Addressing ED in long-term relationships: How to keep the spark alive

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Over time, ED may strain a relationship, especially because some study has indicated that it impacts your spouse as well, making them feel confused, worried, unattractive, or even suspicious of you.

Chronic erectile dysfunction can also result in feelings of shame, making open and honest discussions about ED difficult, resulting in a negative feedback cycle.

But here's the thing: ED doesn't have to sever your bond. Chronic ED may really destroy a relationship. Intimacy and romance are more than simply sexual encounters. ED may be treated in several instances. A variety of successful therapies can restore sexual function, enhancing marital satisfaction. A doctor can assist couples in better understanding their options, and they will frequently encourage both spouses to attend consultations.

However, to locate an alternative that works for them, a person may need to attempt many therapies or undergo testing. It is critical that their spouse is open, empathetic, and supportive throughout this time. In one study, 94% of guys said their partner's assistance was essential when they were suffering with ED.

People can attempt the following approaches:

  • open communication
  • therapy
  • various types of intimacy
  • lifestyle changes
effective erectile dysfunction treatments

The importance of communication cannot be overstated.

  • Talking with your spouse, being honest about your feelings, and being open to listen to their feelings will help you operate as a team 
  • "A long-term partnership requires a "us vs. the problem" perspective, not a "me versus. you" mindset," adds Conroy. And you can only do that by talking to one another

  • Try to be kind and sensitive if your partner has ED

  • This can help your partner feel less ashamed and stressed, which can assist reduce performance anxiety

  • More empathy may also assist to reduce tension in your relationship 

ED can generate feelings of shame or humiliation; some men may avoid physical closeness with their partners to prevent suffering. A partner, on the other hand, can view this as rejection, making them feel undesired or undesirable

  • ED does not or appealing
  • sex is not as essential as the individual's health and well-being; and
  • They are eager to work through this with the individual.


Consider consulting with a couples or sex therapist. They may be able to assist you in resolving challenges in your relationship, overcoming negative attitudes towards sex and psychological hurdles, and developing new ideas or methods for connecting and having pleasure in the bedroom.

Remember that if you get persistent ED abruptly, there might be a physical explanation.

Consider speaking with your doctor or primary care physician to discover if there is a medical basis for your ED visit. They may also be able to prescribe medicine, such as Viagra, to assist you in achieving or maintaining an erection.

Intimacy in other scenarios

It's important to remember that sex doesn't always have to be about penetration.

There are methods to retain physical closeness while undergoing ED therapy. Nonsexual contact, such as kissing, hugging, and handholding, might, for example, bring individuals closer together and make those with ED feel supported.

For example, if a doctor prescribes dietary modifications to someone with ED, the person may be more likely to follow through if their spouse likewise adopts some or all the adjustments. Similarly, if both couples smoke, quitting can be advantageous to both.

Lifestyle changes

  • stopping smoking, if a smoker
  • limiting or eliminating alcohol intake
  • increasing exercise
  • maintaining a moderate body weight
  • stopping illegal drug use, if relevant

Those in a relationship with someone with ED can help their partner do this by providing moral support. In some situations, it may be beneficial for them to participate in the changes, too.

How can couples cope?

People who have an ED partner or spouse may struggle with their own mental health. They may be concerned that their failure to sustain an erection means their lover no longer desires them.

Low libido, on the other hand, is a distinct issue from ED. People with low libido do not want to have sex, but those with ED may want to but are unable to. If someone with ED is no longer interested in sex, it might be due to the influence ED is having on their mental state.