Dreams about Cheating
You’ll see a lot of dream sites that say dreams about cheating symbolize a guilty conscience, fears about cheating, a desire to cheat, or low self-esteem, but in my experience none of those are true. You don’t interpret dreams that literally.
While it’s true that your dream may constellate your fear, jealousy, or insecurity, we have to look at those feelings symbolically – not literally. Fear, jealousy, and insecurity about another person can be a signal that you need to realize that person’s qualities in yourself. In other words, that person represents a value in yourself that you have not yet recognized.
Dreams about cheating: what’s missing from your personality?
Like all dreams, dreams about cheating symbolize an unconscious dynamic in yourself. They are saying something about an imbalance in your personality or your conscious attitude. When I use the word personality, I mean something far more than persona. I mean you as a unique being in this world.
I come from the perspective that dreams show you something about yourself that you do not already know. For example, most people who are afraid of their partner cheating are well-aware of this fear. You would gain no insight into yourself by dreams of your partner cheating.
Your dreams about cheating show you how you can become more whole, not the trustworthiness of your partner (or yourself if you are cheating in your dreams). The person you see your partner with or the person you are with in your cheating dreams represent some aspect of yourself that needs to be realized.
This unrealized aspect of your personality can be either a desirable or an undesirable character trait, as you’ll see below in our dream examples. Every image in the dream gives you information about yourself, not your partner.
Introduction to dreams about cheating: the people in our dreams
Every person and process in our dream is a representation of our own personality. More importantly, they are a representation of something we do not know about ourselves. In the most general terms, we call these unknown aspects of our personality shadow figures.
We can break those shadow figures into male and female elements, and those gender elements will mean different things to the men and women who dream them. Typically, when a woman dreams of another woman, she is dreaming about her personal shadow. The same is true for men who dream about other men.
Dreams about cheating: our personal shadow
Our personal shadow represents everything we don’t see in ourselves: the good, the bad, as well as the ugly and beautiful. Many women dream of the unknown cool girl or interesting woman. Men have dreams of strong or brave men. These are positive shadow figures, and very often the ones our partners are cheating with in our dreams. It’s also important that we acknowledge our not so nice sides. If you dream of your partner cheating with someone who is awful, then you need to explore that as well.
Dreams about cheating: the meaning of characters of the opposite sex
Our gender opposites, what Jung called the anima and the animus, represent deeper layers of our personalities.
I won’t go too deep into the jargon here, but instead try to give you some general ideas of how these dynamics work in our psyche.
Often a woman in a man’s dream is an image for authentic relatedness and feeling. She is also a representation for how he sees women in general.
In a woman’s dream, a man can be an image for her inner masculine power and her ability to step into the world and make something concrete happen. He is also an image for what and how she thinks about life.
More importantly, at the subjective, psychological level, our partners and/or lovers are also inner figures. It is through our relationship to the inner figures that we develop ourselves. Often, we first meet the inner figure through a projection in the outer world. Many relationships begin with us projecting that inner figure onto the people we have relationships with. When the projections fall away, we realize they are nothing like we imagined. This is the root of many relationship issues. When we realize our projections, we can either choose to have a real relationship with the real person or walk away from it.
Dreams about cheating: who’s that person cheating with my partner?
A man recently asked me why he dreamed his love was with another man. He was very distressed and wondered if the dream was a warning.
As I told him, this is a common dream theme for all of us. Its meaning can run deep. In your dream interpretation, the first thing you have to do is explore the qualities of the person your partner is with. These could be qualities which you can develop in yourself, and thus, deepen your actual relationship to your partner.
Anytime we deepen a relationship with another person, we simultaneously deepen our relationship with ourselves. We develop into more expanded human beings. This is true even if those qualities are unappealing (as you will see below in another dream)! Our goal is not to become a better person, but rather to become a more whole person, someone who recognizes both their light and dark sides.
Dream about cheating: testing the watersMy husband is with another woman. It is not in a cheating sort of way, but in a “testing the waters” sort of way. It was in a “self-discovery” sort of way. I’m watching him from afar. There is a piece of me that wants to make myself known to this other woman. Instead, I stand back and watch and stay out of the way. I knew his engaging this other woman was something he needed to do for himself. As I watched him develop confidence, he changed the way he walked.
In my dream, my husband is with another woman. In this dream, my husband is a representation of my inner masculine. At the time of this dream, I was not at all confident about my ability to make my way in this world. In the dream, my insecurity was imaged in the way my husband was walking, which was awkward and uncomfortable. He makes a connection with another woman, so I have to realize a new way of relating to my inner masculine. During this phase of my life I was extremely hard on myself – even to the point of self-loathing.
