OUR Solution for: My Husband has ED and refuses help!

Erectile difficulties, commonly known as ED, is a sexual condition that is quite common among men of varying ages. The condition can be caused by wide-ranging factors, including mental, physical, emotional, and medical. If left unchecked, ED can adversely affect a marriage or relationship by creating tension and undesirable feelings between partners. Luckily, like many other conditions, there are numerous steps an affected person can take to combat the situation. This article will look at how both partners can handle the situation.

How to Deal with ED in Marriage or Long-Term Relationship?

Most times, occurrences of ED can be alleviated via wide-ranging means. However, one may have to try several options before figuring out what works best. With any ED case, it is advisable to talk to your doctor before embarking on any form of medication, devices, or exercises meant to alleviate the problem. When in a marriage or long-term relationship, here are some of the things a couple can try.

Open Communication

While it may not be as easy as it sounds, having open communication goes a long way in helping a person deal with erectile difficulties. Since the condition can easily cause embarrassment, sometimes the affected person might try to avoid any form of intimacy with their partner. At times, the other person might take this as rejection or feel unattractive, further escalating the situation.

Having an open conversation about both partners’ feelings can help clear out any misunderstandings and possibly become the start of a solution. When talking about the situation, avoid downplaying or exaggerating the situation since this will only make things worse. Instead, acknowledge the setback and let the affected person know that you are with them all the way.

Here are some things you can include in the conversation.

  • Erectile difficulties does not make your man any less desirable, inferior, or less masculine.
  • Your partner’s well-being and health are more important than sex.
  • You are willing to walk with the person on the journey to finding a solution.

Counseling

At times, erectile difficulties can be the result of emotional distress. If a doctor believes that the cause of ED is mental, they could suggest counseling as a possible solution. Private counseling gives the affected person a non-judgmental, safe space to open up regarding their ED problems. Additionally, a qualified counselor or psychologist can alleviate any feelings of low-esteem, anxiety, or stress.

Besides individual counseling, people in long-term relationships or marriages could also consider couples’ counseling. At times, ED symptoms improve faster when the affected person attends counseling alongside their partner. Doing this together can help resolve any issues that may be compounding the ED problems. The two individuals in the relationship can also figure out how to support and communicate openly with each other, a crucial step towards dealing with ED.

Other Forms of Intimacy

A person with ED might be unwilling to initiate sex since they are afraid of disappointing their partner or feeling embarrassed. To deal with this, consider other forms of intimacy to make your partner feel loved and supported. If you can find ways to get sexual pleasure without necessarily having intercourse, then this could go a long way towards solving the ED problem. Such methods will also reduce the ‘pressure to perform that often plagues people with ED. Here are some alternative forms of intimacy [1] to consider.

Kissing

Somewhere along the way in long-term relationships, it is quite easy to lose sight of the pleasure of a simple make-out session. Enjoy the thrill of an intimate kiss with your partner by keeping your clothes on and simply focusing on the kissing. This ‘innocent’ form of intimacy could help you feel extremely connected to your partner.

Massages

You do not need to be a professional masseuse to give your partner a mind-blowing massage. Suppose you are unsure, head over to the internet and peruse some tips. When giving each other a massage, avoid the temptation to expect something more at the end of it. Feel free to have the massages with clothes on or off.

Sleep Together

Sleeping together, in this case, does not mean having sex but just curling up with each other and drifting off peacefully. Doing this signifies incredible trust with your partner and can often be more intimate than one might imagine. Like other alternative forms of intimacy, keep the pressure off by just enjoying the moment and not expecting things to go further.

Cuddling

Typically, cuddling comes after intercourse. However, you could try skipping the intercourse part and go straight to cuddling. Feeling the warmth of your lover’s embrace can be truly intimate. To make it even better, consider playing some soft background music and having mood lighting. Doing this without the sex component could end up feeling more intimate than you have ever imagined.

Lifestyle Changes

Besides medical treatments, there are numerous lifestyle changes a person can make to mitigate the effects of ED. Here is a look at some reportedly effective ones.

Regular Exercise

Men who lead active lifestyles are said to have fewer sexual problems compared to those who do not. Regular exercise reportedly increases a person’s self-esteem, confidence, and, most importantly, libido. Keep in mind that it’s essential to check with a doctor before starting an exercise routine, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.

