When Erectile Dysfunction Hits Your Marriage

Reader Question of the WeekEvery Monday I like to tackle a Reader Question, and this week’s is a common one: “my husband has ED” (erectile dysfunction).

One reader writes:

Can you post about men with ED problems. My husband is 52 and I am 53. We have struggled in the area of sexual intimacy for most of our 27 yr marriage. I was always the one with low libido and my husband would react very negatively. I recently had my hormones checked and she gave me testosterone shots and it reversed our issues! He is struggling with ED. He is on blood pressure meds and thyroid pills. We are trying to talk thru the emotional aspects but it is very difficult.

I would say that’s the typical “face” of ED–a middle aged man, with some health problems, who suddenly finds that things aren’t working well. Yet increasingly it’s also younger men who have ED:

We’re in our twenties and we’ve been married for two years. My husband has never really been able to maintain an erection. Either it peters out before we really get started, or else he ejaculates too quickly. So now he’s almost given up trying, and he just plays video games until about 2 every morning. I want us to be intimate but I don’t know how to get around this.

This week I’d like to do a three-part series on erectile dysfunction and marriage, looking today at strategies to deal with impotence (ED), tomorrow at some of the “other” sexual problems we face, like premature ejaculation or delayed ejaculation, and then on Wednesday at how to keep a great sex life even when these things start to plague your marriage.

I have to admit from the outset, though, that I feel awfully sorry for men. Let’s face it: lots of times we women make love when “we’re not really in the mood”, and it works fine. We don’t always orgasm, and it doesn’t matter. But for a guy, if things don’t work perfectly, everything is thrown off. No wonder it’s so scary! And when things start to go wrong, there’s often a vicious cycle that starts, where they get so worried that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and then these husbands stop wanting sex altogether.

So let’s look at the three main causes of ED–one cause for ED in young men, and two causes for ED in older men–and then see some DOs and DON’Ts for the different scenarios.

If this isn’t an issue in your marriage, please read on anyway! I have a special word further down for wives who haven’t experienced this yet–because I think the key word is YET, and we need to be prepared!

My Husband has ED: A look at ED in young men, ED in older men, and what to do about itED in Young Men

It used to be that the face of ED was Bob Dole in the Viagra commercial–an older man, who had been fine in his younger years, but now health problems and circulation problems had affected things.

Over the last decade, though, an epidemic of ED in young men has started. Here’s Dr. Oz–pretty much as mainstream as you can get–talking with a panel about how ED is now becoming a young man’s issue. And the reason? Porn.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the top 10 effects of porn, and one of the most common that they’re finding is that it causes sexual dysfunction, from ED to premature ejaculation to delayed ejaculation. It trains the brain to become aroused to an image, and not a person. And then when the image isn’t present, the person doesn’t provide enough stimulus. And so the arousal process doesn’t work.

This can be the case even if your husband is no longer using porn. For instance, I received this email:

My husband and I were both virgins when we got married. I was 22 and he was 23. He told me that he had used porn a lot as a teenager, but stopped when he was 20, and while he was still tempted, he really doesn’t look anymore. He and his best friend meet regularly to keep each other accountable & before we were married he gave me access to his computer and phone. But we had sex on our wedding night (it was really quick), and then once three days later, and now it’s been two months and he says he isn’t interested. Is this normal?

Yes, actually, it is normal–at least it’s normal for guys who have used porn a lot in their formative teenage years. Even if they’re not using porn anymore, often that arousal process is still messed up and needs to be retrained.

Porn is not the only cause of ED in young men–it could be that the two causes that I’ll list in a minute for older men apply better to your husband. But for most men under 40, porn is the root cause. So what do you?

1. Stop the porn

No ifs, ands, or buts. This will not get better if he is still using porn–it will only get worse. Project Know is a community of over 73,000 self-reported internet porn addicts who have made the decision to abstain from porn and masturbation, and they’ve produced some great research on their membership. 37% of these addicts reported experiencing erectile dysfunction, and only 27% reported having no sexual dysfunction at all–meaning that 73% of active porn users do report some sort of sexual dysfunction. The good news? Once you abstain for a few weeks, and your body and brain start to normalize, 60% report an improvement in sexual dysfunction–though they could still have problems, as our letter writer shows.

