Dream Interpretation: I Can't Stop Dreaming of Cheating Ex

photo by Morning_theft

Other people’s dreams are never interesting…except when they’re about sex. Each week, our dream analyst Lauri Loewenberg tells one lucky reader what their dirty dream means. This week, a reader asks Lauri:

Some background: My long-term boyfriend cheated on me and I broke up with him. It was the most upsetting thing that ever happened to me and I’m still not fully over it, but it was over a year ago and I’ve tried really hard to move on.

However, I’ve recently been having really vivid dreams about him. In them I’m in bed and lying in the same position I’m in; he comes into my room, seeming agitated, and after hesitating for a long time, lies down behind me and just holds my hand.

In the dream I am only pretending to be asleep while he does this; I feel annoyed and affronted that he has had the nerve to get in my bed and plan what I will shout at him when I ”wake up” — but I stay where I am and feel like I don’t want to move. It’s so real that I sometimes think he’s actually there. What’s my subconscious trying to tell me after all this time?

Lauri: Your dream is showing you that, in fact, you haven’t moved on at all. Notice how in the dream you don’t move, you stay in the same position. Your dream has given form to where you are emotionally: There has been “no movement” towards healing or closure, and your “position” on the matter has not changed. You are probably stuck in the mindset of a victim and can’t see past the loss you are feeling; you did say, “I stay where I am and feel like I don’t want to move.”

Your dream is showing you that the choice is yours as to whether you remain where you are in misery or actually make an honest effort to move forward toward healing. In the dream your ex is always behind you; this is your dreaming mind trying to tell you that he is behind you in your past and you need to start looking forward. The pretending you are doing in the dream is the pretending you are doing in real life. You do need to “wake up” and realize what you are doing to yourself.

Everything that you are saying to him in your head in the dream, I want you to write that all out tonight at bedtime right before you turn out your light. You have internalized your pain for far too long and now is the time to get it out of your psyche and onto paper. Take up as many pages in your journal as you need to. Get it all out, curse-swear-scream it all out as you write, get all that pain out.

Once you have exhausted yourself, go ahead and rip those pages out of your journal and toss them in the trash. This is symbolic of ridding yourself of the useless pain and frustration you have been holding onto all this time; it is worthless to you, it is trash. Then turn out your light, go to sleep, and see what kind of dream you get tonight. I’ll bet you’ll have a dream showing your progress! I’ll also bet you’ll wake up feeling a lot better and ready to take on the future. Remember, it is impossible to move forward when you are holding on to what is behind you.

Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it. Anonymity guaranteed! And don’t forget: you can get access to Lauri’s free Dream Dictionary on her site.

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5 Comments on "Dream Interpretation: I Can't Stop Dreaming of Cheating Ex"

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This is so much BS… No one knows anything about dreams, why they happen, or why they don’t… We can’t even understand the damn definition of intelligence, yet these pseudo-psychologist types “know” what’s going on in the subconscious mind without bothering themselves conscientiously in philosophy… No low-latency whatsoever… Don’t believe any of this crap!

Hi Robert. I am the original poster, and I wanted you to know that Lauri’s reply helped me a lot, at a really difficult time. You might be a pleasant and genuine person who wants to help others to “avoid the snake oil”, so to speak, OR you could be a mansplainer of the first order who has sufficient recall to regurgitate a few bits of jargon – maybe neither, I dunno. Either way, I can tell you that – whether it’s confirmation bias, placebo effect, the alignment of the stars, Lauri and I both sadly being intellectually inferior to… Read more »

I never really believed in dream interpretation but having read this it all makes perfectly good sense.
It’s a shame we won’t get the chance to find out if Lauri managed to put everything behind her and move on, I hope so.


Confirmation bias. We have a tendency to always find something, even when it’s not there.