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DREAM: The Matriarch

This article is copyrighted (c) to Christina Roberts. All rights reserved.

In this dream, I had just gotten married to my fiance and we’d moved into a very large estate. His parents and quite a few other family members also lived in the estate. It had a lot of tall-ceiling’d rooms and a Victorian type look, with floral-covered oak furniture and tall curtains and such. The color theme was pastel yellows and whites, with gold accents and a few dark brown additions.

I wasn’t happy in this estate. My husband’s mother was very much the matriarch and I felt absolutely suppressed and trodden over by this. She always handled preparing the food, and she made a lot of it in many little dishes (Korean side dishes) and expected us, every time, to eat with everyone at all meals on the dot.

I wanted my own space, my own schedule, and I wanted to be my husband’s primary provider for making food and taking care of the home. With her there, she ran the house and she handled all these things. It was very frustrating for me. On top of that, I was expected to act a certain proper way and mingle with the family whenever they thought it proper.

I was so frustrated that at one evening dinner, I told my husband’s mother that it was part of independence and liberty for me to be the female head of the home and take care of these things. She ridiculed the idea of independence and liberty.

I got up, angry, and walked out. After that, I wouldn’t go to meals. In fact, I attempted to avoid her and the other family members by sneaking into the kitchen early and getting little plates of food, then going off to another side-type dinette space to eat alone. My husband noticed this immediately and tried to tell me I was acting improperly.

I countered that I needed space and I wanted the space to arrange and do with what I wanted. He said that there were other rooms I could do that with. I looked at him and thought he didn’t understand and I was very angry at him and told him to forget it. I wanted to move out of that house and get my own house with him and run it with him. Not stand aside to another woman.

So, as far as I can tell, that situation wasn’t resolved. But I don’t need to worry about this potential situation from happening, as my fiance and I will be renting a house on our own, far away from both of our parents.

I am a stubborn and disagreeable woman (See Jordan Peterson’s Big Five Personality Assessment) and I like having my own spaces to arrange and care for how I please. The idea of me potentially having to submit to another woman in a house feels like reducing my “adulthood” to nothing. At nearly 30 and only now leaving my parents’ house, and never having a whole house to run, the thought of still not having such is intolerable. Not that I clash with my mother. It is rightfully her house. But I often feel the desire of having my own place and the frustration living here of not being able to do with the house what I want.

Autonomy to me is a large, essential part of living being married. In east Asian countries, there’s still quite a bit of marrying and moving into the parents’ house. Though that may be cultural there and the people like it, the idea is horrible to me. One way of living is not better than the other. This isn’t an issue of “better or worse way”. It’s simply because I’m from a different culture with a different approach to this situation, I don’t think I could stand living under another woman. I must be the matriarch. So, this dream is most likely an unconscious release of stress and concern over this, even though my fiance and I know this won’t happen.