Why You Get Mad At Your Partner For Things They Do In Your Dreams
I’m in a room drinking wine with my boyfriend and this hot friend of mine (who I kind of have a crush on). She’s really gorgeous and has perfect bangs. My boyfriend and I are planning to have a threesome with this girl. It occurs to me that he isn’t really into it. It’s clearly only me and this girl who are feeling each other. My boyfriend feels left out. He’s being stand offish. He’s really killing the vibe, tbh. Suddenly, he gets up and says he needs a Xanax. He leaves the room and doesn’t come back. I am so pissed off at him. This is so uncool and embarrassing.
Then I wake up. Still mad. Still fuming. I wake up mad at my boyfriend on the reg. Not because we had a fight before going to sleep, but due to something sh*tty he did in my dreams. Yeah, like something he didn’t do in real life pisses me off. I’m not even exaggerating. I tell him all about it in the morning and then act like we’re in a fight for the first few hours of the day.
Despite the threesome fantasy mentioned above, usually my dreams revolve around him cheating on me or telling me he doesn’t love me anymore. Super healthy stuff, I know. Again, this is all stuff he cannot control. Since, you know, it’s my dream and the boyfriend in my dreams is not him, but my subconscious.
I know you know what I’m talking about, right? Don’t you hate it when you want to be mad at your partner for something he or she did while you were dreaming, but you know you can’t because they didn’t really do it? Why do we get so mad about things our significant others do in our dreams? What gives?
Your Dreams *Are* Real... At Least To You
Your dreams may not be straight up depictions of reality, but they are creations your brain has concocted. To you, they are real. The things that happen and emotions you have seem completely tangible. It’s no wonder you’d be affected by them after waking. Your mind doesn’t know the difference, on a fundamental level, between a dream feeling and a real feeling.
“We get affected by our dream for the same reason we get affected by our life. In fact, in some cases, we get even more affected by our dreams."
In fact, dreams might even mess you up more than crappy real life occurrences. “We get affected by our dream for the same reason we get affected by our life," Kelly Sullivan Walden, a dream expert and author of Love, Sex, Relationship Dream Dictionary tells Bustle. "In fact, in some cases, we get even more affected by our dreams, because our pre-frontal cortex aka (our logic, rational thought, and editing functioning) is asleep while we dream. Meanwhile, our limbic brain is wide-awake running the show…with a Bull horn. Its job is to make sure that what was suppressed by day, gets expressed by night…so we can awaken as (relatively) sane individuals.”
You may think your dreams are just figments of your imagination, but they actually are a part of your subconscious reality.
Your Partner Does Bad Things In Your Dream To Help You Heal
Sullivan Walden says that all those struggles, uncertainties, and pains you feel in the beginning of a relationship (you know, when you’re finding the groove) can manifest in your dreams. It’s the way your mind deals with traumatic feelings and help you recover. The dreams play out as over exaggerated, doomsday scenarios to deal with burgeoning feelings left under the surface during the day.
"Dreams of someone cheating on you is a nudge to ask yourself, where might you have betrayed yourself?"
Sometimes our dreams are, “offering us clues as to how to sidestep the unnecessary pain," Sullivan Walden says. "Our [dreams] lurk in our blind spot in order to get our attention so that we can do something about them. For example, if we feel that we've been ignored in our waking lives, but we’ve minimized it, our dream might catastrophize that feeling, and make it 10 times worse in order to get our attention so we can take corrective action. Or these dreams might be showing us why we harden our hearts and keep our love at bay.”
See, bae isn’t really cheating on you with your best friend. You’re just creating this intense-ass scenario to help yourself cope with the fact that they picked a baseball game over quality one-on-one time yesterday. In fact, Sullivan Walden says cheating dreams in particular reflect what’s happening inside your noggin and not really what is happening in your real relationship. Your dream could be indicating that you’re cheating on — dum, dum dum — yourself! “Dreams of someone cheating on you is a nudge to ask yourself, where might you have betrayed yourself?," Sullivan Walden says. "In other words, is there any place in your life where you may have settled for less than what you know you’re worth? Have you dismissed your own inner guidance regarding a decision at work, your health, or well-being?”
But, Why Are You STILL Mad After You Wake Up?
When your partner does something awful in your dreams, the anger you feel is in its purest form. It’s the rawest anger you will ever feel because it is within your own mind entirely, free from the logical part of the brain.
Sullivan Walden says it’s also due to the unfinished state of a dream, “If you wake up before the nightmare has had a chance to resolve itself, you are going to be traumatized and the emotions will linger. It is up to you to create the happy ending if you desire. Ask yourself, ‘What would resolution look like here?’ Write the script, use your i-magic-nation to give yourself what you may have been seeking for externally.”
"If we just “got rid” of the anger, we’d be missing out on the blessing in disguise."
To get over these morose feelings, you have to look inside. I'm getting a little kumbaya here… and for good reason. “I think of anger (or any unpleasant emotion) as a gift in disguise. It’s showing us where we’re out of balance, where something is askew in our lives and/or in our relationships. If we just “got rid” of the anger, we’d be missing out on the blessing in disguise. And no one wants to do that.” Sullivan Walden says. “Anger is shining a bright light on an unmet need (respect, closeness, assurance, connection, etc.) Once you identify the need that is unmet, you are in a position to make changes to meet that need.”
Instead of being pouty (*raises hand*), take a few minutes to acknowledge your feelings. Reflect on what the root cause of this anger might be. Remember, your dreams are your dreams — and they are trying to tell you something.