He Has Erectile Dysfunction. Is There Hope for a Long-Term Relationship?

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

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Reader Question:

I am 70 and he is 68. He has ED (erectile dysfunction). He has tried ED medication but has been allergic to the three he has tried. I have had radiation in my pelvis but nothing works down there anymore, including urinary and fecal incontinence.

I have not told him about that. We are both lonely. He is very interested in me. I see him as a good guy who is very kind. We both enjoy kissing and holding each other.

Is there any hope for a long-term relationship? Am I being fair to him?

-MaryAnn (Pennsylvania)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Dear MaryAnn,

Who ever told you a long-term relationship filled with love and caring must also include full-on intercourse?

Plenty of older people are still enjoying sexuality that is filled with sensuous touch, kissing and stroking. This is an act of love.

But the most difficult part may be learning to talk about your sexual challenges.

My suggestion is to begin the conversation by telling him how much you care about him and how much you enjoy his company.

Everything is doable. You just have to be brave, talk about your limitations and come up with some creative solutions that work for both of you.

A relationship is about an exchange of care. And I’m sure you both offer each other care and deep love.

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