Your Partner And Erectile Dysfunction
"I love Bill, and I sure want to spend my life with him," said Jane, an attractive thirty-year-old accountant, when she and Bill were sitting in my consulting room, having come for advice about his erectile dysfunction, "so I don't want him to feel our relationship is threatened because of his erection problems. I know that the more pressure I put on Bill, the worse things will be, and I don't in any way wish to make things worse. But it does bother me."
Then, she turned to Bill and, as if telling him for the first time, said: "It makes me so unhappy that you can't get an erection. I love you and I do want to be with you. But we have to get this sorted out."
Bill looked stunned. That hit him hard, I could see.
Also, it's also very difficult for a woman who has to witness the effects of erectile dysfunction on not only the man she loves and their relationship, but also, of course, on her own feelings and her sense of sexual attractiveness.
This is one of the reasons why treating erectile dysfunction as something that's only a problem for the man can be a big mistake. When a man goes to his doctor and gets a prescription for Viagra or one of the other modern medications, it may or may not solve the problem – even though they work less often than you might think – but it certainly won't resolve any relationship problems with the partner, and if the drugs work it can even cause more difficulties. You may be wondering how that can happen. After all, if a man simply gets a drug treatment and it works for him, and he's sexually aroused and ready for sex with his partner, where's the problem?
The answer to that is a surprising one. Many women who aren't involved in decisions like this are very upset when their man takes a pill and presents them with an erection, saying he's ready for sex. The reason is that she needs to feel loved and attractive, sexy and arousing - in short, she needs to know that she's turned her partner on so much that he wants to make love to her.
Taking a pill skips all that – and while the simplicity of the "pill" solution for erectile dysfunction can appeal to a man, it very often offends a woman and makes the situation worse than it already was. So if you take that option, the best possible thing you can do is to tell your partner what you're doing right from the start so she's fully informed.
Better still, I always say to clients that the best thing to do in situations like this is to use a home treatment program which involves a whole load of exercises that actually improve sex, increase intimacy, bring you and your partner closer together as a couple, and provide you with the opportunity for open and honest communication about sex, love, and a lot more besides.
This is one time where it's probably better to drop the male approach to solving problems – i.e. go out and find a simple solution to your erectile dysfunction and then use it – and just take time to try the home treatment program which in the long run will serve both you and your partner better. Not to mention the fact that it is actually extremely enjoyable, provides you with very satisfying orgasms and great sex! You can find my home treatment program for erectile dysfunction here - and I recommend it not just because I wrote it, but because - judging by the feedback I get - it seems to work, and help solve both erectile dysfunction and the relationship issues whic can go with it. Please have a look and see what you think.
Obviously it can be extremely frustrating not to know how to overcome the effects of erectile dysfunction. So let's begin with the steps you can take to begin resolving this problem. Four fundamental conditions need to be met before a woman can begin to work on a man's erectile dysfunction with him.
The following text on erectile dysfunction is addressed to the woman in a partnership.
1 The problem must not be so deeply rooted in sexual trauma
that you cannot address the problem without psychosexual therapy. Some sexual difficulties are so
deeply rooted that psychotherapy is needed before the approaches described here have any impact.
3 You need to be comfortable with your partner and your relationship. Working to overcome
erectile dysfunction requires patience, love, and understanding, and if you have unresolved
feelings of hostility, it will be impossible to help your man.
Mary was wonderful woman, very attractive, a trained therapist, who knew all about human sexuality - so when she met John, a 45 year old man who had a chronic impotence problem, she made it her aim in life to help him solve his erectile dysfunction. Knowing what she did about impotence and performance anxiety,
Mary agreed with John that they would simply not have sexual intercourse until he was able to get hard. They enjoyed lots of oral sex and foreplay, and she gave him ample amounts of oral sex on his flaccid penis. She never complained about the lack of penetrative sex and encouraged John to relax and gain greater confidence.
But even after nine months, John had not managed to have sex with her. Mary was now frustrated enough to turn for help to a therapist, who discovered that John had been molested as a child, and his erectile dysfunction appeared to be only one symptom of much deeper emotional damage. The effects of this sexual trauma during childhood had remained with John all his adult life. Only after this was addressed could John begin to solve his erectile problems.
Erectile dysfunction is nearly always solvable, except when a man has a long history of the problem with short remission periods, which sometimes suggests the erectile dysfunction is a symptom of some much deeper underlying psychological cause - perhaps from past trauma. If your relationship is new, and the erectile dysfunction does not improve when you are getting accustomed to each other, there may be a deeper problem to deal with.
