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Ask Dr. Norman Brown Your Own Question

Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, PhD
Category: Dream Interpretation
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  40yrs interpreting dreams & connecting conscious & unconscious minds
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I dreamed of my deceased husband who died in November. I

Customer Question

i dreamed of my deceased husband who died in November. I knew he had an affair but he claimed to have stopped. When he died it was confirmed that he had married this other women and she even did a service in his honor. In last couple of years found he had other relationships with women. We were supposedly working it out. In the dream he came to our bed and got in it. He was pleasant with a slight smile. I asked him why he was married. He denied it with slight smile. I was thinking still lying to the end.
JA: Oh I love this topic. Did you know I used to be a dream interpretation expert? Yes, but now I have to hand you off to one of the new and better trained ones. You will undoubtedly enjoy this. Is there anything else the Dream Analyst should be aware of?
Customer: he was from another country, married 35 years
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Dream Analyst about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dream Interpretation
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 5 months ago.

Good morning. I am happy to assist you. If you dont mind, please bare with me while I provide you with a thorough answer :)

Expert:  CounselorJules replied 5 months ago.

First, my condolences on your loss but also your attempts to work through the confusion related to the extramarital relationships. I am thinking of different scenarios about your dream. I work from a Jungian perspective and tend to focus on symbolism and archetypes, but also the emotional response to the dream. Your dream is a "heavy" dream in ways, but it also is a dream that seems to ask for accountability on his part, sort of like "you made this bed, now you must lie in it." There could even be a pun on the word "lie." However, the other part of what I feel is that you are processing right now what was "real" in your relationship" or authentic. I think that you are in the grief cycle and we process denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I have a tendency to teach others to focus on "love" rather than "fear" in their waking lives and to process from a place of "love." Maybe the dream is suggestive of your husband coming to you, desiring to be with you, but also demonstrating a sense of remorse for what occurred in the past. He seems to be part of your soul group and it sounds like he is reconnecting with you in this dream.....

You have to remember that in your waking life, you only chose to love him, not have bitterness in your heart toward him. Forgiveness is imperative for you to maintain your self-worth. You also have to remember that forgiveness and acceptance are two different things.

I am typing the following from the book “I Can Do It” by Louise Hay. I think it offers an amazing explanation.

“Forgiveness is a tricky and confusing concept for many people, but understanding the difference in acceptance and forgiveness is important. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you condone their behaviors. The act of forgiveness takes place in your own mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person, The reality of true forgiveness lies in setting yourself free from the pain. It is an act of releasing yourself from the negative energy that you’ve been holding on to. Also forgiveness doesn’t mean allowing the painful behaviors or actions of another to continue in your life. Sometimes forgiveness means letting go. You forgive that person and then you release them. Taking and stand and setting healthy boundaries is often the most loving thing you can do. “

Expert:  CounselorJules replied 5 months ago.

I hope that you were able to read through the answer provided. I would to love your feedback :) We can continue to process if necessary.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
While this is thoughtful, I did not answer the dream. You speak of accountability for him and reconnecting and reconciling. I do not see how he has made his bed and lying in it he is dead and everyone dies. Also, was he in the bed turned toward me with a slight smile telling the same lies he told when he was living. I mean letters emails photos other women and marriage certificate from 10 years ago. He created this saint like image for others. At the time of his death he was estranged from his parents, sibling and children. Never concerned about this. We were married 35 years. I can forgive him but I don't understand the dream. He died in November and How can you be reconnecting. In death, I would think you would be about the truth. In the dream I showed no anger. I was surprised to see him and it seemed so real. I was incredulous that he would continue to deny the obvious and the proven facts. I know Jungian psyche is a great system and love Louise Hay but I am not satisfied with the interpretation of the dream. Thanks for the big effort.
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 5 months ago.

Well, I am definitely happy to further assist you and process from another angle if you would like

Expert:  CounselorJules replied 5 months ago.

I would like to rectify the situation for you and express more about the possible interpretation for the dream. My husband researches Near Death Experiences and I have several books in the home that process perspectives from a Christian, metaphysical, and other "spiritual" avenues. I brought three to work with me this morning to think about your dream from a psychological perspective..... I do believe, as you said, that after death we are wrapped in Truth and also Love. I also think that our dreams are more about our manifestations of anxiety or even depression. You are possibly not only grieving the death but also all of the lies that have been told to you and continue to be denied. So, I apologize for the previous misinterpretation, but that was the approach I was thinking which was applicable. if we focus more on simply the dream, maybe it is that you completely feel that your deceased husband will not take ownership and that you feel that he has zero remorse for all of the ways that he had hurt his family members in the past. It sounds as though subconsciously you feel that he would not have been truthful with you, and even in death, he continues to lie. Maybe coming to your bed was an act that suggests that you feel he may have thought that regardless of actions, lies, or a double life, that he would still attempt to come to you and expect "acceptance" or even "opportunity."

Something else to consider is if your deceased husband has unresolved issues from this life, I know that this is dependent on spiritual belief systems, but he may be "stuck" in the dream representing his own lack of being able to move on toward a higher conscious..... possibly because of his lack of remorse....

I am again apologetic for the dissatisfaction as my goal was to provide clarity.

After the deaths my in-laws, 6 weeks apart, my husband found solace in these books and I am going to refer one more if you would be interested.

Another Door Opens by Jeffery Wands

Map of Heaven by Eben Alexander

and one that I particularly like is called "Awakenings from the Light" by Nancy Rynes.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 5 months ago.

I'm a Phd psychologist & research text author on love relationships with over 50 years experience interpreting my own and others' dreams. I came on(June 18, 2:25AM)to offer a different interpretation of your dream when I saw that you had(correctly) disagreed with Jah’s response and apparently not returned to comment on her second attempt.

It took me until last night and finally today to find out that because of a site glitch Nothing I wrote ever appeared for you to view. So now I’ll rewrite and condense what I wrote over 2 days in an attempt to give you a thoroughly Evidence-based interpretation that—as usual with grieving process dreams—is aimed by Higher Source within-or-thru your unconscious psyche towards helping you navigate through your loss towards a new direction in your life afterwards. I’ve worked carefully with dozens of this kind of dream, so I can also compare the dream-movie-moral-teaching given here with many others developed for similar situations.

I use a thoroughly Jungian approach, but focus particularly on comparing the precise dream details (all kinds of sensory as well as dreamer's thoughts, emotions,expectations, etc.) with what the dreamer knows from her waking life and conscious thinking (as revealed in her “outside” words). I expect that the DIFFERENCES between what the dreamer already consciously knows and what the dream presents (in sensory, emotional & mental detail) will expose the cracks between waking/conscious and dreaming/unconscious realities, and it is through those cracks that the NEW NEWS of Higher Wisdom may shine. So here are two questions I ask to delve further into your dream:

1. What recent event(s) or thought(s) & feeling(s) might have triggered this dream to appear in your sleep WHEN it did?

2. What was the most Surprising or Shocking moment in the dream (the NEW NEWS)? You did respond to this question when you wrote:

3. Your retelling of the dream suggests unexpressed emotions: What emotional tones do you imagine (from how you knew him in waking life) in his expression "pleasant with a slight smile?"

4. You also report that your dream-ego (that's not ALL OF YOU, but just what the dream-director wants you to look at most carefully) thinks "still lying to the end" and yet "I showed no anger in the dream." And you later add "I can forgive him but I still don't understand the dream."

Now I'll add a further observation: You and the other dream interpreter are disagreeing over the interpretation of the dream: you assert/confess to NOT understanding the dream, and she suggests 3 more authors whose spiritual teachings might give you the keys to gaining the meaning, value or release you need from the dream. I'm going to guess that your dream is speaking in a language that DIFFERENT from the ways you've been thinking. So we'll have to try to understand the dream's language from within its own reality, instead of translating it into another type of reality, or relying on another outside opinion.

That means I want to study the dream's own phenomena; so Ineed as many more details of all kinds as you can remember. [You mention that he was turned toward you in the bed. That helps. 5. Were there any scenes, or shreds of scenes Before or After the main scene you've recounted? Like how he was dressed when he came in, what happened after you thought “still lying . . “]

Now a final question about the reality beyond your dream. 6.What is your age now, your family living situation, and your attitude towards what you want to do with your own life going forward? Because THAT's often a significant concern of the Higher-Source Dream-Director that could emerge from the denouement of the dream.

Two aspects of dreams that may be neglected by dream interpreters are 1. that dreams don't come to show us what we already know, but to go beyond that to something we (perhaps) don't even know that we don't know and thus SHAKE US UP, and 2. that the Dream-director makes use of many aspects of the dreamer's own mind/brain in order to construct the meaning of the dream message (aka "moral instruction of the dream-movie"). One of those aspects is your own beliefs: a normal "folk-belief" that your dead husband's appearance is a Genuine Visitation from him as he really (still) is, that is "wrapped in truth and love:" But the Truth of his enduring character is NOT the deadhusband's heavenly love, but the inadequacy of that love. So your dream-ego is a character designed & written by Dream-Director (aka God) to show YOU what your husband's love really was--NOT what you'd wanted it to be throughout your loyal marriage, as a mirror of YOUR own love, but really always was,"still lying right up to the end."

The answer to my question "What was the biggest surprise?" was already in your comments on the previous dream interpreter's (from outside of the dream itself) advice about what you needed to do:

"It seemed so real. . . I was incredulous that he would continue to deny . . . proven facts."

Furthermore, an outside observer would be surprised that another piece of your own whole personality was LACKING in the dream, namely "I felt no anger."

I’d like to know what culture your former husband was from,and how young you were vs him when you married, because some men in many cultures have NO PROBLEM at all lying to their wives! And that's a central truth your dream came to show you.

In fact I've seen a dozen or so dreams that would seem, on their surface phenomena, to be similar to yours: That the creator of the dream was showing you a very cruel movie by disappointing your post-mortem expectation that “Truth and Love" would manifest therein: Except that the vast majority of the other dreams I've seen were REVERSING the truth of the loyal Love the husband had felt in prior life about the dreamer-wife, in order to motivate the widow to an UNUSUAL reaction around the end of her first year of mourning: To take her "sainted" husband off the pedestal SHE had placed him on as a support for her own self-love, So That She Could Move On, if she chose to in waking life, and retrieve her devoted love for herself and even find some other man, woman,people or life-project to give it to!

Your dream-Director is NOT REVERSING the truth of what yourhusband felt in real life (according to your own waking understanding) but REPEATING it: So you WILL feel the anger you already know about, but weren't ready to feel as your dream-ego-character. The purpose of this Movie is to motivate yourself to shatter a normal human post- mortem "iconization" (aka "Idolatry") of your prior husband-as-clothed-in-YOUR-love,

So that YOU can dump him from a normal loving spousal internal altar and turn your loyal loving capacity towards other people who are among the LIVING--including potentially even another man, more capable of responding to your love as you have done throughout your own marriage.

So there it is. A dream morality play like many others, except that the deadhusband was NOT worthy of the love his widow had been showing him. And the widow deserves the right to turn her loving capacities onto the living people around her, with a very real possibility that she will some day (even soon, perhaps) be able to get the response she so richly deserves--because of how faithfully she has loved through so many years.Despite the doubts that everybody SHOULD have sometimes, and you more than most.

ONE MORE PSYCHOLOGICAL OBSERVATION ABOUT YOUR DEADHUSBAND> Why does it cause no bother to your DeadfakeHusband to be estranged from Parents, Siblings and Children, no matter whom he sired them with? BECAUSE HE'S INCAPABLE OF LOVING, SO HE'S NOT HURT BY THEIR TURNING THEIR BACKS ON HIM, since he turned his back on them years ago! He was a NARCISSIST, only looking for all the admiration/love he could get for himself, with fullblown Narcissistic Personality Disorder (Look up the 9 characteristics of NPD online and decide for yourself if he had at least 5.) He might come from a culture and/or level of his native society that fosters that inability to love anyone(including the god of his religion). But womanizers with no shame about it are usually NPD.

Among the dozens of dead-husband-visitation dreams I've analyzed, around half of them have included a climactic scene in which the returning husband made it clear that he doesn't love the dreamer anymore, but some other woman. Normally this would seem like a very cruel dream to present to a grieving widow who had been loyal to her husband for decades. But if she was unconsciously idealizing him because he was good to her in life, and keeping him alive somehow in her recurrent thoughts, then the role&position of "husband" would be still occupied for her, and she would have no room in her heart for loving another man--and she could remain a "widow married to an ideal dead man" for the rest of her life as she had been between his death and the arrival of her dream.

I suspect that you stayed with your husband (whose foreign culture might have allowed him to lie and womanize and commit polygamy) because you were caught in the emotional dynamics of a painful type of relationship I call a "Love Trap."In such a relationship your feelings of alternating hurt, jealousy, anger, fearand self-doubt when you suspected and got some evidence of his cheating, and even your gutwrenching humiliation and helplessness when you got convincing evidence of his betrayal despite his continued denials--would still ge tinterrupted by and replaced at times with restored/renewed loving-joy; and these days of happy relief could have felt so much better because they were very preferable to the horrible uncertainty and looming loss and humiliation of the love-trap's poison.

So then, when he had died, it became possible for your mind to Reconstruct--without realizing it-- an image of him as no-longer-betraying you with other women and therefore increasingly wrapped in Love and Truth, the way your beliefs about heaven would have it. Such a rehabilitating Reconstruction would require that you NOT feel or express any potent anger towards him(as you didn't in your dream), but that's a small price to pay for a much more comforting imaginary companionship than you could have when he was still alive(and you were "supposed to be working it out," which was serving tokeep your hope & his control over your feelings alive.)

That's the possible scenario that your Dream-Movie was counteracting & the idol/ideal it was smashing by showing his character acting just as ferociously unrepentant as ever. The mind blowing Reality of That was the Big Surprise and incinerating NEW NEWS whose main purpose is to stop you from unconsciously keeping your FakeHusband- Image as a souvenir instead of letting your angry life-force toss his icon-image into the trash. THEN you could become able to separate the good quality of your loving from the deception that was toxic about his love--what there was of it.

Since it is quite likely that his personality was crippled by Narcissism, I'd advise you to find yourself a good therapist who could help you gain more understanding about and wisdom in dealing with your feelings that are more confusing than you may realize, because you've been entangled/strangled in the spiderweb of a man would probably could NOT love you, or anyone else in the way you deserve. For most men are not as false and self-serving as yours was, and gaining your freedom from the ways his personality affected yours could get you ready to spend much of your later years with more nourishing relationships, including a much happier marriage.

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