Sometimes, a situation in a dream doesn’t make sense. A dream character will say or do something, and it’s not clear from a logical standpoint why they’re saying or doing it. In such cases, it can help to think of the situation as if it were a real-life scenario. Let me demonstrate how this works with a dream I had where an ex-wife wants to get her husband back.

The Dream

I’m with a group of people at a bar. A woman is trying to con her ex-husband. She wants him back and I’m supposed to help her. I try to convince him that he lost the money to pay alimony and child support, but he isn’t buying it.

Clarifying a Confusing Dream

We have here a scenario that could happen in real life. A divorced woman wants her husband back. He’s currently paying alimony and child support. In order to convince him that he should come back, she thinks he needs to be convinced that he can no longer pay to support them.

The point of this request and how it relates to her goal is unclear until we continue to think of the situation as if it were a real-life scenario. What is the point of making the ex-husband believe that he can no longer pay to support them? If they get married again, he won’t have to pay alimony or child support, so he won’t have to worry about that money. Thinking of this as if it were an actual situation will help us understand what the symbolic meaning of it is.

Couple from the sixteenth century looking at a pile of money

“The Money Changer and His Wife” (1541) Painting by Marinus van Reymerswale. In the public domain

Let’s unpack this scenario and look at it symbolically. I tend to see male/female pairs (when not referring to actual people, that is) as a symbolic “male/female” pair. The “male” represents beliefs, actions, and what we’re conscious of. The “female” represents feelings, intuition, and what we’re not conscious of.

This “male/female” pair were once married, which in this dream means that certain feelings were wed to certain beliefs and actions. When two people get divorced in real life, it’s often because they’re somehow destructive to each other, or one partner is destructive towards the other. These feelings were destructive to my actions, and these actions, in turn, caused a destructive feeling, unhappiness*.

Tip

It can sometimes be tricky to get past a dream situation’s goofiness to figure out how illogical actions make sense. If you’re finding it difficult to make sense of a dream situation, some creative visualization may help.

Sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Breathe deeply for a bit until your mind is quiet. Visualize the dream scene. Once you’re in a relaxed state, start asking why questions. Why did s/he say that? Why would doing this accomplish his/her goal?

In the case of my dream I asked: Why would getting married again solve the ex-husband’s problem of not being able to pay alimony and child support? Don’t search for the answer. Let your relaxed mind give it to you.

The fact that this destructive couple is divorced demonstrates growth. Because it’s the ex-wife who wants to get back together, this shows how there are still feelings that want to cling to these actions. In other words, these actions made me feel safe, even though they were destructive.

Part of me wants to bring back feelings of safety when I take these actions, so I try to convince the ex-husband that he can’t financially support his ex-wife and children if he remains divorced from her. We’ll set aside the issue of the children and just look at what financial support of the wife really means.

Money is something we use to a pay a price for something else. The ex-wife is essentially trying to convince him that he can no longer pay the price for her if they remain separated. Symbolically, I felt like I could no longer pay the price for those feelings of safety. The destructive actions weren’t giving me the emotional payoff they had once given me.

The real-life situation that the dream was guiding me on involved procrastination. The payoff is that you don’t have to face whatever fears the situation is causing. That felt good for a while, but then I started to feel guilty, which was worse than facing the fear I was trying to avoid.

Luckily, the dream is an encouraging one. In spite of my attempt to sabotage my own progress, I’m aware on some level that I don’t want this couple to be together. I don’t want this fear to influence my actions. In the dream, the ex-husband represents the part of me that knows I can pay the price for giving up false feelings of safety that come with procrastination, face whatever I fear, and move past it so that what I do is constructive rather than destructive.

Without exploring the dream scenario as if it were a real-life situation, it would have been difficult to understand how my actions in the dream would achieve the ex-wife’s goal. Although some dream situations can remain understandable and illogical at the same time, logic does have its place in some dream interpretations.

* Actually, to be more accurate, unhappiness is a message to us that we need to change something in our lives. It’s only destructive when we ignore it.