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You Asked: My Dream About Him Cheating Has Me Paranoid

Dear Sugar,

I've been in a serious relationship with my boyfriend for a year now and things have been great. But a few months ago, I had a dream that he was cheating on me. Ever since I've kept getting these unfounded ideas in my head that he might be doing things that I don't approve of. Recently my paranoia turned into serious jealousy when I found out that there were going to be strippers at his soon-to-be brother-in-law's bachelor party.

I expressed my concern and he decided not to go even though his sister and brother-in-law were disappointed, and his parents told him that they thought I was being too controlling. Then recently, he made a joke to his brother about checking out other girls, but I still felt a little miffed and told him so — my dream kept echoing in the back of my head. He said that he would never act on it, but that he didn't think it was a big deal to notice a pretty girl.

I totally disagree with him, and find that kind of behavior very disrespectful of me and our relationship. Now he thinks that I'm overly jealous and that I don't trust him at all. I really don't want to be controlling and harsh, but I do want him to respect my feelings. I just can't get this dream out of my head! All of these issues never existed before, and now they won't go away. How can I control my jealousy and paranoia?

— Paranoid Dreamer Delia

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Paranoid Dreamer Delia,

I consider dreams more of an expression of our own anxieties and desires that hide back in the farthest reaches of our consciousness, rather than some kind of crystal ball that reveals the future. Most likely, the dream about your boyfriend has brought up a lot of insecurities that you already had but weren't able to acknowledge. Jealousy is completely natural, but when it starts to negatively affect your relationship and your emotions, it's time to take a step back.

To move past this terrible dream, I'd start focusing all of your attention on the reality of your situation. Just as your dream doesn't become real simply because you had it, your boyfriend casually glancing at a pretty woman doesn't make him capable of infidelity because you're feeling notably more paranoid than usual.

There's nothing wrong with expressing your concerns about the bachelor party, but it's important to also acknowledge that your boyfriend chose to disappoint his family in order to avoid hurting you. I think that shows a great deal of respect for your feelings and your relationship. The more you note the way the emotions around your dream are affecting your relationship and blocking you from thinking about things rationally, the easier it will be to properly react to a situation.


