What Dreams About Cheating On Someone Really Mean

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woman lying down thinking

We often have very vivid dreams that don't feature our partner. These dreams about cheating can have a strong impact on our mood when we wake up. We ponder these dreams throughout our day and wonder what they might mean.

So, what do you do when you wake up next to your partner and you've just had a juicy dream about cheating? You probably find yourself tempted and confused. If you are committed to your current relationship and you want your dreams to focus on your current partner, then it's time to work on what you need.

What dreams about cheating on someone reveal about you and your relationship.

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How unmet needs drive your thoughts and behaviors: Needs are drivers. They drive us to action. When you have a need for food, you think about your hunger and how you will satisfy it, and then you act upon that need and get something to eat. The need drives both your thoughts and your behavior.

When a need goes unmet for an extended period, it can drive you to thoughts and behaviors that are often the opposite of what you really want in life. An unmet need can even drive you to think things and do things that are contrary to your core values.



Imagine that you have gone without food for several days and you're not sure where your next meal will come from. The prolonged unmet need for food will drive your thoughts in a direction you've never experienced before. You will imagine yourself stealing food. You might even entertain thoughts about doing violence to get food.

This doesn't mean you are a thief or a violent criminal. These aren't your core values, but your unmet need is driving the bus now. Your values have taken a back seat for the sake of survival. So, if you have dreams about cheating, what's missing from your relationship?

Emotional needs function in the same way that the need for food functions. Relationship needs must be met…or else! Marriage therapist Willard Harley, in his celebrated book, His Needs Her Needs, discusses at length how meeting emotional needs is a foundation for relationship success. Couples who effectively meet each other's most important emotional needs daily report high levels of satisfaction, and they are the couples that don't end up cheating or breaking up.

Harley has learned that unmet relationship needs or emotional needs are the sources of cheating. So, if you are dreaming about cheating, the big question for you is this one: "What do I need in this relationship that I'm not getting?" And here's the follow-up question: "How will I get my needs met in a way that satisfies both me and my partner?"

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As you think through your needs in a relationship, consider these questions before you cheat:

1. In what ways do I want my partner to show he cares through visible acts of affection?

2. What makes for meaningful and interesting conversations for me?

3. What is lacking in our love life, and what needs to happen to bring back the spark?



4. Are we going out (dating) frequently enough, and what do I want to do on our dates?

5. What's going on with honesty, openness, and trust in our relationship?

6. How is my partner doing with self-care: hygiene, clothing choices, health, fitness, etc.?

7. What level of financial contribution do I expect my partner to make to our relationship?

8. In what ways do I want my partner to help around the house/apartment?

9. For parents: What kind of support do I want with child-rearing, and what kind of interactions could my partner have with our kids that would make me smile?

10. How does my partner express admiration for me and appreciation for me, and what would make me feel more admired and appreciated?

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These are the areas of concern that most couples bring to relationship coaching. When they effectively address the three or four that are most important to them as individuals, their relationship satisfaction skyrockets, and any temptations to cheat melt away.

Don't miss these details! The thing about getting your most important emotional needs met is that your partner is in the same boat. Getting your needs met daily also requires that you meet your partner's most important needs daily. It is truly a two-way street.

So, if you want to deal with the temptation to cheat, you and your partner need to have a significant series of conversations to get clear about each other's most important needs. Shoot for identifying the top 3-5 needs for each of you and your top needs don't have to match his. The trick is to understand each other's top needs in detail and then create ways to meet those needs daily.

Finally, when you are meeting your partner's needs, only do it in a way that is consistent with your own sense of dignity and self-care. It's okay to stretch yourself a bit to meet his need — that's how you grow — but don't compromise any of your core values when you're meeting that need.

There are many ways to meet a need. Keep talking and negotiating until you find the ways that work for both of you. Then get busy meeting those needs every day and enjoy the fire of rekindled love and your racy dreams about him!

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Jim Merhaut, M.S.Ed., P.C.C., is an award-winning author, national motivational speaker, internationally-known leadership trainer, and ICF-Certified Coach.