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Dear Debra
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1852
Experience:  I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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My wife has recently been saying other mens names in her dreams

Customer Question

My wife has recently been saying other mens names in her dreams while acting as she does when we have sex including touching herself. I asked her about one mans name she was saying and she said it was a co-workers name. She said she couldn't stand him even going so far as to say he was disgusting. She insists she doesn't remember having any of these dreams A couple days later she began saying her ex-sexual partners names I haven't brought it up because it is uncomfortable to me and i feel like if i do I am going to put these men back in the fore-front of her mind. I began to think this was coming out because it was a fantasy of hers so i started talking about me and another man being with her @ the same time and since I did she has not had a vocal dream saying anyones name since but she also says the idea of 2 men does nothing to turn her on but she goes with it because she believes it turns me on. I am extremely confused
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 6 years ago.

You said you have asked you wife about one name she has said in her dreams and it was a co-worker that she finds disgusting and she can't stand him. She could be dreaming of this man because this is someone that bothers her and we tend to dream of things that are in our everyday lives. He is a co-worker so this is someone she sees that she find annoying, so it is also present in her unconscious mind when she goes to sleep. Dreams have many meaning and figuring out dreams are not just your wife saying names in her sleep. The names she could be calling out are names of people that bother her that she has unresolved issues with. You had said her ex-partners names. There might be things going on in her life that she feels are unresolved. It doesn't mean she is attracted or likes any of these men. You had mentioned a fantasy to her and you feel that you have not vocally heard man's names in her dreams. But it just could be that she is resolving the issue and dealing with what is bothering her. Calling at names in dreams can have many meanings. You need to talk too her about maybe things that might be on her mind and why she has begun calling mans names out in her dreams. Ask her if she remembers these dreams and why she thinks she is having them. You don't want to be wondering what is going on and why this is happening, you both need to communicate and see if their is a solution.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I am trying to understand why my wife would be having sex dreams and masturbating in her sleep calling out other peoples names. It's clearly a physical and vocal act. Her and I talk and the only thing she ever says is I love you I dont want to be with anyone else. Yet since I brought up the topic of having sex with herwhile another guy joined in she has completely stopped the vocalizing and the masturbation. I understand the part about she may be reconciling issues which may be causing these dreams she insisits she doesn't remember but they stopped IMMEDIATELY after I brought up having a threesome with another guy. She said it did nothing as far as turning her on but since I brought it up her other behavior stopped, so when we have sex i keep bringing it up so I dont have to listen to her call out other mens names why i'm laying in bed with her and shes masturbating. I have no where to go with a conversation when all she says is i love you and only want to be with you

Expert:  Dear Debra replied 6 years ago.

She had said that the idea of a threesome does nothing to turn her on. So this is stopping her behavior you feel. She has told you that she does not want to be with anyone else and she loves you. What she is saying is true because dreams have other meanings. It has nothing to do with how she feels about you and how much she loves you. She going to have these dreams until she finds out why she is dreaming about other men. Even if you keep talking about a threesome and you feel that is stopping your wife from having these dreams. There are still things that she needs to discuss with you. This could her having a strong sex drive, women hit their sexual peak at a different time then men. Dreams are in your unconscious, she can not help dreaming these dreams unless she discovers why she think she is dreaming these dreams.

Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1852
Experience: I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
She tells me she doesn't remember having them so how does she figure out why shes having dreams she knows nothing about & can't remember havingand gets defensive about when I bring the question up. I guess your saying she's not being upfront with me about something thats going on in her life when shes not with me. My last question before I accept your answer is could it be as simple as she is sexually unsatisfied with me and her desire to fulfill her sexual needs is coming through while she is sleeping? Is it possible that I am not concisouly satisfying her so she is getting her sexual needs fulfilled sub-conciously by thinking about guys she has been with that have satisfied her more than I? I apologize for asking so many questions but I dont want to hurt her by continuing to bring this up but I dont want to have to sleep on the couch either to pretend its not happening either when I know it is.
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 6 years ago.
Not everyone remembers their dreams, so I'm sure she is telling you the truth. You have to really be focused on dreams to remember them. Dream are very hard to remember in detail and some times people don't remember then at all. She might not have an idea why she is having these dreams because this problem that she is having is not present in her day to day life. It is only in her dreams. I don't feel it has anything to do with her feeling unsatisfied with you sexual. I also don't think that her desires are coming through in her sleep. She could have a high sex drive. I also don't feel the men she is dreaming about is men that satisfied her more. She could be dreaming of you the whole time. It could be your face, but she is saying someone else's name. This happens in dreams. I don't think it has anything to do with sexual being satisfied I think her body is going through changes and her sex drive could have increased.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 6 years ago.
You welcome
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 6 years ago.

