Abby’s response was clear and direct.“Dear Desperate
:Although it’s common for older men to fantasize about younger women, theconsequences of your fantasy could irreparably damage at least five lives. Talkingthis out with someone you trust would be helpful. I recommend a professionaltherapist, who can help you assess the consequences of acting out this fantasy.”Though Abby’s advice was good, I felt it didn’t get to the heart of the matter. What isreally going on in the lives of millions of mid-life men? How can we help our teen-age children deal with
hormonal, physical, emotional, and sexual changeswhen we are so confused about our own? What can we do to help families getthrough this difficult time of life without splitting apart?Based on my own research that culminated in the publication of my book,
, I sent a response to Dear Abby.I was pleasantly surprised that my letter ran under a headline for her column whichappeared in newspapers all over the country -
SYMPTOMS OF MALEMENOPAUSE ARE REAL“Dear Abby,
Thank you for the sensitive response to Desperate in Delaware, a 50-year-old manwith an obsessive attraction to a younger woman. I have been a psychotherapist for 35 years and have seen too many men destroy their own lives and the lives of those they love because they didn't understand the inevitable changes that go on ina man's body, mind, and spirit at mid-life.I've found that my understanding of these issues has been greatly expanded sincerecognizing that men go through a form of “male menopause," generally betweenthe ages of 40 and 55.Marc Blackman, M.D., chief of endocrinology and metabolism at Johns HopkinsBayview Medical Center says, "The male menopause is a real phenomenon and itdoes similar things to men as menopause does to women, although less commonlyand to a lesser extent."I believe thousands of families could be saved from splitting apart if men andwomen learned about the newest research findings on this crucial time of life.
More than 25 million men in the U.S. are now going through malemenopause.
52% of men between 40 and 70 suffer from some degree of erectiledysfunction.
Men, like women, experience complex hormonal rhythms that affect their mood, their physical well-being, and their sexuality.
Emotional symptoms include irritability, worry, indecisiveness, anddepression.
Physical symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, short-term memory loss,and sleep disturbances.
Sexual symptoms include reduced libido, fear of sexual failure, and