Marriage Missions International

When Getting and Keeping an Erection Isn’t Happening

Photo by Marin,

Photo by Marin,

You can’t turn on the TV or pick up a magazine today without being bombarded with the term, “Erectile Dysfunction.” The ads/commercials make it seem like if a man who suffers from this just takes a little blue pill, then everything will be fine. Well, that hasn’t been my experience and from the posts and e-mails we receive here at Marriage Missions there are many marriages where the little blue pill didn’t “fix the problem.”

Ten years ago I would have never thought I would be writing an article on this topic. In fact, I couldn’t have imagined saying the words, “Erectile Dysfunction” out loud. Yet today it is a far more common problem men, and couples are facing in their marriages. And it’s not just “senior” men; it is affecting many younger men/couples as well.

In a poll that conducted a number of years ago, they discovered that 46 per cent of those who participated in the survey have dealt with this issue in their marriages.

Cindy and I wanted to approach this problem from a compassionate, biblical approach and try to offer some good counsel from a number of different perspectives. So, Cindy conducted a lot of research on the Internet and that’s where you’ll see several articles below that we feel is a good place to learn how to deal with this as a Christian couple.

Briefly, our story is that I’ve been an insulin dependent diabetic for the past 40+ years. I’ve been blessed that I haven’t had any major problems or complications and I am very healthy. However, over time, but especially the past 5 years or so, my diabetes started affecting my blood circulation which has resulted in my inability to get and maintain an erection. I tried Viagra but found that it messed up my heart rhythm so I stopped taking it. Cindy and I decided it wasn’t worth the risk.

That doesn’t mean our physical relationship stopped. It meant that we had to become more “creative.” I am so blessed to have Cindy as my wife and lover because she has never belittled me or made me feel like I’m “less of a man.” Quite the opposite; she has gone out of her way to build up my ego and esteem as her lover.

Below are the articles Cindy found that best reflect our views on this subject. We hope they help you. Before you go any further, stop and pray for the Lord to reveal what it is He wants YOU to get out of these and how He wants you to apply them to your situation.

In the following linked article, it’s important to not that there are a few reasons why a man can’t obtain or maintain having an erection. To explore if this may be the reason this is happening to you or your husband, please click onto the following web site link to read:


Paul Byerly has written a great article on this subject, which you could benefit from reading by clicking onto web site link to read:


And then finally, here’s something my wife found a Today’s Christian Woman article, written by Amy Swanson titled, “Keeping Love Alive” that may be something that might minister to someone reading this blog. In this article, Amy (not her real name) battled with the consequences of what it meant to the love life of her and her husband when his Diabetes and heart problems stole his ability to keep an erection going so they could make love in the way they wanted to. They tried one method after the other that the doctors presented to them as possibilities. But none worked. It was difficult for both of them.

Amy struggled with this in different ways —presenting this in prayer to the Lord, not understanding why He created her to be a sexual being, and yet she and her husband now faced the fact that intercourse may never happen for them. And then Amy wrote:

“One night, during those early months of Phil’s impotence, I so longed to be intimate with him that I quietly left our bed and went into the living room. Curled in a favorite chair I often used for solitary prayer, I wept at our loss of physical union. I genuinely grieved over the death of a vital part of our marriage and my life as a sexually active woman. I formed a prayerful question: ‘Why, God, would you invest so much in our marriage, teaching us so much about gracious love, only to allow the very expression of that love to be taken away?’ I heard no answer from heaven that night other than a subsiding of my sexual desire for Phil.

“I made many nighttime visits to my prayer chair after Phil fell asleep. One night, when the physical and emotional urge for sex was almost overwhelming, I earnestly pleaded for the gift of celibacy. Celibacy is mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments. The apostle Paul mentions it in 1 Corinthians 7 while writing of the mutual responsibilities of marital sex. He claims his own celibacy as a ‘gift’ from God. I now understood the uniqueness of wanting that gift all too well.

“God often has allowed me a solitary struggle through difficult life challenges until I experience him as truly sufficient to meet all my needs —then he allows humans to participate more fully. Such was the case in learning to accept this particular loss. Philippians 4:12-13 ministered healing and courage to me: ‘I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. …I can do everything through him who gives me strength.’ This became my song in the night. Contentment comes when you embrace the truth that the supernatural strength of Jesus Christ is effectual in all things.

“As we experienced help from God in the area of physical yearnings, Phil and I also began seeing a wonderful Christian counselor who helped us to keep our marriage relationship satisfying. Her greatest contribution was helping us to communicate more specifically about our emotional needs within our marriage.”

At the conclusion of the article, this is something else important that Amy wrote:

“Does impotency spell the end of marital intimacy? The answer, Phil and I have discovered, is a resounding ‘no.’ …As Phil and I turned to God for continued help in finding an intimate, fulfilling marital relationship without intercourse, the physical yearnings subsided. I can’t point to a day or hour, but I just knew the struggle was over.

“When I look at Phil during a tender moment now, sexual arousal isn’t an issue; I simply feel a warmth and gratefulness that he’s my husband. His near-fatal heart attack put our love for each other in an even more nonphysical perspective. I saw the depths of his passion for me reflected in his eyes as he grasped my hand before entering the ambulance. I am so loved and cherished. We’ve discovered some vital elements of a satisfying marriage that transcend the sex act itself.”

The key to being able to maintain a level of intimacy that is fulfilling to both partners all boils down to being willing to WORK TOGETHER. I found I can’t do this alone. And it’s not all about getting my “needs” met and ignoring Cindy’s needs. To put it simply is to put it the way the Apostle Paul told us to live In Philippians.

Paul tells the people to always consider other people’s ambitions, goals and interests in all that they do in Philippians 2:4: “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others.

This article was written by Steve Wright of Marriage Missions International.