Nevertheless, it will not get better while the porn-and-masturbation cycle is still occurring.

These posts may prove helpful:

Top 10 Effects of Porn (show them to your husband if he’s skeptical)
4 Things You Must do if Your Husband Uses Porn
Are you a spouse or an enabler? (if your husband refuses to deal with his porn addiction)

2. Start the Recovery Process Focusing on Intimacy

Assuming the porn use is in the past, and your husband realizes that it was a major cause, you can now retrain the brain to become aroused by true intimacy, and not just anonymous images. Here’s a post on sexual recovery from a porn addiction, which includes some exercises on learning how to become vulnerable and truly naked with each other.

31 Days to Great SexI’d also highly recommend my book 31 Days to Great Sex (which is only $4.99 in the ebook version), which can walk you through, step by step, how to build real intimacy. Taken together, the book helps couples understand the difference between real intimacy and just sex, and helps couples move step by step towards achieving that.

Some DONTs for Younger Men with ED

  • Don’t recreate porn in your marriage, thinking this will solve it! The answer isn’t to be “hotter” than porn; it’s to retrain the brain to find real intimacy!
  • Don’t berate him for it. See porn as the enemy, not your husband.
  • Don’t rush things. It takes a while for recovery, and if you cling to each other, and give it time, you’ll come out stronger.

Some DOs in Marriages where Young Men have ED

  • Do work on your friendship with your husband–the more you can laugh together, the more you can take on anything!
  • Do work on creating more spiritual intimacy–like praying together or reading a chapter of the Bible before you go to bed. When you can become spiritually vulnerable with each other, this has a big impact on our intimacy, and often triggers a sexual response because of that intimacy.
  • Do encourage your husband to talk to someone else. You can’t be his accountability partner. You have to be his wife. Let him go to someone else to grill him. Don’t let that person be you.

ED in Older Men

When we think of ED, we do tend to think of older men.

Good Girls Guide My Site1. Dealing with the Physical Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Here’s what I reported in The Good Girls Guide to Great Sex:

According the the National Institute of Health, chronic erectile dysfunction affects 4% of men in their 50s, 17% of men in their 60s, and 47% of men over 75. Transient, or temporary, ED affects about 50% of men between 40 and 70. About 70% of chronic ED has physical roots, while the rest has emotional roots.

If your husband experiences ED once, don’t worry about it. It’s likely just temporary and it will pass. If it happens a few times, though, your husband needs to see a doctor. ED is often one of the first signs of circulatory issues, heart issues, and other health concerns. He may not like seeing a doctor, but think of ED as an early warning beacon. Don’t ignore it.

Sometimes ED can be caused by medication. If he’s on a number of medications and he starts experiencing ED, have the doctor or pharmacist take a look at all the drugs in combination and see if they’re all necessary, or if there may be a better combination that he could try.

ED can also be caused by obesity, smoking, or drinking too much alcohol. We may think we can “have a few drinks” to get us in the mood, but actually the opposite is far more common. Living a healthier lifestyle can often overcome many of the causes of ED.

UPDATE: I’ve had a number of readers write to me swearing by l-arginine, a compound that health food stores sell that apparently really helps. One man writes,

I didn’t want to take Viagra or Cialis because of the potential complications so I went to a health food store and bought some pills with L-arginine. I take one a day and now I’m fine.

I’m not a doctor, so I can’t give you any medical advice, but enough people have emailed me I just thought I should mention it. You can see arginine supplements here.

2. Dealing with Emotional Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

A physical root to ED can often morph into an emotional cause for ED. Because a guy’s virility is so tied up in how he performs sexually, when he suddenly isn’t able to, even if it’s for a legitimate physical reason, it can cause him to become so insecure that he’s afraid to try again. Or when he does try, the stress that he’ll fail causes him to fail.

Other men have an emotional root to ED to begin with. It could be sexual issues–perhaps sexual abuse in the past, or dealing with homosexual feelings, or some issues from the family of origin. Or more commonly it could simply be stress. He starts to feel like he’s not man enough at work or in another high pressure situation, and this comes into the bedroom.