It is the effects of this deeper trauma which ultimately can be more damaging than the effects of the erectile dysfunction, since it is possible to deal with the superficial effects of erection problems - but the deeper trauma can continue to affect a man's capacity to enter into relationships and intimacy. The same is true if a man does not really want to be in the relationship with you, a fact which he may actually be keeping from you.
(He may even be having an affair, where he can get a good erection and enjoy sex.) And in many cases, erectile dysfunction has a physical basis, so medical treatment may be necessary, but the psychological component can always be helped with use of the exercises on this website.
If you believe that your partner has a problem you can help him solve, think on this: do you have any unresolved sexual issues yourself? A woman's sexual issues may affect the sexual equilibrium of any relationship.
Nicky and Malcolm's were a couple where Nicky was upset because of Malcolm's erectile dysfunction, which he said had developed since he met Nicky. But the more pressure she piled on him, the less able he was to keep an erection.
But Nicky's anger against Malcolm turned out to be hiding the
fact that she had never yet had an orgasm - and she was effectively blaming
Malcolm for this. Nicky had to become relaxed about sex and orgasmic and stop
worrying about the effects of her inability to reach orgasm on their sex life
before she was able to face this and help Malcolm with his
If a woman does not have regular orgasms, she may not be very interested in sex. Further, she may even make her partner come quickly to get the experience over with as fast as possible. The man will sense this at some level and it will not help his erectile dysfunction.
But the good news is that taking responsibility for your role in the problem will always help both of you to get healthier, better sex lives. Indeed, examining your own issues can be a good way to encourage your man's involvement in the process.
If you don't have caring skills that can help a man work through his sexual issues, you may not be able to help your man resolve his erectile dysfunction. You need to be a loving partner and you need to have a therapeutic approach - which means: first and foremost you need to feel good about your relationship and partner, feel positive about these things, believe it is worth going on with the relationship, and not be feeling anger, or a desire to argue: you must genuinely want to stay together.
It's essential not to judge your partner negatively around his sexual problem; you must not think he is any less masculine for having this problem, and not regard erectile dysfunction as shameful. Thinking like this is clearly unhelpful: you will not be able to work with a man on a sexual problem if you think he is fundamentally flawed because he cannot get it up.
You must try and separate the erectile dysfunction problem from the man, and instead think of him as a man with a sexual problem rather than as somehow being a sexually inadequate man. Note that if you think men should always be more the sexual leader, more sexually expert and more desirous of sex, as well as being able to show the woman how to proceed in sex, then, you are part of the problem, not the solution.
If you work on
erectile dysfunction with your partner, you
have to give up your own sexual needs for a while, and, for example, have sexual
intimacy with him when you are not in the mood. And besides this, you must be patient,
for change, especially around sexual issues, takes time. There are no quick
fixes, and impatience or doubt on your part can contribute to a man's sexual
anxiety. Keep your eyes on the overall objective: have faith in the future of your
He may have health problems and think erection problems are the least he has to worry about.
Or he may not care because you do not care. If so, he may not think he has any sort of problem. It can take a good deal of persuasion before a man accepts dealing with erectile dysfunction is not admitting he has a shameful problem.
Another man who is hard to persuade that something needs to be done is one who
believes he is damned as a man because he can't get it up - the man whose sexual motivation
is based on a macho concept of his cock as the centre of his being, one who
believes women are really sexual objects.
Often, a man may not wish to work on his erectile dysfunction if he does not intend to stay with a woman long term. It's clearly also a possibility that a man in a long-term relationship may wish to change things - that is, change his relationship or partner, not his erectile dysfunction.
A man may realize that his erection problem is symptomatic of a deeper issue in the relationship, and be fearful of the consequences of dealing with it. As always, with such issues, the way to deal with them is to employ open and honest communication.
A man may be well aware of his problem, but humiliated by the idea of dealing with it himself, with you or with a therapist. Admitting his penis cannot get erect is a big thing, and is possibly the most common reason a man does not want to work on his erectile dysfunction.
Many men find this so embarrassing that they prefer to pretend the problem does not exist; and if a man fears he may not be able to solve the problem, this emotional back drop is so powerful that he may do everything in his power to avoid the problem, until he is totally in despair about it.
Other pages of background information on erectile dysfunction
Other sections of this website about erectile dysfunction