The Blog

'I've Been Married For Twenty Years But I Still Dream About My Ex'

Sorry for the spoiler, but yes, this is normal. You've been married for a long time, you're feeling the boredom of monotogamy, and you're idealizing your ex.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Reader Normal writes,

I've been very happily married for almost 20 years and have 3 kids. I haven't laid eyes on my ex boyfriend since I got married. I will randomly have a dream about him (which I know is normal) but then spend the next few days feeling sad and missing him/mourning our relationship.

We didn't end on bad terms, so there are no hard feelings or wounds still open. It was just time for us to move on and we both knew that we weren't each other's "forever" even though we were good together. I don't miss him on a daily basis, but after these dreams I get obsessive and can't stop thinking about him. I even wonder if the feeling is so overwhelming become he is having the same dream and thoughts. (We used to do that when we were together) and fight the urge to reach out to him.

I would never act on this and my husband would be crushed if he knew what I was thinking.

Normal? Just me?

Dear Normal.

Sorry for the spoiler moniker, but yes, you're normal. You've been married for a long term, you're feeling the boredom of monotogamy, and you're idealizing your ex. You can read this that I wrote about how to stop idealizing an emotional affair or crush, and use some of the tips, like remembering everything that was bad about your ex. Also, start thinking about your husband differently, like you used to when you were dating. Make lists of things that are great about him and start having more intense conversations. Additionally, you're probably in your 40's or so, and there are many women in your age range that experience some discontent with their husbands, like I write about here. Try to throw yourself into spicing up your relationship.

Aside from that, stop beating yourself up. Focus on what's good about your life now and think about how you knew that you weren't your boyfriend's "forever." If you had married him, you'd likely be having dreams about some other ex right now. Shake up your life and start a new hobby, rethink your career direction, something that could make you feel excited about where you are in the here and now. You may be bored not just with monogamy but with your life overall. And another possibility is that you're just a Highly Sensitive Person and when you have an emotional dream it's hard not to get wrapped up in it.

Thanks for writing in and try some of these tips. Keep me updated. And till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says HSP's Get Really Into Their Dreams.

This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.