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Dream 01_200206

Dream of the Month (July 2002)
  1. Title: One Husband Too Many

  2. Date of the Dream: 6/12/2002 (mailed Sunday, 23 June 2002)

  3. Dream: I have been married twice in real life; however, in my dreams, I constantly dream that my ex-husband is my spouse rather than my current one. The theme of the dream is that we are experiencing marital problems, and I will do ANYTHING and everything to win his love back.

    He is amenable to reconciliation, but he does not love me. He is usually dating someone else while being married to me. In most of these dreams, in my despair, I swallow broken glass and I keep trying to spit it out, but it sticks to my mouth and throat. It does not cut me, but I am anxious that it will soon. During all of this, I am seeing my ex-husband with someone else, but he remains married to me.

  4. Significant life event: I have changed back to patient care nursing after a long hiatus with administrative work. No other changes have occurred in the past two years.

  5. Personal concerns/issues: He was the custodial parent of our two daughters that are grown. I have been estranged from my daughters since 1985 and have recently been trying to make this up to them.

  6. Associations: I think that somehow I have unfinished business with my ex-husband as far as my emotional ties to him. I'm not sure what they are because I don't want to be with him or love him.

  7. Pen Name: Bewildered&guilty

Dr. Holloway's Comments:

Identifying Characteristics:

Broken Glass often symbolizes emotional betrayal and the sense of feeling fragmented.

Dreams of ex-spouses are fairly common dream code for “a similar dynamic at work.” It isn not about the person himself, but about the tense, compensating pattern. Whether the dynamic is manifesting in a professional relationship, an undercurrent with the present partner, or (most often) between warring factions within the dreamer's psyche, the pain and tension are the most recognizable characteristics.

Rather than leap toward trying to “pin the tension” on a particular party, focus on getting a feeling for how it operates in your emotional life. This dream is a picture of you being so willing to make something difficult work out, that you take up all the slack, and if there is energy missing from the mixture you take it out of your own hide. When you “pick up the tab” endlessly to make an ill-fitting arrangement do for the time being, it is like shattering your expectations and then stoically chewing up the jagged pieces.

Remember, sacrifice of this kind can pull you through a pinch, but if you “forget” and use it reflexively as a permanent coping style, you really do wind up feeling shredded, and may not observe that other, less distressing options are available. This isn not about being a victim; it is more about mistakenly channeling courage in a direction that consistently cheats you out of the rewards you have more than earned. it is just a pattern, and patterns can readily be changed when we understand their shape, function and results. If this makes sense to you, consider reviewing some of the best writing on this topic covered in the wonderful classic “Women Who Run with the Wolves,” by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. You can still meet your challenges bravely without paying such a high price internally, and vote with your energy for the life you want to live.

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