Join The Conversation
moxierain moxierain 9 years
People notice who is attractive and who isn't, just because they do, doesn't mean they will act on it. Yeah cheating is always in the back of peoples minds even guys worry about it. Just trust him until he gives you a reason to not trust him. If he ever cheats then you can break up with him or choose to work it out? Myself, I would just pick up the pieces and move on and find someone who does want to stay faithful to me.
designerel designerel 9 years
i don't think him noticing other girls is "disrespectful." like others have said, it is common nature to notice attractive people. as long as he is doing it quietly to himself and not making comments about how that girl in aisle 6 is super freaking hot, i don't see the problem. keeping him from going to the bachelor party was a bad move. you come off as really controlling. he's not going to cheat on you with the stripper-- taking off her clothes is her JOB. she goes in, does her thing and leaves. it's not like she's a hooker, this is what she does to pay the bills. you are overreacting. i'm sure that dream was not fun, but your bf never gave you any reason for you to distrust him. when you overheard that comment about him checking out girls, he was probably just joking around with his brother. it's what guys do, they like to sound macho or whatever. go figure.
rashell rashell 9 years
wow, people are being mean about this. i think you should calm down and investigate. i had dreams daily about my ex and things going on and sure enough, he was cheating -- for about 6 months. so, don't freak out until/unless you find out there is something to freak out about. good luck dear.
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
paging the PSYCH ward...line 1...PSYCHo line 1! wow, you have issues and if you don't control yourself the only one that will take him away from YOU!
geebers geebers 9 years
You need to take a step back and understand why ONE dream is affecting you so badly. If everything was fine and dandy before you had this dream - then why are you suddenly behaving as if the dream is a reality?? You need to tell your BF you had this dream and are working through it.
hoosiergirl98 hoosiergirl98 9 years
Keeping him from his future BIL's bachelor party?? Seriously?? Get over yourself. Now his family thinks you're a loon and that probably won't ever change. You just created a lose-lose situation in regards to your future.
Indigo4320 Indigo4320 9 years
My boyfriend and I both have had cheating dreams and we'll wake up unable to shake the dream and be involuntarily mad at the other. We laugh about it of course and it hasn't caused insecurity or jealous behavior...but it sounds like your dream has brought out the worst of your jealousy. I doubt that you were lacking jealousy before, this has just given you an excuse to voice your concerns openly now. If you continue to control his every move because your insecurities are getting the best of you, you are going to push him away. No one wants a girl who gets pissed at them for looking at another girl. IMO there is nothing wrong with looking. And sorry to say this sweetie but you're not going to find a guy who never looks in the opposite sex's direction. It's innocent...I even check out other guys. They may even be more attractive than my boyfriend but you know what is going through my head when I see the attractive guy? Absolutely nothing! No daydreams about having an illicit licking my lips at the site of a nice tush! I've heard plenty of guys say it's the same for them...they take in the looks and don't give it another thought! I'd get these thoughts of yours in check and lay off of the jealous behavior if I were you. Sounds as though your man hasn't done anything worthy of your behavior or thoughts.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
So, let's say 80% of women have these dreams, and 50% of men cheat, it's likely that lots of people will have dreams their SO is cheating and then find out they were. I don't think it means those women are extra special prescient. It's just math. Anyway, I have had these dreams. They are unnerving, but obviously, not real. I think you need to sit your BF down and talk to him about what happened and about your fears. No one ever kept a man around for long being as controlling as you are. If he's going to leave you, he'll do it whether you allow him to go to a strip club or not.
kendalheart kendalheart 9 years
Well noticing other beautiful girls IS natural...sounds controlling to me!
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
I think that is a common dream. I've had it several times. There have been times my BF has one like that. Once in a while we'll wake up and have an attitude and the other will be like........"OK who was I doing wrong in your dream" and talk about it and laugh. If he gives you no reason not to trust him you need to give him that respect. And the checking out other girls have to let that go. It's part of life. If anything just tell him if he's going to be checking out other girls not to let you know about it (which I think is not really a great thing......but under the circumstances). My BF doesn't usually point out hot girls to me, he waits for ME to point them out to him.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
