Dream Interpretation: Abusive Ex-Boyfriend Is Still In My Dreams

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. Got a dream you want Lauri to analyze? Click here to submit it. This week, a reader asks Lauri:

I had a dream that my current boyfriend tried to attack me last night. I was involved in a previous relationship that was abusive and still have fears about it. I woke up crying and I scared my boyfriend to the point where he doesn’t wanna be bothered with me. I try to remember the dream, but something won’t really allow me to. Please help.

LauriUnfortunately I hear about this sort of thing all too often, a woman who was in an abusive relationship continuing to have nightmares about it long after she got out. Sigh. Breaks my heart. It’s a traumatic thing to live in constant fear of being pummeled at a moment’s notice. It really wrecks your sense of self worth and your sense of security, and obliterates your peace of mind!

Even though you are out of the relationship, your psyche hasn’t calmed down and you still hold onto the fear and it is expressed through your dreams. Your dreams can’t move forward until you move forward, and that is going to take a little bit of work, mostly on your part — but it sure would be helpful if your current boyfriend gave you some support too. He doesn’t want to be bothered with you? What kind of bullshit is that? The biggest predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If this is how he reacts to your very understandable issue, I wouldn’t expect him to be terribly helpful to you in the future. Sheesh already!

Luckily, this is something you can make great strides in with or without Mr. Can’t-Be-Bothered. First of all, realize that you are giving yourself these dreams; they are a creation of your own subconscious, therefore you can change and even put a stop to them! Typically, writing down the dream and then re-writing the ending the way you would like it to play out can work wonders.

But since you aren’t able to remember the details of the dream, journaling at bedtime will work just as well. It is crucial you journal right before you turn out the light to go to sleep, because what is on your mind as you drift off will affect your dreams.

I would start by writing a letter to yourself, and in that letter you need to do a couple things. First, forgive yourself for being in the relationship as long as you were. A lot of women who have been in abusive relationships continue to figuratively beat themselves up for staying in the relationship way longer than they should have. That does not help. So write yourself a forgiveness letter.

Then, write yourself a love letter. Yes, a love letter. If that seems crazy and you can’t imagine doing it, just pick three things you like about yourself: one thing you like about your physical appearance, one thing you like about your personality, and one thing you’ve done that you’re kinda proud of. Then expand a little bit on these three things. This will help you to build yourself back up after your ex has torn you down. This will also help you let go of unnecessary emotional baggage such as contempt for yourself. Do this every night for a while. When you make it a habit of going to bed feeling good about yourself, your dreams can’t help but follow the pattern!

In addition, it wouldn’t hurt to take some martial arts or a self-defense class. May as well build up your physical strength while you are building back up your inner strength. Be consistent with the journaling, make yourself physically stronger, and you’ll be surprised what a powerful force you’ll become in your own life… and your dreams will become pretty freaking cool as well! Keep us posted, will you?

Want to be able to figure out your own dreams every morning? Lauri’s latest book, Dream On It: Unlock Your Dreams Change Your Life, will give you the tools you need to become a Dream Expert too! Check out all of Lauri’s books here.






  1. Wow, that’s a load of victim blaming bullshit, Lauri. “Forgive yourself for staying so long”? Fuck you.

  2. This is great advice. I was in a 6 yr abusive relationship and i am still very numb after about 1.5 years of living in a safe home. I have recalled very few of my dreams up until very recently. Now it seems that i wake up every single morning with memories of at least one dream. I have been reading up on dream interpretation but am still very new to the whole concept. Last night i dreamed that i was back with my ex. I was trying to get away the whole time but he just kept catching me right when i would be about to sneak out. Not as scary as some of my other recent dreams but still very hard to process. I am still working on this interpretation but i feel that this article definitely brought me closer. Thanks everyone for sharing your stories!

  3. I have been dreaming about assulting my ex wife( been divorced 8 years) we don’t communicate at all, no kids together, no need to.
    The dream starts out where I am in a kitchen( none that ever been in)she comes into kitchen and the tension is very high, she passes by me and slightly touches me, I feel the air rush over my skin. I tell her at least you could say excuse me, she just rolls her eyes, then it happens, I grab her by the hair and pull her backwards, I slam her to the ground, ( I can feel her hair in my hands, the heat of my anger like my chest will explode. The sound of her hitting the floor, everything is like it is so real.
    Another is: we are out at like for dinner, we get in car and start driving, it’s raining she tells me to stop. I keep driving,she slaps my arm and I back hand her, then it jumps to we are in are living room watching movies, I push her away from me, but it’s hard enough to push her to the floor. I smell her perfume, I feel the heat of her skin as my hands hit her, Good gosh why am I having these dreams I wake up and I am so angery,mad at the world for hours, I have to keep telling myself that they are not real.
    They have started within the past two months. I am afraid to go to sleep,not a night hasn’t gone by that I don’t have some kind of violent assult on her, I am not going into details on some of them because they scare me even to talk about the acts let alone write them down.
    I feel I am loosing it, it’s freaking me out.

  4. I just had a dream about my ex abusive boyfriend but the thing that I dream about is his being sweet to me. Now this isn’t the first time of my abusive ex its been multiple times were instead of being harsh to me and beating me like he was he’s was the man I thought he’d be threw out the relationship but I thank god I got myself out of a 4 year abusive relationship till now he ask all my friends that I went to school with if they’ve talked to me creepy

  5. I been having dreams of my current boyfriend cheating on me But this morning I woke up from a dream which was most disturbing. I dreamt I woke up and went down stairs of my house and said good morning to my dad, but I thought I was awake and wasn’t in a dream so then I got a bit scared because I could feel something wasn’t right . So I saw my dad and he disappears as I try and give him a hug because I’m scared but then the dream changes as I’m laying on a mans cheast which I hope is my dad because i wanted to feel safe but I no it isn’t him so then I feel it’s my current boyfriend so weirdly I get the urge to want to have sex with my meant to be boyfriend but then the man pins me to my side and I look at his face and it’s a mix between my ex and my current boyfriend and he is pushing his fingers in my back which hurt so much and I was asking why is he hurting me which just made him pushed harder so then I started to hurt him back by biting his fringers off which made the pain in my back lass painful then I said to my self wake up I’m dreaming and kept doing it and woke up sweating so much and just want to know what it means ? My ex boyfriend cheated on my and I am paranoid of my current boyfriend doing the same so my current relationship hasn’t been going well because of my paranoid state of mind but does this dream mean ? I read that I means I should change a behaviour or that I shouldn’t be with my current boyfriend just want some help on the meaning of it .

  6. I’ve dreampt about my abusive ex boyfriend. But he was as sweet as pie…but I was still scared and runnin away in my dream. I kept tellin him hes not winning this but I am. I didn’t wake up scared….but more on victory feelings. I see through men n their shit….sorta like my 3rd eye is totally open. Yet I can’t completely open up to men…even nice ones. Because I feel they are going to hurt me mentally. I don’t trust any men even the ones that I feel would or could treat me well. My heart can love….but I’m scared!!! So I remain single…..its lonely….yes….but No ones hurting me or my feelings. Am I crazy….do I need help? I feel I got this……just not my time for love n relationships….I guess. 🙂 lol.

    1. I’m going through the same. It’s miserable but I’d rather be alone than scared. Thanks for sharing.

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