Understanding a Dream of My Spouse Cheating Dreams arenít always what they seem. Or are they? Dr. Scott Haltzman discusses the reasons why you might take your fears from a bad dream out on your spouse. BY DR. SCOTT HALTZMAN
Kaia Lai (www.kaialai.com)
Having a dream about your spouse cheating on you may mean more for you than your spouse.
“ Remember, just because you dream of unfaithfulness doesnít mean it happened in real life.”
It's not uncommon that I go to bed and wake-up in the morning upset because my spouse was unfaithful in my dream. What gives?
You kiss your spouse goodnight and everything seems fine. The next morning, you wake-up and all hell has broken loose. How could this happen? Your spouse was sleeping the whole time, right?
Dreams can stir up very intense feelings. Having a dream about your spouse in bed with another person is likely to be very disturbing. You may be confused about what this dream means. Is it a premonition of something to come? Is it the psychic manifestation of your mateís actions that can only come to you in your sleep? Your first thought is: ďsurely, this must mean something!Ē
No one knows for sure why humans dream. Theories range from wish fulfillment, to random neurological discharge of the brain cells, to mastering an emotional state you canít handle while awake. Dreaming is a normal part of the sleep cycle. While most usually forget dreams by the time they wake-up, if you have a particularly disturbing dream itís likely to stay with you the next day. But thereís no scientific evidence that dreams reveal hidden actions of others. Ironically, if anything, they may reveal your own hidden wishes: have you been thinking about fooling around outside the marriage?
Youíre worried about what the dream might mean and thatís why you take it out on your spouse. Letís face it, you donít know what the dream means, but you can use the dream to your advantage. Instead of making your mate the target of anger or accusation, make him or her the target of inquiry. Use your dream as an opportunity to learn more about your spouse. Ask the following questions, and also be sure to answer them for yourself:
How can I know you are faithful to me?
What limits do you set on others of the opposite sex who might be attracted to you?
Are there situations in which youíd be at risk for having an affair?
Do you have needs in our relationship that Iím not meeting that would make you more likely to seek comfort with someone else?
If you were ever to have an affair, how would we be able to talk about it?
Infidelity challenges about 40 percent of all marriages. Remember, just because you dream of unfaithfulness doesnít mean it happened in real life. But talking about the dream might be a great opportunity for you and your partner to address infidelity proactively and learn more about each other in the process.
Dr. Haltzman is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Brown University. He is the author of "The Secrets of Happily Married Men: Eight Ways to Win Your Wifeís Heart Forever." You can find Dr. Haltzman at www.DrScott.com