How to deal with long term E.D. and a wife that has only ever really been negative and unsupportive

My marriage may already be over because of my difficulties. I’ve been nothing but forthcoming about them, I’ve always taken it on the chin. But I’ve always gotten over it with past girlfriends completely.

With my wife, it was always on and off but mostly ok. She suffers badly with anxiety herself and took it very badly no matter how much I assured her it’s all me. We’ve always gotten by. But moving into a new home two years ago, she decided it was separate bedrooms. No matter how much I begged, months would go by without a night sleeping together. That reduction in intimacy alone built of pressure when I was actually allowed in the bedroom for 30 minutes.

Sometimes she would text from the other room “if you want it you have ten seconds to get in here” and literally count down.
No pressure. If I failed which happened fairly regularly, she would be cold and refuse hugs during the day etc. I’ve been extremely candid with doctors, had blood tests, therapy is an impossible option with a potential waiting time in the years where I am. The doctor suggested pills but she was dead against it. He was so kind and said it seemed like I had a hell of an uphill struggle to get better.

Eventually she relented and let me use pills but sometimes they didn’t work because she wanted the spontaneity and trying Tadalifil was frankly a disappointment. Even taking 20mg in pills daily for a few days did nothing.

Now we’re at the point that she’s admitted there’s zero spark, she’ll never feel anything physically for me ever again. What upsets me most is she’s never ever tried to help me. No suggestions I’ve ever made like hands only, just working on it without her pressuring me. Telling me it’s just not normal and shouldn’t be happening. To say it’s left me contemplating going off road and straight into a wall would be putting it mil


Brother — I think I’m in the earlier stages of your situation. I can’t yet prove this works, but here’s what I’m doing…

Watch the movie Crazy Stupid Love, if you haven’t. In that movie, the wife has lost all attraction for the husband. After being angry for a while, he realizes he kind of deserved it.

He stopped caring and gave up on himself.

After the worst blow up of my marriage over this issue in January, I finally took my health seriously. I stopped eating all the crap I used to mask my own feelings. I started exercising everyday (a 30 day yoga for weight loss series on Amazon Prime).

My wife said my stomach looked flatter. She’s still afraid to be intimate because she has been disappointed so many times.

I’m actually reverting back to my dating game to get the spark back. I withhold a bit of affection myself. I find she wants to touch me more to reassure herself we’re still okay.

We’re all just slightly more intelligent apes at the end of the day. This fracture in our relationships are primal and only primal solutions will do to repair them.

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Your relationship may be more nuanced than how you’re describing things here, but as portrayed, this seems like a very difficult, if not impossible, situation for you to thrive in. Erection difficulties are challenging even with a supportive partner, but an unsupportive (and, frankly, manipulative from your account) partner only accentuates the problem exponentially. It does sound like this relationship may be over unless huge changes take place. And that’s not your fault.


I just noticed that my whole post got cropped and left a lot out that I’d written so my apologies for anyone reading it wondering why it ended like that. But basically, this whole ordeal has left me drowning in suicidal thoughts. I’ve been candid with doctors and they’ve asked if I think I should get checked in somewhere for my own welfare which has left me thinking I’ve perhaps been too honest with how I’ve been feeling about it all.

know I t’s not the be all and end all, but I genuinely just feel broken as a person and unworthy of being here. Like it’s something I just can’t fix. I’m at the point where she would complain that I’m taking too long that it’s in my head now too and I’m unable to finish - something I’d never had happen in the past, drunkenness nights aside but has become a whole new complex.

I’ve decided to focus on my fitness. I’ve always been strong and played contact sport at a decent level but I’m gonna get much leaner and see if that helps things along. I’m going to take up the doctors offer of a prescription and do whatever’s necessary to rebuild my shattered confidence. I’ve cried too much and been sad too long, but I’ve also made my wife cry too many times with this. I know she loves me. But if she can’t have any feelings for me sexually it’s unfair to both of us.