If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.


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9 Responses to “When Getting and Keeping an Erection Isn’t Happening”
  1. Leslie says:

    (USA)  That’s a great article. It’s nice to know there are other people out there that struggle with the same problem. I’m 26 and my husband is 33. I wasn’t expecting to have this problem at such a young age and so soon in our marriage (only been married 2 months). It’s very frustrating. We don’t exactly know what is causing him to have this problem, but I think it has a lot to do with stress and some depression. I have a high sex drive and he knows this and it stresses him out even more. I’m trying to be understanding, but we’re still so young!!! Why does this have to happen so soon in our marriage? But I know with prayer and God on our side we can conquer anything :)

  2. Tony says:

    (USA)  It’s important to note that ED could be a warning sign of a more serious medical problem. The best thing I’ve done is lose over 45 pounds the past nine months. By watching what I eat and working out, the problem hasn’t recurred. I’m not saying this is the answer for everyone. But I suspect given the general level of fitness in the US, most men would see improvements if they were to improve their level of fitness.

  3. Doug says:

    (USA) Hello, this is hard to talk about. I have had severe ED my whole life. I am in great shape and I have tried pills and prayer but nothing really helps. My case sounds worse than others I have heard of because I usually can’t even get an erection, let alone keep one. I feel like God has called me to be married, I know how to treat a woman, I have many good qualites and I love God. My question for the women is would you marry a man knowing he has severe ED? Even if I told a woman early in our dating relatonship, is it fair the expect any woman to deal with this? Thanks a lot,

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Doug, I believe that are women out there that have such low libido that this wouldn’t be a problem for them –especially if you both could pleasure each other in different ways –if you both would want that (what happens in the marriage bed is to be mutually agreed upon by the husband and wife). And there are women that have been sexually abused when younger, who can’t seem to deal with it and they wouldn’t have problems with this situation. But this would have to be a subject you would need to talk about before you would get very serious with a gal. She needs to realize that this is an issue that probably won’t go away.

      Also, I recommend that if you have’t already, you talk to some type of specialist in this area. We link to some that perhaps could recommend some. Sometimes serious issues need more serious methods & a specialist may be able to help you with this. Also, Paul Byerly who has the web site (and he and his wife Lori have the web site, may have some suggestions for you that my husband Steve and I aren’t aware of. I recommend you contact Paul and see if he has ideas for you. I hope the best for you Doug and pray that you are led to the wisdom you need and the right gal.

  4. Stephen says:

    (NIGERIA) I am finding it difficult to have sexual intercourse with my wife after the first round. What can I do or eat naturally to go more?

  5. Michelle from United States says:

    I need help. We have had this problem. His penis is not getting erect & not ejaculating. We want to make love & give our all to have a child & have given up. We are 31 and it hurts not being able to love & enjoy each other…

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Michelle, My heart truly goes out to you. I don’t know the reason behind the problem your husband is having, which is preventing him from getting an erection, but I know much of the hurt you feel and the questions that can mount up in your mind and heart. And then to want to make love when you are hoping that as a result you will be able to have a baby… how very, very heartbreaking this must be! It’s hard for me to imagine how horrible this is for both of you. I hope the article above gives you some type of insight as to what the problem might be. I also hope that your husband is able to find a doctor to help him or a device (talked about in the article), which might help him to achieve an erection and ejaculation.

      Michelle, I don’t say this lightly, believe me. But I hope with all my heart that even though you don’t understand why this is happening, that even so, you trust God and don’t do anything rash or lose your faith in Him that He will help you, despite the gravity of the situation, and the ability to understand this. Please love your husband well, even though he might not be able to perfectly perform in the way that will allow you to get pregnant. Love and enjoy each other to the degree that you can and trust God that He loves you and will help you in the ways that you best need, even if it doesn’t appear that way right now. This has not escaped God’s eyes. He has a plan in all of this, even though you and your husband don’t see it, and even though your life together may or may not go in the way you had hoped. Pray, trust, and love one another no matter what does or doesn’t happen.

      Look beyond in faith for what you don’t see and understand right now, trusting God’s heart that He loves you and that together, you and your husband can still build a life of love and enjoyment and purpose and meaning as you “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Again, I don’t write these words glibly. I write them as a woman who cries with you and is trusting with you and praying for you through this faith-walk journey of life. If you have both pursued medical (and mechanical) help with this problem and you have not found the help you need, then look all the more to God to show you how to love each other well and trust Him, despite the failures you may be seeing. There IS a reason for this… if you are praying and persevering, then all the more you have to trust Him that He will guide you in the way you are to walk –in integrity, faith, and love. I pray for you and cry with you and believe with you that someday God will infuse hope into your heart that you will eventually experience better days –ones that will bring a smile to your heart, as you lean upon Him.

      “May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5) “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ –to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)

    • Vipin from Australia says:

      Dear Michelle, I am speaking from personal experience. I had problem of erectile dysfunction. I am quite young, had diabetes and thought that it was due to that. But it turned out
      that it wasn’t. It was performance anxiety and destructive sexual habits which was the problem. I worked through them by discussing with my wife and reading useful literature. What I really found useful was a book called “Restoring Pleasure” by Joyce Penner. This book guides a couple through various steps towards sexual fulfillment and has exercises for different sexual difficulties including erection problems.

      A lot of erectile dysfunction in young population is psychological rather than physical and can be fixed! I would suggest your husband to consult a urologist to exclude
      any physical problem and then concentrate your efforts in the psychosexual side. Seeing a psychosexual therapist will also help.

  6. ALBERT from Cameroon says:

    I am so grateful unto God for the inspiration He has given you people to give us an inside of this issue of sex that plaques many marriages. May God richly bless you people as you continue to transform marriages and repair those that were broken.

Marriage Missions International