Teen Talk: Incessant dreams of boyfriend cheating are alarming

06/11/2013 12:00 AM

06/13/2013 2:13 PM

DEAR KELLY: A few nights ago, I dreamt that my boyfriend was cheating on me with his former girlfriend and lied to my face when I confronted him with it, even though I caught them together.

I woke up so mad at him and haven't gotten over it. I feel like I can't trust him anymore, and every time he says he's somewhere, I wonder if it's with her even though he swears it's not. I know you are wondering if he's ever cheated on me, and the answer is no, but I'm always afraid he's going to.

I also have dreams of falling off a really high bridge and being stung by a swarm of bees. I wake up all the time breathing hard and sweaty.

I'm kind of embarrassed to tell anyone because my dreams seem crazy and people would think I am weird. I asked my friends and some of them swear they don't even dream, so no one can help me. The problem is that I keep having them.

My boyfriend says I'm being crazy, but I honestly have this "gut feeling" something is going on.

Any advice on how to shake this?

– JD

DEAR JD: We all dream. Some people remember their dreams and others do not. Just because your friends cannot recall their dreams does not mean they do not have them. Most of our dreams are filled with symbols, scenery, dialogue, conflicts or themes in our lives.

Dream interpretation is mysterious because we can guess and assume what the messages of our dreams are, but knowing the exact meaning is impossible. There are a number of books, videos and websites dedicated to understanding and interpreting dreams, but sometimes too much information can make us overanalyze our thoughts and cause even more confusion.

Here is what you know for sure: You have a gut feeling something is going on, even though he's never cheated. It's just a hunch, but it seems to be causing you to feel insecure and doubt the relationship. The fact that you can't trust him has nothing to do with your dream, it has to do with your fears.

It doesn't seem fair to be angry with him because of your dream. It didn't really happen, so why punish him? Being mad at him because in your dream he lied to you is silly. The reality is that he has not done anything wrong to date and yet you are second-guessing him and being upset with him.

How to shake this? You have to make a decision on how to move forward. If you are unable to shake the hunch you feel and you know that you just can't trust him, then you are better off breaking up. Having a relationship without trust will only create stress, and it's not fair to either of you. Trust is the foundation of a relationship.

Another way to shake this is to talk with your boyfriend, share your concerns and tell him what your fears are. Being open and honest with him perhaps will help you feel more secure in the relationship and help you believe him when he says nothing is going on with his ex.

Many times our fears are not really about the situation but how we would handle it. You might worry more about what you would do if he was cheating on you than the act itself.

Start a dream journal. Writing down dreams can be helpful and allow you to process their contents.

Without interpreting too much, dreams about falling are very common. Falling is often an indication of insecurity, instability and anxiety. This may be reflective of how you feel in your relationship or in other environments like home or school.

Falling can feel out of control and might be associated with a fear of failure. Perhaps the bee stings mean you are feeling threatened or weary of getting hurt?

Be patient and relax. The more you stress, the worse you will feel. Just because you don't understand your dreams right away does not mean you won't eventually learn from them.

Write to Kelly Richardson at Teen Talk, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15880, Sacramento, CA 95852, or email krichardson@sacbee.com.

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