I know I need to sit down now and talk through with my wife that to me - she needs to be willing to give me the bare minimum of support and kindness that I need. I fully appreciate that it really upsets her and kills her own self confidence but I need her to give me the chance to compose myself and try again. If I go soft halfway through then being told “no more, we’re done with this so you can go back to the spare room now” just compounds the pressure for next time.

So my point is, can I possibly recover at all and be like a regular sexual partner psychologically? Despite her unwillingness to give me more than one chance if I lose my erection. Or do I just give up and set her free?
I’m pretty deep in the hole here, I’m a bag of nerves and I’m trying to keep myself together. Not having erection issues honestly feels like an unattainable goal. Are there many guys out there who have fully recovered?

I’ll check the movie out, anything to get a bit more perspective :+1:t2:

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Obviously I’ve carried these issues over from early on in the relationship and I fully accept the blame despite it being something I literally can’t control. But after 9 years I can’t believe how downhill I’ve gotten. There’s just too much pressure on me to not mess up that it’s a self fulfilling prophecy. There’s a literal voice in my head, my inner monologue that lets me know I’m gonna a go soft. I’ve tried the exercises here, if tried Keegels.

But really I just wanted perspective from someone who’s gone through something similar because somehow through all the quora/reddit threads I’ve binged - I haven’t been able to find some posts where the guys wife just doesn’t have his back in this situation like how I’ve found myself.

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I’m with you. In my case my wife told me to just fix myself. I saw a therapist on my own for a year without much really changing. I just finally convinced her to try couples therapy but she said she’d only do it for a month and if it didn’t work (she’s already projecting failure) I just need to accept that I can’t have sex. It’s so terrible having an unsupported relationship.

My troubles have been life long but got worse over our 15 year marriage. Now my hands get cold and clammy and even my nose gets cold. It’s flight or flight to the max. She seems to think i can do this on my own but what i really need is her by my side.

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Hey guys. I feel your pain and have been in a pretty similar situation. Original poster (physical indigo)… hang in there. Honestly, this will get better. I can’t give you advice as to what to do about your marriage, but what I can say is your partner is being completely unfair. A countdown? Kicking you out of the room? That’s absolutely awful. I am sure she is frustrated, but that is downright cruel. You are being treated like a dog for something you need understanding for, not an ultimatum. I’ve had ED my entire life. I’m 41. I was married for 10 years and had great sex during that marriage. Minimal hiccups. My ED seems to get better when I can get in the groove of a relationship and truly trust my partner. In the end, when I found out she was having second thoughts about our marriage I couldn’t get it up to save my life. NOTHING was going to get me up. I was a nervous wreck, and knew at any moment we were going to get a divorce. The added pressure made the entire situation worse. I’m single now. I still struggle mightily, but have had fun dating and have had several successful nights. I’ve even told completely new females about my struggles. Some get it and some don’t. Oh well. F**** it. I got a lot more going on in life than just the bedroom. Hang in there. Don’t let this monster of a wife beat you up. I can’t say what to do, but know this - you are worth way more than how she is treating you. You CAN and WILL make your life better, and yes good sex will come back. You need some understanding for that, and above all need to be not pressured. That will never help.

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I had a past girlfriend like that. She twisted absolutely every issue into telling me that my ED was not real, and it was my way of manipulating her. So, I’m with you, I know what it feels like to have someone who does not support you.

I hope you do get through it and things turn around in your relationship, I’ll be honest I feel like your wife may feel a bit hurt, and probably very confused by the situation and if that’s the case it’s a different issue to deal with along this journey (have you showed her the program, especially the educational videos?). But if things don’t get better, remember that you’re now able to find someone who does support you. If that happens, open up early enough to test those waters.

Good luck!

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Sorry, I did miss half of your message there…

I would say that you’re right in deciding to have a very candid talk with her. When I was reading your post a couple of things did stick out. One, you seem to be very concerned about your wife’s wellbeing. Two, you view yourself in quite a negative way regarding this issue, as though this is who you are. I would give the same answer to both of those points: sometimes you need to put yourself first, it doesn’t seem like you’re quite in the frame of mind that will allow you to grow.

