Dream Interpretation: Stuck in a Waiting Room with Cheating Ex

waiting_roomphoto by PinkMoose

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 (after the jump). This week, a woman asks Lauri:

Real life: The guy I’d been seeing for a couple of years became involved with another woman that I knew. Long story short, I found out then called them out on it. We went through some up and downs but never stopped communicating completely.  He calls regularly to check on me and we see each other numerous times a week as we are members of the same church.  My therapist suggested I give him her number to see if he was willing to work through therapy together. He was defensive about it and I never pressed, considering I don’t want to push anything.  If he doesn’t want to do the work it takes to rebuild trust, then I let it go and move forward.  A month or so later I have this dream.

The dream:  I was somewhere I don’t know in reality but seemed like a familiar house/space, when a woman I didn’t know came to get me for some emergency. She took me to some sort of office and I see the young man I had been involved with.  He was in the whole dream but I don’t remember those parts.  Once I see him in the waiting area he doesn’t really speak but encourages me to go into the other room.  I was led by a woman in her 40s.  Upon entering the room I notice there are about 10 other women who are seated on chairs and sofas.  It was obvious that we were there for a counseling session.  Most of the woman were African American and all under 40. Somehow I sensed that he wanted to be a part of my healing.  Without seeing him, I know he sat in the waiting area awaiting my response. He looked unsure of my reaction and response but appeared quite remorseful.

Lauri: I am very happy to see that you are using your dreams to help you move through the healing process.  They are a built-in healing mechanism and will keep you moving forward!  After all, a dream is a conversation with the self, a conversation between the deepest, most honest part of you and the surface daily you that has to deal with uncertainty, attachment, fear, etc.

That being said, your dream begins with you being alerted to an emergency.  The emergency is very likely your own urgent need to heal already and get over this pain.  The setting of your dream feels familiar because this hurt mindset you are in has become familiar, either because this has happened to you before or because you’ve been carrying it around long enough that it is familiar, almost comfortable for this pain to be a part of your daily life.  Would you say you’ve attached yourself to it, begun to identify with yourself as someone who carries this burden?  The waiting room suggests that this is also your mindset as of late, you are waiting either for the pain to be gone or you are waiting for him to step up and make things right (i.e. work through this with you)… or both.

The older woman leading you into the office is the wiser, more mature part of yourself that you need to follow.  She is the part of you that has learned and will continue to learn well from age and experience.  She is trying to lead you past the mindset of waiting for him and waiting for pain to go away and into the point of action.  And notice how he encourages you past the waiting mindset also?  What you have to keep in mind here is that he is not playing himself.  This is your mind at work and your thinking and healing taking place so this is not his encouragement, this is yours.  It is being shown to you in the form of this guy so that you will pay attention to it and listen to it.

At the end of the dream he looks remorseful because this is an image you want to cling to. You want to know in your heart that he feels bad for betraying you. And he may.  But keep in mind that he was not willing to go to your therapist to work on this with you so he is clearly not as invested in your healing as you are. I hope this helps.

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 new site.


  1. Yeah, I’m not 100% sure what she means by “rebuild trust” – become better friends or bf/gf again. Either way, I think her therapist was strangely overreaching. There definitely are iffy therapists out there. Shoot, Dr. Phil stuck his big fat head into Britney Spears’ situation even though she was already being cared for by competent professionals.

  2. I think the therapist suggested he join the session to see if the two can rebuild a relationship together.

  3. I agree! I think the dream analysis is right on! Makes alot of ense. But her therapist should not have suggested that she bring in the ex. That seemed weird.

  4. I wonder if the suggestion by her therapist to bring in her ex-boyfriend for joint counseling is a good idea or even professional. It seems to me that the cheating and subsequent breakup are her issues to deal with. We can’t control what other people say or how they behave, but we can control how we react and what we think. A joint session could go well, badly, or he could refuse, as he did. But I wonder if it sets an example that you need to rely on others to be complicit in your healing. It’s nice to have help in healing, but I think her shrink should be teaching her life skills, as people can be unreliable. After all, she’s getting individual therapy, not couples counseling.

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