Relationships have always been a two-way street, whether it’s communication, honesty, vulnerability, or whose turn it is to pick up the kids. However, when the most intimate moments of your romantic relationship start to fade, your lust and desire can turn into anxiety and insecurity, thereby impacting the relationship as a whole.
Anxiety and insecurity are commonly felt by men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED), particularly when their condition starts to impact their sexual relationships. Understandably, ED may be a hard topic to bring up in conversation, yet, giving it the ‘silent treatment’ can lead to further concerns or issues that can impact the relationship further down the line. Thus, we’re going to shine the spotlight on four ways in which ED can impact a relationship, and what you can do when you or your significant other has ED.
Have you lost the ‘spark’?
An erection is a process during which the sponge-like tissue found inside the penis fills with blood when an individual is aroused. Certain conditions, both psychological and physiological, can limit blood flow to the penis, either by altering the chemical signals responsible for the stimulation of blood flow or by reducing the action of cardiovascular processes. When this occurs, the individual will be unable to sustain an erection for the duration of their romantic endeavors. In other words – the individual will present with ED.
In many cases, ED is entirely treatable. However, if an individual with ED fails to openly talk or discuss their condition, they may limit themselves to the quality of help they may receive, whilst also impacting their relationship. Our advice? ED is normal. Especially in a long-term relationship. Talk about your condition with your partner, and together you can find the most appropriate treatment method for you, whether that may be through medicine, psychotherapy, or natural acoustic wave therapy. If left in the dark, Ed can affect more than just the person struggling with it in several ways, including:
Lack of confidence
Intimate partners who struggle with ED often suffer from a lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Over time, these feelings can build up and translate the stress of living with ED into anger, bitterness, or hatred. The individual affected with ED may fear moments of intimacy and avoid any form of seduction, whilst their partner may feel that they’re to blame. Addressing the issue within your relationship is necessary not only to preserve your emotional and sexual relationship but to establish mutual respect.
If the individual with ED opts to continue the relationship without mention of the issue at hand, both partners may inadvertently become emotionally distanced. This can be common, particularly when long-term partners deprive themselves of sexual intimacy, and lead to feelings of insecurity from both partners.
Poorer mental health
The association between poor mental health and ED has been studied extensively, with all scientific data coming to one conclusion: both men and their partner(s) are prone to developing a mental health condition if ED impacts their relationship. Reports suggest that men with ED who experience an unsatisfactory sex life are more likely to have poorer mental health.
The lack of confidence and fear of approaching a partner attributed to the inability to sustain an erection can further lead to anxiety and depression. The most disabling aspect of anxiety and depression associated with ED is that it can stop those affected from taking action and speaking up about their issue, which further exacerbates the issue.
An individual with ED may feel guilty at the thought of being unable to sexually satisfy their partner. Those with ED might feel like they’re letting their partner down. They may end up spending too much money on treatments, and become preoccupied with all things sex related that, over time, can turn those feelings of guilt into resentment. Such individuals may begin taking their partner’s comments are veiled complaints instead of pieces of advice, which can spiral into an unhealthy relationship.
What to do if you or your significant other has ED?
An ED diagnosis isn’t the end of a relationship. Like every problem that may occur during a relationship, issues surrounding ED can be resolved with patients, communication, and understanding. It is important to reiterate that ED isn’t a reflection on the individual. It is a common condition that occurs as a result of underlying reasons (none of which include your partner not finding you attractive anymore) that can be identified and managed in the following ways:
- Talking within a romantic relationship can help both partners understand why ED has occurred, and discuss different solutions together. For an individual with ED to recognize that their partner is not ashamed of them, nor do they feel insecure, will not only improve the affected individual’s mental health but also work wonders in restoring confidence.
- Short-term treatment is widely and easily available for the treatment of ED. Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors such as Viagra and Cialis can be acquired from a pharmacy or doctor and have been shown to provide effective short-term results.
- Psychotherapy in the forms of couples counseling or individual therapy can help an individual or couple understand the dynamics of the relationship and provide effective management strategies. Furthermore, if the cause of ED was found to be psychological, those with ED can undergo therapy to help determine the root of their issue and relearn how to overcome the anxiety associated with ED.
Or opt for a long-term option: Wave Tech Therapy
For an erection to occur, the body relies on a healthy blood flow to the tissue in the penis.
Shockwave therapy or acoustic wave therapy is the latest ED treatment available that is used to regenerate blood vessels in the penis and improve blood flow.
The procedure itself is virtually painless and allows individuals to get back to their daily activities almost immediately following their treatment.
The best part is that results are seen for up to 3 years and longer.