Understand the Need: If your man is affected by erection problems it's worth bearing in mind that in 80 per cent of erectile dysfunction (ED) cases there is some underlying physical cause. This can range from problems with blood pressure, to heart disease, to diabetes, and a few more besides. Even if erection problems only occur from time to time they should still be taken seriously.
Don't Wait for Him: If plan A is to wait until he raises the topic, you might wait a very long time. Open and honest discussions about sexuality are rare enough but sexual problems are way down the must-talk-about-this list for men. When it comes to health issues men are masters in delay tactics and avoidance. He may feel that just talking about it will make things worse. He may already feel embarrassed, awkward and possibly ashamed. So what better way to cope with these emotions than to find any distraction and hope they will go away.
Could it be Me?: An important question, but possibly a needless distraction. If you find your sex life isn't everything it could be, or has effectively stopped, it is not surprising that certain thoughts will rise to the surface. The more obvious of these are whether he still loves you, whether he still finds you attractive or whether he has found another woman? The longer you delay talking about the broader issues the more likely these questions will gnaw away at you and the worse you will feel.
Avoid Blame: If your marriage or relationship hasn't exactly been a bed of roses up to the point ED became an issue, some of the previously stored up resentment or anger could easily spill over. Saying things like, ‘well if you didn't spend so much time watching TV and got some exercise' may have a ring of truth about them, but they may have little or no relevance to ED and could simply be delaying treatment.
Find a Time and Place: You've plucked up the courage and you want to know how the best way to get started. Don't pick a time when you are getting ready to go out or a time when he may feel you have cornered him - such as during a meal. If you think you might be interrupted by visitors or phone calls, leave it until you can be more confident that the time together is your own. You may want to go somewhere more open and neutral, like a walk in the park for example. Avoid times when he may seem relaxed but is actually exposed and vulnerable, like when taking a bath or shower.
Then Speak: There is no script for you to work from. At the outset you need to be aware that just because the time and place seems good for you, it may not be for him. In such circumstances you may need to be a little persistent but not pushy. Opening up the topic by saying you need to talk about ‘your problem' or ‘why you never..' can seem a bit confrontational. Change it around to express the topic in terms of ‘we' or ‘I'. For example, ‘I'm worried that you're not feeling well', or ‘I feel upset and I need to talk'.