Erectile dysfunction affects many people with penises, and it has numerous causes and consequences for your relationship. Here’s what you can expect if your partner has ED.
Your Partner May Feel Jealous
If your partner has erectile dysfunction, they may feel particularly possessive or jealous of your time and attention. They may need extra reassurance that you are still interested in them and that they satisfy you in the bedroom. Many people tie their self-worth into their ability to pleasure you sexually and falsely connect this with long bouts of penetrative sex. So, talk to your partner about your favorite non-penetrative ways to reach orgasm together. And be sensitive if they need some reassurance that you are still sexually invested in the relationship.
Remember, if this jealousy is unregulated and turns into abusive behavior, please seek safety as quickly as possible.
Your Partner Is Stressed about Sex
Most people with erectile dysfunction have high levels of stress surrounding sexual activity. They may feel as if they are letting you down every time they aren’t able to get hard or have sex until climax. The more stressed they become, the harder it is to achieve an erection. Involving more non-penetrative sex activities can help relieve some of this pleasure and be hot for both of you.
Your Partner May Avoid Sex
If all the pressure surrounding having sex becomes too much, your partner may start avoiding it altogether. They may even go so far as to avoid physical touch so as not to give their partner the wrong impression, which can take a significant toll on the relationship. This doesn’t mean that they are no longer attracted to you, but it does mean that they are having trouble overcoming their insecurities around erectile dysfunction.
Talking to each other is essential to avoid hurt feelings, but it’s also important to prevent a sexless relationship. Once you stop having sex, it can be extraordinarily difficult to start again. If you’re in this situation, watch the video below to understand the impact of sexless relationships on men.
On the flip side, your partner may feel an extra need to have sex when they have an erection—whether or not you’re in the mood. Unfortunately, this can happen if erections are rare because your partner may want to take advantage of the opportunity. If this is the case, talk to your partner about how you feel. You never have to have sex simply because your partner is in the mood. And when emotions are running high, it’s essential to clearly communicate why you aren’t interested and to connect with them intimately when you’re both into it.
Your Partner May Not Know the Cause
Erectile dysfunction is caused by a wide variety of circumstances. It may be a blood flow issue, or it could even be past relational trauma that has not been dealt with yet. While simply popping a pill is an attractive solution, the root cause will often take more work to overcome. It’s critical to check in with your doctor to identify underlying medical issues that could be causing it.
Managing Erectile Dysfunction Together
If you want to come out the other side of erectile dysfunction stronger, a trusted therapist can help you along that journey. Contact me for a free consultation today!
Bio: Dr. Nazanin Moali is a clinical psychologist and sex therapist in the Los Angeles area. She works with various individuals to understand and improve their sexuality. Dr. Moali conducts personal consultation sessions in her Torrance and Hermosa Beach offices, or via a secure, online video-counseling platform. Click here to take the sex quiz for women.