Sometimes, in my dreams, Mike (the boyfriend) and Jake (the ex-husband) are interchangeable, and I find this hugely uncomfortable upon waking. Sometimes they’ll just swap places mid-dream, or I’ll be doing something with Mike in my dream, only it’s Jake, but it’s really Mike. Sometimes I’ll relive something I did with Mike, only it’s Jake, and I’ll know it’s Jake and then what is normally nice and normal feels uncomfortable and icky and wrong.
I try not to compare the two relationships, only because I don’t want to be unfair to Jake, don’t want Mike to feel compared, don’t want to make out that these two people are in any way alike, or that I am in any way the same person I was then.
I do find myself comparing, though, if only because I can’t help noticing all those things that make me happy and remembering how different some of thee things were in my marriage. It’s hardly fair, because the things we remember best about our marriages are the things that happened most recently, and, obviously, Jake and I weren’t terribly happy there at the end. So comparing doesn’t feel right. However, a good part of my appreciation of how lovely and thoughtful Mike is comes from not being used to some of it, or not having had it before, or not finding that level of connection before.
I wonder what purpose these dreams are serving: Is it because the urge to compare is so constantly there? Is it because these are the two important relationships of my life? Is my brain just determined to drive me crazy?
It’s uncomfortable, and distressing, and I would like to know why. Does this happen to anyone else?