Dream: "The Affair"
I've been having the same dream now every night for about a week. Here is my
background information. I'm a 25 year old single female living alone. For a year
now I've been having an affair with a married man. Yes, I know it's wrong, but
our attraction for each other is undeniable. We've tried to stop in the past
Now, onto the dream. It's night and I'm asleep in my bed. I awake to knocking
on my front door. From the position of my bed, I can see the front door, which
has frosted glass panels all over it. I can make out the shadow of a man
standing there. I'm a bit frightened because I live in an apartment building
where you must be buzzed in to enter. I'm not friendly with anyone in the
building, so I don't know who this could possibly be at my door.
I get out of bed, wearing a very beautiful white satin and lace nightgown,
and walk over to the door. I look out the peephole, but I can't see anything.
Cautiously I open the door and there stands my (married) boyfriend. Seeing that
it's him, I relax and open the door for him.
He stands there, looking at me for what seems like an eternity, not saying a
word. I ask if he's okay and he mutters, "I love you," and pulls out a
very sharp, very long knife from his leather jacket. He then proceeds to stab me
in the abdomen repeatedly.
I keep pleading for him to stop, but he doesn't. I can vividly recall the
brightness of the red blood all over my gown, dripping down my hands and onto
the floor. I look up at him and he finally stops, steps back, says he's sorry
and then leaves. I just start crying, fall to the floor and everything fades to
black, except for the red blood on the floor. This is where the dream ends and I
Any ideas what's going on here? It's really scaring me and I can't seem to
get any answers from the books I've read.
-Anonymous, Age 25, Female, Single, New York, NY, USA
Hi Anonymous -
Ouch! It hurts to read your dream. Not only can I feel the pain of that knife
as if it were in my own abdomen, I also feel your confusion that is allowing
this wounding affair to continue.
I will not be able to speak as eloquently or as powerfully as your dream
does, but perhaps I can help you to hear its message better.
The sex you are having with this man, while it is undeniable, appears to be
coming at a greater cost than you currently recognize. Aside from the moral
questions that participation in such a relationship entails, the more immediate
fact remains that, because he is married, your "boyfriend" also is
unavailable to you-in any capacity resembling a normal attraction.
He is not free for Saturday strolls in the park. He is not free for you to
introduce to your friends and family. He is not free for you to spend long
weekends with, lounging in bed and watching old movies on TV. Nor is he free for
you even to call at home. Is it any wonder your dreams show the life force
draining steadily from you?
The repeated stabbing into your abdomen with a long, sharp knife, given the
context of your relationship, is a clear sexual metaphor. The bright red blood
that spills over your gown, dripping down your hands and onto the floor,
symbolizes not only the emotional damage that this relationship is causing you,
but also, most likely, the guilt you feel for allowing it to continue, when you
"know" that what you are doing is wrong.
Your dreams would not choose repeated metaphors of violence and wounding if
these symbols did not accurately reflect your current emotional state. Your
dreams are communicating with you, Anonymous! Do you hear the message? If you
want these dreams to stop, you need to set your romantic sight several notches
higher. Tell Mr. Wrong goodbye, and start preparing yourself for Mr. Right. It
will be such a relief to let go of this bad, bad dream.
You can visit Charles McPhee at the Dream Doctor site