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Not being able to maintain an erection makes me feel less than a man

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Dear Life Coach,

I am a 55-year-old man, and I have been married for the past 30 years. My wife and I have had a very good relationship over the years and we have two grown children who are on their own. Over the past seven months I have noticed that I am losing my ability to maintain an erection. My wife has been patient, understanding and kind – but I am becoming more and more frustrated with myself, and embarrassed about not being able to please her. The truth is, I am feeling less of a man and I fear that one of these days she might “throw it in my face” when we are having a conflict, and I know I will lose it, and there is no telling what I might do.{{more}}

Impotent Man (IM)

Dear IM,

You feel embarrassed because you believe that you are losing your male prowess and you do not know how to talk with your wife about this.

What’s Going On:

Here are some factors that contribute to your present situation: erectile dysfunction, middlescence/mid-life, medical examination and treatment, counselling, lack of open and honest communication with your wife, accepting and working with the situation.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction involves impairment of the genital vasocongestive reaction. This means that there is reduced blood supply in the genitals, which results in a lack of penile erection in men during the excitement phase of the sexual response cycle.

Middlescence/Mid-Life

During middlescence (ages 40 – 60) many of the body’s functions begin to decline, e.g. vision (we need to wear tested glasses), physical strength diminishes (e.g. many athletes retire), sexual interest and prowess diminish (sexual dysfunction), hair turns gray (we use hair colour), skin begins to sag (we begin to lose our youthful appearance – we wear make-up), just to name a few. These changes are all a part of the aging process that we must learn to accept and work with, and know that we are still okay. We are blessed when we have lived long enough to be classified as middle-aged, or elderly, because so many people did not make it this far. It is a blessing and nothing to be ashamed of. So, we work with the aging process of nature, and do the best that we can under the circumstances.

What to Do:

 

 
Medical Examination and Treatment

It is important to seek medical evaluation and treatment, since erectile dysfunction may be caused by several physical or physiological conditions, including the following: hormone (androgen) deficiency, vascular or neurological problems, diabetes, other medical problems, substance abuse, prescription medication and fatigue. Your doctor will be able to help you to identify the cause of erectile dysfunction or give you an appropriate referral.

Seek Counselling

Psychological factors also play a major role in erectile dysfunction. These are often unconscious processes, which means we are unaware when these things impact our sexuality negatively. Some of these factors include: anxiety about sexual performance, interpersonal discord (e.g. at work or at home), guilt about our sexuality (e.g. infidelity), pressure with respect to sexual demands (e.g. if we are stressed or tired, but expected to perform), to name a few. A counsellor who works in this area may be able to help you uncover the reason for this condition, since you were fine in the past.

Communicate Open and Honestly with Your Wife

Have a heart to heart talk with your wife. This is no doubt affecting her as much as it is affecting you. She is most likely worried about you and your health and is also frustrated, though keeping it calm. Since you have had a good relationship with her over the years, you owe it to her to talk it through with her. She may also need to be incorporated into any psychological treatment that you may receive. You may be feeling embarrassed, but your wife needs to be a part of your issue and she has been patient, loving, and understanding so far.

Accept the Situation & Handle it Appropriately

There is no telling what ball life will throw us; sometimes good and sometimes bad, sometimes preventable and sometimes not. It may not be that you have done anything wrong. However, you will need to accept that it has happened (not that anyone wanted it to), but it has happened. So, now you try your best to handle it as appropriately as you can and work towards the best resolution of the situation that is possible.

IM, it is hard when one’s sexuality is called into question. However, at this time you need to be brave, be positive, let your wife in, and embrace the treatments that are available. All the best, as you seek to rectify this condition.

Life Coach

DYNACII

Need help with relationship and other problems? Ask DYNACII’s Life Coach. Email your questions to [email protected] To Chat with the Life Coach, visit: http://www.dynacinternational.com. Dynamic Action Center International Inc. (DYNACII) a non-governmental organization committed to social and spiritual empowerment.

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