How Does ED Affect Relationships?

How Does ED Affect Relationships?

Do you know that out of 36% experience ED in the US, and over half of them avoid sexual encounters because of it? Tes, erectile dysfunction can create this level of distress and lack of confidence in men. It is common to experience relationship problems when suffering from erectile dysfunction. 

The lack of sexual intimacy and communication creates a distance between the couples. A relationship needs everything to make it going. The problem affects the relationship both physically and emotionally. This blog will look into the causes of ED in a relationship, how it affects the relationship, and ways to tackle this problem

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a sexual issue that makes it hard to get or maintain an erection during sex. Imagine this to understand ED- when you get sexually aroused and feel like to go in bed and having some fun. 

You and your partner enjoy the foreplay, but you can’t get yourself hard when it comes to the main game. This problem affects most of the men in the world, and the risk increases with growing age.

However, ED can happen due to various causes, but it mainly occurs when your pelvic area can’t get sufficient blood to provide you with a firm penis. It reduces the time duration and ruins all the fun. Erectile dysfunction can be short-term or long-term. It depends on the root cause and how long it may take to treat ED.

Causes of ED in a Relationship

Erectile dysfunction can happen due to underlying health conditions or psychological issues. Physical conditions that can lead to ED are:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Prostate cancer

But when it comes to relationships, the causes change completely. The disruption in the blood flow happens due to relationship problems, mainly psychologically. In a relationship, you go through various ups and downs, and it becomes normal to sometimes fight or argue on a topic.

Here are some relationship issues that can result in erectile dysfunction:

  • Stress or anxiety at home- money problems, family conflicts
  • Arguments with your partner
  • Low self-esteem in front of your partner
  • Loss of attraction in the bedroom
  • Any history of trauma

These problems impact your brain negatively. Consistent arguments with your partner may lead to increased anxiety and stress. This makes it difficult for the brain to perform its functions properly, leading to insufficient blood circulation in the penis. 

Another reason that may cause ED in a marriage is cheating. When you cheat, you feel guilty or become stressed. It worsens the situation with your partner and leads to erectile dysfunction. 

Impact of ED in a Relationship

Sexual dysfunction affects a relationship in more than one form. It affects the relationship with your partner and creates a gap between the couples. Many people don’t believe sexual dysfunction affects both partners. Starting from sex and sexual intimacy, ED becomes the reason for decreased time spent with your partner.

Gradually, these feelings turn into frustration and exhaustion. The gap increases so quickly and widely that you can’t get peace from the marriage or your partner.

How does ED affect a man?

Erectile dysfunction affects a man in different forms. It slowly takes away all their confidence and reduces their self-esteem. The consistent thought of not being able to do something for the partner and not being sufficient enough makes a man stressed. These intense emotions lead to performance anxiety and depression.

Men, who are known for their fun and joyful nature when it comes to sex, feel left out and try to avoid intimacy at any level. Erectile dysfunction creates distress because he may fail when it comes to sex. This emotional baggage creates depression and hurts men.

How does ED affect a woman?

Even though men are suffering from the problem, women suffer at an emotional level. Women may not experience the physical and direct impact of erectile dysfunction, but it leaves a mark on them, too. A woman is deprived of sexual intimacy, and his man thinks less of himself; all these things sum up to create a lot of stress. During these times, communicating with each other is the best thing couples can do.

Effects of ED on Intimacy in a Relationship

Every relationship is about feeling loved and cared for by someone you love. In a romantic relationship, intimacy plays a very crucial role in bringing closeness between the couples. Intimate relationships tend to last shorter than relationships that lack intimacy. 

However, the disruption of sexual dysfunction like ED destroys the relationship. Sexual interactions increase intimacy, and ED takes it away and creates stress instead. It provides a sense of insecurity and worthlessness, resulting in overthinking and a lack of intimacy.

Physical Impact

Erectile dysfunction takes away the physical closeness between the couples. The sexual spark gradually fades away. It also increases the communication gap. As the gap increases, the couple starts acting like strangers living in a home. ED also negatively impacts sexual satisfaction. The decreased frequency of sexual activity creates distance.

Emotional Impact

ED affects both men and women emotionally. All the physical consequences result in emotional issues like frustration and stress. Men experience decreased self-esteem and confidence. Sometimes, men go through several rejections and the feeling of not being good enough for their partner. These feelings worsen the situation than it already is. 

A great way to tackle it is by communicating with your partner. It may be difficult, but talking with your partner about erectile dysfunction and your emotions changes everything. 

Talking with Your Partner about ED

Erectile problems leave a gap between the couples. They tend to avoid discussing the problems, and silence becomes their constant friend. But a healthy talk with your partner about your feelings and concerns helps to resolve the problems and brings intimacy otherwise. Avoiding a talk makes it difficult to understand the problem and each other.

Communication bridges the gap and helps to find love again. However, it is not possible to get a calm and relaxed discussion when talking about sexual problems and feelings. But it will help to find solutions to the problems together.

