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What Is Retroactive Jealousy OCD And How Can You Get Over It?

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by Jeff Billings in Retroactive Jealousy Blog
February 25, 2018
retroactive jealousy OCD

What Is Retroactive Jealousy OCD And How Do I Overcome It?

If you suffer from repetitive thoughts about your partner’s sexual or romantic history, you may have heard the phrase “retroactive jealousy OCD” bandied about.

In other words, retroactive jealousy as an “obsessive-compulsive disorder”. But maybe you’re not sure quite what it means or if you have it? Or, more importantly, how to overcome it if you do.

Often, to become distressed by retroactive jealousy, i.e. negative thoughts and emotions about a partner’s past means becoming utterly bewildered by what’s going on in your mind. And I suspect this is what’s brought you to this page.

I’m going to break this retroactive jealousy OCD post down into 4 parts:

  • What is retroactive jealousy?
  • What is traditional OCD?
  • How traditional OCD relates to retroactive jealousy
  • A retroactive jealousy OCD treatment

Ready to get started? Good, then let’s kick off with a thorough definition of what retroactive jealousy OCD actually means, starting with “retroactive jealousy”.

This post may include affiliate links.

Retroactive Jealousy OCD What Is Retroactive Jealousy?

Retroactive jealousy (sometimes known as retrograde jealousy, or retrospective jealousy) simply means an unhealthy interest in your partner’s sexual and/or romantic past.

While most people may feel jealous at some point or other about their partner’s past, it’s only passing jealousy. If, on the other hand, it spirals out of control to include obsessive, negative thoughts and emotions, resulting in negative actions, then it’s retroactive jealousy.

Retroactive jealousy can cause untold distress to the sufferer and damage to the relationship. In some cases even end it.

Negative thoughts and emotions may include:

  • Judgment: this usually concerns a partner’s sexual history and involves thinking they behaved “immorally” and like a “slut” in the past.
  • Fear: often a knowledge of a partner’s “promiscuous” past leads subconsciously to a fear that they will repeat these actions in the present. In other words, there’s a fear of losing them.
  • Envy: a sufferer may have had less sexual experience than their partner, or dated fewer people, or not had as great a time at university. If their partner did, on the other hand, this can cause feelings of envy over opportunities missed.
  • Anger: the sufferer may feel angry when they think about their partner’s past, i.e. “Why did he date her?” “Why did she do that with him and not with me?” These kinds of emotions add much fuel to the retroactive jealousy fire.
  • Anxiety: overall feelings of apprehension about a partner’s past may lead to anxiety attacks, in which the sufferer is completely overwhelmed by thoughts and emotions about the past.
  • Doubt: past actions can make us doubt whether a partner is the “right fit” in the first place, i.e. “Do I really want to be with a guy who once had an affair with his best friend’s wife?” Or “How can I be with a girl who once had sex in a club with a guy she met ten minutes beforehand?”

There may well be other thoughts and emotions mixed in with your individual case of retroactive jealousy, but these are the main ones. RETROACTIVE JEALOUSY OCD Now let’s take a look at the resulting negative actions that often comprise retroactive jealousy behaviors:

  • Browsing: the confusion caused by this mix of emotions means many sufferers spend an inordinate amount of time each week browsing online forums and websites searching for a retroactive jealousy cure.
  • Snooping: a strong desire to find out more about a partner’s past can lead to violating their personal space, i.e. email accounts, social media profiles, cell phones, etc. A classic retroactive jealousy OCD behavior.
  • Arguing: feelings of judgment and anger can often result in arguments as the retroactive jealousy sufferer quizzes a partner who doesn’t think they’ve done anything wrong.
  • Dwelling: when jealous thoughts arise in the mind and jealous emotions arise in the body, a sufferer is often unable to step back and just shrug them off. Rather, they descend into a wormhole of overthinking, raking over and over what happened in their partner’s past.
  • Sniping: sarcastic, passive/aggressive comments fired off at a partner about their romantic or sexual past may not lead to an argument every time, but can gradually undermine a relationship.

Negative thoughts and emotions about a partner’s past love life don’t necessarily have to result in these actions in order for someone to suffer from retroactive jealousy. But I find they usually do.

What Is Traditional OCD?

