If your partner has had a problem maintaining an erection, chances are, your sex life has taken a hit, too. You might feel frustrated both sexually and emotionally. Plus, the next step might seem unclear because, as much as you want to move forward and solve this problem, it's a bit complicated. First thing's first: Ask your partner to visit a doctor to determine the cause of his impotence because getting to the root of the issue (whether it's emotional or physical) will help both of you figure out what to do next.
What Is Impotence?
Impotence is the inability to achieve an erection or maintain it until orgasm.
Either way, this is probably as difficult (if not more so) for him as it is for you, so try to be as considerate and gentle as possible when broaching the subject. If you're unsure of what to do, don't worry. Consider this your cheat sheet for getting through it so that you can come out the other side stronger and betterthan ever.
Choose the Right Time
First and foremost: If your partner is dealing with a lot of stress, has anxiety or depression, or unresolved issues from his family of origin, it may interfere with his ability to maintain an erection. If his impotence has been a consistent issue for long enough that you want to have an honest conversation about it (and maybe suggest that he visit a specialist), decide when you're going to talk about it before you do it. In other words, bringing this up impulsively probably isn't the best course of action.
Think about it: If you just attempted intimacy and he struggled to develop an erection, talking about it in that moment when he may be feeling vulnerable, frustrated, and embarrassed can come across as a bit insensitive. Our advice? Wait until the right moment when he may be more open to talking about it before bringing it up. That way, you'll be able to have a mature, honest discussion that isn't riddled with emotions.
Let Him Know You Support Him
This issue can be quite emotional for your partner, so letting him know that you support him can do wonders not only for his self-esteem but also your relationship. Plus, if you ever find yourself dealing with something of equal magnitude in the future, you can expect the same level of understanding and patience from him. Anyone who's been in or is currently in a relationship understands that as amazing as they are, they can also be difficult at times, and being able to work through those challenging moments is what makes a relationship stronger.
If he wants to talk, do your best to listen and offer advice or support in whatever form he may need. If he doesn't want to talk, try to give him some space. After all, sometimes a little alone time is enough to bring someone back to reality.
The best way of coping with the issues surrounding impotence is to communicate with your partner about it, especially if his way of coping is to compartmentalize, de-sexualize, or refuse to acknowledge there is a problem. That said, you can't expect everything to just magically fall into place after having a discussion and going to a doctor. Especially if the issue is emotional (as opposed to physical), it may take some time to dissipate. Also, no one expects you to solve this problem on your own. If going to a therapist is something you'd consider, we highly recommend it. After all, therapists are trained professionals who can help you through any intense issue.
As much as you want to be there for your partner, this issue affects you too, so don't push your own feelings aside to protect him. If you feel like you've given your relationship time and patience, and it's simply not working, don't feel obligated to stay out of love for your partner. After all, a successful relationship is comprised of two happy individuals, so if you're not feeling excited about your partner or your love life, you may want to consider taking a break.