Last night I had a disturbingly vivid dream about my ex-husband. This is not unusual, unfortunately; I seem to have dreams about him when I’m stressed out. But I’m not stressed out right now, so it’s rather odd. And I hate it.
Anyway, the one last night made an impact because I had more clarity than I usually do while IN the dream. I dreamed, as usual, that he and I were back together. We were living in the same house together, and as usual, he was “into” the reunion more than I was (by “as usual”, I mean in the dreams, not in real life; I wouldn’t be surprised if he has nightmares about being married to me again, either…). Nothing significant happened, it was more just the feeling of guilt I had, and unease, knowing this wasn’t really what I wanted and how the HELL had this happened, by the way?? Last night, the issue was Christmas. I love it, he hated it. Rather, he loved getting presents, hated everything else about it (in fact, on our first Christmas as a married couple, he sat on the couch and pretended to read a hunting magazine while I tried to string our huge, “real” tree that I made him help me pick out, with lights. He pretended not to be watching as I struggled, and moved the stepstool all around the tree, and cursed, and got poked by pine needles, until the very end, when I realized I had strung the lights UPSIDE DOWN and the plug was at the TOP of the tree. At which point I started sobbing and he finally put down the magazine, said “Good LORD,” and fixed it for me. Happy happy memories of Christmas as a young, hopeful newlywed.). Ahem. Anyway. So in this dream I was decorating for Christmas and he was not helping, and all the while I was thinking “WHY am I DOING this?? I hate this about him, that he scorns all holidays… what am I DOING?”
Then I had an IN-DREAM epiphany, which is the unusual part for me. I realized that maybe this was what being in a long-term relationship was, giving up your “silly fantasies” about finding the “perfect” guy and just settling for someone who didn’t drive you completely mad (in which case, I had failed on both counts). Maybe in order to have stability, you had to give up excitement and joy. Then I woke up to a crushing depression. Don’t get me wrong, I was very glad to realize it was just a dream, but I was also very depressed to think that maybe what I “realized” in the dream was correct. That you can’t have it all. It’s either a crazy, sexy attraction with sparks and fireworks, or stability and longevity where you’ve squelched your “fantasies” of ever being truly happy. GAH! This can’t be true, can it??? And if it is, or rather if I really believe that? Then that explains why I’m still single, and why the thought of being married again is so unappealing at this point in my life.
I know that intoxicating “in love” feeling is fleeting, and addictive, and cannot stay the same forever. I know, intellectually, that settling into a comfy “love” can also be rewarding. But. I have never made it to that point. All my relationships, except maybe one, have been sparks and fireworks, then disappointment and anger. Then, over. I have no basis for comparison. The thought of “forever”, which is so comforting to some people, freaks my shit out. I cannot even IMAGINE being with the same person for longer than a few years. I have this innate fear that the moment I actually get comfortable and relax in a relationship, it will blow up in my face. I don’t really trust anything or anyone NOT to just disappear one day, with no explanation.
So now, today, post-bad-dream, I’m left wondering, am I defective? Am I being unreasonable? Have I set myself up for imminent failure? Do I sabotage relationships that might have long-term merit because I’d rather do that than let them dwindle to the mundane? (gosh, but the people that might have been long-term were so booorrriiinnngggg…..). Or am I drawn to meaningless, yet exciting, relationships because I can handle that and there’s no expectation to grow or change? (but there was a time when I wanted said meaningless, yet exciting, relationship to grow and change…it just never did…and I’m ok with that now…) But I don’t think I avoid meaningful relationships. I have to believe that I simply haven’t yet met the “right guy”. However, that goes back to the “perfect guy” myth, which I truly believe is a myth. AAACK!
That’s it, I’m going shopping.