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Sunday, May 17, 2009

waking up from bad dream, mad at partner


Those of you who got to this post first and saw nothing but a title probably thought I was posting a reminder note to myself to write about this topic and then hit the publish button by mistake. Well, you would be right wrong. This empty blog post was intended as a little known psychological method referred to as a projective sentence completion device. Or, in this case, "projective title provided, reader supplies blog post." Psychologists are the only specialists who can use projective testing methods, doncha know. I have to keep my skills sharp.

But I was glad to see that virtually everyone who commented indicated I am not alone in this. Well, that's not accurate. I actually know I'm not alone because I hear it from my female friends and female clients. I have not heard of this phenomenon among any many men, unless it is to complain that the woman in his life blamed him for cheating in her dream. He usually is shrugging his shoulders in helpless exasperation, "How can I be responsible for something I didn't do?"

To which I always reply, "You must have done something. Now fess up."

I mean it isn't called women's intuition for nothing, right?

It doesn't earn me many brownie points as a friend or many return visits to my office. But I am just justifying my own f*cked up behavior keeping it real.

I am certain there is some scientific data somewhere to help explain this embarrassing fascinating curiosity of the female psyche but I have not personally read any. Maybe it's part of the emotional wave that Mars Venus author John Grey, PhD writes about. The dream brings on the tsunami. The poor guy doesn't see it coming. He doesn't get out of the way. Cold, harsh anger crashes all over him. He flounders.

The solution? Well, let's see. What does a partner do in real life when he actually has done something wrong? He apologizes. He grovels. He does an extra share of household chores. Or hundred. He promises to take the kids for the day while she gets an all day spa treatment. And then when all of that hasn't worked? He buys her flowers. Preferably roses. Red roses that signify passionate love. Because really? That's all she needs. Reassurance. Reassurance that he still loves her even when she wakes up with the emotional equivalent of an ice pick in her hand.

Is that so much to ask?

30 comments:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I have, on occasion, carried that mood the whole day long.

flutter said...

better yet? I am mad at my guy for a dream he had.

bastard.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I have needed on occasion to remind myself that he is not responsible for what he does in *my* dreams!

Helena said...

Single girls don't have anyone to be mad at when waking up from a bad dream. Frustrating! :-)

Mental P Mama said...

Oh, yes. I know this one.

dkuroiwa said...

Sometimes I just wake up mad...no need for a bad dream to prompt me.

Allison said...

I've had those dreams. But the worst are the ones where I really, really think I did something in reality. Usually it is little things - I dream I did a load of sheets.

blognut said...

That feels so ridiculous when it happens!

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

Been there. Sucks...

Real Live Lesbian said...

Yep, I know this too well!

Dr. Deb said...

I don't think it's much to ask.

Reinvent Dad said...

No comment

Deb said...

I think this happens a lot. I'm glad I'm not the only one...

imom said...

I have had dreams like that, but not in a very long time.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

While this is indeed a mood-breaker in the morning, may I offer another unpleasant scenario: the teacher's naughty dream involving a student.

Frankly, I would rather be irrationally angry at my husband for a day.

Jocelyn said...

As always, your insights get my brain engaged. But, truth be told, I don't live in this dynamic, so it feels like something I can only witness from a distance. No more typing, lest I become an annoying Smug Married.

Brigit said...

Not being in a marital situation right now makes this a little difficult. But I don't know that I'd be all that reassuring waking up next to an emotional ice pick. Hmmm...how accurate is a woman's intuition?

JCK said...

You're right about men being different about this. When my husband has a bad dream about me, he just shudders mentioning it to me and that's the end of it. He doesn't tell me the dream and doesn't speak of it again. :)

Amethyst said...

God! Add these dreams into an already paranoid and maybe slightly dependent person and there ends up a whole heap of trouble...not that this has happened to me, ever...honest! Emotional melt down first thing in the morning and sometimes there is nothing the guy can do.

Marci said...

Hi there~
Love your blog!

g said...

I've done that. Not so much mad at him for something he did in one of my dreams, but awaking emotionally involved in a fight I had with him in a dream.

Fragrant Liar said...

If that actually worked, I'd have had a whole bunch of nightmares of my husband's cheating on me. I'm all about taking advantage of anything that'll get me a little extra TLC. :)

Tit for Tat said...

I like the pic. Damn, Sharon is a fine looking woman. Oops my Sub conscious mind slipped into real time. What were we talking about again? ;)

Margo said...

been there... glad to know I'm not totally nuts - for that reason, anyway. Are you all well now?

phd in yogurtry said...

flutter and margo -- yes, I'm all better. feel as though I was never sick. thanks for asking!

Jason, as himself said...

The way dreams can influence your whole entire day....unsettling.

But really, a little reassurance isn't too much to ask. Even the guys need it from time to time, I think.

apathy lounge said...

More chores and fewer flowers. That usually releases a little forgiveness in my chilly heart.

She said...

Fascinating! :-)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I love it when my husband says, "I'd say sorry if I had done that."

FeministGal said...

oooh this is a good one! my sig o is wonderful to be in real life... but in my dreams he's such a bastard. i don't know if it's my subconscious making up for the fact that he's incredible or what but i often wake up angry at him. he apologizes for "Dream Dave" as we call him, and though that should be enough (more than enough b/c why should he apologize for my sleep state?!) i keep up my attitude at him for hours...