Erectile dysfunction can bring with it all sorts of thoughts and emotions, one of which is frequently the feeling of shame. It can be hard to admit to yourself that you are suffering from erectile dysfunction, and it can be even harder to talk about erectile dysfunction with your partner. Even in a loving relationship, you may be afraid that your partner will judge you or think less of you. This worry is normal, but the fact is that if your partner cares about you, they will want to help you, not judge you. Erectile dysfunction is challenging and painful, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Including your partner in your struggle with ED can be beneficial for you emotionally; the support of a loved one during a challenge is always a step towards overcoming the issue. You may feel stuck on just how to approach the topic with your partner. Don’t worry–we’ve got your back on this. Check out a few of our tips and strategies for bringing up this potentially uncomfortable topic with your loved one.
1. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS
The way you feel about having ED is important, and it can be helpful to acknowledge your feelings when you talk about erectile dysfunction with your partner. Letting your partner know how you feel is also a great way to help your partner know how to support you. Having your partner be a support for you during this time can be an important part of getting you on the path to healing. You don’t have to go through this alone; this is something that affects both you and your partner, and your partner can also be a partner to you in the healing process.
2. TIMING OF THE CONVERSATION
You may want to be conscious of when you talk about erectile dysfunction with your partner. There is no rule on when it is most appropriate to bring up this topic–it is up to you and your dynamics with your partner. You may not want to bring it up when your partner is distracted or busy; you want your partner’s full attention. Be mindful of when YOU feel most comfortable discussing it, as well. If the timing is right for your partner, but not for you, then it’s not a good time. You both need to be present and able to speak honestly with each other without other stresses influencing the conversation.
3. REASSURE YOUR PARTNER
Your ED struggle likely has nothing to do with how attracted you are to your partner, especially if it’s someone you love and have been with for a while. Erectile dysfunction is not your partner’s fault, nor is it your fault. It is a medical issue like any other medical issue. Your partner may not know how to process the news and may blame themselves for your erectile dysfunction, either by pulling away or by trying too hard to help you feel aroused. Honesty about your feelings and about what erectile dysfunction is will help you and your partner be on the same page and have the same understanding about what you are facing.
4. REMAIN OPEN TO YOUR SEX LIFE
Just because you are struggling to have or maintain an erection does not mean your sex life has to stop. There are many ways to be sexual with your partner that don’t involve penetration, and your partner may have some ideas of how to keep the romance going. Your ED doesn’t mean you love your partner any less or are less attracted to them, so don’t be afraid to show them that.
5. INCLUDE YOUR PARTNER IN TREATMENT DECISIONS
Ultimately, your decision about your treatment course is between you and your doctor. However, your partner will likely appreciate being included in the conversation and being kept informed of what you plan on doing. Don’t forget that your erectile dysfunction affects your partner too, so it is a boost to your relationship to be transparent about everything you are deciding and experiencing.
At Apex Health Center, we are here to support you in handling your erectile dysfunction. The most important thing is that you feel confident in your treatment options and in your decision to address your erectile dysfunction. The support of your partner can be a valuable addition to your path towards healing and can strengthen your relationship so that it is even better than it was before.