Having dreams about my ex boyfriend is tearing me apart!
2 and a half years ago at 20 years old I broke up with my boyfriend of 2 years because I felt unloved and second best, 6 months later I met someone else and unexpectedly fell pregnant to him pretty quickly. I decided to keep the baby as I myself couldn't go through with an abortion, we moved in together and things were good for a little. Fast forward to now I'm 23, have a 17 month old and have recently ended my relationship for the 2nd time in 6 months because of the father's gaming habits and other issues he has to change but we still have to live together for another 4 months before moving. We are still on good terms but it's been difficult as we have had problems for a long time.
Now the huge thing I've been struggling with is I have been having quite vivid dreams about my ex boyfriend for almost 1 year now, mostly about being back with him again. I wake up feeling so guilty and upset because he has had a new girlfriend for about 6 months and I obviously still care for my child's father very much, my ex and I only speak very occasionally and he isn't a part of my everyday life anymore so having these dreams is taking a huge toll on my mental health. I feel like I have tried everything I can think of to let him go and push thoughts of him out of my mind but nothing is helping, the longer I keep it to myself the worse I feel! In my mind it's like I don't think I ever stopped loving him and I'm in denial or maybe it's just that I never really got proper closure when it came to the end of our relationship, I feel like I'm at a huge crossroads in my life and I need help. I'm torn about whether I should ask him to catch up and tell him what's been going on or not, the last thing I want is to damage his new relationship but I feel like it's my only way to get closure and not feel like this anymore!
Please any advice is greatly appreciated!
I'm no dream analyst and it's a very murky area but one thing for you to consider - rather than thinking of your ex, try and figure out what he represents? Maybe you don't want to get back with him (unloved and second best) but he was before you had a child so that might be something to do with why he keeps appearing?
Take this with a big pinch of salt - can you talk with someone?
Hi Helen72, thank you for responding! I haven't had any luck with being able to actually see a professional as they all seem to be very busy at the moment. One thing that has been suggested to me by a family member though is that because I never actually told my ex the way I was truly feeling, that maybe I need some closure when it comes down to it because we are still sort of friends and speak to eachother but I have never felt like we 100% resolved everything. There is things that I always wanted to say to him but I never got the chance, I do miss him very much but I think that maybe it is just as a friend as he always was and still is a fantastic person to have around despite everything. The only reason we barely speak now is because he has said to me that his girlfriend isn't really okay with us talking which I can understand, it just makes it very hard!
Whilst dreams are reflective of something deeper to be addressed, I have some suggestions to help you with your vivid dreams whilst you're addressing the deeper long-term stuff. I have experienced persistent dreams of my ex and found a way to work through it.
Dreams are a tricky one. It can really affect you in the day-to-day, especially because it brings up questions, such as: "If I am dreaming about them, does this signify my true feelings? That I actually am being dishonest with myself and want to be with them?"
Well, the thing about the dream state is that it doesn't really have a good concept of time. When your dream about your ex, the emotions you are experiencing are not always reflective of the current you, but who you were when you were together in the past. For example, in my dream, I might still be best friends with someone I was friends with in primary school, and feel those feelings so vividly, even though in real life, we haven't spoken in 20 years! So whilst the dream is reflective of something that may be unresolved, I wouldn't let the feelings in the dream question your feelings in waking life. They are just a push to contemplate something that has perhaps been overlooked.
Anyway, here are some dream techniques:
- If your dreams are so vivid that you are able to lucid dream, I would confront your ex in the dream and acknowledge to them that what you feel in the dream is linked to the past and not your future.
- If you want to forget the dream, the moment you wake up, open your eyes and change positions as soon as possible and recite things that are current, such as your to-do list of the day, or your address or things that are presently in your house. It's amazing how quickly it will wipe the memory of the dream.
I hope this helps!