If you want to talk about ED with your partner but don’t know where to start, check our blog on “5 Tips to Start Discussion about ED with Your Partner“. 

Medical Treatments for ED

The distress and guilt point to one thing that you need a solution. It becomes crucial to a treatment or solution for this unavoidable problem. You can take the help of ED medicines that improve the blood flow in the pelvic area. Another option that works amazingly in this matter is therapy. Couple counseling or sex therapy helps to bring the connection between the couples and find out the root cause of ED.

ED Medications

Various medicines are available for treating erectile dysfunction. These medicines work by improving the blood flow to the erectile tissues of your penis. The enhanced blood flow helps you to get and maintain an erection easily when you are sexually aroused.

ED medicine contains PDE5 inhibitors. Below are the four FDA-approved ED medicines that can bring your erection back.

  1. Sildenafil- The famous blue pill- Viagra has Sildenafil as the main ingredient. As you take the medicine, it boosts the blood flow and improves your erection.
  2. Tadalafil- Cialis contains tadalafil as the vital component improving blood flow.
  3. Verdenafil- Levitra acts as the active ingredient in Verdenafil. It provides relief from ED for slightly longer than Sildenafil.

These medicines provide some time off from erectile dysfunction. It improves the blood flow for a given period and enhances your performance. You can also take the generic form of the ED medicines. They act in the same manner, with a lesser price.


Therapy is one of the best ways to treat erectile dysfunction due to psychological issues. It helps to provide a clear view of the root cause and enhance the way of living. Therapy involves cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness practices and helps understand the patterns. 

You can opt for couple counseling or sex therapy, which focuses on the couple’s relationship. Learn more about how sex therapy helps with erectile dysfunction from our guide. 

4 Ways to Improve Your Lifestyle Together

1) Exercise Together

Exercise is a great way to improve your lifestyle and make healthy living with your partner. Exercising together helps to have a good time and learn things about each other. Research backs up that exercise has a major impact on erectile dysfunction. It improves the blood flow in the body and also helps to maintain your overall body.

When you exercise together, it makes you feel satisfied and feel more loved. It helps to avoid the awkwardness and improves your romantic relationship. Exercises that you can perform with your partner are:

  • Cycling
  • Yoga
  • Playing a sport
  • Jogging

2) Switch to a Healthy Diet

healthy diet improves your whole body and purifies it. Studies claim that the Mediterranean diet is the best diet when experiencing erectile dysfunction. It includes:

  • Whole Grains
  • Leafy Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Beans
  • Nuts

If you eat fatty foods or red meat, change your diet. Avoid eating sugar-sweetened food and beverages. Please make a list of foods or a weekly diet plan and follow it with your partner. 

3) Maintain Your Weight

Maintaining weight according to BMI (body mass index) helps to prevent any disease. Obesity is one of the common causes of erectile dysfunction in men. Weight loss improves your sexual functioning and performance in bed. 

You can eat more healthy food and exercise daily. Perform certain habits that help in maintaining a healthy weight. Have a walk with your partner every day. It will also bring intimacy and rebuild a connection with your partner.

4) Quit Drugs

When suffering from ED, try to avoid the intake of any recreational drugs. These drugs mess up your brain and become the cause of ED. Avoiding them helps to prevent ED in the future and also reduces the chances of destruction of the body due to avoidable drugs.

If you have an addiction, ask your partner and get their help. Ask them to handle the situation with love and care.


The impact of ED can create so many problems. The baggage of numerous emotions makes the couple and the relationship more complicated. But talking about it can help you understand each other. Instead of swaying into the emotions, one needs to think outside it. 

Make your first move and talk about the issue. Focus on finding the solution. Bring changes in your lifestyle, exercise daily, and have a good diet. Take medicines or go to therapy.


Q1. How does erectile dysfunction affect men emotionally?

Sexual dysfunction directly affects the man’s confidence and self-esteem. He starts thinking less of himself and pulls himself away from his partner. It leads to loads of stress and depression. His interest in sexual intimacy gradually loses, and he starts fearing to move to bed.

Q2. How can I satisfy my partner with ED?

The best way to do that is by acting like a friend to him. During sex, start with foreplay and focus on building an intimate relationship rather than worrying about sex. Be playful with your partner. Enjoy mutual masturbation. You can also perform oral sex. You can satisfy your partner just by being intimate with him. It is not necessary to get an erection to enjoy the intimacy.

Q3. Are men with ED angry?

It is possible to feel anger, sadness, or lack of confidence. ED affects your brain and makes you feel less worthy. All these emotions gradually sum up to anger and lead to relationship problems. Understand the root cause and manage these emotions. You can also take the help of a professional.

Q4. What can a wife do to help her husband with erectile dysfunction?

It is usual to think that women can’t do anything when their husband is experiencing ED. But there are various points of day that women can focus on. A wife can initiate the conversation about ED and make his husband feel confident. Support in his decisions and seek treatment together. Remind them that it is a common problem and can’t affect the relationship between him and you.

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