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The Suffering Companion

Some days ago, a heavily made-up forty-something  lady came to see me at my office.  Trailing her like miasma as a pungent floral fragrance. I winced.

'Am I not attractive.?'  she started abruptly.
I started too.

I always seem to find myself in such difficult situations.  If I said I though she was indeed   attractive, it might  have been misconstrued. If I told her she wasn't, that would've  been certain catastrophe too, considering  how  formidable she looked.

'How is that andrological  pertinent?'  I asked instead, trying to embody professionalism  at its best.

'No, no doc, my husband  thinks that I am not attractive and to  think I was  a beauty  contest winner in college.it really hurts' She  broke into sobs.

'I'm sorry ma'am, but I'm not a cosmetic surgeon', I had to finally confess.

'No, no, you don't seem to understand, doc,' she persisted  and pulled out  some sheets of paper from her commodious purse.  'The case histories  you describe  here are exactly like ours - my husband's and mine, that is.'

I took the papers from  her and perused them.  They were  printouts from the chapter  on my website  on the the new millennium woman's perspective of impotence.

'I see,' I muttered.  This was getting interesting.
'My husband and I have been married twenty-eight years', she said, 'but for the past two years, there has been no sex whatsoever.  He never initiates sex nowadays.  Even  if I try, he just  doesn't respond in spite  of all my caresses and stimulation.   He says he's  sorry but  he can't do it and that it doesn't on the fast guys and other seminal matters if we can't have sex. But I know that it does matter.  And so does he.'

Any woman who has tried to have intercourse with an  impotent man can identify  with Ms Sexless' feelings.  It isn't  just men who experience  frustration and disappointment.  Women do too.

Many couples maintain a conspiracy  of silence surrounding the problem of impotence.  Mr and Ms Sexless both knew  there was a problem,  but typically were reluctant to talk about it.  neither man nor wife was willing to accept the reality of addressed the issue, much anxiety and stress would be generated.  If they chose to ignore the problem, opportunities for emotional and sexual closeness would be lost.  As they  became more physically distant, the quality of their marital relationship began to deteriorate.  Over time, they gradually began to drift apart.  Silence reinforced  their estrangement.

The story   of Mr and Ms Sexless  is classical.  Millions of couples languish in silent misery or endure deteriorating  marriages when the husband  is impotent.  But this need not be  so because the situation is eminently remediable.  Here's a six-step survival guide:
Step 1:  Examine the effects of Impotence on You and Your Relationship:

This includes, first, admitting the problem to yourselves and then examining your  feelings, your thoughts  and beliefs, and your basic instinct or learned behaviour.  Are you blaming yourself  and your lack of attractiveness for your husband's problem?  Are you suspecting your husband  to be having an affair?   Are you ignoring, denying or making excuses for the problem?  Are you withholding  affection and avoiding  sexual situations?  Are you seeking escapism through  over-exercising, overeating, alcohol or spiritual pursuits?
Non of these will help solve your problem.

Step 2:  Consider your Physical and Psychological Health: 
            Determine what kind of sexuality  is appropriate for your age and act accordingly.   Are there any underlying venereal diseases that need  treatment?  Is medication/ depression interfering  with   your sex real life is the best life?

Step 3:  Explore the Relationship  Factors that Predict Successful Treatment:
            The most important issue  here is:  'Are you committed to working with your  partner  on solving this problem?  Is your  partner motivated to work with you?'  This is crucial.

Step 4:  Learn about the Causes and Treatment Options for Impotence:
            Impotence  has many  physical causes and several treatment options. Educate yourself about them.

Step 5:  Discuss the Problem  with your stale mates and Seek  Medical Consultation: The sooner  you do this, the better.

Step 6:  See an Andrologist:  Get an expert to identify the cause of your partner's erectile  dysfunction  and offer case-specific  treatment. Sometimes, surgery may be necessary.