I know the qualities of the other woman are what my inner masculine needs because as he develops confidence, he changes the way he walks in the world. This is highly symbolic: it means that *I* must change the way I walk in this world. When a woman is in touch with the energy which her inner masculine represents, she knows what she wants out of life and how to make it happen.
This is the nature of the symbolic masculine: action in the world. When it’s really developed, this action is fueled by a living spiritual principle. I’ll go into the meaning of a living spiritual principle in another article, but just keep in mind for now.
In the dream, I see this woman and how my husband thrives with this woman. When I reflect on this consciously, I know my inner masculine would thrive if only I can integrate the qualities of this other woman. I ask myself something like, “how can I be better related and more giving to my life’s passion?”
As I find more ways to integrate the qualities of this other woman into my conscious life, my inner masculine continues to develop. Suddenly, I have creative energy to put into the projects that I want to bring into the world. I feel completed by my work and confident in my path, and thus, change the way I walk in the world. Consequently, now I am better to my husband because I feel better about myself.
That is the real meaning of finding our knight in shining armor – that longed-for soul mate so many women dream of. When we are related to that inner image, then we are really tapped into our fullest potential. It is when we are at our best, just being who we are.
Wholeness is not so much perfection as completeness. Assimilation of the shadow gives a man body, so to speak; the animal sphere of instinct, as well as the primitive or archaic psycheC.G. Jung, The Practice of Psychotherapy
Dreams about cheating with unsavory people
I received an interesting response to a cheating dream interpretation from the man, who shared the short dream above. The reason I want to share it with is to show you how to use the dream interpretations that I give you as guidelines for extracting your own meaning.
Dream about cheating: the doucheI dreamed my woman ran off with a douche bag of a guy.
In his dream we have an image of a process: the woman in his life is running off with a creep. This says something about both his actual relationship with his girlfriend and his relationship to his inner feminine.
He told me that he couldn’t for the life of him work out what part of that horrible guy he should integrate. What he realized was this:
Your mention of the masculine unearthed the reason behind my dream, as well. I’ve been devoting an unbalanced amount of energy to my feminine side lately and the masculine has, of course, dwindled as a result. It seems this dream was reminding me to be comfortable taking action in the world, as you said. Being okay with taking the reigns once in a while.
Dreams about Cheating: Paying attention to all of the dream images
Below, I share another one of my own dreams. It is also from around the same time period as the dream I shared above. It’s a bit long, but I want to show you how to find the healing gold in dreams that make you feel uncomfortable, jealous, or insecure.
Dream about cheating: fear and insecurityThere was a woman where my husband was working and she and I became close friends. My husband and I had been fighting. I had driven to where he works to see them. I thought we could all go out to eat. When I got there, everyone had already made plans. She said she was going to be with a friend and he said he was going out with the guys.
As I was walking to my car, I realized the two of them had made plans together. I felt insecure and betrayed.
I came upon this gigantic tree in the parking lot. It had a double trunk at the base and merged into one trunk at the middle. In a state of awe, I went up to it and put my hands on it. Toward the top of the tree, there was the shape of a face sticking out in a profile. He was whispering, “Selene” to me. At the time, I did not recognize the name. Then I saw David and I wanted him to come and hear the tree, but when he came over, he could not hear it.
I asked him where he and the guys were going for lunch. He said, “Oh, I’m sure the gang has figured out where we are going.” I said, “Fine. Well have fun with my friend.” I got very pissed and started to walk away. He said, “no, stop. let’s talk.” I said, “no.” He said, “If you leave, that’s it.” I flipped him off and walked off. He said, “fine I’ll pack my shit when I get home.” I then felt utterly alone.
Cheating Dreams: Finding the healing message
In this dream, there is a lot of tension – a tension which was a living part of my life. I was never worried that my husband would have an affair, so I had to get to what I was really insecure about.
The tree in this dream was the healing image. In this tree is the divine union of the male and female, something we see in the two trunks coming together, the whispering male figure, and the name of the Moon Goddess, Selene.
The Tree is symbolic of a slow-growing, natural process which is at one with itself. In addition, the tree is symbolic of an earth mother: a natural, creative process which can realize itself through me when I let go of my ego and all of its fears about life. Remember, I was in a dark phase at that time.
