns Edmonton-based Spotted Cow Press (, and is very enthused (as am I), about the potential of the new information technologies, such as the Internet, as teaching tools. He sees us learning in all kinds of ways and in all kinds of settings. In fact he has written an e-book about it called Cappuccino U, which he is willing to offer to you at no cost. Just send him an email at and ask for it. Tell him I sent you.


Ever Thought Of Building A Website?

The best web package on the net - I guarantee it - is Site Build It. Until midnight May 1, they are having a May Day Madness sale. This is the package I use for

If you have been reading this newsletter for very long, you will know I think a properly-designed website can be a great tool for retiring early.

I highly recommend Site Build It. Check it out here:


Do You Live In Or Near Edmonton, Alberta? Quick, read this...

Here is a note I got from Wade Bell, intrepid subscriber, and author of A Destroyer of Compasses, Toronto, Ontario: Guernica Editions, 2003, and The North Saskatchewan River Book, Toronto, Ontario: Coach House Press, 1976:
Hello Noel: Just to let you know that I am reading as part of the Chapter's Southpoint (Edmonton) store's Word for Word Arts Festival this Sunday afternoon. I'll be there selling my books from about one o'clock on and reading at around three o'clock. If you can make it, it would be nice to meet you.
Cheers, Wade Bell


Sign in a Laundromat: Automatic washing machines. Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out.


My friend Sean LeClaire sent me this notice. Thought you might be interested. If you decide to take this workshop, let him know I sent you...

Honoring Father: A Gathering of Whole-Hearted Men

June 16 - June 18 (2 Nights - Friday to 11:30 am Sunday) Lenox, MA

God the Father, priest as father, the corporate father-the failure of Father in our culture has left men with a profound and often unrealized need to re-vision and honor all that is whole and true about masculinity.

Most men don't even know the extent that they have been hurt by the lies of our western, warrior culture. Male betrayal by men runs deep-in the bones and blood and bodies of men. This Father's Day weekend for men is about choice and change. We will cultivate awareness and inquire into beliefs and behavior through body-centered inquiry, embodied story, poetry, and provocative conversation.

Scenes from Sean Leclaire's one-man show Men Come in the Room will be performed and discussed on Saturday evening. This gathering is an open invitation for men to honor who they are as fathers and sons, what they have lived through, and how they continue to grow as whole-hearted men.

Suggested reading: Hug an Angry Man and You Will See He is Crying by Sean LeClaire, Red Spiral Books Register online at or call toll-free 866-200-5203. For program information email

Facilitator: Sean Casey Leclaire, CPCC, is a life & executive coach and president of Sean Leclaire & Associates, a network of human potential educators dedicated to opening space for awareness and learning. He brings to his coaching and workshops many years of corporate leadership experience and 20+ years of meditation and yoga practice.

He is author of Hug an Angry Man and You Will See He is Crying (Red Spiral Books). Contact Sean by email at or visit his web site at


Test-Drive Your Dream Job

I ran across this website the other day:

I thought some readers might be interested in changing jobs. I read a statistic a few months ago saying that something like 65% of mid level executives in the USA were thinking about changing jobs. If you are one of them, this site might be interesting to you.

Here is a blurb from the site:

Let's face it, most of us spend the majority of our waking moments at work -- and yet few of us are actually doing work that we're passionate about. But who says it has to be that way? At VocationVacations®, we believe "work" can be much, much more than just a four-letter word. That's why we've made it our business to offer you the chance to test-drive your dream job -- completely risk-free! No need to quit your day job. No need to tell the boss. Just spend a couple days on a VocationVacation, working one-on-one with a VocationVacations Mentor, to see what your dream job is really like. You can take a VocationVacation to truly explore a career change, to sample the "road not taken" or to enjoy a fun, unique learning experience!


A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day... 30,000 to the man's 15,000.

The wife replied "The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men"...

The husband turned to his wife and said "What?"


