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Feeling guilty for wanting more

Community Member
I've been married for 10 years and my husband has been diagnosed with erectile dysfunction and has sleep apnea. He is a good provider and father to our child. I feel very grateful that I've been able to stay at home for those first few precious years but now I've gone back to work part-time. Things sound great, right? My problem is that I feel very lonely and I feel guilty for wanting more in our relationship. There is no intimacy. My husband is often tired. I feel as if I do most of the parenting as a result. We have tried counselling together and he says everything is okay but it doesn't feel that way. I don't know how to reach him. Any suggestions?
3 Replies 3

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi MummaPetal!

Don't feel guilty for wanting more in your relationship, nothing bad about wanting to be closer to the man you love.

Wondering if your husband is receiving treatment for the sleep apnea. With only moderate sleep apnea, I find the benefits of the oral appliance are life changing. People with severe SA tend to take the path of the CPAP machine. SA can be truly debilitating, so if he's not receiving treatment he definitely needs to. Any possibility that the ED is tied in with the apnea, if the apnea's not being treated?

I can imagine the ED is having some impact on your husband's mental state (as it does for a lot of men), leaving him to question his value and self-esteem. Although we are ultimately responsible for our own self-esteem, it can't hurt to give his a boost.

ED and apnea have been known to bring about depression, which is also a consideration regarding his distance from you. Easy for me to say but if he is somewhat depressed, don't take the distance too personally; depression has a tendency to have people shift focus to their internal battle, with the consequence being distance from others. If he's depressed, this is something worth getting onto straight away before it gets any worse (seeking professional support).

It's a tough one MummaPetal and I feel for you. Perhaps you could chat with your husband to some degree about the feelings you have and ask him if he could think up ideas for the bedroom side of things, leaving you both satisfied in your own way. Expressing to your husband the idea that your relationship is not performance based but support based, may get him thinking about things a little differently.

Take care.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Greetings Petal welcome to beyond blue forums a safe place to chat on sensitive issues. Of all of them it had to be this one for me. ( Swallowing some pride here).

Due to diabetes and sleep apnea and obesity I also have erectile dysfunction. It makes it hard on us to admit the thing that defines our male sexuality is not working as it should. But the great thing for me is back when I had a partner ( Who died from cancer leaving me with 2 great kids) I found a different way to find pleasure. Whilst remaining true to my standards of sexuality. and still accepting of all preferences in others. I found pleasing my partner was the biggest turn on I had ever had. I could stay faithful to a partner. She would know how much she turned me on and that I would remain faithful to her. Try giving it a chance


Thank you for your reply.

My husband is getting medical help for his SA. He has also been prescribed tablets for the ED but as they are very expensive, they are often not used.

He knows how I feel and knows how frustrating it is for me because I'm a very physical person. Things used to be great. I'm aware that if I show too much frustration it could do more harm than good.