If your husband has ED, he’s going to feel sexually nervous. Many men, after a handful of times dealing with ED, swear off sex altogether. I’ve even received letters from women saying that their husbands have moved into another bedroom. Sometimes these same men are then caught masturbating. The men want release, but they’re scared of what may happen to their ego if they attempt intercourse. Or they become almost asexual, deciding that it’s safer psychologically to shut down that part of them.

Some DOs If Your Husband Has ED:

  • Do help your husband through stress he’s feeling–at work, with finances, with family. Help him talk through his feelings by being a sounding board. Do fun things with him.
  • Do treat ED as a minor inconvenience–not the end of the world. Sometimes things don’t work; let’s watch a movie instead, or just kiss for a while.
  • Do work on helping your husband stay healthy. Drink less alcohol, lose some weight, and quit smoking. These can help in the bedroom, too!
  • Do talk to your husband before this happens.

I want to emphasize that last one:

Even if your husband has not experienced ED yet: chances are one day he will. If you talk about it beforehand, it can make it easier. Look: we women are going to go through menopause, and EVERYBODY knows that. It’s talked about and joked about. We’ll get moody, we’ll get hot flashes, and our libidos may disappear–for a time. Because we’re expecting it, it isn’t as big a deal. Maybe we need to talk about ED in the same way! Most men will likely experience at least intermittent ED. If you talk about it now, before it happens, and acknowledge it openly, you can decrease the emotional punch that it may bring. Say that you expect it one day, and when it happens you’ll get through it together and develop strategies once you need to. If it’s something you’ve talked about, then it isn’t coming out of the blue, and it isn’t likely that he’ll be as self-conscious about it.

Some DONTs If Your Husband Has ED:

  • Don’t try to analyze this at the time. Let it go, and then talk about a few days later. Don’t push things in the bedroom, when it just happened.
  • Don’t baby him. Treat it matter-of-factly: this is something most men go through at some point, and we’ll get to the bottom of it. I have confidence in that–and in you.
  • Don’t Make This About You. Helen, from the The Unintimate Marriage, writes about her journey with a husband who has ED. And she has this advice for us: There is one temptation you will have through all of this: to make it about you. I’ve been there. You’re in the middle of a pretty hot and heavy make out session and you realize that it is causing very little reaction in him. All of a sudden you are off track too. You’re thinking, “Oh my goodness! He does think I’m fat!” or “I knew it, he does hate this haircut” top it off with a little, “Has he met someone else that he thinks is prettier than me?” Our insecurity comes on quickly, so I want you to really hear me when I tell you that this is not because of you! Don’t question how he feels about you at the time; treat it matter of factly, and move on to something else. You can talk about the root causes when it isn’t so emotional.

Where We’re Going From Here

Tomorrow we’re going to talk about how to handle two other areas of sexual dysfunction: premature ejaculation and delayed ejaculation. On Wednesday, we’ll look at how to keep a sex life alive even if sexual dysfunction means that intercourse itself isn’t always lengthy, possible, or very enjoyable.




  1. While porn is a huge problem, don’t think that younger guys can’t have health and psychological issues. A guy who stays up until 2:00AM playing video games probably isn’t taking good care of himself and there may be a genuine physical issue, though this is rare.

    Additionally, if a man is overly nervous or overly excited around sex, his blood pressure can spike, which makes maintaining an erection physically impossible. If he can get an erection, then he may struggle with premature ejaculation. This seems like it could be the problem with the younger couples you describe. Problems with ED and premature ejaculation only put more pressure on him. These men may masturbate or turn to porn because these are self-controlled fantasies and there is no pressure. It becomes a vicious cycle.

  2. Roger C says:

    Over the last few years (I am 51), the “quality” level becomes really erratic. I don’t think I’ve ever had a case where I could not get aroused at all but I certainly get cases where my wife can feel something missing and/or I don’t last as long as she needs. We look at all the usual suspects (sleep, alcohol, emotional closeness, stress, etc.) but frankly it all can seem pretty random. We honestly don’t know why some encounters seem awesome and others are so much less satisfying.

    How do people feel about the “Viagra” type products? If a fifty-something man is basically healthy but wants more “consistency”, is it advisable to experiment with these products? Are there downsides?

    • Roger, I’d definitely talk to your doctor about it and try it! I mean, we start needing reading glasses when we hit our 40s. Our bodies just change. If there’s something out there that can help, I think it’s worth a try. So just talk to your doctor.

