Erectile dysfunction is a major downer (pun intended - talking about it gets easier, I promise). Honestly, if I could share my story with every guy on this planet whose sidekick has gone MIA, I would. I went through hell during a six-month journey of denial and avoidance, which nearly cost me my marriage. Spoiler alert: having ED is not the end of the world, and my advice is simple. Understand what you're going through (outlined below) and don't make the same mistakes I did (I like to call this wisdom of mine "the rebound ropes").
"Is it my job?"
The first time he didn't rise to the occasion I was caught off guard. But I brushed it off right away because we all know the worst thing you can do is think about it. After the second and third times, I was terrified but kept busy attempting to convince my wife that I was still attracted to her (I am). All my excuses centered on job stress. I could tell she wasn't buying the "it's no big deal" cover. (Neither was I, but I was in denial.)
"Boy, I'm tired tonight."
By night, I simply avoided the subject and therefore the deed (meanwhile even standby fantasies involving adult magazines failed to titillate). By day, I became Magnum PI, hunting down all the information I could on Web sites and chatrooms.
"I'm half the man I used to be."
Enter dark days. Who knew my sense of humour was dependant on my virility, and both were limp at best. Friends and family mentioned that I wasn't myself. I began to question my skills at work. Looking back, I couldn't concentrate on anything, and the things I used to enjoy were lackluster. Part of the problem was the needless sense of shame that shadowed me: If I couldn't talk about it with my wife, how could I talk about it with a doctor?
"What's up, doc?"
My eight-year marriage was strained. Now I was worried about that, too. I knew I needed to face what was happening. When I did, I could see that I owed it to myself, and my wife, to get help. I opted for a direct approach with my doctor. When I said, "I have a problem getting it up," he was all business (why did I think he would laugh?). When he told me that 40% of men my age (over 40) have some degree of ED, and that it is treatable almost all of the time, I could feel the tension ooze out of me. I think I even cracked a joke during that conversation.
"Later that night
After deciding to pursue the right treatment for me, and discussing it openly with my wife, let's just say we've never been closer. I'm not going to tell you that I'm cured, but I will say I really don't care. I am back to me. I can now have sex with my wife again. I only wished I'd confronted the situation sooner and saved myself the misery. I can't emphasize this enough: guys, you can talk to your doctor.