I'm Glad I Divorced; Why Can't I Get An Erection With My GF?

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I'm Glad I Divorced; Why Can't I Get An Erection With My GF?
Is your sex life suffering after your divorce?

Men may have problems with sex after a divorce. They may not talk about it, nor do their partners. Why this is this case is somewhat of a mystery because there seem to be no studies on the topic. The assumption is that men like sex; they may have missed having sex as the marriage drew to an end. And now that they are free to have sex with whomever they'd like, they should be bedding as many women as their appetite can manage.

Having Sex And Sampling Taffy Are Not The Same:

 

The myth that men (or for that matter, women) should be like kiddies running around the salt taffy shop sampling all the flavors in the barrels probably causes men to hide the shame they feel when their newly liberated sexuality falls flat.

Sometimes men do enjoy the initial rush of sex with a new woman or maybe several women. Then they meet someone they like, and the likelihood or experience of a more intimate tryst makes having sex a hurdle.

When Sex Becomes A Task Instead Of A Frolic:

If a man who is divorced was made to feel sexually inadequate by his ex, he may feel he has something to prove to his new partner. He may have been sexually rejected by his partner, sometimes long before divorce was even mentioned. He may have experienced problems like erectile dysfunction, early ejaculation, or delayed ejaculation as his marriage waned.

It makes complete sense that he would want to please his new partner. He wants to see proof that he is a good and worthwhile sex partner. He wants acceptance and to know that he is wanted. This is a tall order for a 30 minute experience, sometimes with a woman who is almost a stranger.

Divorce, The Body, And Feelings:

Men may express relief about a divorce, but in stereotypical male style, they may be hiding other not so pleasant feelings.

Grief is one example of a feeling that he may hide. He may still be grieving, if not the loss of his marriage, then perhaps the loss of daily access to his children or to the comfort of having a full household and a family. Not wanting to admit the shame that is often still associated with ending a marriage, he may act as if everything is just fine even though his heart might be breaking.

Another feeling is anger. When couples divorce they are often combative. They say and do things to hurt each other, piling on insults or taking away access to property, money, or even children.  Divorce brings out the worst in a lot of people, and it leaves people shaken by not only what their partner is capable of, but how they, themselves, have acted.

A sense of failure often comes along with the ending of a marriage. Maybe a man feels he really tried to make the marriage work, but he wasn't able to save it. Maybe he just didn't have any fight in him at all. Either way, he may feel responsible for the death of the marriage. He may fear being judged as a failure for not keeping it together, even though divorce is now common.

He may be able to think that the marriage is over and that his bad feelings are now gone. But feelings don't just dissolve like a fizzy tablet in water. They stick around and are held, if not in the mind, then in the brain and the body.  A man's mind may have moved on, but his nervous system is still wounded from grief, anger, sadness, and loss — whether he acknowledges these feelings or not.

The Body Expresses Feelings For You

Did you ever have a stomachache when you were a kid and were certain that it was from something you ate, like too much popcorn at the theater? Except you had an upset stomach the next day, too — and not a kernel in sight. It may have taken awhile for you or a parent to catch on, but someone figured out that you were worried. Instead of acknowledging it, though, your body ended up giving you the message to pay attention and slow down.

We still have the same mind-body signals as adults that we did as kids. Sometimes it gets expressed as stomach trouble. But sometimes it may get expressed in our sex organs, and the penis is no exception. When a man doesn't function sexually as he expects to, it means that he is worried, upset, stressed, angry, sad — unless there is a medical problem.

Sometimes men don't pay as much attention to the reality of their feelings as they should. They think of themselves as warriors, wrapped in armor to prevent feeling their wounds. They believe themselves to be ever-ready, just like the proverbial wind-up rabbit.

But the body tells the truth. The body is telling the man that he isn't ready yet for sex. He can try to ignore the signals of his body, but that won't work. He will only get into deeper trouble because now he has to deal with two feelings: those of the past from his divorce and those of the present regarding his disappointment in his performance. Keep reading...

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.

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Dr. Stephanie Buehler

Counselor/Therapist

Are you curious about how a more fulfilling sex life?  In addition to  in-person sex therapy at The Buehler Institute in Newport Beach, CA, Dr. Buehler has written books for both general and professional readers.  The Buehler Institute is also approved by the APA, California BBS, and AASECT as a provider of continuing education.  Visit The Buehler Institute site or www.LearnSexTherapy.com to find out more.

Location: Newport Beach, CA
Credentials: CST, Other, PsyD
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