    • Caligirl says:

      Try the Encore pump. Very effective. No drugs and no prescription required. Under $200.00

  3. Sheila..Thank you so much for this post. We’ve been going through this for some time and you’re spit on! From the feelings of insecurity in myself to the way it’s messed up his mind. We’re working through it and your series is much appreciated. I’ve already purchased The Good Girl’s Guide To Sex and we’ll be reading it together. God bless you.

    • So glad I can help! It’s a difficult thing to write about because it’s so different for each couple. I hope I can shed a little bit of insight on it, but I know that everyone walks through it a little differently.

  4. Having spoke to quite a few couples on this and also researching on various christian blogs I would also like to list these things that can cause ED:
    1) extreme stress & tiredness, but especially work and maritial stress at any age
    2) extreme disrespect towards the husband, both sexual and non sexual. From refusal over a long period of time to not respecting a husband. Men’s preformance is not just tied to the physical, but the psychological and how they are treated will effect, to greatly effect, depending on the level of severity.

    • Point number 2 by Julie is relevant in more marriages than we care to admit. There really is an emotional and psychological component to male sexuality that is often either overlooked or trivialized in the US and Canada. Many husbands may withdraw emotionally and not really desire sexual intimacy if they are being disrespected by their wives.

      I would also point out that on the physical side, a more natural diet can help in this area. Exercise and getting enough sleep each night can help to alleviate ED in some men. Vigorous exercise, such as regular training in the weight room, can help the body to make more of its own testosterone. Prescription medications (for other medical conditions) can make ED worse for some men. For the wife, whose husband is suffering from ED, try taking more time in foreplay. This can help some men to achieve and maintain erection. Keep the stimulation going as that can help.
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  5. My husband and I have been married for 2 1/2 years (second marriage for both of us), he is 58 and I’m 49. Hubby has been on blood pressure meds for over 10 years and dealt with ED since that time. And needless to say, he does require the use of vitamin ‘V’. 😉
    Since he had already been dealing with this issue before we got married it doesn’t seem like a big deal to him and I certainly don’t think any less of him for it, it’s just how it is. But I would say the one issue, at least for me, is having to schedule lovemaking which can be difficult during those times I’m wanting to connect sexually suddenly and he just isn’t ready. We usually just agree to wait until the next morning or later in the day, but for me that can get frustrating when I’m in the mood and suddenly have to just stifle that desire until a later time. Then suddenly he’s ready and I wake up sleepy and not feeling very sexy, kwim?
    So, I guess to sound a little selfish here, I think it’s harder on me because I have a higher drive than him and we can’t just make love at the drop of a hat.
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    • I sure hear you, Amy! You don’t sound selfish at all. Life is full of adjustments and compromises, and our society is used to thinking about guys compromising to have sex less often but don’t think about women doing the same. In fact, some men have argued that it might be more difficult for women because they haven’t been practicing controlling their needs since they were 14 years old! 😉 Hang in there dearie! Keep communicating with your husband. My heart hears you!
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      • Thanks for the kind words, Kendra! This has certainly been an issue for me, not so much the ED, but how to gain a little more spontaneity if that’s even possible. And yes, communication is key in all aspects of marriage, but especially during a difficult time as this. :)
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  6. Different blood pressure meds can have different effects. I believe beta blockers can cause ED. I was on Toprol, a beta blocker, for years ,and had periodic problems with ED. Then my doctor switched me to Lisinopril (an ACE inhibitor), and it’s been a LOT better!. I also had a brief period of ED when I was on Lipitor – not a known or listed side effect, and it may have been unrelated, but I changed my diet and got off Lipitor and that helped a lot.

    Although it’s often a more difficult, long-term solution (no “quick fix” as in adjusting meds), you cannot understate the importance of diet, exercise and stress reduction. Since I’ve been eating better, exercising more, and consciously working at de-stressing my life, I have virtually no problems with ED. I’m 57, and very often get and maintain an erection as good as when I was in my 20s.