I, too, have had the cheating dreams... only my SO was cheating on me with his ex lol... that was not cool! But I know he'd never cheat on me and definitely not with her. I agree with the above posters who say that checking out the opposite sex is only natural. I know my guy does it... I don't like it but when I think about him doing that and start to get upset ... I think about how I think this guy or that actor or whatever was cute and realize it is only natural. I do agree with you (and the other posters) when you say you don't like him going to strip clubs. I don't like the idea of my guy doing that (and he never has). His best friend's 21st is coming up and last year (his 20th) he said he was going to have a big party and go to a strip club with 'all his guys' (which includes my SO). At that time we were all together and he looked at me and told me I wasn't invited cause I'd be a downer at the party (b/c I'm a girl ... lol). Well, I wasn't cool with my guy going to the strip club so I talked to him about it and asked him what he was going to do (go or not). He said he probably isn't going to be going b/c he knows I don't like it and he told me that isn't really his thing (and I know it's not -- please people don't tell me I'm blind and naive... I know when he is lying and when he is not!). The best thing about all of this is that he respected your opinion and didn't go to the strip club. Try to get past the dream and realize what a great guy you have. I know it'll be hard ... I've had jealousy issues (and still do) for a long time, but slowly I've gotten better and believe me it makes a difference!
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
i understand all your insecureties. i have them. Insted of feeling bad when my hunny is checking out a pretty girl (i look at hot guys) i find them first and give him a nuge "hey baby! check her out. what do you think?" BTW... my Papa taught a Dream Class is the 70's at CSUF..... you are probibly dreaming about your own insecureties. Has nothign to do with what he is doing. Learn from your dreams. know what is real in your own life and learn about your self conscious from your dreams. cheers!!!!!
Luxury-Diva Luxury-Diva 9 years
I only have one thing to say, INVESTIGATE! I had a dream one morning, TRUE STORY, My man was actually sleeping with this unknown person. I woke up hysterical. I woke him up because I needed answers and fast! 30 min. later his cellphone rings and something said answer it! I don't usually get up to check his phone. It was the "other" Woman. So call me psychic or whatever, The day that I had the dream is the day I found out my man was cheating!!!!
MisterPinkNoTip MisterPinkNoTip 9 years
I think you are being highly unreasonable/irrational. Remember that these feelings you are having are manifestations of your own insecurities, and I would suggest working on these things by yourself before discussing them with your boyfriend. That way you can go into the situation with a more level head. Additionally, what's wrong with noticing someone attractive? You do it too, and I'll bet it's more often than you think. The guy who just delivered my food was super sexy, but I certainley wasn't cheating or hurting anyone by checking him out. Also, it sounds like your boyfriend is being accomidating by not going to the bachelor party and by sticking up for you to his parents who think you are controlling (and I must agree with them). Talk to your boyfriend and tell him that these trust issues are because of you, not due to his actions (after taking some time to figure them out for yourself a bit). Then maybe he can help you work through them.
julieulie julieulie 9 years
Been there, done that with the cheating dreams. Been there, done that with freaking myself out that what if it is real? But he CHOSE to not go to the bachelor party because of YOU and if that isn't the sign of someone who respects you and wants to make you comfortable, then I don't know what a better sign would be. We all have fears, but we have to learn to get PAST them. If you're upset that he NOTICES another pretty girl, then you ARE being overly jealous. Look, I hate the idea too of my fiance checking out other women, but it's natural to notice. If he's doing a double take and looking up and down, then that's a big problem, but to casually notice a girl walking down the street and think she's hot? As long as he's not acting on anything, then its' not a big deal. I would never, in a million years, cheat on my guy, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't happen to notice that certain coworkers and people I encounter in daily life are more attractive than others. Seriously, you need to realize how lucky you are that you have someone who was willing to start a rift in his family just because you didn't want him to be around strippers. You found yourself a real winner, and don't let your insecurities ruin it!
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 9 years
i've had that dream a couple of times and it scared me so much that i woke up bawling. and my husband would be like OMG what happened!! in the middle of the nite heheheeheheh anywayyyy....u shouldnt let the dream affect ur ways with him. it is just a dream. especially since he hasnt given u a reason to suspect he's cheating. and about his comment to his friend..omg thats so normal. i dont know what my husband says when hes with the guys, cuz hes with the guys. and for heavens sake im glad he doesnt know what me and my girlfriends talk about ;) early on in our dating he went to see the movie casino royale and went on to explain that the girl was "so f**king hot..AND she reminds him of me"...well i made it very clear that he is NEVER to say that in front of me again and he certainly hasnt. everything is fine.... just calm down.
chicaparati17 chicaparati17 9 years
Wow! I think we ALL have our insecurities even in the "soundest" of relationships. Why do you feel intimidated by other women? Its unrealistic to think that he will NEVER notice other women. Be confident in yourself. Know that you are worth him being faithful and you MUST give him the benefit of the doubt. Stop creating all this ridiculous and totally unfounded doubt in your will drive you insane. Trust him and trust yourself...he sounds like a good guy and you dont want to DRIVE HIM AWAY!
Meike Meike 9 years had a dream and it wasn't real. He never gave you a reason to distrust him in the first place. I had a dream like this, too, and I told my hubby this when we were first dating. It unnerved me but that's all it ever was, just a dream. You can't let a dream take over your reality like you are doing right now. Also, are you telling me that you are 100% completely oblivious to attractive men? You may not say anything but I'm sure you may have noticed one every once in a while. I think your only problem is that he chooses to vocalize it. Even so, it's not disrespectful for a guy to note that a girl is attractive. It is, however, disrespectful for a guy to say, "I would screw her."
