Is Impotence Damaging Your Marriage?

Here's the deal on erectile disfunction

wilted flowers in a vase on a wooden desk

Ecaterina Soseva/EyeEm/Stocksy

If your partner has had a problem maintaining an erection during sex, chances are, your sex life has taken a hit, too. You might feel frustrated sexually and emotionally over it, and the next step might seem unclear. First things first: Have your partner see a doctor to determine the cause of his impotence.

What Is Impotence?

Impotence is the inability to achieve an erection or maintain it until orgasm.

Health Considerations

Impotence can be a sign of medical conditions such as kidney disease, heart disease, and diabetes. Approach your partner in a loving way, and let him know that you are not only concerned about the lack of sex in your relationship, but also the possibility the impotence could be masking a serious medical condition.

You may have more success with getting him to see a doctor if you make it about him and his health instead of his inability to perform in bed. There is also the possibility he is dealing with low testosterone levels and needs testosterone replacement therapy.

Mental Health Matters

Impotence can also happen if there are psychological factors at play. If your partner is dealing with a lot of stress, has anxiety or depression, or unresolved issues from his family of origin, it may interfere with his ability to maintain an erection.

Whatever the reason for the problem, impotence tends to snowball and become an even bigger problem due to a man’s fear of not being able to perform. One lost erection can lead to many lost erections if a man obsesses over the issue.

Damage to Your Self-Esteem

Right now you may be thinking, “why can’t he get it up and keep it up?” He is probably thinking the same thing. Just like you, the issue is causing negative emotions and a loss of self-esteem in him.

It is easy to internalize and blame yourself for his inability to perform in bed and begin to see yourself as less than desirable and attractive. The next thing you know, you probably feel resentful of him, which adds another layer to the problem in the relationship. One way to keep you from internalizing and taking responsibility for his erectile issues is to attempt to view the situation from his perspective.

Harm to Your Partner's Confidence

Your partner likely wants to have a fulfilling intimate relationship with you. But since he is the one with the problem, he may be feeling sexual insecurity and probably questioning his masculinity. He doesn’t want to be viewed by you as a failure, especially not in the area of the relationship, and he doesn’t want to view himself as a failure.

Coping With Impotence

The best way of coping with the issues surrounding impotence is to communicate with your partner about it, especially if his way of coping is to compartmentalize, de-sexualize, and refuse to acknowledge there is a problem. 

Treat your partner kindly, but be nice to yourself, too. Get a doctor to rule out any health issues, and see a therapist if there are any psychological or relational issues at play, too.

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