Erectile dysfunction is a major fear for most men of any age. It is a common problem for many older men. According to the Urology Care Foundation, as many as 30 million men currently struggle with the issue. It's simply a medical problem that can often be treated, however, so the stigma about talking about it need not be prohibitive. Consider these tips for speaking to your partner about erectile dysfunction and the impact it may have on your life.
Initiate the Discussion in a Distraction-Free Environment
A serious discussion deserves an environment where you can have peace and quiet. Ask your partner to set aside time for the discussion and have it in a private place in your home. Since the subject is sensitive, this will help avoid discomfort in public and will also offer you fewer distractions.
Share Your Feelings Openly
Don't be afraid to share both your insecurities and fears with your partner. They want to understand what is going on with you, and the best way to start the discussion is talking about how you feel. Although it's certainly not a problem that should have the stigma of shame, talk about that, if it inspires those feelings in you. When you talk about your feelings openly with your partner, you empower them to do the same.
Decide on a Treatment Method First
Unless you want your partner's input in choosing an erectile dysfunction treatment, decide what you want to do about the issue before initiating the discussion. After you have done your research and made the choice, it will be much easier to discuss. You can then prepare to educate your partner on what will happen during the time of treatment and what the results may be.
Ask Thoughtful Questions with No Expectations
Although the erectile dysfunction is happening to you, it also has an impact on your partner. The best way to advance the discussion, after initially stating your thoughts and feelings, is to ask your partner questions.
Some open-ended, thoughtful questions you may want to ask include:
- How does it make you feel, when the erectile dysfunction occurs?
- What do you wish you knew about the problem that you may have been afraid to ask me?
- Why do you think this is happening?
- Are you on board with the chosen treatment for the issue?
Be careful not to overthink the questions. Ask what comes to mind, then follow up with questions if you still want to know more about the answer your partner gave.
Finally, keep in mind that your partner will probably be as concerned about making you comfortable with the problem as you are with reassuring them. If you follow these tips, the conversation about the problem and the erectile dysfunction treatment you want to pursue can be painless. It can also help you and your partner grow even closer, as you work through the challenge together. Erectile dysfunction is treatable, and, with a physician's help, you can achieve results. Ask your doctor about the available erectile dysfunction treatments.