For men with erectile dysfunction, one of the most unsettling thoughts is talking to their partner about the condition. Most men think that their partners will think less of them or leave them for another man. This could, however not be further from the truth.
If you are trying to figure out how to approach the subject with your partner and can’t quite find the words or the courage to do so, below are some important tips for ensuring a productive, considerate, factual conversation about the matter.
How to Deal With ED in a Relationship
Nearly five percent of men over the age of 40 have complete erectile dysfunction, and roughly 15 percent of men experience complete ED after the age of 70. It can occur at any age, but it is most often found in older men. It is also important to acknowledge that ED is not a univariate problem. There is a wide range of factors that can contribute to erectile dysfunction, including both physical/organic as well as psychological and environmental factors.
The factors range from anxiety and stress to alcohol abuse, smoking, depression, fatigue, the side effects of certain medications, hormonal disorders, high blood pressure, even certain neurological diseases. By giving your partner an idea of just how many different things might be at the root of your erectile dysfunction, you help to immediately dispel some of the myths and misinformation our popular culture has clung to and perpetuated for so long.
Make Your Feelings About it Known
If you are talking about ED to a partner, it is presumed that you are talking to someone with whom you share great mutual respect and empathy. Your problems are their problems, and theirs are yours, and you both want the other to be the happiest, most complete person they can be. You are sharing your feelings with someone who wants the best for you and your relationship.
Let your partner know what happens when you experience erectile dysfunction. Give them some idea of the thoughts and emotions that go through your mind when it happens. People – even close partners – likely only have a faint idea of what it is like to experience something like ED, so opening their minds to your lived experience is vital. Never hide, or distort the truth when discussing it. Let them know the details. You should never be embarrassed by the truth, especially when discussing it with someone you trust and respect.
Let Your Partner Know That Their Support is Important
The fact of the matter is that many people often don’t realize what their support means to people in their life until they are told. Human beings need and rely upon one another. It is one of the most beautiful parts of the human condition. Social connection and healthy interpersonal relationships are, at the end of the day, the most important thing to the vast majority of people, whether they recognize it or not. Quotidian life can become so all-consuming that even when we are making a difference in the lives of those around us, we might fail to notice how we are doing so.
Tell your partner that their support and understanding make the condition that much more bearable for you. Tell them that having them as an emotional rock is invaluable to you. It is also important to let them know that you view this as something you want to address for both your own sake and the sake of your relationship together. It is something you want to address together because it is something which, while you are the one who experiences it, affects you both.
Inform Your Partner That you are Going to be Getting to the Root of the Problem
Most men simply require a visit to their physician and a brief conversation about their medical history for a medical professional to diagnose the origin of ED accurately and recommend a suitable treatment. However, if you have more chronic health problems or complications, several exams may be necessary.
Let your partner know that you are going to be seeking medical attention for your erectile dysfunction. Let them know that you may have to undergo things like a physical, blood tests, urine tests, ultrasound, and a psychological exam. Again, let them know their support through all of this is essential and that together you will find a solution and minimize the impact of ED on your relationship.
Erectile Dysfunction is surrounded by so many myths and so much inaccurate information that has been perpetuated by our popular culture, with insensitivity towards being so normalized that many men feel it is something they cannot talk about openly. However, in the presence of a trusting, caring partner, nothing should be off-limits. Use the above suggestions as a road map when navigating a conversation about ED with your partner. Work together to improve your quality of life and ensure your relationship and trust remain in good stead. For more information about erectile dysfunction, including cutting-edge treatment options, get in touch with Oakwood Health today.
Mayoclinic.org. 2021. Erectile dysfunction – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. [online] Available at: <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/erectile-dysfunction/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355782> [Accessed 14 October 2021].