“My Boyfriend Blames Me For His ED”

New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. Read some of the most popular Dear Wendy posts here. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), do a search in the search bar, or submit a question for advice at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

I have been dating a divorced man with erectile dysfunction for over two years. When we first met, he said he wanted marriage and a child. Fast forward to the present and there is not a proposal in sight. We are living in his old marital home that his ex purchased, and there have been memories galore. She announced that she was a lesbian and divorced him five years ago. Before their marriage, she had had to wait six years for him to propose, and he said he only did so because she started “putting out” on the regular. As he’s aged and developed full-on ED, he has also developed very specific sexual proclivities such as the desire for butt sex and threesomes. I’ve tried to meet him halfway by spicing things up in the bedroom without crossing my own boundaries.

He says he is dissatisfied with me because I can’t arouse him even though he has a clear health problem and has been diagnosed with medical ED by a urologist. Even Cialis and Viagra haven’t helped him function normally. I’m now 38 and he is 41. I would like to get married and have a biological child, but given his ED and stubborn insistence on wild sex, I think I need to look for someone else. I mean, is the writing on the wall? Should I cut my losses now and look for a marriage-minded man who doesn’t use sex as the sole barometer in a relationship? — Fed Up with Flaccid

It seems like by any barometer, your boyfriend isn’t marriage material. And while sex should never be the sole barometer for a relationship you hope is headed toward marriage, the fact that it’s unsatisfying and dysfunctional for you both should be your cue to run.

There’s a guy who really likes me, and I really like him, too. He’s a go-getter, extremely intelligent, understanding, attentive, caring, and musically inclined. We get each other, and watching an hour-long movie will take us three hours because we’re always talking. We also never fight. He’s handsome, too. I could spend every moment with him, and it would be perfect…However, the few times we’ve kissed, I’ve never liked it. The couple times he’s tried to cuddle with me in bed, I feel uncomfortable. I also wasn’t into the two times we had sex.

Why is this happening? I don’t know what to do. Do you have any advice? — Not Feeling It

Your letter made me think of this post from – omg – a decade ago. Kisses can change the dynamic of a potential relationship, for better or worse. While you and this guy seem to share great chemistry in a platonic way, it sounds like the physical chemistry just isn’t there. If cuddling, kissing, and sex all leave you feeling uncomfortable and unsatisfied, I’d kiss the idea of a romantic relationship good-bye and decide whether you’d like to try to keep this guy as a friend instead.

I’ve been married 25 years and have three teenage kids. A few months ago I found Tinder and Grindr on my husband’s purchase history, downloaded two days apart three years ago. I wasn’t snooping; we have family share and my sons had some 80 apps and I was checking to delete some. Before I confronted him, I called Apple and spoke on the phone with a rep who said that the cloud next to an app means it has been previously downloaded and that apps cannot accidentally get downloaded. I was in so much shock!!! Just to preface, I was in a bad place mentally last year. My father died of Covid in Spring 2020 and I almost lost my mother in a car accident a few days before the app discovery. My husband denied, denied, denied. And I’m ashamed to say I believed him…

Come January, I see an invite to a sex chat room. Husband says he has no idea why he’s getting that. I didn’t question it because that’s happened to me with other texts too. Out of the blue five weeks ago, my husband started picking fights with me, which is unusual because we hardly ever fight. I have never done this before, but I looked on his phone. I found two calculators, a vault app, a recently-downloaded VPN app, and three dick pics he had deleted. Omg!! I confronted him, and again he said he didn’t know what VPN App was talking about and that he was going to send the dick pics to me but changed his mind!! When? After our 4th blowout? How romantic.

It been a few days and we have not spoken. I think he feels if he keeps denying, I’ll give up and let it go. But I asked for a divorce today. His response? “Ok, but you have no proof I’ve done anything.” No “Let me prove to you that I love you,” no tears from him. I can’t get past not just Tinder but that he may be Bi… I’m not willing to live with that. I’m scared that I’m not doing the right thing. What if I find out he was telling me the truth and he didn’t do anything? Before this we had a great life and marriage together. Am I doing the right to thing? — Devastated in New York

I’d say that a good barometer for whether or not getting a divorce is the right move is when you ask your spouse for a divorce and he says, “Ok.” Add in blatant lies, betrayals, potential cheating (or at least the pursuit of it), gaslighting, and nonstop fighting, and the only thing you should be debating right now is where to get a full panel of STI tests. I’m so sorry for the loss of your father, the near loss of your mom, and now the likely ending of your marriage; I hope that you will seek out the guidance of a good therapist if you haven’t yet.

***************Follow along on Facebook,  and Instagram. If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. LW3 — Hurry, NOW, to secure a lawyer and all financial documents. Do a 15-minute consult with all the best lawyers in your town, which should block your husband from procuring their services.
    Ask the lawyers exactly what steps to take regarding all financial accounts. Stop thinking of your husband as your friend. Work in stealth mode. Do not tell your husband you are taking action.
    It’s imperative that you protect yourself, because he has been lying for a while now. Your security is at risk, so do not waste precious time and energy wondering what’s going on, falling apart, being in a fog, etc. You can be hurt later. Make sure you talk to **real** friends who can keep a confidence.
    And get an STD test.

  2. Avatar photo Guy Friday says:

    I’m not criticizing the response to LW3, but the only thing I’d add is this: You say “I can’t get past not just Tinder but that he may be Bi… I’m not willing to live with that.” I’m not suggesting you should stay in any relationship that you are fundamentally unhappy in, but I’d caution you — hard as it may be because it’s discovered all at once — to distinguish in your mind the infidelity you believe your husband has committed and the revelation that he may be bisexual. They both may well be reasons to exit your marriage, but only one of them is worthy of scorn or disdain, you know?

