How Your Emotions Fuel Your Retroactive Jealousy Disorder

In this post I want to take a look at how your retroactive jealousy disorder is being fuelled by your emotions.

retroactive jealousy disorder

(This post is partly taken from my book “How To Stop Being Jealous Of Your Partner’s Past In 12 Steps.“)

Our minds can certainly work in mysterious ways. Consider the following:

Retroactive jealousy causes us to have an emotional reaction to a past event in our partner’s life, at which we were not even present and before we even knew them. 

Negative emotions about your partner’s past are the ground zero of your retroactive jealousy disorder.

If you reflected on their sexual past positively, you would not have negative emotions and consequently wouldn’t suffer from repetitive thoughts.

Sean Webb, founder of the website “I Am Spirituality”, has developed an easily understood equation which explains how emotions work within each and every one of us.

It goes like this:

(EP – RP = ER)

Expectation or Preference – Reality as Perceived = Emotional Response

Okay, so what does this mean?

>> In a nutshell, our Expectation or Preference is how we would like, or expect, something we’re emotionally attached to, to be or turn out.

>> Our Reality as Perceived is then how something actually is, or what actually happens.

>> And finally, our Emotional Response is conditioned by this Reality as Perceived.

In other words, if our Reality as Perceived meets our Expectation or Preference, we experience a positive emotion. If it falls below our Expectation or Preference, we experience a negative emotion.

Sean Webb tackles many emotions on his site, but doesn’t really go into jealousy of any kind, and so here’s a brief analysis of how your emotions are working when applied to retroactive jealousy.

Your Emotional Preference is that, for example, your girlfriend has only slept with three guys, never had a one night stand, threesome or sex buddy and only enjoyed sex within a secure monogamous relationship.

The Reality as Perceived is when you then find out she has actually had what you consider to be “a promiscuous past” and she’s actually had threesomes, foursomes, sex buddies and so on. Therefore, you experience a negative Emotional Response.

But, in order for you to have an Emotional Response of any kind you must have an emotional attachment to the thing you’re reacting to.

In the case of retroactive jealousy, the reason why you have such a strong emotional reaction, is because you have formed a strong emotional attachment to your partner. The more you care for someone, the more susceptible you are to being attacked by retroactive jealousy.

One of my exes, who was twenty at the time, had slept with thirty guys, including four in one weekend, and yet I didn’t care. Why? Because I didn’t care enough about her.

Okay, so I didn’t like the fact she’d done all that stuff particularly, but it wasn’t something I obsessed over. I just forgot about it.

My current girlfriend’s past sex life, on the other hand, is much less colorful than this particular ex’s, and yet I became consumed by these destructive thoughts because my emotional attachment to her is that much greater.

*        *        *

I hope this post has helped clarify a little how your emotions are actually working in regard to your retroactive jealousy disorder.

Please feel free to comment in the section below on how your emotions are triggered by thoughts of your partner’s past.

How do you feel? Does Sean Webb’s analysis make sense regarding your retroactive jealousy disorder?


– Jeff 

This post was partly taken from my book “How To Stop Being Jealous Of Your Partner’s Past In 12 Steps.

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