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How to Handle Husband's Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction, or the inability to obtain or maintain an erection, is not difficult for just the man. Women can have a very difficult time coping with this condition as well. Feeling frustrated, angry, sad, confused, resentful and even unattractive are all common emotions a woman may experience if her husband suffers from erectile dysfunction. Although handling your husband's erectile dysfunction is difficult, there are things that can be done to make it easier.

Educate yourself. Arming yourself with knowledge can make you feel more empowered and in control of the situation. Online resources, self-help books and medical journals contain information that could be useful. Learn about the potential causes of your husband's erectile dysfunction, as well as treatments and recommendations 1.

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Be understanding and stay positive. Although you have your own emotions about the condition, don't forget that this is extremely difficult for your husband as well. He is probably embarrassed, frustrated and anxious. Try not to take the situation personally. Making snide comments or showing your frustration or annoyance will most likely only exacerbate the problem.

Communicate. Although it's important to keep his feelings in mind, you should be open and honest about your own feelings about the situation. Avoid being judgmental or condescending when talking to him about the problem, but suppressing your own feelings about the situation may only build your own resentment or anger.

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Find other ways to connect sexually. Although sexual intercourse may be out of the question, see if your husband would be willing to participate in other sexual activities where an erection is not required. This may help you remain sexually satisfied and can make him feel more confident in his ability to pleasure you without the pressure to perform.

Find non-sexual ways to connect. In today's busy world, couples can lose sight of why they fell in love in the first place. Reconnecting and strengthening your relationship as a couple will not only help your relationship, but in some cases may help with the erectile dysfunction itself, according to the Cleveland Clinic 1.

Encourage him to seek treatment. Take extreme caution while doing so. Your encouragement needs to come across as supportive, not condescending or judgmental. Give him time to think it over and let him move at his own pace.

Seek your own support. Talking with friends or family members can be useful, but be aware that the topic might be embarrassing for your husband. Respect his wishes if he doesn't want friends and family to know about it. Instead, consider talking to a counselor or mental health professional. It also may be beneficial for him to join a support group or for both of you to go to couples counseling.


Many books, educational videos and websites are available that discuss alternatives to traditional sexual intercourse if you need help thinking of ideas for you and your partner.


Erectile dysfunction can be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. Even if your husband refuses treatment for the condition, he should get a medical checkup to rule out a more serious problem.