    As far as the performance-anxiety/stress vicious cycle, my wife has been so wonderful when I would have some difficulty, and we now agree that at a minimum, we hold each other naked and just kiss and talk and enjoy being close, with no expectations or pressure. Sometimes that’s all that happens, and we’re both very happy with that, but more often than not, after 5-10 minutes, well, let’s just say there’s no ED around any more!

  7. My husband and I have been dealing with this problem off and on for years now. For along time he was using Viagra and it worked great! Then about 3 years ago it stopped working. He went to the doctor to find out why and see if there was anything else he could try. That was when he was diagnosed with diabetes. We were able to get his blood sugar under control and things started working again. Not regularly, but we were able to have sex again. But that has not been the case for the last 15 months. We have tried everything!!! and nothing works. It has been a long emotional year for us. We are learning to find real intamacy with what we have and learning to surrender it to the Lord. I never thought that at 41 I would have to give up sex, but were praying through this and know that God is using this to teach us something. Thank you for this post, I have been one that has struggled with thoughts of “Is it me”? Thinking I was part of the problem. It’s nice to know that I am not the only woman out there who struggles through this with her husband

  8. I certainly agree that men, especially over 50 with high blood pressure, really need to make their doctors pay attention to their concerns about ED and meds. I live in Birmingham, Alabama, home to one of the top medical center complexes in America (UAB) but it is very, VERY hard to find a urologist or GP who will actually take ED concerns seriously. The drug companies seen to give them marching orders where BP meds are concerned. The latest/greatest most expensive non-generic is what they always prescribe, and the ones I have seen act like you are a complete idiot if you suggest they try something that won’t kill the moment in the bedroom.

    Another word of caution for the wives of men with some ED issues – if hubby is like me, and the togetherness and intimacy of sexual oneness is way more important than ejaculation, don’t doubt hubby’s word when he tells you it’s ok. The act is just as pleasurable for me and while a “normal” conclusion is preferred, as long as we are together and loving one another during the act, a “misfire” or two is no biggie, and NO, it is not a reflection on sweet wifey’s physical attraction.

    • Will, that’s very encouraging. Thank you! I’m talking about the togetherness and intimacy on Wednesday, and I hope that many couples can move towards that view of it.

  9. This is such a great post! We’re in our early/mid 30s, but we’ve talked about how we want to handle it if/when it happens. I like how you stressed handling it matter of factly, even if it feels really emotional at the time. I’m making a mental note! My dad had a long term affair while he was married to my mom, and deep down, I really struggle against the idea that all men do this (or want to). My husband is a wonderful man who is aware of the pitfalls and is very careful in his relationships with women at work, having appropriate boundaries, etc. But, it’s still hard for me – I know that’s my baggage, though. Hearing you say to handle it matter of factly may help me have an appropriate reaction if it even needs to be discussed.
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  10. My husband and I have been married for 3.5 years and have been dealing with ED the entire time (we are in our 20s).
    We were both virgins and did not expect that we would be dealing with this issue, let alone for so long… We’re trying to get pregnant and ED is our biggest roadblock. We have tried all kinds of solutions: we have seen a counsellor, have seen our individual physicians, have tried Viagra, have read some great Christian books on sex and intimacy, and have spent a lot of time in prayer… But nothing seems to help.
    Personally, I am so frustrated and depressed with our situation. It is not the kind of topic that I can go to my girlfriends for advice, and it is isolating. We both have a low libido as a result and don’t know what else to do.

    Thank you so much for addressing this topic!

  11. ARBrown says:

    Sheila thanks for tackling this topic . However it is sort of frustrating to see the same information over and over. Not all men can take ED drugs nor can they take shots nor does the pump always work. It would be nice to have a frank discussion of what it means to be sexually intimate outside of intercourse. Dr. David Schnarch in one of his books wrote the following” what if you never can you have intersourse again” Does this mean you are not sexually intimate anymore-of course not. Also PLEASE beware of the fact that ED can be a forerunner of major heart health issues. So after living with this issue for the last 19 years and being in a sexless marriage for 4 out those ninteen years this is what my husband and I have done- talk and redefine what it means to be sexually intimate with each other, Mind you that we have married for 32 years- it was only after I addressed the white elephant in the room that things began to turn around. We play and we have fun-are we initimate again- yes -does intercourse enter in to things- not often and not successfully. Are we making it work-yes. So Ladies- go for the brass ring- talk to your husband about what you want outside of intercourse. Men- understand that intercourse does not define who you are and what it means to make love to your wife. MOST of ALL sex is meant be bonding and fun – so go have fun.