The Jennifer Syndrome

When my friend Keith was 55, he had an affair with an attractive woman in her thirties. He left his wife, moved in with his lover, and lived in a state of aroused confusion for three years. He felt guilty about leaving his wife, but was attracted to the younger woman like a moth to a flame. "When I am with her, I feel younger, more alive", he told me. Eventually he left the younger woman, and went back to his wife, who agreed to try to work through the pain and sense of betrayal to forge a new relationship. As far as I know they are still married.

I don't know whether you saw the 1970 movie Love Story. I didn't. I figured any movie with the insipid tagline "Love means never having to say you're sorry" was too dopey to bother with. However, one of the main characters, Jennifer Cavalleri, has become the epitome of the pure, high-spirited young woman with plenty of panache.

She is the kind that men might fantasize about, especially men in midlife crises. Some even go out and look for a 'Jennifer', when they are trying desperately to hide the fact that their own youthfulness is fading. That is what Keith did. Psychologists and doctors refer to it as 'Jennifer Syndrome'.

The PADAM Syndrome

Here's another syndrome... as we men age, we produce lower quantities of androgens - male hormones - of which testosterone is the most common. Starting at about age 30, testosterone levels drop by about 10 percent every decade, but the effects aren't really all that noticeable until sometime in our mid forties to early fifties. When the effects do become noticeable, scientists call it the PADAM syndrome, short for "Partial Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male".

Usually, we notice the changes in our se^xuality first. We are just as potent as ever - even very old men can still father children - but we don't have the desire or stamina we used to have in that department. But there are other symptoms as well. In fact many men have symptoms similar to what women in menopause experience: hot flushes, raised heart rate, lack of ability to concentrate, irritability and depression.

None of this is much fun, but it is inevitable. Essentially, growing older is a continuous process of letting go - especially letting go of the physical powers of our youth. Not that we have to become all flabby and flaccid, but there is simply no way to maintain the physical vitality we had when we were younger.

Some men try to deny this physical decline, which can lead extreme behaviours: suddenly deciding to get in shape, and overdoing it with exercise or sports; drinking too much; overeating, or succumbing to the Jennifer syndrome and getting involved with a younger woman. In fact most psychologists agree that men who turn to younger women aren't fired with se^xual desire so much as trying to prove their own youthfulness. In the long run, it is a losing battle.

This can be a critical stage for couples, as both people are facing tumultuous changes, and if they don't hang in and support each other, it can lead to pain, separation and even divorce.

So what does one do?

Probably the most important thing is to accept what is. As it says in Max Ehrmann's Desiderata, "Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth". It is time to discover the richness to be found in midlife and beyond that is not available to us when we are younger:

  • our relationships can be more authentic and satisfying
  • our muscles might be weaker and our hair thinner, but emotionally and socially we can be stronger
  • we have enough knowledge and wisdom to be mentors and champions for the younger people in our lives
  • the creative urge often surfaces again at midlife
  • we can acknowledge where there have been inequities in our lives (does our wife work off the farm, and still do all the housework?), and fix them

To ponder:

  • What middle aged man did you admire when you were ten, and why? How can you be more like them?
  • What have you been doing that makes you laugh?


Blessed is the man who has learned to laugh at himself for he shall never cease to be entertained.

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:


The Mankind Project

The ManKind Project® offers trainings which support men in developing lives of integrity, accountability, and connection to feeling. Our trainings challenge men to develop their abilities as leaders, fathers, and elders as ways of offering their deepest gifts in service to the world.

The ManKind Project's New Warrior Training Adventure® is an intense, transformative men's initiation which invites men to forge a deep conscious connection between head and heart. The NWTA offers men a powerful, challenging opportunity to look at all aspects of their lives in a richly supportive environment.


Got your copy of Picking Up The Burning Feather yet? It will help you on your spiritual journey.

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.



Learn to be a Teleclass Facilitator

If you are a facilitator/speaker/professional who gives lectures or workshops, you can do it from home and make money. Teleclasses (also known as teleseminars) using telephone bridge lines, are becoming increasingly popular, and and a very inexpensive way to deliver high-quality training. I took training in teleclass leadership from Teleclass International which I highly recommend.



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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