DEAR HARRIETTE: I had a vivid dream the other night that my old boss appeared at an event and asked me how my marriage was going. I said, “Fine.” My husband and I have been married for more than 20 years. We have our ups and downs, but mostly I would say we are fine. In my dream, my boss looked at me intently and said, “No! Things are not fine.” I woke up with a start and wondered what this meant.
A few days later, my husband’s old college friend appeared, and they have been hanging out a lot. I joined them once, but mainly it has been the two of them. Normally that wouldn’t make a difference to me, but now I’m not so sure. Should I ask him if he is cheating? Should I tell my husband about my dream? What should I do? -- Marriage Blues
DEAR MARRIAGE BLUES: Sit down with your husband and tell him about your dream. Describe it in detail, and tell him how jarring it was for you. Point out that because it woke you up with a start, you have begun to think about your life and wonder if your opinions about it reflect your husband’s. Ask him if he is content in your marriage. Tell him you think this dream was a reminder for both of you to check in with each other about how you feel and what you want for your futures. Encourage him to open up. Ask him if he feels there is any validity to your dream.
If your gut says that there may be something brewing between him and the old college friend, ask him. It’s better to get everything out on the table, but I wouldn’t lead with that. The friend may represent nothing, or they could be the sign of something deeper that needs to be addressed.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I consider myself a smart person, but I haven’t always made the best choices. I have had great moments in my work and personal lives, but for the past few years, things have been rough. I have no savings, and I work freelance. I worry that any little thing could topple me, and I wouldn’t be able to survive the hiccup. Sometimes I wonder if I would be more valuable dead than alive. I don’t mean to sound melodramatic. I’m serious. The one smart thing I did after my children were born was to buy a hearty life insurance policy. No matter what, I pay that each month. I don’t have two pennies to rub together, as my grandmother would say, but I’m worth a million dollars dead. Part of me wants to call it a day. Do you understand where I’m coming from? -- Hopeless
DEAR HOPELESS: Every day that you wake up, you have the opportunity to make a better experience for yourself and your family. As despondent as you are feeling right now, you need to believe that you deserve happiness and abundance, and it is possible for you to experience these things. Now is a great time for you to get support, too. If you have medical insurance, consider going to see a mental health professional who can help talk you through some of your issues. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 to talk to someone about how you feel.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)