I was trying to write to you before, but I let go so she could get back in to continue with you.


I want to comment too because I've done dream interpretation for 35 years in private practice as a Marriage & Family therapist (now in Florida). I agree with Debra in general about dreams, and would add that it's important first to 1. know what she remembers of the dreams and 2. to figure out thru asking questions about dream content what level of interpretation would be most useful to the dreamer to explore.


1. Even without knowing anything more about the content of any particular dream, you could ask her (substitution method) how the dream would have felt different if instead of X, whose name she called out, the main character had been Y, another one of her FSNs (Frequently Spoken Names). That'll get you closer to the meaning of the name she did use very quickly. For example, You could substitute for the disgusting guy either somebody she likes at work or somebody she's totally neutral about. The differences she brings up in how the dream would FEEL, a vague term on purpose. You can make it even more generic, like "What might you SENSE as different?" or "If you were dreaming in colors, how would the colors be different?" In each case you can pursue the meanings of her answers, and remember every word she says as perhaps a hint of what sort of a dream she was having. If she says "But I don't even remember what kind of a dream, or what color I dreamed" you can still say "But if you would make up a strange dream NOW about the neutral guy or positive guy how might it be different (colored) from another dream made up about Disgusting-guy?" Anything she says, no matter how unrelated to your question, could be a hint about what she was dreaming about. Most people don't remember dreams most of the time, so she's not unusual.



2. You've got to realize that you might be intruding on her sacred inner space when you try to interpret her dream, and you're also likely to be biased in any interpreting you do. In fact your use of the 2 men fantasy might have "tipped her off" unconsciously that it wasn't safe to say any names out loud, so her unconscious mind shut off the microphone. Debra's idea that the dreams could cover different things besides sex is a very good one. It's men who normally have much more sexual overtones in relationship dreams than women do, so we men could easily assume that she's dreaming about sex too. Question #1 above could show you pretty quickly whether the theme is sexual or something else. She.s almost certainly not conscious about what she's unconsciously concerned with, and she's very devoted to staying in love with you.


Would you feel threatened if, as Debra suggested, she has "unfinished business" with exlovers? If you want to check that idea, you could ask her the same questions in#1, but use 2 different ex-lovers. You could find out more about how each of them affects her by her answers. But you are fishing in dangerously uncomfortable waters, and you might find out stuff you will wish you hadn't found.


It may be unwise to probe beyond what she's told you about ex-lovers, esp if she doesn't want to think about them herself. I know I never do it, and my wife of 25 years is careful not to tell me anything that could hurt me by comparison. She's been interpreting her dreams for 36 years and hundreds of other people's dreams since 1993. I haven't even mentioned your wife's dreams to her. If she thought I wanted her ideas she'd stop and might well have different intuitions than I do.


Another common meaning of dreaming about another man is that the dream-man represents how she's feeling about you lately. If it's Disgusting, then she's been repulsed about some aspect of you, The peculiar nature of each ex-lover could represent those aspects of you that she was particularly attracted to lately. Or if it was a Freudian interpreting those dreams, she/he might say your wife is wishing you had more of what that ex-lover had--"wish fulfillment."


I still haven't tried to interpret her sexual response in conjunction with those dreams, and Debra may be right that her sex drive is peaking and she's looking for something MORE, but probably NOT a threesome as you've assumed. If she's really neutral about your 3 some imagery, you could be off-base. If she's actually turned off, but goes along with your supposed fantasy, then perhaps your marriage has the potential of entering new realms of feeling, new interests, and even new ways to experience your sexuality together. Perhaps a marriage enrichment weekend would jumpstart some new growth. It sounds like she doesn't want to lead you, perhaps because that was not a woman's role in her upbringing. But she could actually have some untended shoots in her own being that need to push up thru that old-ingrained prohibition. If she starts becoming more of her true potential self, you could have a new marriage to a fascinating woman you never knew existed!


Please give Debra her Accept for her excellent work. And if you want me to respond more, please put up a new question and frequent that it be for me only. I've given you a lot of different avenues to pursue here, as Debra did too. So you're getting much more than your money's worth already. You came to the right place.