  3. First, that picture paired with the heading made me laugh.

    LW1: It’s not your responsibility to manage his ED. Why do want to marry a man who a) blames his ED on you; and b) says the only reason he proposed to his previous wife is because “she started putting out on the regular”? Do you think he will treat you any better? Get out now before you are tied to him by kids.
    LW2: WWS
    LW3: Dude was on Tinder and Grindr. He did something, or is trying to. He’s picking fights with you hoping you’ll dump him so he can tell everybody the divorce was your fault. Consult a lawyer and end this marriage on your terms.

    1. LisforLeslie says:

      +1000 – he’s trying to make you the bad guy “She just left” when he knows he’s the reason your marriage is failing. It’s failing because he’s cheating on you. You know it. He knows you know it. Now he has no choice but to make you so miserable that you leave.

      If you want to keep your shared friends, tell your narrative quietly and factually, you found he had downloaded Grindr and Tinder. You found messages. You can’t live with the lies anymore.

  4. LW1 he sounds bullying and really; just leave. Nobody should be pressuring anyone to do sex stuff they don’t enjoy. It has nothing to do with him being Bi, though, I know quite a few Bi people and they are all without exception honest and faithful partners, (one has an open relationship but it’s all above board and with consent) your partner has lots and lots of problems but it isn’t that which makes him be such a wretch.

    1. allathian says:

      Yeah, it’s not the fact that he’s probably bi that is the problem, it’s the betrayal. To be fair, I wouldn’t want to be with a man who’s also sexually interested in men, it’s a deal breaker for me personally. But if I found out about his sexuality months or years into the relationship, I’d feel more betrayed by the fact that he hid it from me than the fact that he’s also into men. I’m also not interested in being a part of anyone’s journey into self-discovery.

      Consult a lawyer and get a divorce on your terms, LW.

  5. Bittergaymark says:

    LW1) Your boyfriend sounds like a real mess — ar best. A real closet case — at worst. MOA!

    LW2) Sadly, I think you and this guy are simply NOT a match. Chemistry is key. Don’t try to force a relationship without it.

    LW3). The dick pics are pretty inciminating. But the bisexuality concerns may be baseless. Are you absolutely 100% sure none of your teenagers downloaded grindr using their fathers itunes account? Whose phone was grindr on…?

  6. LW1: when someone tells you who they are believe them. Please believe that your boyfriend is not a nice person, then run and know you dodged a bullet. You can do better.
    LW2: The reason kissing is so important is that it tells you if chemistry is there. If it isn’t, that sucks, but you should move on. You can get that stuff in a romantic relationship, too, and enjoy kissing.
    LW3: WWS. “Okay” was not the response of someone who wants to be married to you. Go.find someone who loves you. I promise that you are loveable.

  7. Hi, need advice.. no judgement please!
    Im in a near 13yr relationship.. married 5this year.. my husband and i had a glitch during xovid and i thought working from home was affecting him preforming during sex and mentally.. well!
    He told me he had ED which explains why when i initiate sex he doesnt want too and it always felt to me one sided and i had too when he wanted too, still feel like that too this day.. its been tough.
    He told me he has been doing this our whole relationship and i feel like its been based on lies.
    He still uses this now to this day but ive tried to be supportive in many ways as a wife can me, both romantically and gesturing and even putting aside the fact he has taken tablets everytime we have had sex has seriously affected my own confidence. Im told how he fancies me much and then he says when it affects our sex time that he never thought he would ever have someone like me or get married or have kids. I feel emotionally drained, sexually deprived and unwanting to even kiss or have sex anymore but we get on like best friends do.

    So im in a 2/2 situation do i break up our life because it is affecting us sexually and romantically or do i stay and pretend to be happy in that department and not be fulfilled to make him feel worthy. Or do i offer an open relationship and be the worst in the world cos he wont wNt anybody else touch his wife or do i have an affair and selfishly get wat i need too.. he cant even keep it up when he is aroused anymore.. never finish never satisfied.. im stuck

  8. Hi .
    Wondered if u could advise please
    Even though I know the answer I still want advice .
    4 years ago .
    Hubby 54 dies cancer . I was
    46 now 50 .
    I met someone 11 months later . It’s
    Weird . It’s like drama all the time and I don’t want it .

    I’ve had 3 marriages all cheated . 2
    X hitting and 3 cancer.
    So I have issues of trust .

    So meets this guy now 3 years .
    We just never change . Always secret on his phone but says he’s not cheating and I can’t help accusing him .
    He makes it worse .

    He hates sex .
    I vowed after the 3rd hubby . I wouldn’t be with someone that doesn’t want intimacy and I’m back in it .
    He’s amazing around the house . Does anything for anyone including myself .
    But nope to sex and it’s ruins me .
    All we do is argue .
    He won’t see the doc . Now 2 years more .
    Makes excuses they won’t aee
    Him . Doesn’t want to take meds .
    Blames me for his Ed . Nope 👎
    Definitely has Ed and of course I’ve tried talking .
    He now lives with me .
    But honestly it’s like he never wants to go when I have genuinely asked him to move out hundreds of times .
    Because I never feel we move forward .
    I want to be single but he says no one else will put up with u .
    What’s that got to doing with getting on with my life .
    He says I won’t let go .
    Honestly I can.
    It’s my house . I feel trapped because I need to be on my own 💯 so I can be single to find someone else who wants me intimately .
    Partner says I’m unreasonable and unrealistic . I love sex . Always have .
    So what’s the answer please

    1. Break up with him and kick him out. Enlist legal help if we won’t go. Change the locks o. Your door. Stay single and don’t invite anyone else to move in with you. Break the cycle of dysfunctional, unfulfilling relationships and discover the joys of being single and free.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *