After a separation or divorce, we can have dreams that are, well … confusing. Dreams, unbound by our conscious inhibitions, paint a picture that we might not be up for. Dreams where you are not behaving according to how you know you feel. Dreaming about your ex during or after divorce can leave you feeling as if someone else is at the wheel overnight!
You may be dreaming about your ex in the following ways: your ex is moving on in a public way with your best friend, or he’s back in the house with you, as if nothing happened. Your ex may show up asking you to make his favorite dish for dinner, or offering you a fabulous new pair of shoes. What the heck?!
Whatever the content of dreaming about your ex, dreams that fly in the face of your ‘known’ reality will leave you with a dream hangover. The most confusing of all dreams involving your ex is the one where you and he are having sex.
Dreaming about your ex in a sexual way?
After dreaming that you are having sex with your ex, you wonder what does it mean? Your dream hangover is different with this one. Besides feeling confused, you may experience guilt, sadness, anger, or even a sense of longing.
Are these kinds of dreams a sign that you want to be with him again? Is it about a need for closeness or intimacy with him, or an anonymous anyone? If you are still ambivalent about ending your marriage, it can really throw you for a loop. Does it mean you should reconcile? Lots will depend on where you are in the process of healing.
Dreams have a way of exposing us to our unresolved feelings about people and situations. Our bodies and psyches are primed for healing, physically and psychologically. Our dreams are a creative way to expose us to unwanted and unexpressed feelings through pictures and stories. Exposure is a pathway to healing.
The question is, what is dreaming about your ex trying to help you heal? What are your unresolved feelings about? Be honest – ask yourself these questions about your feelings, and consider the possible meanings that could be associated.
1. Do you spend a good deal of time thinking about the past with your ex? Do you feel nostalgic about your lives together, and wish you could relive it all?
If you answered yes to this question, it’s possible that you are in the early stages of grieving the loss of your marriage. Regardless of how much time has passed, you may still be processing feelings of remorse, wishing for a re-do. If this is the case, these feelings are a part of the grief process, emerging out of denial. Your dream of being together sexually may be a wish fulfillment, or a way to assuage your remorse subconsciously. You may feel a deep sense of loss and grief when you wake. Know that this is a part of the healing process, and you are one step closer to feeling whole again.
2. Do you worry that you will be alone after your divorce? Do you feel anxious about finding intimacy again?
If you answered yes to this question, it’s possible that you are working on resolving feelings of self doubt. Dreaming about sex with your ex may have a comforting or reassuring feeling. Altogether, it’s not about you and him, but about you recognizing your own value. You may be working out these self doubts subconsciously. If so, this is a positive in your growth and recovery process. You will want to focus on attributes of yourself that are amazing, and desirable – regardless of whether you’re attached or not.
3. Are you unsure that you want a divorce, or that you did the right thing by divorcing your ex?
If you answered yes to this question, you may be chewing on feelings of guilt about the divorce, or about your feelings of wanting a divorce. It’s possible that the dream represents a last try at sex with your ex, to check it out. How did it feel? Are you repelled or feeling guilty, or are you drawn in with feelings of warmth? Pay attention to these feelings, and take some time to marinate. Rather than think about it, feel about it. These monumental decisions are not straightforward. It’s ok to take your time, to consider all possibilities.
In closing, dreams (including dreaming about your ex) are our own inner voice coming through. Though confusing, dreams reveal our deepest thoughts, wishes, and fears. Your feelings and deepest thoughts about your divorce will come out in your dreams. These feelings can inform your decisions if you understand them. You can also just kick back and enjoy, knowing that your subconscious mind is working on healing while you are asleep! We are programmed for healing, if we will allow it.
Ann Cerney, LCPC is a counselor, mediator, and coach for people considering, going through, or redefining their life after a divorce. A graduate of Benedictine University with a Masters in Clinical Psychology, Ann is trained in discernment counseling and helps people decide next steps for their marriage. Ann believes that feeling empowered rather than entitled is the most important factor in living a fulfilled life, divorced or married. Ann’s sweet spot is working with people she calls “Divorcelings”, or those who feel wrongly divorced or separated. To learn more, visit her site.
Like this article? Check out, “15 Tips to Surviving a Divorce”