It’s always “someone’s fault” when couples argue – perhaps that’s why arguments begin in the first place. One blames the other for something, the other disagrees and things escalate from there. Add a sex-related issue to the mix and it quickly becomes an emotional situation.
When a relationship is affected by erectile dysfunction it’s easy to wonder whose fault it is; who is to blame for an organ that simply won’t perform, or a sex life that isn’t satisfying?
Erectile dysfunction is thought to be the cause of break ups in around a significant proportion of relationships. Here we explore the concept of blame and how to overcome it.
Don’t blame yourself
Few things are worse for your self-esteem than realising you cannot get or maintain an erection. The first hurdle is to avoid blaming yourself.
Just about one third of men seek help or advice when suffering from ED, but you don’t have to be part of the minority. A medical examination can help get to the root of the issue, so before you try to self-diagnose or blame yourself, why not get help?
Your GP can interview you and order testing to help find the root cause of your ED. If recommended, you may need to go for a psychological evaluation as well. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a combination of factors. Even psychological ED often has an underlying physical cause.
You will want to consider whether you have any habits that could affect your ability to achieve or maintain an erection. Smoking, drinking and illegal drugs are among the factors that can have a detrimental effect on blood flow to the penis.
It’s not your partner’s fault
Before receiving a proper diagnosis some men blame their partners for their inability to perform. Without the right knowledge of possible causes, it can be easy to jump to the conclusion that you’re just not interested in that person anymore; or they are not doing the right things. However if you still feel attracted and connected to your partner, you can safely assume that lack of interest is not the cause of your ED.
The way your penis responds during intimacy is not a compass for your desire. If you are happy to engage in sexual relations with the person but are unable to achieve an erection, it will be for another reason.
The man’s partner should also keep in mind that he is not to blame for his condition. As mentioned above, there are some avoidable lifestyle factors that can contribute to a case of ED, but in many instances it is related to an underlying health condition. ED can be a symptom of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or narrowing of the arteries, and many other factors.
Avoiding common misconceptions about erectile dysfunction (read more here) can help shift the blame from the person who is unable to perform. That energy can then be channelled into supporting him and helping to find a solution. Not being able to perform is stressful as it is, and more stress can actually make the condition worse.
Get help first
Although it may be embarrassing, it is important for couples to contact a doctor when ED presents itself in a relationship. There is no reason to remain in the dark trying to work the issue out by yourselves. An expert opinion could save you both from a world of difficulty!
By getting to the root of the issue you may be able to avoid the blame game before it even starts. Perhaps the man has an undiagnosed circulatory condition. He may suffer from a symptom of depression that makes it impossible for his brain to release the necessary neurotransmitters that allow blood to rush to the penis and cause an erection. Whatever the cause may be, you need to understand what it is in order to plan a course of action.
If the thought of describing the condition to your doctor is too mortifying, consider an online consultation, but these online clinics do not replace face-to-face consultations. It can be much easier to type out the symptoms than say them out loud, but for an in-depth assessment go and see a doctor as well.