Erector Set

29 Aug

Dear LetterBalm: My man and I are both in our 50s and have been together for four years. During all this time, he has had some level of erectile dysfunction. He has difficulty maintaining an erection and doesn’t have erections when he wakes up. He satisfies me in other ways sexually, but I have a strong sex drive and would love the intimacy of actual intercourse once in awhile. I reassure him all the time that I love him and am happy to be with him. He won’t go to the doctor, and he won’t consider Viagra or Cialis. In many ways, he is a wonderful person, but I’m afraid this could be a dealbreaker. What can I say to make him realize how important this is and how seeking help isn’t the end of the world?

–Soft Expectations

You’ve set out the problem pretty well. If your partner smokes and/or drinks, it could be adding to his erectile dysfunction and stress. Delicacy and discretion are called for here. Ms. L.B. cautions that you don’t want to create more performance anxiety by giving him an ultimatum. At the same time, however, you must make your needs known. Presumably, you have thoroughly evaluated your relationship and have your priorities straight. Talk to him when the two of you aren’t in bed. Take his hands, look into his eyes and say this:

Marvin, you and I are lucky to have found each other. I think you’ll agree that in so many ways we are right for each other. It isn’t too many couples who can say that. You know I love you and want you to be happy. There’s one area where we aren’t happy though, and that’s our lovemaking. My dear man, I want us to be able to make love completely, and your problem is preventing that. Not getting an erection is a common problem, nothing to be ashamed of. Please go to the doctor for an examination and a review of available help. Millions of men have done this, and you might find the cause is easily solved. Don’t you see that the longer you wait, the more this will continue to have a negative effect on our relationship? I don’t want to lose you.

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