Let’s take a look at what’s generally meant by the term “OCD” and then how it relates to retroactive jealousy OCD.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder in its classic definition is a mental state in which people are unable to control certain thoughts and behaviors. If you do any research on the subject, you’ll find that the condition usually relates to people who have obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors, such as:

  • washing hands repeatedly
  • checking the front door’s locked
  • thinking about harming oneself or others
  • needing symmetry and orderliness
  • thinking about contamination and disease
  • avoiding cracks in the pavement

An obsessive thought is triggered by something, causing anxiety. Then the sufferer engages with a compulsive behavior in order to find temporary relief. And so the cycle begins again… retroactive jealousy ocd

The OCD cycle of obsessions and compulsions

Many people have negative, obsessive thoughts from time to time. A thought may occasionally pop in your head about driving your car into oncoming traffic, for example. Or thrusting an ice cream into a stranger’s face.

But what differentiates random negative thoughts from OCD is the compulsion to stop them from occurring and indulging in behaviors that offer temporary relief.

There is no known definitive cause for OCD, it affects men, women, and children and can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life.

A doctor will usually recommend someone with OCD sees a psychiatrist who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Or they will prescribe a course of drugs to be taken by the patient. Or sometimes both.

Retroactive Jealousy OCD

How Traditional OCD Relates To Retroactive Jealousy 

The reason why retroactive jealousy is often labeled as being a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is because it shares many of the same attributes.

Obsessive Thoughts? Check. In the case of retroactive jealousy, this usually involves the mind constantly flinging up images and “mini movies” of your partner together with another man or woman. Over and over and over again.

As the influential author of the book A New Earth and speaker Eckhart Tolle observes, the repetitive thoughts seem to be controlling you, rather than the other way around. Dealing with these repetitive thoughts becomes even harder when it’s clear that they’re not worth thinking about. They’re in the past, but that’s what makes them so painful because it’s obvious they shouldn’t matter. And yet they do…

A sufferer will typically try and force him or herself to stop, but this causes the mind to descend into a “don’t think about a pink elephant”-type war with itself.

As they say “resistance breeds persistence” — and as a result of trying to stop thinking about the past, repetitive thoughts about it are given even more power. The funny thing is, these repetitive thoughts are almost certainly not even accurate. They’re just manifestations within an insecure mind that doesn’t know what really happened but wants to assume the worst.

How do you know that they had such a great time in Paris? Or what the sex was like on that one-night-stand? Your mind wants to paint a picture of an insanely hot session involving your partner and their ex, or on an idyllic holiday of a lifetime with them, but the reality was maybe very different.

These kind of retroactive jealousy OCD, intrusive thoughts about the past can vary in consistency, from mild (several times a day), to extreme (a near-constant background hum).

More on this later, but it’s safe to say that many retroactive jealousy sufferer’s repetitive thoughts can certainly be described as obsessive.


Compulsive Behavior? Check. These repetitive thoughts about the past lead to compulsive behaviors. In traditional OCD this often means continually washing hands or checking that the front door’s locked. But in retroactive jealousy, it means indulging in the behaviors previously described: browsing, snooping, arguing, dwelling and sniping.

In an attempt to reduce the anxiety caused by an obsessive thought, retroactive jealousy causes you to compulsively try to find relief, either through thinking things through/dwelling or “acting out”. Often, this phase involves both.

When I had retroactive jealousy OCD, I would become extremely anxious and angry at the thought of my girlfriend hooking-up with one of her sex-buddies. I used to spend hours every day ruminating in very specific detail on what exactly must have gone down:

Her texting him, him arriving at her apartment, having a few drinks, her on top of him, waking up next to each other in the morning, having sex again, and on and on.

This dwelling was a compulsive behavior because I couldn’t stop myself and I did it constantly throughout the day. Along with other actions such as making sarcastic comments, snooping through her photos, Googling how to get over retroactive jealousy OCD, and so on.

These compulsive behaviors may make you feel like you’re being productive and working/finding things out, but in actual fact, all you’re doing is feeding the monster.

Think of OCD as an alarm bell. It’s your brain telling yourself you’re in danger but, in reality, you’re not. By engaging with these compulsive behaviors, therefore, you’re attempting to keep yourself safe when the alarm goes off.

However, all this is doing is reinforcing the idea in your brain that you’re in danger.

Temporary Relief? After reading other people’s retroactive jealousy OCD stories on a forum, or snooping through a partner’s phone, some anxiety may be lifted. But it will only ever be a temporary lift.

Overall, the general effect of these compulsive actions is to simply keep the retroactive jealousy alive. Not only that but very often these compulsive behaviors can immediately make you feel worse.

This “thinking through” of scenes in your partner’s past is a way of trying to work things out in your head, but also of trying to reassure yourself.

To suffer from these compulsive thoughts and behaviors within retroactive jealousy OCD very often means feeling like you’ve lost control: of your mind, your actions, your relationship and, in extreme cases, your life. Your mind appears to be playing tricks on you, but there doesn’t seem to be anything you can do about it.

Is Retroactive Jealousy OCD An Appropriate Term?

While it may appear to be a slam dunk case — “Of course retroactive jealousy is a form of OCD” — it’s not as black and white as it may appear. For a start, the term Obsessive Compulsive Disorder itself is thrown around by many people without a full understanding of what it means.

In her book, Can’t Just Stop, Sharon Begley argues that there’s no such thing as being “a little OCD”. Just as you can’t be “a little pregnant”, someone either suffers from OCD or they don’t.

She writes that if a negative thought doesn’t cause someone as much distress as a gun being held to their child’s head, then it isn’t OCD.

I’m sure many people who suffer from retroactive jealousy wouldn’t technically be diagnosed by a doctor as suffering from OCD. But that’s fine.

Your life may be completely dominated by retroactive jealousy, or you may be able to function perfectly normally. The most important factor is not how severe your retroactive jealousy is, but whether you want to end the intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors or not.

If you do, then there’s nothing wrong with saying you have a mild form of retroactive jealousy OCD and wanting to do something about it.

I would argue that the only reason why retroactive jealousy OCD isn’t officially recognized as a condition is because the research hasn’t yet been done on it.

Understanding Retroactive Jealousy OCD

As you may have already found out, there’s not much information out there on OCD as it relates to retroactive jealousy. Or on how to get over it.

The closest I’ve ever found OCD being equated to retroactive jealousy is in the context of intrusive sexual thoughts.

For example, some OCD sufferers find they can’t help thinking about sex in general, or committing sex acts on other people. The problem with thoughts like this (and with retroactive jealousy) is that they’re not as easily defined in a classical OCD sense.

OCD is usually defined as a compulsion to stop an obsessive thought about something bad happening. So, for example, someone who washes their hands 100 times a day is trying to prevent the spread of germs. Someone who checks the locks to their windows and doors 100 times a day is trying to stop being burgled, and so on.

Retroactive Jealousy OCD

But what about thoughts? Someone with traditional OCD intrusive sexual thoughts may, for example, repeat a mantra to themselves in order to suppress the thoughts. And this is because they think they need to stop themselves from committing a horrible act.

With retroactive jealousy OCD, things are a little more complicated, but understanding what’s going on in your head is an important first step when it comes to overcoming it.

With retroactive jealousy OCD, there’s no bad event such as catching a disease to stop. And there’s no despicable act that you need to stop yourself from committing.

The obsessive thoughts are about events that happened (sometimes a very long time ago) in the past. They’ve been and gone and so there’s nothing tangible, right here in the present to protect or battle against.

This is what makes retroactive jealousy even more confusing to a sufferer than traditional OCD. But the truth is, there are more similarities between traditional OCD intrusive thoughts and retroactive jealousy related thoughts than you may realize.

While there may not be a tangible, conscious threat to guard against in the present, there is an intangible, subconscious one. And that’s the threat of losing your partner.

The knowledge that they were once madly in love with someone else, or had casual sex with random people in the past, has triggered a subconscious fear that there are “better” people than you out there. Your brain’s primeval reasoning is that:

  • If they once loved or had casual sex with someone else in the past, could they do it again in the present?
  • If they behaved immorally in the past, are they really right for me?
  • If they had such a great time in the past, am I living up to it in the present?

And so on… In short, these people in your partner’s past take on a symbolic meaning of being special, better than you, and therefore a threat.

“If these people were better than me, then there must be other people out there right now who are better than me and who he or she could leave me for”.

The truth is you’re not really worried about these specific people or behaviors in your partner’s past. You’re worried about what they represent right now, in the present. Realizing this is the first step to overcoming retroactive jealousy OCD.


Retroactive Jealousy OCD Treatment

Here’s what happens during the vicious cycle of traditional OCD:

  1. Obsessive thought
  2. Anxiety
  3. Compulsive behavior (in an effort to reduce the anxiety)
  4. Temporary relief
  5. Obsessive thought

And here is the same cycle as applied to retroactive jealousy OCD:

  1. Obsessive thought about partner’s past
  2. Anxiety and other emotions such as judgment, envy, anger, etc.
  3. Compulsive behavior, such as dwelling, snooping, arguing, etc.
  4. Temporary relief
  5. Obsessive thought about partner’s past

A common treatment for traditional OCD is Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). It works by breaking the cycle of Obsessive thought > Anxiety > Compulsive behavior with a Response Prevention.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what this involves in regular OCD therapy:

  • Exposure: An obsessive thought is triggered that causes anxiety. For example, by leaving the house without checking that the gas is turned off.
  • Response Prevention: Once this anxiety has been triggered, a Response Prevention simply involves making the choice to not engage with a compulsive behavior. i.e. continuing to the car and driving off without going back to check on the stove.

ERP requires the sufferer to resist the urge to give in to compulsive behaviors, face their fears and get on with their normal routine. While this may be painful at first, it’s generally successful.

Indeed, the American Psychiatric Association believes ERP is the best form of OCD treatment as it has the most abundant empirical support. And the good thing is that this exact same method can be applied to retroactive jealousy OCD.

How ERP Can Be Applied To Retroactive Jealousy OCD

This technique simply means noticing your jealousy when it arises, acknowledging it, and then getting on with your day without indulging in the compulsive behavior that usually brings temporary relief.

  • Obsessive thought: her having sex with THAT guy at a party >>
  • Anxiety: try to step outside of your head and witness yourself being anxious rather than engage with it. Detach yourself from the thoughts and emotions and feel them as merely a collection of misfiring neurons in your brain and chemical responses in your body >>
  • Response Prevention: Resist the urge to engage with your anxiety and indulge in a compulsive behavior as you normally would by: dwelling on the past event, playing it over in your mind, making a sarcastic comment, Googling “retroactive jealousy”, snooping, etc. Instead carry on with whatever you were doing before the thought arose: getting dressed, tidying up, watching a movie, etc.

Your retroactive jealousy OCD may be triggered by, say, going to a bar you know your partner met their ex in. Or it may not need a trigger — it’s just always there in the forefront of your mind. Either way, try carrying out ERP as normal and don’t give up if it doesn’t seem to work at first — this takes practice! RETROACTIVE JEALOUSY OCD

Have A Go At Applying ERP To Your Retroactive Jealousy OCD Right Now

  • Trigger: Close your eyes and think about your partner’s past. Dwell on that one moment that burns you up the most, as hard as this may be.
  • Anxiety: Feel how these negative thoughts in the head translate into negative emotions in the body. Can you feel your chest tighten? Your heart beat faster? Or your forehead pound? Feels horrible doesn’t it? Well, that’s the power of thought. Or is it? Just how “powerful” can a thought be? The truth is, you may feel like these obsessive thoughts and emotions are never-ending and unbreakable, but they aren’t. Thoughts are just that: thoughts. Which means that they’re impermanent. They come and they go.
  • Response Prevention: Now watch this four-minute video. Was your mind still on your partner’s past while you were watching it? No. And that’s because retroactive jealousy OCD is always a fleeting state of mind. And the more you’re able to ignore them and get on with your day, the quicker they’ll start to lose their so-called power of you.

It’s your resistance to these thoughts about your partner’s past at the moment that’s giving your retroactive jealousy OCD it’s so-called strength. You may be snooping through your partner’s private belongings, dwelling on their past and digging around the Internet looking for answers, but these compulsive behaviors are impermanent too.

You’re indulging in these actions right now because you’re dwelling on negative thoughts and emotions about the past. But you won’t be forever.

In a week, month, or even six months time, you may well not be engaging with your retroactive jealousy OCD anymore. When you fail and give in to the obsessive thought by indulging in compulsive behavior (and you will), don’t worry. Don’t beat yourself up over it and think you’re a failure who’ll never beat retroactive jealousy OCD.

As I said, it takes practice and time to train your mind to witness obsessive thoughts and anxiety rather than giving in to them. If you need more help in learning how to stop retroactive jealousy OCD symptoms, click on the button below to purchase my book The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure: How To Stop Being Jealous Of Your Partner’s Past in 12 Steps. Retroactive Jealousy OCD




Do you suffer from retroactive jealousy OCD? Do you have constant repetitive thoughts and images about your partner’s past whirring around your head? If so what are they like? Photos? Movies? Or if you’re successfully dealing with retroactive jealousy, I’d love to hear about it. I’ll answer any questions you have about retroactive jealousy OCD in the comments section 

  1. Felisa says:

    Hello there:
    I have been suffering with this rj ocd thing for a while now. I need help. I am tired of being in pain everyday…. my heart aches…

    1. Hey Felisa,

      Send me an email and I’ll see what I can do.

  2. marcela says:

    Hello I desperately need your help and don’t want my relationship to end. I need to control this and want it to stop :'(

    1. Hey, hang in there! Retroactive jealousy CAN be defeated, you just need to be systematic in your approach to beating it. Have you taken a look at my book? I describe exactly what to do to get over it in there.
      All the best,

    2. Hey Marcela,

      Have you taken a look at my book “How To Stop Being Jealous Of Your Partner’s Past In 12 Steps”? I’ve had hundreds of people thank me for helping them get over this condition after reading the book, and maybe you could be next : )


  3. Armand says:

    I had this retrospective jealosy before with a partner of 8 years, after the 2nd year i really didnt think much about it. I went to therapy and talked with a nice therapists who essentially allowed me over come the issue (not sure why, though) Now, after several years and relationships, I find myself in the same situation. I have a beautiful girl, which i think is the one, and although her background is not as “active” as mine, I feel threatened about her exbf and that one night stand few years ago.. It just drives me mad and ruins most of my time.. coz i want to bring the topic.. and somehow, make her feel bad about that. I dont do it off course, but i feel the strong need. I also have seen how my sexual performance is being slowly been affected.. even erections are being affected.
    I really need some help

    1. Hey Armd, thanks for reaching out! This is exactly the kind of stuff — feelings of fear and judgement — that I help people overcome with my book How To Stop Being Jealous Of Your Partner’s Past In 12 Steps.

      Hang in there buddy.
      — Jeff

  4. Sue says:

    It’s good to know I’m not alone with this issue… but it’s still so damn hard for me to cope with it without visiting a therapist. It never actually matters what I keep telling myself. It’s always there… , I can be perfectly fine for days, but then BAM! Out of the blue I get these awful images, thoughts, I can be angry, sad and depressed for hours or days. I end up putting it on my partner and then feel even worse about it.
    Sometimes I’m really scared of ruining my relationship with him…

    1. Hi Sue, yes retroactive jealousy definitely comes in ebbs and flows. Feel free to drop me a line if you want to chat.

  5. Elf says:

    I have a 2 year relationship with my GF, (I am 38, she is 33). We did not know eachother until we started dating but we basically know the same people or “social circle”, (its strange that we did not meet in the past but probably saw eachother many times). The issue for me started when I realized my GF does not initiate intimacy with me (99.9% of times it is I that initiates). I am a very sexual person, but only like to have sex with my Significant Other, and have never cheated on any relationship. I do need it daily, maybe even more than once, but I need it with her.

    After that, my GF started to make me feel like she did not want/need sex as often, and that it was sort of a chore, so some of my initiations were refused. I always try to make sex enjoyable for her, sometimes rough, sometimes lovingly, playing all the cards and actually LEARNING what she likes. This led to me letting my imagination run with thoughts of her past, and to start actually finding out about it. She has not been very open about her past, volunteering only bits of information and staying quiet when I probe the subject intelligently, as if speaking of someone we both know or some situation I know is alike one she was in. As I said, knowing the same circle of people actually made finding out about her past very easy… I did not openly ask, but rather put 2 and 2 together on some occasions. I found out she even slept with a married guy whose wife lived abroad, and also a guy with a 6 year girlfriend whom she knew.

    My estimate is, regrettably, that she has had over 25 past sex partners… Some of them I know well, some of them are acquaintances at best. Her “number” does not bother me as much as the fact that she has only had 7 steady relationships prior to me, so if her number was 10, I would have no issues with it. The problem for me is that I keep having to work my ass off for sex with her, having to plan it, seek it, make it happen as if it were a chore for her, and in the back of my mind I have the knowledge that she easily gave it up to around 20 guys that meant nothing to her… even married guys, guys with gf’s, of whom she KNEW there would be no future by screwing, so she basically screwed them out of lust (which is what she is not showing with me). She has said that for the first time in her life she is “at peace” in a relationship, that I am a source of “control” and “steadiness”. To be honest, I’d much rather be called a bastard and a stud, among other things, than that… it hurts my ego to think that she may not be attracted to me as much as she was to those other guys she slept with (I’ve told her without nagging that should she not find me attractive we should call it quits, but that I need initiation, upon which she does initiate a couple of times and then goes back to normal).

