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Relationship advice for a guy

(16 Posts)
Askingaquestion Tue 16-Oct-12 18:11:53

Evening All,

Over the past 10-12 years, since Uni really, I have suffered quite badly from depression. Apart from somehow managing to have a career, the past decade has disappeared down a black hole. As as side effect, I think, I also suffer from Erectile Dysfunction.

Thankfully over the past year things have improved massively & I seem to be through my depression. Sadly not so much the ED. I am feeling normal again & very much wanting to get on with things instead of sleeping my life away behind drawn curtains.

However the depression & associated conditions has left me with few friends and almost none of the life experience you would expect of a 35 year old man.

I have recently met a girl I like very much and things are going well. I am however holding back because I am terrified of telling her all this and scaring her away. However it needs to be done, otherwise it would not be fair to either of us.

I am therefore looking for advice on the best way to explain all this to her, hopefully without scaring her away. If it was you when (in a new relationship) & how would you like to be told this? Or is ignorance bliss?


ashesgirl Tue 16-Oct-12 18:40:57

Sorry to hear you've not had an easy time. But sounds like you are feeling much better these days.

How long have you been seeing her? I don't know if you need to go into a big explanation about the past depression. Lots of people have been through this in any case and it doesn't define you forever, if you see what I mean.

Or are you meaning that you want to broach the ED with her?

AGhoulfromtheCrypt Tue 16-Oct-12 18:52:07

I would rather have been told. I went through this with an ex, but had no idea about his anxiety/ depression until I found a prescription well into the relationship.

It meant that I felt it was something I was doing, and ultimately caused quite a rift between us. (Not the ED; the lack of honesty).

It might be worth seeing how it goes, as it may not even be an issue, but if it happens more than once I'm sure she'd be relieved to find there was a medical reason for it and be patient and understanding.

HissyByName Tue 16-Oct-12 18:55:22

What help have you sought with the ED, have you spoken to your Dr?

There are many potential causes, and it may not be related to the depression, it could be medication, blood pressure or just anxiety.

Go and have a chat with your Doctor and then at least you will know that you are trying. You can then at least say to the GF that it's something that you are working on.

Ultimately, with the right person, it won't necessarily be an issue, if the worst really does come to the worst, but as such a young man you owe it to yourself to investigate causes and seek treatment where possible.

I'm in my 40s and went out with a guy briefly. His ED wasn't the reason I ended it, his being a controlling arse was. I'm open minded enough to know it's not all about the one thing... If he had have been a nice bloke, we'd have worked around it I'm sure.

Callycat Tue 16-Oct-12 19:12:42

Hey Asking,

No real advice to offer, but I'm in a very similar situation to you (er, minus the ED, obviously ...). I'm also mid-30's with virtually no experience, for a range of reasons, and sometimes wonder if men will run a mile when they hear this. So just want to tell you that you're not alone in that respect smile - so there are women around who will understand.

onmyhonour Tue 16-Oct-12 19:39:35

to be honest ED isn't a massive issue, guys issue with it is. i went out with a guy who had some problems keeping it hard or getting hard. but he was so unwilling to talk about it try other things or go to the dr that it became a massive frustration. it was a part of him and one that i was willing to except with in reason and the reason was that it became a part of our relationship that we could work with not something that was an issue that came between us. in the end he had such a problem with himself that we just couldn't work and i was very sad about that. so my advice would be, be honest be open and try not to be afraid. as if she really cares for you she will want only the best for you and you relationship.

geegee888 Tue 16-Oct-12 21:49:21

If someone genuinely cares about you, ED won't put them off. Its finding that special person, but that applies to all of us! Maybe not a bad way to sort the wheat from the chaff though, eh? Some people place more importance on some things than others, there are certainly women out there (like me) who place a far higher priority on other things and would not be deterred or place too much importance on it. You do sound like a considerate person, which will stand you in good stead.

Your depression is probably something more serious and to be aware of.

SorryMyLollipop Wed 17-Oct-12 09:39:02

I wouldn't be bothered by ED itself, if the person had been to the GP as it can be an indicator of other health problems.