The symbolism of the Moon also had an effect on me. According the Pythagorean Tarot:
The moon symbolizes the last trial before rebirth, the final plunge into the unconscious sea and confrontation with its monsters before the climactic journey into the new dawn. As a consequence, ambivalence between opportunity and danger pervades the scene. We are at the far edge of Ocean, the deep salt sea at the outer limits of the world; its brine is bitter, poisonous, yet the very stuff of which we are made and from which earthly life emerged. Our baptism in Ocean is rejuvenating, yet if we do not leave its womb-like fluids, we will shrivel and die.
I had to stop indulging in my fear (lest I shrivel up and die) and trust the natural process which was clearly unfolding in me (symbolized by the tree). We must learn to orient ourselves to the supra-personal power of the unconscious, which appears in a dream image that holds us in a state of awe. In this way, we create a “set and setting” which constellates the higher Self and connects us to it.
All of your dreams have this aim. It is this connection to the something greater than we are that opens us to new perspectives, not only about ourselves, but also the world around us.
Want to learn more about working with dreams or Jungian Psychology?
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Thank you so much!! I definitely resonated with this post over every other one on google. You saved my day, and his day.. I even woke up and punched him even tho he didn’t feel it, my mind was going crazy.. you’re an angel.
you’re funny. I am very happy to hear that it helped you (and him) out.
I keep killing people in my dreams. First it was a curly brown haired little girl around the age of 8. It wasn’t perfectly clear how I did it but people found her at the bottom of a creek holding her throat so she hadn’t even died yet before I threw her into the water. Last night I pushed two different girls at separate times and they both fell onto their backs and smacked their head on the ground. First one died but the second one lived (my husband was in the process of leaving me for another girl that… Read more »
I’ve been Dreaming the same dream for many nights now. I am with in a relationship to a familiar face but I do not know her name. in the dream at friest we are happy with each others company doing everything a couples would do like dates, talks Sex. but one time on my dream I saw her with another unknown man having an intercourse in our own home at our own bed. on the dream it my feeling felt real even the woman is still unknown. so after I caught them fooling around I shouted to the man “get… Read more »
Please help me interpret this crazy dream, As i was in the room with my husband (we are going through a bad times after 25 years) , a woman came in with her daughter , angry because her daughter and it felt her as well the (mom) were angry at me that he was married , i guess they must have found out, so he said is that what u want and started to have sex with the daughter in front of us, it also seemed that he had sex with the mom as well previously” ….. like i said… Read more »
I had a dream that me and my girlfriend went to a party. We were having fun, I had to leave and grab something out of my car. While I was heading back into the party, I bumped into some people I’m not cool with and we ended up getting into an altercation which we ended up fighting. Afterwards, I was heading back to the party when somebody informed me that my girl was in a suit with another man. They preceded to tell me where the room was and I went to go check it out. And as I… Read more »
hmmmm…I don’t understand what you mean by “I don’t even know where to start to find the meaning behind all of this” … You start to find the meaning by reading the post. It’s very clear on how to work with this imagery. ?
I had a dream that I cheated on my husband with an ex. Right after (in the dream) I was so upset and kept asking the guy “what am I going to tell him?!” and just freaking out. I woke up feeling awful, super guilty. What’s it supposed to mean if you’re the one in the dream cheating?
I keep dreaming that my partner is cheating on me with a girl I know, (had these dreams on/off for the last 10 years with the same girl)
I’ve asked him and obviously he has denied it
Could you possibly explain why please
Yes, I could and I have in this post.
I’ve had the recurring theme of cheating in my dreams since I started paying attention and recording them. If anyone reads this I would ask them to read the part in the blog where Jesamine says, the message of the dream is something unconscious. Something we don’t even know exists as an idea or thought. Read it a couple times, and arm yourselves with this information each time you prepare to interpret a dream. I’ve been having this theme for over a year, without a concrete feeling as to why. I’ve really had to hammer this into my head, “I… Read more »
I had a dream about my boyfriend cheating on me with an ex friend that we both knew; it was in a house of some sort I think my childhood home but it was different on the inside I go to knock on the door but the door is open for some reason I knew that my boyfriend was going to be there but I could hear moaning. In my dream I was confused on why I heard what I heard I come up to this room I dream in black and white and I can’t really describe what everything… Read more »
I dreamed that I went on a double date with my husband, his cousin & his girlfriend. In real life I cheated on my husband with his cousin twice & it’s still a secret.
I been with my husband over 30 years .