    • Don’t worry–that post is coming on Wednesday! I just couldn’t fit everything in one post, or the post would be too long!

  12. I’m wondering what I’m supposed to do when 1. Money is tight and can’t afford the doctor (especially for a non life threatening condition). and 2. Hubby doesn’t really care that he can’t get an erection. He just shrugs it off as “Well, I tried, but it just isn’t working” and that’s good enough for him?? HE doesn’t think he has a problem, even though he knows it’s a problem. He had problems to start with, I’m assuming, because of high blood pressure, and even after getting on meds, he still has the problem. Doctor who gave him the blood pressure meds just says “Well, it shouldn’t be a problem”……and pushes us out the door :/ I’m barely 40, we’ve been through a lot of stress, the death of our oldest son to cancer 2 years ago, and we need this connection…..Despite the fact that our sex life has never been fantastic, I’m not ready to be in a sexless marriage.

    • Yes, CJ, that is really tough. Unfortunately, as I said in the post, if the communication isn’t there and you can’t both agree it’s an issue, then it’s so much more difficult to deal with it. I’d just recommend keep plodding through and trying to talk to him. I’m so, so sorry about your son, too. I’m sure that this has really contributed to everything. I pray that you’ll be able to cling to each other through this really awful pain.

  13. Sandra Houtz says:

    We had/have this issue due to his blood pressure issues … he takes meds for that and of course one of the side effects id ED, so he has a prescription for Vitamin V (Viagra) our insurance does not cover it either … but we had the doctor prescribe 100 mg. and he cuts them in half and we save some money that way versus buying the 50 mg tabs at $20 a tab … very expensive and of course there is no generic yet as Pfizer is fighting to keep the patent in tact :( He doesn’t need the med to much anymore as he has lost some weight and adjusted his eating habits and that has all helped in that department … but Shelia is spot on with not focusing on just intercourse … there is so much more to “sex” in marriage than just the pure physical “intercourse” … :) Explore other avenues of pleasure that maybe you have never thought of … it’s quite exciting to think outside the “vagina” for a change!

  14. One common cause of ED for folks I know, including us, is prostate cancer. It’s a devil’s choice. If you choose radiation, then there are few options if the cancer returns. If you choose the surgery, you can do radiation if the cancer comes back. But even with the new DaVinci surgery, ED is often a result. And if the man has the hormone therapy, all desire is gone. Thankfully my husband is cancer-free two years out. But ED is a struggle. We tried Viagara and its clones. Nope. We tried actually injecting the drug into his penis. (Ew) Nope. Now we are using the pump. It works, sort of. We are very limited on positions because his erection is not firm enough for my favorites. And it is big process. By the time he has finished getting ready, I have lost my mojo. Add to that we both have stressful, exhausting jobs and just don’t have the energy to go through the whole process. It is so frustrating. Still, at least I have my husband, so I try to focus on what we do have.

  15. I’ve been up for a few hours searching for recent articles to give me to some indication on how to deal with this situation. I am 29. My husband of 9 years is 32. He has been diabetic for 8 of those years, along with a few other health issues and has struggled with ED now for a year. A year and a half ago he decided to take control of his health, resulting in a total lifestyle change, losing 50 pounds, lower medications, the works. everything improved but the ED. Recently he’s become very depressed about it and I’m just not sure what to do. He’s stopped working out which had been his stress relief and he’s totally unmotivated in just about every area/aspect of life. It’s really hard and I just don’t know what to do for him.

  16. That “don’t” about don’t make it about you is wrong. It’s about both of you. It’s natural to have those thoughts, especially if it’s your first time dealing with ED. It’s all about the poor man who’s willy won’t work. Guess what? It’s also about you and how you feel rejected by this failure. As women we’re told to be sympathetic, to seek help, to do all these things that good wives do for our husbands. Yet it’s not just about him. It affects your relationship, it affects his manhood and willingness and your overall need for that intimate connection. So, yeah, it’s ok to make it about you too.

