My wife has been sleep sexing with me or acting out dreams of sex for the last couple of years. Lately it has gotten very frequent like 5 times a week. We saw a therapist the other day and she said that all those fantasies that she is having, she has actually done in her past and has just hidden them in her subconscious, I find that hard to believe since her dreams are threesomes, foursomes, another girl sometimes. She knows she has done none of those. Any ideas?
Person's Gender: Female
Person's Age: 32
She is my wife of 6 years. We have tried to play out some of her dreams, and increased the amount of sex we have, that has helped some.
Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.
The therapist's conclusion is rather outrageous, I agree. It's a very stereotypical and primitive view of dreams. If the dreams refer to actual events in your wife's life, it would be referring to childhood abuse or molestation: Was there trauma or abuse in her childhood?
But I'm more concerned, really, about a sleep disorder. Has she ever had a sleep study done for any reason? My concern is that she's acting out in her sleep. That's a symptom of several sleep disorders. The sexual content is secondary, then, here.
Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.
She was sexually abused as a child by her cousin. When she acts out her dreams it is in the form of masturbation or attempting to act out with me. Lots of moaning and orgasms from her without me ever touching her. She talks aloud so I am usually able to follow along as I watch this play out. She has no sleep disorders, on no medications and no history of mental issues. The sex we have increased in our day to day lives to see if what she's doing while sleeping is trying to compensate for what she's not getting while awake
Thank you for the replies to the questions and the added information. It helps a lot in understanding what the situation is. I believe I can now be of help with this issue.
I mentioned PTSD but I don't want you to get frightened at the word "disorder". Your wife had childhood events that have traumatized her and she needs to treat it. That's all.
Psychotherapy that is helpful for PTSD is some form of Exposure Therapy. I have found EMDR can be very useful especially for one time traumas. It is a type of therapy specifically for PTSD originally. Here is the International Society's website:
On the web you will find many opinions on EMDR both for and against. I am trained in it and have found it useful. Exposure therapy is also very helpful. I have found that you need to combine these types of therapy with a more introspective, humanistic or psychodynamic approach. If we actually look inside, we can find great relief and meaning. And we can feel whole in ourselves in ways that we haven't for decades. But many EMDR practitioners and therapist working with Exposure Therapy do not take the time to insure the emotional safety of the patient and so that's why you need someone who is more humanistic or psychodynamic in approach.
If you don't have a good referral source, here is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory. You can sort by zip codes and when you see someone who seems like they might be helpful (you can see a photo of the therapist!) look at the listing and see if they list working with PTSD and EMDR and also some form of psychodynamic or humanistic therapy in their orientations. And make sure you are both confident in them as a therapist and they share your values.
Okay, I wish you the very best!
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Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice