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I had a dream last night that I had decided to leave my husband and run-off with an old flame of mine. This isn’t a unique dream for me, I have some variation of this dream every 3-4 months. 

The “object of my affection” is a guy who was my biggest crush in life, though in the dream he’s actually an almagamation of different people I’ve met into one super-human.

This dream always starts off so beautifully. My ‘dream guy’ has just professed his love for me and expressed the ultimate desire for us to be together. I’m swept-away. Swept-up in a daydream of violins, rose petals, strong arms and perfect love.
This is what I’ve been missing.

What I’ve always wanted.
My new/old beau and I spend some intimate and romantic time together. We embrace, we cry, we kiss we talk about the time we’ve missed and the dreams to come.

(At this point, I wake up because I have to pee. I go to the bathroom, pee, return to bed and fall back asleep, and am instantly brought back into the romantic reverie. My new/old beau and I have a few friends around us who are so happy that we’ve finally connected and that we have accepted the fact that we were meant to be together and I am feeling peaceful, happy and so in love).

Eventually, however, reality hits. This is the part of the dream where I start to think about how I would break the news to my husband. I begin to process how this will hurt him, and the realization starts to set-in that hurting him will hurt me as well, because his well-being was part of me. I don’t want to hurt him or see him sad.

More importantly, I don’t want to break what we’ve built together.

It hasn’t been perfect and it most definitely did not start-off in any romantic, loving, head-over-heels kind of way, but it is what it is because we’ve worked at it together. 

I never “fell in love” with my husband. We were good friends and I loved him as a friend. But, I never had romantic feelings towards him or felt attracted to him. Our romantic relationship hopped-skipped-and-jumped from friendship to ‘couple on the verge of divorce’. That is where our relationship started.

I never had the butterflies, the nervous stomach, the excitement and anticipation of being picked up for a date, or that feeling of being swept-up or falling in love. 

I have always wondered what I missed-out on. I try to tell myself that I don’t want, or need, the romance – that they are not required to be in a happy relationship, that it is unrealistic, that this idea of being “in love” with the person you marry is a fairytale, or something that only a few special (privileged) people get to experience.

I used to wake up after one of these dreams feeling resentful towards the man that was snoring beside me. Why couldn’t he be more like the man of my dreams? Why do I feel trapped and that it is impossible to leave to pursue a relationship like that of my dreams? I loved getting swept-away in this dream, a fairy tale, a plot for a Sandra Bullock or Meg Ryan movie. I used to try to live in the dream as long as possible once awake. To pretend that it was real.

But, this morning when I woke-up, I was surprised at how I was feeling. I didn’t feel resentful or sad at my lot in life, I wasn’t desperately clinging to the romance I had experienced in my dream, I wasn’t depressed by feelings of being trapped or stuck, I was relieved. I was grateful that the man snoring beside me was my husband and nobody else.

I usually wake-up during the part of the dream where I’m just starting to feel sad about the looming idea that I might not be able to go through with it. But, this morning, I dreamt for much longer than that. In my dream I went through a lot of processing and woke up after I had realized that I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to be with this other person. I wanted to be with my husband.

It was the first time that this dream didn’t leave lingering feelings of regret or sadness.

And there was no sadness there.

Only joy.

Joy and gratitude.

There are is still improvement needed and I clearly desire more excitement, romance, intimacy and adventure in our relationship, but I know that I want it in OUR relationship and not with anyone else.

I want to continue to build on what we have created. To explore and discover romance and beauty together. To continue to challenge ourselves and each other to make our lives the things of which dreams are truly made.

I love you, sweet cheeks.