May 18, 2012 – Erectile Dysfunction In Men: Major Psychosocial Effects
Never before has erectile dysfunction been so openly discussed in our society. It appears everywhere: from news reports and comedy sketches to national advertising campaigns. Yet, it is still difficult for many couples to talk about sex and erection problems.
Most men experience temporary difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection at some time in their lives. Such occasional erectile dysfunction is normal. However, a persistent, long-term difficulty in achieving and maintaining an erection for sufficient time to permit satisfactory sexual intercourse is termed ED.
The ability of a man to perform sexually and satisfy his spouse is frequently perceived by many husbands as defining their masculinity. ED can have a profoundly adverse effect on the psychological well-being of a man. Couples may tend to fall apart when the passion between them fizzles out. If ED is the cause, then men are mostly blamed for it.
Erectile Dysfunction is not only unpleasant when it occurs, it can have a serious impact on the psychological health of a man and affect his social life. No single ailment can make a man so frustrated and instill terror in him as ED. Such perception of this disease is explained by the self-image of a man where his ability to perform is inseparably joined to the notion of masculinity. Viewing themselves from such a perspective makes it difficult for a man to accept a sudden disability and this leads to stress, misunderstanding and anxiety.
Placing so much value on their ability to perform in bed, many husbands do not admit even the thought of ED as a simple illness. In their understanding, it matters so much that it cannot be equated with any other disease. Some husbands feel embarrassed, shameful and insecure and they become afraid that they now have nothing to be loved for. This assumption results in silent suffering, changes in their behaviour, and withdrawal from close relations, especially their wives.
Since a negative emotional experience of such strength is hard to bear, it leads to stress and such men suffer alone. This state of endurance and self-pity often leads to depression. Once the male becomes depressed about the problem, all aspects of his life become affected.
Some men that suffer this ailment lose their temper quickly, even with little provocation. Others become completely isolated socially due to intense shame or fear of facing the world. Sometimes, it can even end up in suicide because most times wives tend to misread the real reasons for their husband’s withdrawal. This problem is known to cut cross ethical boundaries, status, age or class. It has torn happy families apart. One obvious noticeable change in the overall relationship is the impact it has on the couple’s level of intimacy.
Husbands with ED think it is their personal problem and they do not want to share it with their spouse. This is where they make a big mistake. They may not understand that the problem is hurting their partners, too. The partner may feel that if she asks questions, the man may not want to talk about it or she may hurt his feelings. The partner may start to feel that she is not attractive enough for him, or that she cannot sexually satisfy him anymore.
The wife may fear that she is pushing him during sexual encounters and it may cause him pain that is more emotional. Eventually, one of the partners–and in some cases it is the female–may start to reject the other because they are scared to try again out of fear of failure. In some cases some of these wives go to the extent of having a secret sex partner in order to satisfy their sexual needs.
This problem often stops communication and the man feels embarrassed and inadequate. Couples start to withdraw from each other, the problem does not get resolved, and the couples may separate.
How Erectile Dysfunction Affects Men
- Feeling of inadequacy
- Loss of self-confidence
- Disbelief that it could affect men below 65
- Anxiety and fear that wives would be unfaithful
- Inability to discuss the problem with wives.
Erectile Dysfunction can also impact on a man’s ability to think straight. Sometimes, he indulges in extra-marital affairs. Usually, he thinks that the problem arose because he is so used to my wife and as a result, she does not attract him sexually anymore. So, he decides to try other women to get a hard-on.
Social Impact Of Erectile Dysfunction
Sex is a basic human need and an integral part of our physical and psychological wellbeing. When afflicted with ED, men often experience feelings of inadequacy, frustration, and low self-esteem, and these can ultimately lead to depression or aggressiveness.
Erectile dysfunction affects intimate relationships, as well as relationships with friends and co-workers. When a man loses his self-confidence, he may not find the same pleasure in activities that he used to enjoy. In the workplace, a lack of self-esteem or motivation can significantly change a man’s attitude and affect his productivity, leading to difficulties with his superiors.
Dealing With Erectile Dysfunction
While most men attempt to hide their conditions from their wives, studies have shown that couples who communicate openly and honestly have the best chance of dealing with the issue effectively. Men often find that their wives are just as interested in sexual intimacy and are willing to lend their support. This can make it easier for couples to do something about the problem, together.
How To Talk To Your Wife About Erectile Dysfunction
- Be open about your feelings and let your wife know how you are affected.
- Be careful not apportion blame in one direction. Instead, discuss what you and your partner want and need, and think about how to achieve these goals.
- Explore alternative sexual techniques to obtain sexual satisfaction in the interim while seeking treatment.
- Be sure to have an open discussion about obtaining professional medical help and advice. Stress the health and financial priorities of regaining a healthy sex life.
Do not hide ED from your wife.
Remain open because an open life is a healthy life.