Problems in the bedroom It could be because your partner gets on too well with your friends'Partner betweeness’ – where a girlfriend or wife comes between a man and his friends – linked to erectile dysfunction
Men who do not have enough time to spend with their friends can feel resentful and less attracted to their partner
Men whose girlfriends are too friendly with their mates suffer in the bedroom, researchers say.
A study by Cornell University found that older men who do all their socialising alongside their other halves are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.
The phenonomon was dubbed ‘partner betweeness’ – where a romantic partner comes between a man and his friends.
Scientists say men who experience partner betweenness in their joint relationships are more likely to have trouble getting an erection
Around 25 per cent of the men surveyed experiences this uncomfortable state.
Benjamin Cornwell, who carried out the research with Edward Laumann of the University of Chicago, said: 'Men who experience partner betweenness in their joint relationships are more likely to have trouble getting or maintaining an erection and are also more likely to experience difficulty achieving orgasm during sex.'
The pair say that partner betweenness undermines men’s feelings of autonomy and privacy, which are central to traditional concepts of masculinity.
They warned that women who try to micro-manage their husband’s social lives may also be storing up problems for themselves.
The US scientists also found men who do not have enough spare time to spend with their own friends, can feel less attracted to their partner.
The authors said there is nothing wrong with the wife doing most of the organising of their social activities – as women tend to be more organised.
But they said reducing his contact with his friends to the point that all your socialising is done together can be dangerous. It suggests wives should encourage their husbands to spend time alone with male friends – even the ones they don’t like.
Professor Benjamin Cornwell, of Cornell University added: ‘There is a bit of a gate-keeper aspect that probably troubles some men.
‘They key issue is whether it reduces his contact with his friends while it increases hers – for example she alters his social schedule to the point that his contact with his friends increasingly occurs in the context of couple’s dinners.
‘A man’s ability to play a round of golf or to have a few drinks with a friend who has only a passing acquaintance to his wife or girlfriend is crucial to preserving some independence in everyday life.
‘If he has to bring his wife along every time they meet, or his wife starts monopolising that friend, that’s when problems may arise.’
The researchers analysed data from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, a 2005 survey of 3,000 people in Chicago, who were aged 57 to 85.
Co-author Edward Laumann, a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago said: ‘He needs to have someone to talk to about the things that matter to him – whether its football, politics, what car he is going to buy or worries about his health or his job.
‘The important thing is that he can let it all hang out and know that what he says isn’t going to get straight back to his wife.’