How to Talk About Erectile Dysfunction
When someone in a relationship struggles with erectile dysfunction (ED), both parties must adjust their expectations. If your partner is having difficulty getting and maintaining an erection during sex the reality of the situation can be tough to ignore. As the experience of intimacy changes, it might be time to have an honest conversation with your partner.
If your partner regularly experiences ED and you’ve decided it’s time to talk about how this affects you as a couple, here are some tips for approaching the conversation:
Offer Your Support – Being a supportive partner means not getting frustrated or angry during this conversation. You are not there to place blame. You want to be open to hearing about how your partner feels about sexual interactions.
Leave Humor Out of The Conversation – There are many places in life where jokes or casual remarks can help lighten the mood and smooth out a heavy conversation. This is not one of those moments. Respecting someone’s body and privacy means choosing words carefully. You want to communicate your acceptance and not judgement.
Understand that Causes Can Be Multi-Faceted – Because physical, psychological and emotional forces may be contributing to ED, determining how to improve sexual interactions can be complex. You may be able to discuss personal matters and alleviate anxieties that were previously introduced into the relationship. You may also find that there are lifestyle changes that can be made to improve sexual health.
Be Open to the Possibility of Seeking Treatment – It’s important to know that many men have ED and it is treatable. There are many treatments for ED available. Your partner may want you to be involved in getting an assessment and choosing a method of treatment, or they may want to pursue things on their own.
It may be that your partner has been aware of this difficulty for some time, or you may discover that recently the ability to sustain arousal has changed. Be ready to listen and learn about the person you care about.