SheBrisbane is excited to introduce the first week of our ‘Dear Cat’ section. We have all the answers to the tricky questions sent in from our readers on sex, dreams, cheating and more… happy reading!
1.Just this week I have had two very sexual dreams that make no sense to me. One was with a man I know and the other was with my husband that includes ropes. I woke up quite shocked from both of these dreams. What does this mean?
There are many different ways that people interpret dreams – some experts say it’s your brain’s way of processing leftover bits of information you were unknowingly exposed to throughout the day, and trying to make a ‘story’ of them in order to get a kind of closure… and this is why you have those dreams where one minute you’re flying and the next you’re searching for something in Kmart while a phone is ringing loudly in the background. It appears to make no sense as a whole, but the individual parts are related to something you saw or briefly thought about during the day.
Others firmly believe it’s your subconscious revealing itself, which would indicate that you have repressed sexual feelings about that first man, who you’d dearly love to shag… and at the same time, perhaps your sex life with your husband is not as adventurous as you’d like it to be. Open up some non-judgemental discussion with your hubby about fantasies and see where it goes. I see some S&M in your future. Report back!
2.My ex husband won’t let me go even after he left me for another woman. I have moved on but he can’t seem to, even though we both know there is no future together.
It’s a bit like buyer’s remorse. He let you go and landed in the arms of another woman. At that time, he had the power and felt he was in control of his destiny and happiness – and put energy into finding that with her, rather than invest that energy into his existing relationship with you (the grass is always greener, and all that). Perhaps you even wanted him back initially, or he saw how much he had hurt you or maybe you felt lost and lonely without him.
Now he sees you are happy – maybe with someone else – and it makes him crazy, because he no longer has the power to control your feelings. You’ve taken control and he needs to get it back for his own sanity. I used to have a friend who called it “keeping you in the fridge”. Which is when somebody isn’t sure they want you, but they keep you as an option, in case they change their mind later.
People do successfully reconcile after infidelity and break-up, but it takes commitment from both of you. If you both felt there was a chance and were committed to giving it your all, I would recommend seeking good quality counselling – but if you feel like there’s no chance, then you already have your answer. You’re nobody’s midnight snack.
3.What steps can you take to mend a friendship which was broken through telling their secret to another. I have broken her trust and I want to gain it again?
The reality is that most people don’t keep secrets very well. They’re almost like a burden which we feel the need to unload. I would say that most of us have been told a secret and we might have just one confidant we felt the need to share it with. The trouble usually occurs when that one person has their own confidant, and so it continues. The only true way to keep a secret is not to share with anyone at all – in the knowledge that it’s the only way to 100% safeguard the information. But what a lonely, disconnected life we’d all lead.
The first thing I would do is have an honest discussion with your friend – and tell them how much their friendship means to you. I would include an apology, an acceptance of responsibility that you messed up, and I would also ask them “Is there anything I can do to regain your trust?” You have to be prepared that they could say ‘no’… It’s important to realise that we all operate from our own ‘map’ of the world, and even though you might feel the trust can be regained, they may have their own prior experience which means they need to cut you out of their life in order to feel safe.
If that does happen, I encourage you to still take the lesson from it. You may have heard the expression – “People are in our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” It might just be that this person was in your life for a reason – and that reason was around deciding what’s more important – keeping a friend’s secret, or unburdening yourself of the information. It might be preparing you for an even bigger challenge which is just around the corner.
Cathryn is excited to be answering your love, relationship, and sex questions every week in Dear Cat. Send through the questions you are too embarrassed to ask your mum to firstname.lastname@example.org