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Sunday, 25 March 2001

Losing It: A Couple's Crisis

Written by  Silvet Sufar Shalit, PhD

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This functional drama shows how good communication and deep intimacy in a relationship help a couple face a very delicate problem.

Sexual issues are often a very sensitive area for couples. When there are sexual problems or difficulties and the partners do not openly discuss these problems, the couple may develop theories and suppositions about the nature of the difficulty. These are not necessarily based on reality or on correct information but instead often reflect the fears and anxieties of each partner.

In the couple we are going to observe now, the husband has developed an erection problem. Problems with potency can be related to both psychological and/or physiological problems.

When a man has difficulty getting and maintaining an erection, he should first check with a doctor to rule out physiological factors such as the aging process, chronic disease or medication that may cause impotence as a side effect.

If the problem is not physiological, then the couple should contact a marital or sex therapist who can help determine whether the problem is a function of the relationship and/or an individual psychological problem.

For example, if the man expects himself to be a sexual gymnast, then he might be watching himself constantly to see if he is doing a "good job." This pressure could well lead to premature ejaculation. Or if he feels angry but has kept the anger inside, then he might "express" those feelings through premature ejaculation.

A cure can only happen when he decides to share his feelings and the couple begins to work on their relationship. It is best to turn for help as soon as possible rather than wait and allow the problem to escalate, making both partners feel anxious and creating estrangement and unhappiness.

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Last modified on Thursday, 12 January 2012 13:44
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Silvet Sufar Shalit, PhD

Dr. Silvet Sufar Shalit is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She is a certified clinical psychologist with twenty years experience in psychotherapy.. She works in a psychiatrist outpatient clinic and has a private practice. with twenty years experience in psychotherapy. Silvet studied acting in New York, freelances as a creative writer and is an accomplished photographer. Silvet Sufar Shalit is the mother of Eitan, a 20-year-old autistic young man.

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