Cut the Smoking

Generally, medical professionals agree that smoking can adversely affect a person’s health, with some of the effects including erectile difficulties. Additionally, excessive smoking could mess up your sperm count and quality. The components found in cigarettes can damage blood vessels, affecting the blood flow to the penile chambers.

Learn How to Manage stress

Stress can easily result in physical and mental exhaustion, worry, and nervousness. If not dealt with, such stress can result or amplify psychological ED. By embracing stress-management techniques, you can easily find yourself reaping the benefits of having a relaxed mind between the sheets.

Regular Visits to the Doctor

For most people, regular visits to the doctor can be pretty boring. However, it is important to regularly see your doc for evaluations on conditions that might contribute to or worsen your ED. Besides these assessments, your doctor could also notice any problems that could potentially exacerbate the situation.

Reduce the Alcohol Intake

In the short term, alcohol might make you feel a bit sexier since it lowers your inhibitions. However, continued consumption reportedly reduces your libido, affects your erections, and makes it harder to achieve orgasms. These problems could very easily result in ED.

Eat Healthy

It is often said that a person is what they eat. Whatever is on your plate plays a big role in the factors that determine your sexual well-being. Ensure that you consume foods rich in nutrients. Your meals should have sufficient fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.

Positivity is Important

Maintaining a positive attitude towards life is said to have considerable effects on a person’s sex life. Generally, positive people are said to lead healthy sex lives. Always look for ways to engage in activities that uplift your soul and leave you smiling.

Kegel Exercises

Typically, Kegel exercises are thought to be the preserve of women. However, these simple exercises can also go a long way towards strengthening the muscles connecting the penile base to the tailbone. Strengthening this group of muscles is said to help delay ejaculation and heighten a person’s orgasms.

The Importance of Sex

According to some Finnish researchers, men who do not make use of their erections tend to lose them eventually. This underlines the importance of sex [2] in keeping erectile difficulties at bay. Aging men who have frequent sex are said to have a significantly lower risk of having ED as compared to those who do not. Men who have sex less than once a week are said to have about four times the risk of getting ED than those who have sex at least thrice a week.

Frequent sexual activity reportedly preserves a man’s potency just as well as regular physical exercise maintains their functional capacity.

The Difficulties of ED

A person dealing with erectile difficulties could experience numerous problems. [3] Here is a look at some.

  • Getting an erection at times but not every time that the person wants to have sex.
  • Having an erection but not maintaining it long enough for intercourse.
  • Being unable to get an erection at any given time.
  • Not having sufficient blood flow to the penis.

Possible Causes

Here are some possible causes of ED.

  • Mental problems such as stress, fatigue, and depression
  • Heart and vascular problems
  • Nerve problems such as when signals from the brain do not reach the penis
  • Surgery, injury, or diseases that affect the pelvic area
  • Certain medications such as those meant for blood pressure, depression, and cancer
  • Psychological problems such as performance anxiety and trauma

How Partners Can Cope

ED does not only affect the person with the condition but also their partner. The partner might feel unattractive, unwanted, or not good enough to elicit sexual arousal in the man. However, this should never be the case. Here is a look at some of the ways [4] partners of people with ED can cope with the conditions.

Do not Resort to Self-blame

When a person is struggling with erectile difficulties, their partner might tend to blame themselves by thinking they are unsexy or unattractive. However, they often fail to realize that there are probably medical, physical, psychological, or mental reasons behind their partner’s ED. The first step towards finding a solution involves avoiding self-blame.

Research Thoroughly

Often, many people tend to view erectile difficulties as a sexual issue, while it is often not. There are wide-ranging factors that could cause ED. The sooner you can figure out the underlying cause of your partner’s ED, the faster you can get a lasting solution. Before talking about the matter, consider researching widely about the topic.

Avoid Negative Emotions

When a man has erectile difficulties, he will often harbor feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness, shame, and embarrassment. Quite often, the condition might leave him feeling like less of a man. To alleviate the problem, avoid approaching the issue with negative emotions such as blame, hurt, and anger. Doing this could result in the man feeling attacked, making the situation worse.

Embrace Open Communication

When talking about ED with your man, try to have the conversation outside the bedroom so that he does not feel pressured. Let him know of the various mental, physical, psychological, and medical issues that could cause ED and gently encourage him to visit a doctor. Some men prefer their partners to accompany them during the visit, while others prefer an individual endeavor. Whatever he chooses, go with his decision.

