The Big Chill -or- The Way We Were
Dreamer: Karen, 30, North American
I have a dream that is kind of puzzling me. I grew up with this guy named Billy. Billy passed away at the age of 27. He would have been 30 this year. I dreamt that I was having an affair with him.
Mr. Hagen's Reply: An Affair To Remember -or Ode to Billy
It's probably pretty safe to have an affair with someone who is dead.
Certainly he can't cheat on you. Were you once in love with Billy? His memory is not dead. Do you have any associations to the dream? Are you with someone now?
No, I never was involved with Billy. I grew up with him. We used to play baseball together when we were younger. For some reason, this dream has really stuck with me. Almost like it struck a chord, you know? Anyway, I've been married to someone for 8 years now. The man I'm with didn't know Billy and I've never even thought of him until this dream.
Mr. Hagen's Reply:
Why did the dream strike a chord? Are you unhappy in your marriage? The interpretation that there is an afterlife does not sit well with me.
Even if there is an afterlife, it must be associated to this life. I think I'll stick to what I said earlier: Billy is perhaps a memory of your earlier life, a time which may have been more playful with fewer responsibilities, a time where there seems to be more affirmation in life than negation.
You seem to be grieving the loss of that time and hope for its return. If there are problems in your marriage and the dream is a sign of those problems, certainly having an affair is not the solution. It is a sign of flight from commitment. Flight into the past is not a solution either. You need to address any problems with your husband and work together towards healthy change to build a brighter future. From a popular film and music perspective the film that comes to mind that fits the description of the sentiments you are looking for in your dream is The Big Chill. One of the songs from the Big Chill is Percy Sledge's When a Man Loves a Woman. As well, Barbra Streusand's The Way We Were tells a sentimental story of our past experiences.
These are just some thoughts.
It's me again....
My marriage is not a bad one. However there is always room for improvement.
Although a flight to the past doesn't sound like a bad idea (because there was less responsibility), it's definitely not a reasonable one. I am an assistant nurse's manager (RN) who loves her job and if I didn't have stress, I would be bored. But along with it comes a lot of responsibility and overtime. It seems to me my husband would rather me work as much overtime as I can to increase our income. This doesn't make me happy. When I don't work as much overtime, I always hear a comment or two followed by "I'm kidding" or a "don't take it so seriously." You're right though. It's something that needs to be discussed....again. And don't worry, an affair is not an insight for me and I highly doubt it is for him. Thanks for lending your ear!!!