AdviceHey, Bonita!

When Is Impotence a Bigger Issue?

My husband has recently developed a pretty severe erectile dysfunction. For the record, my husband is much older than me, so this makes sense considering his age, but in the beginning of our relationship we would have sex every day—sometimes twice a day. As an adult, I know this is normal and I don’t hate him for it. I know many couples experience this, and there are many ways to handle such an issue.

So what’s the problem? He refuses to handle the issue! We don’t often have “successful” intercourse—we often have to stop because he loses his erection right when I’m about to orgasm (FRUSTRATING). When our lovemaking falls apart and I am not content to just cuddle, he begins sobbing, hard.

I’ve kind of reached my limit, and I can no longer be quiet and “just support him,” because I’ve begun to wonder if my sexual needs matter at all. It’s incredible. If I try to actually discuss the problem—asking him more about what’s going on mentally, suggesting that we go to a therapist, recommending that he go separately to a therapist—he begins to only focus on the point that he is not satisfying me sexually and then he just starts sobbing, almost uncontrollably. The conversation stops, and I end up apologizing for upsetting him and pushing the topic—for essentially just wanting to be able to bang my husband.

I think he thinks I should just take what I get from him, sexually. If I want to masturbate alone after failed intercourse, he insists on being present, but sometimes I am so annoyed with him that I just want to take care of myself, scratch my itch and go do some damn laundry or something.

He had a previous relationship with similar problems. He told me that he and his ex eventually stopped having sex altogether, but they continued to live together and share a bed for years. She began to cheat on him, and he knew about it and did nothing, while he became addicted to porn. I worry we are headed down the same road—that he thinks all couples eventually become sexless and being sexually dysfunctional is normal.

I have never ever cheated on a partner of mine, ever, but the students are back, and I’m sure I could go down to General Beauregard’s and find some young buck with a big truck. Please help. I don’t wanna cheat, but I am feeling hopeless that we can actually get back to a healthy sex life.

This is a very common issue that lots of couples deal with, but your husband is acting like a giant douche. The tears are a total manipulation, and you seem to get that. I’m glad you don’t fall for them.

This guy might be too old for you, because I can’t think of any other reason why he wouldn’t care to treat your marriage like an actual partnership. I agree that he probably thinks coupling and marriage are situations of convenience, and his past relationship failure is a serious red flag. He is absolutely forcing your marriage down a path of dysfunction.

This is gonna sound harsh as hell, but I think you need to talk to your husband about separating or becoming non-monogamous. I really don’t think this guy is gonna budge, especially if he’s an older man who’s set in his ways.

You’re right, hon—your husband doesn’t care about your happiness, or at least doesn’t care about it more than his own ego. He’s more concerned about feeling like a man who can provide his woman with anything than actually being that man. Honestly, he sounds very controlling (insisting on being present while you masturbate is manipulative and creepy), and this whole situation is pointing to your relationship becoming exactly like his old one.

So cheat on him if you want, and ease into a mediocre life in your May-December marriage, or better, think about what that future would really be like. He’s already refusing to address a serious issue, and he cries about it when asked. You’re stuck, unless you love yourself enough to put your happiness first. It’s not like he does.

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