5 Dreams That Signal Trouble in Your Relationship, According to Therapists
You might want to pay attention to these messages before it's too late.
It's said we forget most of our dreams. So, when you wake up from one you can vividly recall, you better be paying attention. "When we're dreaming, we're actually problem-solving," says Lauri Loewenberg, a professional dream analyst and author. "Dreams are messages from you, to you, about you, in order to improve you." And in some cases, they could be a sign that something is off in your love life. Keep reading to hear from experts about which dreams might signal trouble in your relationship.
READ THIS NEXT: 5 Dreams You Should Never Ignore, According to Psychologists.
Someone is cheating.
Cheating dreams aren't always so literal, especially if this dream seems to come out of nowhere.
Dreams you're being cheated on could mean you are, "dealing with some sense of being left out in waking life," notes Loewenberg. So ask yourself, "In what way are you feeling 'cheated' in the relationship?"
These dreams could also symbolize "unresolved issues in your relationship that need to be addressed, as well as the possible projection of feelings you have in your desire to be unfaithful," explains Lisa Lawless, PhD, a psychotherapist and CEO of Holistic Wisdom.
If you dream you're the one cheating, that could be your "underlying feelings of anxiety, guilt, insecurities, fear of abandonment as well as unfulfilled needs and desires," explains Lawless.
It could also be your mind reminding you of the consequences of "crossing inappropriate boundaries," or it could signify an attraction to new people or experiences, Lawless adds.
You should examine how you feel about cheating in your dream. "If you have no guilt in the dream, then ask yourself if there is something in your life that you are doing for yourself that perhaps your partner isn't too happy about," says Loewenberg.
Your ex keeps making a cameo.
If you keep dreaming about your ex, this could mean that you're still processing emotions from that relationship or breakup, suggests Lawless. She also notes that it could signal you're concerned about history repeating itself.
"Our dreams will often borrow from the past so we can compare it to the present in order to help us determine whether we have progressed or are dealing with the same old thing again," adds Loewenberg.
If you have a dream where you and your partner are in a car together, you'll want to pay attention to who is behind the wheel, the condition of the car, and how the car is driving.
If your partner is driving, and you suddenly grab the wheel because the car is going out of control, "one of you might be too controlling, or just the opposite, very negligent," suggests Keller.
If the breaks don't work, it's most likely signaling a negative behavior pattern in your relationship, says Loewenberg. If your car won't start or is stuck, then your relationship might be stalled as well.
If you dream your car is lost or stolen, this could mean the relationship has "lost direction or that you or your partner is no longer energized or motivated by the relationship," Loewenberg says. And finally, if you dream of a car crash, it may be "a big warning your relationship is about to crash and burn!" she adds.
"The love boat, two ships passing in the night… relationSHIP… these common phrases and play on words is why a ship or a boat in a dream can tell you a lot about your relationship," notes Loewenberg.
Water in dreams usually represents our emotions, so "a sinking ship is a huge warning that your relationship is going under… probably because you have taken on way too much drama or negativity just as a sinking ship has taken on too much water," says Loewenberg.
If the ship is drifting or lost, this could mean your relationship is "in limbo rather than progressing," while a battleship could mean "there is too much fighting and conflict in the relationship," she adds.
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Cats and Dogs
Cats and dogs can be very telling about the state of your relationship.
Dogs are "the most common relationship symbol in our dreams because dogs are known for their loyalty and companionship," says Loewenberg.
If the dog in your dream is sick, dying, or wounded this could be a sign that your relationship is nearing its end. If the dog is threatening or attacking you, you may be in a toxic relationship, explains Loewenberg.
Cats, on the other hand, tend to symbolize sexual energy. "So if the cat in your dream is sick, injured, dead, or dying… that's a good sign the sexual energy in your relationship is dead or dying as well," notes Loewenberg.
She adds that an angry or attacking cat "could be a warning the sexual side of the relationship is harmful OR that you may be angry about it for some reason."