Markus was married 15 years, but has been divorced and living the single life over the past two years. Now he’s trying to patch things up with his ex, but is nervous that if he can’t satisfy his partner in bed, he might lose her again. He wants to know what he can do to get rid of his performance anxiety, and begin the relationship anew.
Markus, you’re 50 years old; before we address whatever emotional issues you may be dealing with right now, let’s first make sure everything’s working where it counts. It’s not uncommon for men your age to experience erectile dysfunction to some degree, and one failed erection can set up a vicious cycle of failure because the more you worry about losing an erection, the more likely you are to lose it.
So first thing: go see your doctor and have your blood pressure, cholesterol, and testosterone levels checked out. You want to make sure your heart is healthy because what’s bad for the heart is bad for your penis. High blood pressure and high cholesterol can both hurt erections. Eating better and exercising regularly can really help in those areas. You’ll want to check your testosterone too, because that not only helps with erections, it’s critical for your sex drive.
Now, if you get checked out and everything seems normal, then you should look at the emotional and psychological aspects of your situation — which, admittedly, are complicated. I would say you’re either scared that when you get back together with your ex you’ll have the same problems you had the first time around, or you’re scared that you’ll lose her for good this time. Both fears could be undermining your ability to perform sexually.
Whichever is the case, the only way to work through your performance issues and have these not negatively impact your relationship will be to talk with your ex-wife directly and honestly about your fears. This may sound like an embarrassing proposition, but communicating your anxieties openly with someone you love will only bring you two closer in the end. There’s no reason that you two can’t re-start your sex life, while building a new relationship together. In fact, sometimes a separation such as you’ve had can actually lead to more highly-charged sex — at least initially.
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