I’ve been dating a divorced man with erectile dysfunction for over 2 years. His ex lives down the street and is now dating a woman. He made her wait 6 years for marriage and said he only proposed when she started “putting out” on the regular. He used to be young, healthy, and virile with her. Now he is a middle-aged man with high cholesterol and ED. Despite his inability to perform sexually, he demands that I please him in bed. He needs a ton of stimulation to get aroused despite taking daily Cialis. Because I see his ex on the regular, I resent her for stealing his good boner years. I’m at a crossroads now where I think it’s best I leave him. He doesn’t want to propose unless I satisfy him sexually, but his boner doesn’t work anymore and he has a low sex drive in his 40s. I think using sex as the barometer for getting married is dumb, but I’m just a woman. What do you think?
Thanks for writing to me. I can’t lie, I was slightly caught off guard by your question. Not because what you said was wrong, but because it’s rare to hear of someone holding out on marriage just because of sex. Yes, for most people, sex is extremely important. However, it’s quite juvenile for your 40 plus-year-old boyfriend to view sex as the sole determining factor in whether he pops the question. It’s even a bit foolish given the fact he suffers from erectile dysfunction. But I’ll get to that in just a second.
Let’s address his ex. You are giving her way too much credit for your relationship problems. From what you told me, she has absolutely nothing to do with his inability to perform. That’s all him. She sounds like she’s happily moved on with her life. So, let’s leave her out of it and focus on you.
Regardless of your boyfriend’s reasoning for putting so much emphasis on sex, I have to ask why you’ve chosen to stay? You haven’t said what you really like about your boyfriend that keeps you around. You didn’t say he’s super romantic, or is a great communicator, or just makes you laugh. And those are things you’ll want to have in a long-term mate; especially, on those occasions when the sex isn’t hitting like that. Furthermore, the way you framed this letter, it sounds like you’re waiting around to prove yourself worthy of marriage to this man. What is he doing to prove himself worthy of marriage to you?
I can’t emphasize enough that as a man in his 40s, he should want more substance in a life partner. Again, sex alone can’t sustain a relationship. And if he has erectile dysfunction, what is he doing to rectify the situation besides putting that responsibility on you? Has he seen another doctor because the current meds aren’t working? Has he changed his diet? Anything?
Suggestions going forward
- I pretty much said all I wanted to say above, but I’ll leave you with this suggestion. Don’t stay in a relationship just because it’s “comfortable” or you’re afraid to start all over in the dating process. If you feel this man isn’t your future husband, you don’t have to stay. And if you feel he still could be, it’s okay to tell him your needs and ask him to step it up.
As always nothing but love,