“It’s just a phase”; an expression that after some digging, you’ll likely find anything from hope, relief, to total denial. By nature, relationships go through phases. From the time a relationship begins, it will experience countless phases over time and there will be a variety of the types of phases that are encountered.
When a couple is experiencing sexual dysfunction, the partners may reassure themselves that it is just a phase. That whatever it is they are dealing with — issues of desire, arousal, orgasm, pain, erectile dysfunction, ejaculation issues, lack of satisfaction — will rectify itself naturally and things will be restored to a previous or better level of functioning. And that may happen. But for many couples, it doesn’t, and at a certain point the partners may find that what they had thought or hoped was a brief phase is now, in fact, the home position of their relationship. When that recognition happens, people respond in a variety of ways, and reaching out for help is an option that we hope people will do sooner than later.
If you are in a relationship and you notice that you are constantly reassuring yourself that the sexual issue you’re facing is “just” a phase, make sure that you aren’t undermining the importance of what could be a significant issue that isn’t going to go away on its own. Because whether the issue will go away on its own or not, going through sexual dysfunction can be draining to a relationship and with the treatments that are available, distance and conflict can be curtailed.