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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2011-05-11

Terrible Dreams

Dear CS

I have the most terrible dreams about my husband with other women. The worst is that, my husband is not like that and would never ever do the things I dream about. I dream about his ex wife alot and his ex girlfriends and even women whose faces I can see, but have no idea who they are.

I have worked on my jealousy and trust issues and insecurities ( all caused by other people, not my huband) with a psychologist, and that is all very much better now, but how do I stop having these dreams. I talk to my husband about it, but he finds it funny that he behaves so out of character in my dreams. I dont find it funny at all, it disturbs me terribly.

When I have the bad dreams (which is quite often) I get cross with him, and I take it out on him. It leaves me physically and emotionally tired, and sometimes I even cry - I dont cry easily.

Any input you may have would be very greatly appreciated on how to confront this demon and make it go away

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

So these dreams are based on your fear and lack of self-confidence, rather than on real events or real risks. I'm surprised that your apparent therapy with a psychologist, dealing with your jealousy issues, seems to have been so ineffective. Or maybe it simply stopped too soon, before you had truly completed the needed work ? What might work would indeed be CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy )
And Maria's suggestion is useful - dreams can be surprisingly plastic. You probably expect exactly this sort of defeating dream as you fall asleep, and your mind obliges. Instead, as you fall asleep, picture a happier ending, with your husband laughing at these other silly women, and rejecting them.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2011-05-12

A psychologist told me that the way to handle recurring bad dreams is to focus on the outcome that you would like, as you are falling asleep. So in your case, lie in bed imagining your husband telling the other woman that he is not interested in her, only in you, and see the two of you together.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-05-12

So these dreams are based on your fear and lack of self-confidence, rather than on real events or real risks. I'm surprised that your apparent therapy with a psychologist, dealing with your jealousy issues, seems to have been so ineffective. Or maybe it simply stopped too soon, before you had truly completed the needed work ? What might work would indeed be CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy )
And Maria's suggestion is useful - dreams can be surprisingly plastic. You probably expect exactly this sort of defeating dream as you fall asleep, and your mind obliges. Instead, as you fall asleep, picture a happier ending, with your husband laughing at these other silly women, and rejecting them.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Liza | 2011-05-11

It would be a good idea to go for CBT - Cognitive behavior therapy. It will teach you how to not let the bad dreams disturb you so much. I''ve had a similar problem in the past. I won''t even remember my dream all that well, but I''d wake up and be utterly furious with someone for no good reason. It usually helps if you keep telling yourself that it was only a dream and then to not dwell on the dream events. Try and force yourself to think of happy things instead. It''s not easy and it takes lots of practice, but eventually you''ll be able to ignore the dreams.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza

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