  17. I am 31 y/o female my husband is 42 y/o when we were dating 5 years ago I noticed he had some issues maintaining an erection, but it was not every time when we were intimate. My husband is the most sweetest and companionate man I have ever known. Over the 5 years his ED has increasingly got worse so much that I gave him an ultimatum. The ultimatum was he needs to get to bottom of why the ED is happening and how to correct the ED or we will need to call it quits and put off our wedding plans. It is 2 years from the time I said this to him and now we are married, but the ED is worse. He has went to the MD; no low testosterone, no diabetes, no high blood pressure. He has started working out daily and loss weight; ED still present. Psychologically he is not affected by porn; he does not really like porn so that is not an issue. I have ask have he had any type of sexual trauma from his past; he has had none. I am and have been a very supportive wife to my husband concerning this issue. I am young and before my husband had a very healthy and active sex life that I miss and crave for again. Marriage is through sickness and through health, but I am not sure what else to do. I have recommended to him that maybe we need sex therapy, since he has stated that he was never really intimate when he was younger like other guys. I have even asked him did you have any feelings to males, which he stated “NO”! Maybe he lacks how to be intimate? Will sex therapy help him?

  18. Sheila
    I’m very frustrated , I’m 25 & was s virgin at marriage , my husband is 10 years older & wasn’t virgin
    I was shocked to find out he has Ed !
    He is 100% dysfunctional , viagra has a 50% effect only
    My needs are unmet greatly . But he’s a great man otherwise
    I’m really frustrated .. I need advice

  19. Great post Sheila with some very interesting comments. It definitely makes me feel more comfortable reading other peoples comments and experiences.

  20. Another reason in certain younger men that is overlooked: PTSD for OIF and OEF veterans. The VA estimates 9-20% of them have ED, but very few will discuss it. Due to all the possible exposures over there, it is important to discuss it with a doctor to see if it is psychological, or a symptom of something else.

  21. Thank you so much for this post. My husband and I are in our 30s but have dealt with ED since we were 1st married 10 years ago. In fact on our wedding night it was so much effort we decided to try later. We both were sexually inexperienced so I didnt know if this was normal or not. He is still in denial because he thinks only old men get this condition. Every blue moon it works great and it’s both the best thing and worst because I become so aware of what a great sex life we could have. I have tried to suppress my desire for intimacy because I have a higher libido but I feel frustrated and upset most times. I dont like to even be affectionate sometimes because its just more frustrating. He doesn’t drink or do porn but we both come from very conservative backgrounds. I wonder if this could be affecting his view of sex and causing him not to be able to fully indulge.

  22. There is another “issue” that can happen to men, one until it came to our home I had never hear of. Peyronies Disease. We have learned how to deal with it, but it can be painful for the man when he climaxes.
    If you have questions please ask and I will answer with what we have experienced, but for the sake of my husband and families privacy I have chosen to use the name blank.

  23. I have noticed that my husband has suffered from ED, when he rejected me to have intimate romance for a couple of times, so I asked him then. Yeah, at first he felt so insulted but I let him understand that he shouldn’t take it in a negative way since I am his wife. So, as a wife, I did my duty, I did research on how or what to take to regulate sexual functions, thankfully that there’s a certain herbal plant ashwagandha that is known in India that stimulates the libido, indeed it worked to my husband, to us. I hope, that it helps to all husband who has suffered the same thing.

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. Any comment that espouses an anti-marriage philosophy (eg. porn, adultery, abuse and the like) will be deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are replying to another commenter, please be polite and don't assume you know everything about his or her situation. If you are constantly negative or a general troll, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Sheila Wray Gregoire owns the copyright to all comments and may publish them in whatever form she sees fit. She agrees to keep any publication of comments anonymous, even if you are not anonymous on this board.


  1. […] we looked at some of the issues with erectile dysfunction, and while they’re related, premature ejaculation and delayed ejaculation are a little bit […]

  2. […] talked on Monday about the different causes of ED (erectile dysfunction), and how to deal with them. And yesterday we tackled premature ejaculation […]

  3. […] My Husband Has ED: Causes and Strategies to Reclaim … http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/This week I'd like to do a three-part series on erectile dysfunction and marriage, looking today at strategies to deal with impotence (ED), tomorrow at some of the “other” sexual problems we face, like premature ejaculation or … […]

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