Sexual issues such as erectile dysfunction (ED) not only affect the man with the problem, but his partner as well. If you're not experiencing the sexual satisfaction you used to, you may well go through all kinds of emotions, from sympathy and concern to frustration and despair – particularly if you were used to regular intimacy or are looking to conceive.
You undoubtedly want to provide support for your partner, but you may not be sure exactly how you can help him, or understand what he is going through precisely. Erectile dysfunction can be a devastating experience for a man, knocking his confidence and diminishing his self-esteem. If you're wondering what course of action to take, here are a few ways you can help your partner through this difficult time.
Communication is vital within any relationship, especially if there are health issues that affect both you and your partner. If he is reluctant to talk openly or is worried that he is disappointing you, it's a good idea to begin by reassuring your partner that he has nothing to be ashamed of and he can talk with you about anything. Try and broach the subject when you are alone together and have time for a long discussion. This will create a relaxing, supportive environment for you both to open up.
It might be that you're feeling confused or worried that your partner isn't attracted to you anymore. This might not be the case from his point of view, but because there are no physical signals of attraction, you are beginning to feel this way. Ask him what's on his mind, how he is feeling, explain how it is making you feel as a result and find out for certain if there is an emotional cause behind the ED or if it is in fact, caused by a physical problem.
If you're both certain that you're happy with each other and the cause of the ED is not relationship breakdown, then offer to see a doctor with him for a health check-up. This is particularly important for older men as ED is often a symptom of an underlying health condition, such as heart disease. You being there to support your partner will reassure him, and may also help to build trust and love within the relationship because you are both committed to improving each other's health and wellbeing.
A healthy penis starts with good heart and vascular health, so focussing on his overall fitness may help ease the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Be patient and support him on the journey to improved health and you may just find your relationship in the bedroom improves as a result.
For more information on erectile dysfunction causes and treatments, visit our information page.