Here are a few of things that have helped me:

  • There are times when I just spend time growing my relationship with my partner without sex. I made a suggestion that we have some nights together without that pressure. No matter how intense the night, we don’t have sex. This allows me to have time with her with very low stress levels.
  • I meditate every single day at the beginning of the day. Regular meditation only works when you do it consistently.
  • I have to be kind to myself and I need others in my life to do the same. When I fail in bed, I will absolutely give myself the time I need to recuperate. My mind spirals pretty badly after a failure, so I am very aware that I am not in the frame of mind that will work for my sex life at that point in time. I do other things when this happens, but always take at least a couple of days to ground myself again.
  • I work on it with my partner (sorry, I know that may not be possible for you at this stage…), I don’t try to tackle this alone. The reason I brought up watching the videos and educational material in this course is because when my partner watched that, her intensity went right down. She calmed down and committed to helping me. She was happy again and less stressed when I failed.

If you want to know if anyone has had any success with this, the simple answer is yes. It’s about getting healthy, recognising what you need, and committing to a better lifestyle.

Thanks for the replies and insights everyone. It’s appreciated.
We had a candid talk about it all last weekend and I told her straight up that her idea of support is lying stiff as a board telling me under her breath “it’s fine” then “I’m going to sleep now so you’ve got to leave” and that simply compounds the stress and feelings of humiliation. Her response was “I’m not your fucking therapist, what am I supposed to do”.

There was much back and forth and that night we agreed the best thing was to begin a separation. She had a change of heart a few hours later and admitted she’s not been very good about it all and she would 100% try to make more of an effort, that we’d give ourselves two months to get back to how it used to be. My effort would be to not pressure her into cuddling etc (apparently scheduling a cuddle in bed and simply asking for one in advance is an huge no no) and just let things flow. I’ve backed off for a week and left it in her court and so far affection from her has been at a zero.

So I’ll admit there’s not much hope from me that things are going to work out but I’m not as terrified as I was about the prospect of leaving. My daughter is my priority here. I’ve had another sit down with my doctor who’s been brilliant to be fair, he’s arranging a full blood panel to determine whether I should be prescribed pills. I already had my testosterone checked and was in the top 30% of normal range so there’s no blaming those levels.

I’ve dealt with E.d. on and off since I was 19, although certain girlfriends who were cool with it- it’s been fine and in some cases non existent and I take some small comfort in that. That I’m capable of not being ruled by it. So pending doctor’s consultation If daily Tadalifil is what it takes to keep my head above water for now, even if my marriage is done, I can live with that. But obviously I’ll still try to fix myself. Maybe I just need that one person who will actually have my back.


Just an update.
Things seemed to go ok this weekend as a family. Sunday night chilling in bed. I dared to ask her if she was seeing me in a better light, as being on the road to regaining a physical relationship. Essentially what I’ve been told is it’s never going to come back for her, that we can stay together but never have a physical relationship ever again. To basically give up sex and focus on our daughter.

I’m 40 and she’s 33. Obviously with my bad performances in bed (not all of them but we only focus on the bad ones don’t we) she’s decided she’s got no attraction for me sexually at all. So bad sex is why she’s done with me.
But to try and make me think she’s happy to give up sex when it’s actually the issue at play has given me suspicions

Either she’s pushing me to end it so I look like the guy abandoning my family (I just cannot live my life wanting the one person that absolutely does not want me in that way)

Or two, I’m being cheated on and it’s all a very constructive way to get me to end it all by driving me into a corner when she knows I can’t stomach a relationship without intimacy. For the record - physically I’m big, strong. Always roughly in shape but all this heartache is driving me towards the shape of my life so physically she says I’m attractive to look at but just can’t bring herself to have a physical relationship with me ever again. My apologies if I’m repeating myself or a bit scatterbrained, it’s literally cooked my head.

I’m heading for a divorce aren’t I :unamused:
My wife. The last person in the world to back me up and be in my corner.