Erectile Dysfunction Expert Forum
How to deal with husband's ED?
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Questions in the Erection Concerns Forum are being answered by Janice M Epp, PhD, a Clinical Sexologist from The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. This forum is for questions and discussions about the psychological aspects of Erection problems or erectile dysfunction.

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How to deal with husband's ED?

My husband has ED. He takes Viagra when we have sex. But they don't always work. The doctor did some tests and everything was normal.
Now I'm so confused and frustrated. Last 2 times we tried the pill did not work just with me, but it worked when I told him to watch some porn.
I understood that ED will never go away and he will always need the pill....but if it doesn't work just with me(need porn)..what I'm going to do? :( Just accept it? Maybe it's normal for couples to "get stimulation" from other sources? I'm thinking after few years of marriage you need this "extra"?
I would like to know if other couples are in my situation. Are couples happy ever after even husband will always deal with ED?
And ... do people have baby even with ED in the relation? Should we go ahead and try for a baby. I'm 30, he is 45 and we think time goes and we need to have a baby before it's too late.
Thank you for reading and for any comment.
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Hi Laura,

First of all, I’m not sure what you mean by “ED.” This term is not only so general as to be meaningless, but it’s also a heavy judgment. “Dysfunction” means “broken.” I doubt that your husband’s penis is broken. You say his health is good, and he has no medical factors that would inhibit sexual functioning. So why is he taking Viagra?
Is he uninterested in sex? Viagra doesn’t create sexual interest, so, again, I’m not sure why he’s taking it. Is he worried about erections, or is he not having ogasms? Without knowing his situation, it's difficult for me to comment except in a general way.

You say: “I understood that ED will never go away and he will always need the pill.” Again, I don’t know what you mean by this, or where you got this idea. If your husband has no physical problems, then, of course, there’s no reason that he can’t enjoy his sexuality. If he's not getting erections, it may be because he's lost interest in sex. Please realize that men can have a multitude of sexual concerns with many possible causes.

If your husband has lost interest in sex, when did this happen? Is it recent, or has it been building for awhile. Is he tired? Does he work hard? Is he stressed? All these can affect our desire and/or physical ability to be sexual. Certainly a man in his 40’s may, indeed, be tired and stressed. It’s not unusual at all for sexual frequency to drop off in our 40’s or 50’s, since our stamina isn’t the same as when we’re younger. Maybe when you’re young, you can run a marathon, but once you get a bit older, you might be satisfied with running a mile or so. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what you do—you just need to make adjustments.

If he’s interested in sex, but feels no desire to actually be sexual with you—then perhaps he’s not being aroused by what the two of you are doing. Sometimes we go through periods where our desires may take a break. Another possibility is that because of relationship conflicts, anger and resentment, he’s not currently turned on to you.

Or there may be something else going on, and he’s looking for an opening to tell you. Only one way to find out: ask. So you two need to sit down and discuss this—but not in an accusatory way. Don’t attack him, because when you attack someone, what happens? That’s right; they get defensive—and with good reason. To have a constructive discussion, share your feelings in a calm, non-confrontational manner—and use “I” statements. That means you share your feelings without blaming or accusing him. For instance, you might say: “Honey, I love you so much, and I love having sex with you. I appreciate how hard you’re working these days. I really do miss you. I miss being close, and I miss being sexual. I know it’s because you’re tired, and I’m not complaining. I’m just wondering if we can work out something so we can still have sex and be close?” You get the picture. Offer some possible solutions too.

You asked about other couples. Everyone is different, and everyone has to figure out what works best for them. That’s why you and your husband need to talk about this. He may enjoy the extra stimulation that looking at erotica provides, and it may have nothing whatsoever to do with his feelings about you. And it might be something the two of you can do together. After all, if it turns him on, it might turn you on as well. Again, you need to talk with him. Only after working this out can you decide what’s best for you. If you’re not comfortable approaching this with him, I’d suggest seeing a counselor to help with communication.

There are also some other ways to stimulate his desire. How about getting up a little earlier and having sex in the morning? Many men love having sex in the morning—and many women are uncomfortable with the idea because they don’t feel attractive. So get up a few minutes early, brush your teeth, comb your hair—whatever else you need to do to feel attractive—and get back into bed with him. Also ask him what are HIS best times? Perhaps Saturday evenings when he’s had a chance to relax a bit? And would he like to try some new things? Maybe dress you up? The possibilities are endless, so get going. You can still have yummy sex for the rest of your life; you’ll just need to invest in a little communication and creativity. Good luck! Dr. J
Thank you for the informative message.
His doctor said he has erectyle disfunction and gave him some Viagra.
Viagra works, but not always and now I think more and more it's something in his mind after it worked with some other "help" .
I did all you said about arousing him. We did talk alot about our problem. I never "put him down" and always encourage him and totaly support him. But after 4 years of trying, I am out of "inspiration". I don't know what else to do. I tried everything with him.
Now we talk and everything is good... I'm telling him how much I love him and how much I miss him and would be nice if we could try to make love once a week so we keep the flame....He says yes...then I know few weeks passed and nothing happen.
I'm getting tired after so many years to try..and he is just ignoring and waiting to be pushed and ask.
I tried also not to plan...did not work either.
I know for sure he is not stressed. It never worked even in our long vacations...
I am always dressing nice, always take care of myself, always wear something sexy and always open to listen to him and comminicate.
He told me a few times he doesn't know what it going on either. I asked him to go together to a sex therapist. He said yes, but few months passed, he never searched for one. He never went even to ask about his new RX for Viagra.
I don't know....I'm so tired.
Thank you again.

Once again, there's no such thing as "erectile dysfunction," and I would urge your husband to find out just what this doctor meant. There are physical conditions, illness, disease, etc. that can interfere with sexual functioning, as well as a myriad of emotional ones.

It sounds like your husband is avoiding dealing with this because he's just not that into you sexually or there's some underlying aspects of the relationship which are getting in the way and may have nothing to do with you. For instance, early messages about sex being "dirty," etc. Only one way to find out: get help.

Since he's avoiding it, you'll need to do some of the original groundwork in finding an appropriate person, but do enlist his feedback, etc. so it doesn't look like you're railroading him.

Send me a note with your location, and I'd be happy to recommend someone if there's anyone qualified in your area. Good luck to you. Dr. J
cialis is the tablet for your fella
Paul,actually that one really doesn't work.
Janice, Thank you again for your answer. You know after thinking a little I think you right. He just lost sexual interest in me and as much I would try to atract him, he is not into me from the moment I moved in with him. I think he just get bored easily for anything.
He was married before and I know she left him because of lack of sex.
Seems he did not change. I don't think is anyone fault, it's just the fact he is a complicated person and I'm not willing to live all my life like that.

I'm glad you're able to have this insight, because it will help you in deciding what you want to do now.

And it also points out to our readers that pills aren't always the answer (or even USUALLY the answer). Life is complex, and with sex, there aren't usually easy answers to complex questions. And your guy is complex. That's probably one of the things that attracted you to him, but now it's problematic.

There are many reasons he may have lost interest in sex with you, but the most common one is the inability to reconcile sex with intimacy. Many guys are perfectly fine having sex in uncommitted relationships, but, as you discovered, once you move in, it's over.

I hope the two of you can find someone to help you work this out. Dr. J
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