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Why Is My Ex Haunting Me In My Dreams



Reply Date

Sep 26, 2017


Salaam dear counsellor. I came across your website whilst searching for answers for my dreams. I am going through a rough patch in my life right now. I have been divorced for over 10 years now and have no feelings whatsoever for my ex. Not even hate or dislike. I have been trying to find someone compatible for the last 4 years but have been unsuccessful. Every time I find someone I like things don't work out even if the feeling is mutual. In the midst of all this, I keep seeing my ex in my dreams even though I don't even think about him. The only time he crosses my mind is when I see him in my dream. Most of the time dream about him is when I'm getting to know someone with the intention to get married. Please advice.



In this counseling answer:

“Your dreams are most likely a natural consequence of the present thoughts around marriage that you are frequently having during your waking hours.”

Wa ’Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatulahi wa Baratuh dear sister,

I am sorry to hear that you are yet to have any success in finding a marriage partner after having been divorced for over 10 years. It certainly can be a difficult task to find someone when things just don’t seem to work out every time you try.

I cannot interpret your dreams, but given that you are seriously considering the prospect of getting married, you may also be having thoughts about what marriage should or should not be based on the only prior experience you have. This brings you back to thinking about your ex-husband in some way, even if it is subconscious as you have a link between marriage and your ex-husband.

Additionally, having a dream about him even once is only going to make you think about him more, which again will heighten the chances of you dreaming about him again. I would, therefore, see your dreams most likely as a natural consequence of the present thoughts around marriage that you are frequently having during your waking hours.

Regardless of whether these dreams are some kind of sign or not, they may be what is preventing you from finding success in a new marriage. It seems you feel that every time you get to know someone with the intention of getting married, you have these dreams about your ex-husband. As you probably know, marriage is prescribed to us for many positive reasons.

„And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them, and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” (Qur’an, 30:21)

If there is something that consistently gets in the way of you completing this, such as these dreams, then you could also see them as a result of a number of things. These dreams may be some kind of sign from Allah (swt) that prevent you from going ahead with a marriage that was never going to be good for you. Or they may be from Shaytaan who does not want you to get married to fulfill this important part of your deen and, therefore, sends you dreams that are preventing you from doing this. Or they are just completely random since marriage is very much at the fore of your thinking right now. However, the best interpretation you will get will be from a learned and knowledgeable person.

Either way, the best thing you can do when seeking marriage is to pray istikhara every time you are seeking a new proposal. This way, you can be sure that Allah (swt) will guide you to do what’s best. You can be confident that this guidance has come from Allah (swt) and is what’s best for you. It may be that this guidance comes in the form of a dream, but contrary to popular belief, this is not always the case. So, please don’t rely solely on the interpretation of dreams in this case.

If you truly feel that there could be more to these dreams, or even if you just need further clarification to set your mind straight on the issue, you could see someone who is skilled and trusted in doing so. You might ask your local imam if he knows of anyone who could help you with this. This might be a worthwhile task if it prevents you from becoming over-fixated on these dreams, especially if they are having such a significant impact on you finding a spouse.

Abu Hurarirah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said: “Dreams are of three types: The true dream, dreams about something that has happened to the man himself, and dreams in which the Shaitan frightens someone. So whoever sees what he dislikes, then he should get up and perform Salah.” And he would say: “I like fetters and I dislike the iron collar.” And he would say: ” Whoever has seen me (in a dream) then it is I , for indeed Shaitan is not able to resemble me.” And he would say: “The dream is not to be narrated except to a knowledgeable person or a sincere advisor.” (Jami At-Tirmidhi)

In the meantime, do not let these dreams deter you from continuing to seek a spouse. It is easy to become disheartened when so many attempts seem to fail, but with patience, you will find the man that is for you, in sha’ Allah.

These failed attempts, as well as the confusing dreams, might make you feel a bit lost in finding a spouse, so do remember to keep a few important points in mind.

Always keep any meetings with a potential suitor halal. Meet him with a mahram present and never alone.

Get the help of others too. Let family members talk with him and also assess his character and compatibility with you. Sometimes, it can be easy to get lost in what is truly good for you. So, getting a second opinion can help, especially since he will become part of the family. It’s always useful if your loved ones like him too.

Remember what is most important. You will have certain criteria that you want him to meet, but it’s easy to set these boundaries so high that finding a spouse becomes near impossible. Sometimes, we can feel a certain person will be the best person for us when many times a person who has seemingly opposite characteristics and interests can actually make for a very compatible relationship. The most important thing is that they have a good, honest, Allah-fearing character. The rest becomes secondary that won’t necessarily be the makings of a failed marriage.

Naturally, having been divorced before, you will be looking to make sure to avoid whatever went wrong in your previous marriage. This will make you anxious and perhaps a little more apprehensive about getting married again, therefore, may be setting barriers for yourself without realizing. Being aware of this and being honest with yourself about whether this is the case might help you to overcome some of the obstacles you are facing now. Again, this is another reason why having the opinions of others who know you well will be a great help in ensuring that this doesn’t happen.

Since marriage is a big focus of your life right now and the failed attempts thus far are making you feel down in the dumps, do also remember to take time for yourself. Look after yourself and keep yourself busy in activities that will focus your attention on other than that of marriage. This will give you some relief from the frequent negative emotions that you are going through as a result of not yet having found a spouse. Maybe these consistent negative feelings experienced as a result of not finding a spouse impact on your ability to find someone suitable. Keeping frequent positive distractions in your life will help you to approach marriage with a more fresh approach as well as helping you to generally feel more positive and happy in life.

May Allah (swt) grant you a righteous spouse who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.



Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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