How to start?

You have to make up your mind to start talking to and with your partner. The longer you stay silent, the more difficult you will find it to break that silence. You will start feeling embarrassed, then grow guilty that you cannot start talking. The guilt turns into anger and, when you are angry, you do not talk with anyone. Someone walks out, slamming the door behind them and that is the end of your relationship.

Well, that is the worst case scenario and it should not frighten you into doing anything dramatic. In fact, it is far better if you stay very calm and make a few gentle noises to signal your decision to talk. Remember that the words are the first step back into the bedroom with full sexual activity restored. You get there by valuing your partner and the contribution she can make to helping you through these difficulties. You are showing her that you still love and trust her. She is going to feel that she is still a part of the relationship and not a mere spectator to your silent struggles. This will slow her alienation and restore mutual confidence.

What about the other possibility — the one you perhaps fear. That your partner is going to ask the question herself. Well, you need to stay calm. There may be a temptation to push her away, to be defensive. But that is going to be almost the last nail in the coffin of your relationship. As your partner, she has the right to ask. Instead of anger, you should be grateful that she has shown she still wants to help you. You might have given up on yourself, but she is there for you and her help may be the key to restoring normal sexual activity sooner rather than later. Be honest with her. This is the first step to reducing the anxiety that you feel. If you suspect the cause, tell her. If you do not know, you should both go visit your local doctor. Your relationship is going to benefit is you begin the search for a cure together, committing yourself to working through to restore normal sexual activity.

A word to the partners of those experiencing impotence

Performance anxiety is bad enough, but add in the guilt and fear that he is going to lose you and the mix is getting bad. Put another way, he is feeling pretty much the same way as you. You were a team when the relationship started. You worked on projects together, got things done. When did that stop? It was most likely when the sexual problems began. That was when he went silent on you, stopped including you as a part of the solution to those problems. And what is the result likely to be? Unless things change, your relationship is going to wither and die.

You should not stay passive. This risks the situation drifting slowly from bad to worse. You need to start dealing with the situation. There is, of course, no “right” way to do this. You know your partner. You above all others should understand how best to begin the discussion. Reading the information on this site is a good way of getting an insight into how he feels and what the causes of the problem might be. Some of those are pretty scary. But most of them are treatable if you can get him to a doctor. All this emphasises how complicated impotence is. It would be so convenient if we could separate physical from emotional problems. But life is never so convenient.

Because he is staying silent, this is pushing you into taking the initiative. You are the one who has to engage your partner in the search for a cure. How you break through this defensive wall depends on how strong you think the relationship is. However you decide to start, it is most important that you do not accuse him or seem to threaten him in any way. He is already worried and anxious about his failings in the bedroom. If you are confrontational, this could be taken as a declaration of war. So you have to work out the best approach. Think about how he reacts in different situations and how you can raise this issue with alarming him. It would be good to have a fairly detailed plan. How are you going to help him handle all the stress? What steps can you take to convince him to trust you? Whatever you come up with should turn his negative feelings about himself into positive feelings about the two of you.

Although there is no need to give you any further incentive, there is the possibility that his impotence is a symptom of far more serious medical problems. If he is only thinking about his current sexual inadequacy, he may ignore the underlying cause and not get early treatment.

There are many different ways in which to treat cancer and other dangerous illnesses and diseases but there is one truth. The earlier you intervene, the better the chances of a complete recovery. So many families face pain and loss because a diagnosis was delayed and treatment was almost, or actually, too late.

It is true that mentioning possible underlying causes may add to his worries, but there can be no half measures when his health is at stake. Be straightforward about the risks of not talking to a doctor. You can never actually separate the physical condition from the emotional context. Whatever you say can be misunderstood and anger him. But if you still love him, despite the sexual problems, and you do not want to face losing him to a disease, you have to speak. Even though he may fight you, sooner or later he will understand the need to get professional advice.

In the end, there is the possibility that the news from the doctor will not be good. If that does happen, you will actually have saved your relationship in a different way. While you are both living through the difficult days of treatment, you avoid feelings of guilt. You took action. You gave him the best chance of survival. Imagine the alternative. That you did nothing and then had to watch him struggle because his problems went undiagnosed. By giving yourself the chance to work through this together, you have created the best foundation for a relationship.

Of course, the worst may just be a bad dream. Let us stay positive. Focus on quick steps to restore good health. In most cases, the answer is a prescription for Levitra anyway. Think of ways to encourage him. Of course, this is an emotional minefield for both of you. A great deal of patience is going to be required — that assumes his first response is likely to be defensive. Do not be deterred. He is worth fighting for. You are going to do whatever it takes to manoeuvre him towards a visit with your family doctor. There is going to be a diagnosis. You will both be reassured and can begin to restore your mutual confidence in sexual activity. If there are more serious problems of blood circulation or nerve damage, treatment can begin. If the cause is more psychological than physical, you may both have to go for counselling, but at least you will be talking again.