Don’t Say the ED Does Not Matter

You might think that downplaying the ED makes the situation better, but the truth is, it doesn’t. The condition matters greatly to the man. By saying that it is not a big deal, you might convey the message that you do not care about being intimate with him, a fact that could worsen the situation.

When to Seek Help

If your condition worries you so much that it threatens your marriage or relationship, then it’s definitely time to seek help. Additionally, if you start getting painful erections or find it difficult to have some as a result of penile curvature, you should consider seeking medical help.

Getting Ready to See the Doctor

Here are some tips on getting ready to see a doctor regarding your ED.

  • Telling the receptionist is optional: During the visit, you might choose to tell the doctor’s receptionist what brings you. However, this is not mandatory. If you are uncomfortable, simply let them know that you would like to see the doctor regarding a male health issue.
  • Take with you a list of all medications you are currently taking. This will help the doctor gauge whether any of them could be the cause of your ED. Make sure your list is comprehensive and includes all prescription meds, herbal remedies, and vitamin supplements.
  • Have a history of your condition. Key facts such as when it started, how it manifests, and its frequency are crucial.
  • Be open about any personal information that might be affecting you mentally, physically, or psychologically. If something is stressing you, let the doctor know.
  • Have a list of all recreational drugs you are using. These include opioids, narcotics, or alcohol.
  • If you decide to have your partner accompany you, give them a chance to fill in any details you might leave out.

What the Doctor Might Recommend To Do

Depending on the information you provide, your doctor might suggest any or a combination of steps before prescribing a treatment. Here are some of the things that might happen [5].

Physical Exam

Your doctor might need to do a physical exam primarily focusing on your penis and testicles. Based on your medical history and factors such as blood system and other risk factors, you might also have a prostate exam. These tests are generally not painful and barely require the patient to undergo any preparation.

Laboratory Tests

Your doctor might also require you to provide samples for lab testing. Typically, this involves a urine sample to help determine any underlying health conditions that might be contributing to or causing your ED.

Other Tests

Besides physical and lab tests, your doctor might require you to fill out some forms or questionnaires. Essentially, these have questions that will help the doctor determine your ability to get and maintain erections as well as your overall satisfaction with intercourse and orgasms.

Advanced Erectile Function Tests

If the above tests still don’t provide sufficient information to help the doctor prescribe treatment, he/she may recommend advanced erectile function tests to understand your condition better. Here are some common advanced tests.

  • Vascular stimulation to cause an erection
  • Penile doppler (ultrasonography) to assess penile blood flow
  • Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test to check for sleep erection
  • Blood work to determine the level of testosterone and other hormones
  • Blood work to determine blood sugar level

Medical Treatment for ED

Once your doctor has all the information they require about your ED, they could prescribe medical or non-medical treatments. Here is a look at the most common medical solutions prescribed for men with ED.

Noninvasive Medical Treatments

  • Testosterone therapy in the event of low testosterone levels
  • Suppositories designed for insertion into the urethra
  • Pump or vacuum devices that draw blood into the penis, making it possible for the man to maintain an erection for a while.
  • Oral medications, such as sildenafil (commonly known as Viagra)
  • Injectable medications, such as the combination drug TriMix or Caverject

Surgical Treatment

Your doctor might recommend that you undergo penile implant surgery [6] during which an implant is placed inside the penis, allowing it to remain rigid during intercourse. There are semi-rigid implants as well as inflatable variants. The inflatable implants allow the man to ‘create’ an erection by pumping fluid via a pump inserted in the scrotum. The rigid implants, on the other hand, remain somewhat firm throughout.

Summary

Erectile difficulties can be quite a thorny issue in marriages and relationships. The condition could easily lead to resentment, anger, blame, and numerous other negative emotions. However, there are numerous steps the people involved can take to cope with or manage the condition in pursuit of a better sex life.

Citations

  1. https://madisonepting.medium.com/12-ways-to-be-intimate-with-your-partner-without-having-sex-a737030889e6
  2. https://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/news/20080703/erections-use-em-or-lose-em
  3. https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/e/erectile-dysfunction-(ed)
  4. https://www.erectile-dysfunction-solutions.com.au/living-better-how-to-support-your-partner/
  5. https://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/guide/understanding-erectile-dysfunction-symptoms
  6. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-to-deal-with-ed-in-a-marriage#medical-treatments
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