fortunate-fool fortunate-fool 9 years
I happen to believe that feelings like you're having are completely normal. I think that anyone (for the most part) who denies ever feeling jealous or having thoughts about their partner cheeting is lying. Having said that, I think the trick is learning how to control those feelings. If your boyfriend isn't doing anything to make you think that he might be cheating and is trustworthy and loves you, then the dream is just that - a dream. I have a wonderful boyfriend of 2 1/2 years who I don't think would ever cheat on me and I've had a few dreams about him cheating. I usually talk to him about it and that makes me feel better. About the stripper - that would bother me too. But since he didn't go when he found out how uncomfortable you are with it, that shows that he respects your feelings and doesn't want to upset you. My boyfriend is in the process of planning his best friend's bachelor party and was thinking about hiring a stripper but we compromised and he's going to the club instead since I'm okay with that. If you've got a guy who's willing to talk to you about it and do what he can to make you comfortable, then the dream meant nothing and it just comes down to you learning how to control your own feelings of jealousy.
clareberrys clareberrys 9 years
TO the OP- I think that Berlin was extremely harsh. I think you are completely normal for having these types of feelings and I can tell you that I have been there. But I have heard that usually when you have dreams that your partner is cheating it usually means you know they will never do it. My boyfriend would never cheat on me and I have had those types of dreams. It helps me to tell him the next morning. And about the strippers- I completely understand where you are coming from. It's weird to have other, random, naked woman being around your man and having all eyes on her. Of course we want to be the only woman in our boyfriend's lives, but in all reality, men are just animals by nature and theyre just being that. (I don't mean ANIMALS I mean we are ALL animals) And lastly...when we were first going out my boyfriend used to say "I'd do her" whenever he saw an attractive woman on television. IT pissed me off so I told him about it and he stopped doing it all together. Just be honest with your boyfriend about the dream and everything will be fine.
meeshee meeshee 9 years
although i think berlin was a bit too harsh, i somewhat agree. it is human nature for people to find others attractive. i am sure you find other men attractive as well. it is simply biologically impossible for a man to never ever notice another beautiful woman. i am a jealous girlfriend as well, and i do get a little upset when i catch my boyfriend eyeing a beautiful woman, but i know that he loves me and he cannot help it. he doesn't shout "DAMN SHE IS FIIIINE" and i think that in and of itself is quite respectful. he doesn't make a big deal out of it because he understands that i would not appreciate it. i agree with berlin in that if he hasn't given you a reason to NOT trust him, then your behavior could potentially drive him away. jealousy without any evidence is insecurity. it is hard and it is natural, and you can express it with your partner as long as it does not come off as you attempting to control his actions.
unnamedafterher unnamedafterher 9 years
I had a dream my partner was cheating on me. When I woke up, I knew that my subconscious mind was trying to bring rouse me out of the denial I had been living in. I confronted her about it that morning and sure enough, I was right. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut. Honest conversations are sometimes so necessary. Good luck to you...
Berlin Berlin 9 years
Damn, you are SERIOUSLY overly controlling! There is nothing wrong with noticing a member of the opposite sex that you find attractive, it's human nature! And how dare you punish him b/c of a ridiculous dream that you had? I think you need to grow up...a lot. Deal with your insecurity issues and don't blame him for them. Just because there are strippers at a bachelor party doesn't mean that he's going to sleep with them. It's a job, and the woman that is dancing doesn't think of it as anything other than a way to make money. She will get tips. She's secretly thinking of her future plans, her boyfriend at home, her own kids, her meeting tomorrow, her mother's new date...whatever! You kind of disassociate yourself from the whole thing and it is a job, a business transaction, not "I'm going to dance around in tiny clothes and then sleep with you". She's done it countless times and I'm sure that your wonderful boyfriend isn't going to be the man that just fills her dreams that night. Come on! You need to seriously realize that him noticing another woman does not have anything to do with respecting you. Now if he blows you off to follow after her, then by all means another story, but I'm sure that's not what is happening. You need to back off and trust him before he dumps you! After all that is exactly what will drive him away from you and into another woman's that will trust him especially when he's done nothing to warrant otherwise. Why not talk to him about the dream and let him comfort you about it? Try to communicate...and see where it gets you.
shernic82 shernic82 9 years
I think you had that dream because subconsciously you fear him cheating on you. Sometimes dreams make us aware of things we feel but suppress, like jealousy or even feelings for someone we didn't realize we even had. I know it's hard, but try to put this dream out of your mind and focus on your relationship. As long as your boyfriend proves he is trustworthy and has done nothing wrong, you need to trust him. No, there is nothing wrong with noticing an attractive person, but if it makes you uncomfortable for him to say so, he should just keep quiet about it. The main thing is, DON'T let this dream ruin a perfectly good relationship. Trust him!
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