If the person was too embarrassed to seek help for ED (even if nothing could be done) then that would be a problem as the embarrassment/self esteem issues could fester.

ED in itself, not an issue, attitude towards it - potentially an issue.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 17-Oct-12 10:25:29

I agree with previous people that, if you're making every effort to get treatment for your various problems, then it's fine to talk to your girlfriend about it when you feel you're ready. Some people will cope better with personal problems in a partner if they feel the responsibility doesn't rest with them to resolve it and that the partner isn't hiding anything. Others can't cope with personal problems at all... that's obviously a risk you take. If your girlfriend is right for you, she'll be supportive.

Good luck

MonkeyRisotto Wed 17-Oct-12 10:56:06

Isn't ED and loss of sexual appetite a side effect of some AD drugs?

I think as a number of people have already noted, it is your attitude to it that counts, if you are seeing your GP about it, doing what you can to sort it, etc, then you are a wholly different prospect to someone who is burying their head in the sand about it.

Cialis/Viagra can often help (although they are expensive), and you may get some improvement from regular kegel exercises. This does depend on the cause of it though, so if you haven't already spoken to your GP, do so, and if they brush you off, ask to see a different GP.

There are psychosexual therapy units in some areas that you can be referred to although they generally have a long waiting list.

garlicbaguette Wed 17-Oct-12 11:34:47

Glad you're beginning to feel better and are back in the world of the living smile

What you're basically saying is you don't feel you're good enough for her. A commonly exchanged piece of advice for women goes something like: if expecting a good, honest relationship scares them off, you should let them run! You couldn't possibly have a healthy relationship with a woman who demands perfection in her partners; she'd be a nightmare. You obviously don't think she's a nightmare, so give her a chance to prove how compassionate she can be.

It's pretty easy these days to turn the conversation to depression in general. 20% of people have it in any one year, so there's little chance of anybody having escaped contact with it. You might even find she's on ADs, too ... whether she's ever needed treatment herself (yet) or not, you ought then be able to move along to confiding in her about your own experience.

Depending on this chat, you might decide to tell her about your fears re ED or wait for the next time. It is a part of depression and its treatment, as she'll find out if she does some research after talking with you. As well as going to your GP to find out about symptom management for this, it's also an idea to have some thoughts about workarounds to try with your girlfriend.

I hope I don't need to tell you that, if your honesty puts her off, she's not the right woman for you after all. Fingers crossed your talks go well and she turns out to be a good'un smile All the best.

Askingaquestion Wed 17-Oct-12 20:14:21

Thank you for your perspectives & views ladies.

I was not worried so much about the ED. More explaining away the past years of depression. Its a lot to drop on a fledgeling relationship and, I fear, a lot to put on her.

I have decided to get it over with asap, as the weight of this is killing me. We are out on Friday so I will have 'the chat' then.

Fingers crossed

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Wed 17-Oct-12 20:15:45

Good luck smile

ScarePhyllis Wed 17-Oct-12 20:38:11

She may well have had experience of family members or friends who have had depression, so she might be more understanding than you at first think. And plenty of people who have had depression go on to have perfectly normal, good relationships.

I think that if I were in her position and could see that you had sought treatment when you realised there was a problem, and have maintained a career and family relationships and are now making efforts to rebuild friendships and be social, then I wouldn't be too alarmed. And the honesty would be reassuring.

What I think would concern me in this situation would be if someone didn't show any signs of sociability outside of the relationship, as I would worry about someone becoming overly emotionally dependent on me. Or having a big piece of information dropped onto me when well into a relationship. But that would be true of any relationship. Good luck.

lovendar Fri 04-Jan-13 11:23:57

I think you are more than afraid of ED. You must react positively and do as you feel. If you re unable to make physical contacts then just simply say that you have some issues but you will overcome those with the help of a physician. Its curable disability and do not panic.

ErikNorseman Fri 04-Jan-13 12:57:12

Lovendar do you realise you have posted on several old threads, one of which was 5 years old?

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