Wise Counsel From Susan Quilliam: He’s lost his mojo!

Dear Susan

My husband and I have been together for four years now and everything’s wonderful; we’ve got a lovely house, our little girl is a year old and we’re very happy.

But for the last few months my husband has suddenly had huge problems getting an erection – either with me or on his own. We’ve talked about this lots, and he feels it may be down to something physical. I’m not so sure. I’ve read that after a baby’s born, men can feel sidelined and so get depressed. Perhaps that’s what’s happening.

I really have tried not to sideline my husband, he says he’s very happy, and we are both besotted with our little girl. But I can’t help thinking that his not being able to make love is a sign that he’s under stress. Do you think I’m right?


Dear Carrie

Well done to both you and your husband for facing this problem, for talking it through – and for not turning it into an argument! So many couples get in a tizzy over erectile difficulty, blaming each other or blaming themselves – you and your man have avoided this trap and are tackling the issue together. Congratulations!

So, is your husband right to put the problem down to physical causes, or are you right to put it down to emotional causes? I think either explanation could be true.

It could be that, however much he loves being a Dad, your husband is having trouble adjusting to the new situation and that’s showing in his inability to get erect. So I wouldn’t dismiss that explanation and I would hold in reserve the possibility of counselling – preferably with both of you going so that you can carry on making this a problem you tackle together.

That said, for a number of reasons, it could be that part or all of the problem is physical. Because if you consider the timing of your husband’s erectile difficulty it’s clear that it didn’t happen immediately after the birth and so may not be directly linked with your daughter’s arrival. Plus, a sudden erection failure across the board – both on one’s own and with a partner – often happens because of physical rather than psychological reasons.

So your first approach should definitely be to get your husband to go to the doctor. His GP can refer him for specialist examination to see if there are any medical problems; sometime erectile failure can be a symptom of poor blood flow or nerve damage. This is unlikely to be life threatening, but it is definitely something that needs exploring. For health’s sake, let alone for the sake of your sex life, your husband needs to get a medical diagnosis.

If if he then has the all-clear physically, then I’d advise going to counselling. The couples organisation Relate has a deep understanding of the pressures of parenthood and will be able to help you to get back on track. www.relate.org.uk.

Susan Quilliam also offers email, phone and face-to-face coaching on relationship and sexuality issues. Contact her here

Posted in Advice, Cliterati Magazine

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