Lonely asks :

Hi Lucy,

I have been with my husband since childhood, never known anyone else, he has developed erectile dysfunction. And for the last 10 years he has slept in another room. He has tried taking tablets which were prescribed by the doctor, but he fainted after taking, then he halved the dose, but could not sustain a full erection. I adore my husband, but am so lonely, as he never touches me. Can you please help. Desperate

Our Reply

Hi Lonely,

This sounds like a very difficult place to be when you love your partner but can’t share a fundamental part of your relationship.

Could he go back to the doctor and request a different prescription? Perhaps the one he was on did not suit but there are other brands out there that could work for him- perhaps he just needs to try them.

Maybe start with asking him to sleep in the same room as you. Bodies can forget what they are capable of and their drives when there is no physical contact. Maybe if you spend nights together again and cuddle up, kiss each other goodnight or hold hands; these types of affection might prompt him to go back and find something that will work in his favour.

It is a very sensitive issue for men, so maybe tread carefully and focus on how much you miss him rather than on what you are not getting from him. You don’t necessarily need to talk about the sex at first but talking about missing his embrace and his touch could be a good place to start.

If you are missing this side of his relationship then chances are he is missing it too. If it has been so long since you have shared a bed then it might take a bit of getting used to again, but if you are both committed to it then perhaps this will get easier with time and patience.

Erectile dysfunction is not always due to something physical but also psychological issues. Could it be that he is depressed or anxious about something as this can be a trigger of reduced libido? Could you suggest CBT if you feel this is the case?

Is he overweight? If so, this can be a hindrance to sexual drive as it causes a narrowing of the arteries, which in turn affects the blood flow going to the penis. Could you suggest some exercise that you do together or a healthy eating plan?

One or some of these might help to get you to your joint goal, but perhaps the first thing to do is to get him used to being tactile with you again so it doesn’t feel like such a big leap.  



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