Coming soon to—a beautiful new design. Get an early look

Jump directly to the content
Guest | Limited Access

Subsciber access onlyarticle preview

Available to TCW subscribers only. or subscribe now.

My Husband Struggles with Impotency

What can I do to reassure him?

No First PageNo Previous PagePage 1 of 4Next PageLast Page

Dear Dr. Langberg,
My husband's frustrated—and I'm frustrated—because he's having a problem with impotency. I miss the intimacy of sex, and my husband's upset he can't "perform." His job is stressful, so I wonder if that's having an effect on him. How can I reassure him I still love him and get us some help?

Sex is a vitally important area in marriage, so it's worth facing this situation head-on. Your husband needs to get a complete physical, even though he may feel too embarrassed to tell his physician what the problem is. Don't assume stress is causing your husband's impotency; a physical disorder such as diabetes mellitus or a hormonal imbalance are possibilities that need to be ruled out. Various medications such as some antidepressants, antihypertensives, or diuretics, as well as excessive alcohol consumption, also can cause impotence.

In the majority of men, however, impotence is triggered by psychological factors—stress, fatigue, depression. If that's the case, your husband will have to find healthy ways to reduce or cope with his stress. If depression is a factor, he may need counseling.

In the meantime, don't allow impotency to eliminate your physical connection. If you abandon loving touch, you'll feel more alienated from each other, which only increases stress levels and irritability. But take a break from attempting intercourse so you're not caught up in a continuing sense of disappointment, failure, and frustration.

Clifford and Joyce Penner's book, The Gift of Sex, contains techniques that have helped many husbands and wives resolve impotency. If you follow their instructions carefully, you may be able to solve the problem on your own. However, many couples find learning these techniques is best done with the guidance and support of a counselor. We're all vulnerable to hurt when it comes to dealing with sexual intimacy and our body, so it's important to know how to respond to each other's feelings gently and lovingly.

Remember, there's a great deal more to your marriage than intercourse. Nurture those aspects—affirm them. They'll help you maintain a proper perspective and the emotional energy you'll need to work through this situation.

article preview

This article is currently available to TCW subscribers only.

To Continue Reading:

Sign up for TCW's free Marriage Partnership e-newsletter for weekly updates and encouragement through the joys, trials, and tribulations of marriage.

read these next

for further study

Downloadable resources to go deeper

Your Guide to Sexual Satisfaction

God's plan for sex is multidimensional-here's how to move past making pleasure your goal to seek a more intimate connection with your spouse.

Living Water

A three-session Bible study designed to quench your soul thirst and invite others in.

Practicing Contentment

In our culture, we have more, but seem to enjoy life less. Here are tips on how to foster deep, counter-cultural contentment in your life.

Sexual Temptation

Desire happens. Here's how to keep a misled God-given desire from ruining our lives.
Today's Christian Woman
My Husband Struggles with Impotency