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Newsflash For Men: 3 Ways A Woman Can Save Your Life!

» Mental Health Library » Disorders & Conditions » Sexual Aversion Disorder » Featured Article

By Keith York, Marriage and Family Therapist

Keith York, Marriage and Family Therapist

I’ve written a lot about what women want from men, to help men understand what makes a strong foundation of an Extraordinary Relationship: what only you as a man can bring to the table and what women are crying out for. Now, becoming aware of the deeper significance of what I call an Extraordinary Relationship, and the "What’s In It For Me?" factor, deserve equal attention.

Transforming yourself into a man who is able to get what he wants in life, love, and relationship will certainly make you and your partner happy, but it can also save your life. What if I told you that what’s in it for you is not only a great sex life and a loving companion, but a longer, healthier life that you can’t get any other way? It’s true! Here’s how…

1) Want to add 10 years to your life? Get married, Man!

I’m sure you’ve heard it: married men tend to live longer than unmarried men. These guys live, on average, 10 more years than their unmarried brethren. For men, being married does the trick. Married men have fewer illnesses, suffer fewer heart attacks, and are psychologically healthier. Why? Men tend to have poor social support systems and if they’re going to share their feelings with anyone when they’re upset, it’s probably going to be the woman in their life. We all need someone to lean on.

Married men also tend to take fewer risks, steering clear of anything from avoiding doctor visits when they know something is wrong with them, to driving like maniacs while chain-smoking and texting their friends. When we have someone who’s relying on us being there at the end of the day, we have a reason to smarten up. It’s clearly in a man’s best interest to make his relationship last.

"Easy to say", I hear you object, "but not so easy to do." True. The American divorce rate hangs around 50%! This is why learning how to resolve conflict, keeping that spark of good feeling and attraction alive, and understanding what drives us emotionally is key to a happy, live-saving relationship.

2) Can you hear me now? Get connected; stay connected.

In David Mahoney and Richard Restak’s book, The Longevity Strategy: How to Live to 100 Using the Brain-Body Connection, the authors assert that among the many traits shared by those who make it to 100, social connectivity is vital. Translation: build your network of friendships and keep them close. Having supportive friends who have common interests and lifestyles create meaning in your life. The more connected you are to others and the more you allow yourself to affect and be affected by others is just plain good for you. We’re human and we need it. No-brainer, right? You’d think so.

The problem is, we men have friends, but we’re notoriously bad about putting in the time to maintain our friendships and making new, meaningful ones. I’m talking about meaningful friendships: friends who are interested in helping you be the best man you can be; friends with whom you are comfortable sharing important aspects of your life. This is where women come to our rescue.

Women are social creatures. Women’s relationships define their lives. To women, being social and nurturing friendships is what makes them feel most alive. More often than not, it’s the woman we are in relationship with who keep our "couple friendship circles" fresh and active. She gets us out to parties, social events and get-togethers, helping us stay social and connected. These are opportunities to meet like-minded people and build our friendship networks. We know the importance of networking for our careers. Connect with others to live.

3) Pay attention! Even if you don't think you need to.

Many men I treat individually and in couples counseling tell me "I wish she would just stop nagging me!". Guess what? The nag can save your life. It's an unlikely ally that you must pay attention to. Here's what I mean...

There's some DEEP meaning going on behind the complaints your woman shares with you. If she's sharing them, it's a good sign. Most men want to brush off these grumblings because they're not easy to deal with. This is the worst thing you can do, because behind the complaint and the nag are two very powerful wheels turning: THE TEST and THE OPPORTUNITY.

THE TEST: Women test men. It's in their DNA. They can't help it. And for this, you should be very, very thankful. I'm not talking about testing your patience, although you may often feel this way. Women have to constantly test men so that they can feel secure in their relationships. Believe it or not, what may seem to you like an irritating nag such as "You're always late when you say you're going to be somewhere", is actually a test, a probe to find out if she can rely on you; if you can protect her; if you will step up when the chips are REALLY down. Fail to respond correctly and blow this test and you're giving her all sorts of reasons to lose faith in you. She's not doing this to belittle you. She HAS to do it. There's too much at stake in the time and resources we put into our relationships. The good news is you will be tested constantly, so if you miss the mark a few times there will be plenty of chances to make good. And this is where THE OPPORTUNITY comes in; the one that can save your life.

THE OPPORTUNITY: On one level, The Test is a biological reaction your woman is driven to act on so she can feel trust and secure with you. On the other level, this is your opportunity to really see where you are not living up to your greatest potential and make things right. Chances are you already know where you're letting yourself down. Maybe you're stuck in a job that is comfortable and secure, but you hate it, and are afraid to leave it and follow your true passion. Maybe you're avoiding real intimacy with your partner because that kind of closeness requires you to accept some things you may not like too much about yourself. Maybe you want to be more sexually assertive and experience the great sex life you once had, but you're in a rut and believe you shouldn't have to work this hard; things should just be perfect. It's easy to ignore these problems, but that's a dead-end.

When your woman tests and nags you, what she REALLY is trying to get you to do is be the best man you can be. She wants you to be, what I call, A COMPLETE MAN. A COMPLETE MAN for her security, for your life, and for the happiness and longevity of your relationship. This is when your partner becomes your GREATEST ally. This is when your woman can literally save your life. Never has a great partnership been more significant and meaningful.

When you're happy, when your relationship is strong, when you have a great sex life, when your social network is alive and crackling, when you are on your path in life and living your greatest potential... you live longer. If your life isn't where you want it to be, you know it. A desire to be happier, and asking for help to improve your life and relationship is not only smart...there's a good chance it'll save your life.

About the Author...

Keith York is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has over 10 years experience working with couples and men's issues. He is presently in private practice in Berkeley and Fremont, California. His website is www.keithyork.com. He can be reached at contact@keithyork.com, or you may call for a free telephone consultation at 510-978-1116.

Last Update: 10/19/2012



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