The Dream: My husband Clark is sitting on a cushy chair with a woman on his lap. They are clearly lovers. Clark doesn't mind that I see this, and indeed feels I should accept the situation. I think I would like to try to see, objectively, what this woman is like; so I observe. She seems young and light hearted. At one point a little boy, about 4, appears. He has blond curly hair and looks angelic. He is asleep, inert, lying on the floor to the left of the seated couple. She goes over to him and attends to him in a sweet, maternal way. I like this woman, but I don't like the situation.
I begin to inwardly steam over what I see as Clark's betrayal. When did he have time time to get involved with another woman?! We're almost always together. I think that I'll tell him he has to choose; he can't have us both as he seems to believe. But then I realize that even if he relinquishes this particular woman my trust in him has been destroyed, and things will never be the same again. I awaken, upset as from a nightmare, and very relieved it was a dream.
Interpretation: This dream was triggered by the news that a friend's husband is involved with someone else. The dream touches on my own residual oedipal conflict, the clue being that the other woman is a sweet maternal person whom I like, but it deals with something else as well. I had been reading about Jung's personal life and was disappointed to discover that he apparently felt that the women in his life should tolerate the same arrangement the dream portrays. This expectation strikes me as self-serving, cruel, insensitive and exploitative; it makes me angry on behalf of both Mrs. Jung and Toni Wolff. At a personal level I have to reconcile the fact that someone whose intellect and insight I so thoroughly admire, a person to whom my conception of the mind is “married,” can behave in a way I find thoroughly callous.
Somehow these people worked it out: perhaps the women felt that the man's greatness created an entitlement. Living in an era that offered no autonomy to women, they were victims of their historical moment and needed Jung in order to fulfill their own potential: reflected greatness (the golden haired boy) might have struck them as better than no greatness at all.