The past year i keep having this dream I am dead. The awkward thing is I keep seeing my husband with another woman/wife?
what does it mean if a guy dreams of girl he messing with cheats w a guy she doesnt know n someone the guy n girl both know is in it but is deceased
Hi there, I had a dream that I walked in on my husband sleeping with another women. It was in a living room. I was in shock and ran to a guest bedroom where I hid and told the roommates who were in there. Weird thing is that the roommates that lived there was my old trainer. Great guy and now lives in Australia with his wife and kid. My husband comes in and doesn’t see me but talks to the guy and says nothing about the women. I wake up angry and go back to sleep. What does this… Read more »
Hi Leslie, what do you think your dream means after reading the post?
Now that I think of it I didn’t see him just a shadow. And maybe it was me and I was looking in. The house wasn’t mine and I’ve been having vivid dreams every night since then.
I have been having recurring dreams about my man cheating but when I got deeper in the dream he told me she is just a friend and I took his phone and there was no trace of romantic conversations and I took a book as well which I also saw stock of his business
Hello Jesamine. It’s a really interesting type of dreams. I had a dream in which my partner cheated on me with a guy that doesn’t look like me at all. I mean, phisically. I only saw his face, he was blond with curly hair and blue eyes, and a soft tone of brown skin. Like someone tanned. It was so annoying. She looked so disoriented and confused. I’m been dealing with self-confidence problems these days. Maybe it has to do with it.
Hi Manuel, I have addressed this type of dream in a very direct way. I suggest you re-read it in order to get at the meaning of your dream. Simply saying that it’s a confidence issue is not the way to meaning.
My husband passed away about 5 years ago I have this dream alot about him in my dream cheating on me.Why is this happening
Hi Vicky, the meaning depends on what is happening your life at the time of the dream. I would need to know more about your conscious situation and how you relate to life. I suggest that you reflect on what happened in the days before you had this dream. What state of mind were you in? Look closely at the woman with who your husband “cheats”. There is something in her that is your shadow. Work on that and develop your own personality through that image. There is still something of your inner masculine that is projected into the image… Read more »
I dreamnt that the guy I am dating and I were living together with my two children. The place that we stayed at looked more like a hotel. There was 2 full size beds. We must have had a disagreement because I remember looking ithrough the dresser drawers to find my youngest daughter something to put on. I decided to leave my youngest was so attached to him than she didn’t want to leave. I remember going home to my mom and laying in my bed at home with my sister sitting next to me and my mom in the… Read more »
I’ve had re occurring dreams of my boyfriend cheating on me. (He’s done it in real life already). In the dream when I find out what’s happened I always throw an outrageous tantrum on the matter, feeling hurt, betrayed and over all just super Pissed off. I always get really mad and upset in these dreams, always confronting him about it and yelling. I tend to be so frustrated in the dream I wake up super distressed. I really wonder here because I feel as though this sort of deep crazy anger I feel is apart of my shadow side.… Read more »
Recurring dreams (not reoccurring, that word has different meaning) are an attempt by the unconscious to make a point about something of which we are unconscious. But remember, your dream would only show you that if you have not actually consciously experienced the anger and betrayal of your boyfriend cheating. If you are in denial, then your dream says, “this is how you actually feel”. This dream’s meaning depends entirely on your conscious attitude. If your dream says that you have “deep crazy anger”, then you surely haven’t gotten angry enough over this – dreams are compensatory to the conscious… Read more »
I dreamed about my husband cheating on me so bad he was now doing it purposely so in this dream I saw this young beautiful short girl she’s young she’s just Goin crazy about my husband nd I confront him in front of my cousin’s if she’s really Goin out with him she said yes nd they have slept together I felt so deeply heartbroken I then confront my husband about the issue and I asked him why is he doin this he said you want the truth and yes he cuz hiz brother made us a fool nd lied… Read more »
I have been having recurring dreams about being lost. Sometimes my deceased husband is in the dream but he’s not helpful and is cold to me, sometimes telling me that he has someone else. This doesn’t seem to cause too much distress like it would in real life but I can’t find my way out of whatever structure I’m in. I also seem to be missing something that I need to look for also, like my purse. The structure I’m in is always large and airy with high ceilings but many walls. Sometimes I’m trying to decide which way to… Read more »
Hello Judith, thank you for sharing your dream and the details around the imagery. That your husband appears cold and unhelpful in the dream would suggest that you need to let go of a psychological attachment to him. There’s something of yourself which you’ve projected into him – some aspect of your personal power. My guess is that “she” is related to this “other woman” he is with. She is you, as he is you. This missing element in your personality is symbolized by the missing “purse”. The structure from which your psyche longs to break free is everything you… Read more »