    Also, after 4 months of dating, she told me she was super-surprised to find out she has HPV, (which of course I probably already have too from sleeping with her)… I do not know if she feigned surprise or if she knew she had it beforehand, but I do know that one of those past guys gave it to her, and thus, to me. I was very supportive of it and even told her not to worry about giving it to me, but now, it just adds to the mess in my head and pisses me off more.

    She speaks of marriage a lot, and I’ve thought about it (she spends 6 days of the week with me at my place, the other day at her parent’s). She is a great woman and I love her, but I cannot lie to myself about the fact that after my divorce, I would never stay with a woman that did not appreciate me completely (especially sexually). I am a good provider, I live on my own and work a lot to have financial stability, am a good father, am a good lover, (she orgasms first every time, or fakes it very well), I am in shape, practice sports regularly, am well endowed (since that may be a comment some idiot comes back with), and I am loyal to a fault. It pisses me off that she would be “all tapped out” on the sex department from screwing around like crazy with guys that never valued her, (most of them are now married and with kids, and none of them chose her for that), and she would not be completely adventurous and open about sexuality with me, who promise to take care of her in every possible way.

    I sometimes have to go places where I KNOW there are guys that she slept with and to be honest I’ve had to control myself to not be a complete a..hole with these guys… (even stop myself from jumping on them… I am a 4th dan karateka, having practiced for 25 years, and am quick to lose my temper from disrespect), some of them I like as people, some of them I cannot even say hi to.

    The fact is these feelings and images and facts about her past haunt me… I am trying to be smart about it and even a little hypocritical, whenever I feel like calling her out on the no-sex-tonight bullshit, I play extra-nice and act like I am completely crazy, cuddling, making her dinner, etc… in my reasoning, that way I do not show insecurity (which is a vicious cycle of unatractiveness that leads to more insecurity, I know this from my divorce). I know you will probably tell me to buy the book, and I probably will, but the post is really more about feeling great for finding this information, knowing I am not alone in this, and getting a bit of insight (maybe even free insight) into my situation.

    I will not marry her until I resolve this issue, thats for sure.

    Thanks for any insight.


    1. Sorry to hear you’re suffering, shoot me a message and I’ll see how I can help.

    2. Patrick says:

      Mate you have hit the nail on the head for exactly how I feel. How could she give it up so freely to a bunch of pricks who didn’t give a shit about her and all they had to do was buy her a drink and in some cases probably not even that. To me my wifes number does bother me now. It never used to but now it does. When we first started seeing each other, about 14 years ago, we had the whole “how many people have you slept with” talk. I said I could count the number of people on two hands and then she grimaced and said her number was a lot higher, around 50, which means probably more like 70 as girls always try and make their number smaller. at the time that disgusted me a little but i moved on. fast forward years later and she tells me about a threesome with two guys and then it all came flooding back especially since it was during a period where we had not had sex for about 6 months, which occurs quite often now. we used to have sex once a week, which I was happy with and had accepted but now it’s more like once every 5-6 weeks if I am lucky. so yeah i think of her as a huge hypocrite because she let probably 60 odd strangers put their dicks in her without having to jump through any hoops. sick of feeling like this so feel your pain.

  6. Rocky says:

    I can’t believe there is a name for what I’m going through! I really need to get rid of this retroactive jealousy. it ruins my life!!

    1. Send me an email at jeff [at] retroactive jealousy crusher [dot] com and let’s chat. Jeff

  7. Guy says:

    Does your book come as a hard copy?

  8. Una says:

    You’re showing me the way Jeff! Best wishes from Vancouver!

  9. Mitchell says:

    I’m not sure if “retroactive jealousy OCD” is actually OCD.Much more work needs to be done in this field.

  10. Carl says:

    I love reading these comments, so many people whining about shit that doesn’t matter any more. Get over yourselves.

  11. Michael says:

    Thank you for such an informative site. You’ve opened my eyes Jeff. I realize now this isn’t about her past friendswithbenefits but about me. It’s MY reaction to these events not the events themselves.

  12. Edward says:

    LOVE this post Jeff, you’ve helped me already.

  13. James says:

    I’m trying to cut down on the sarcastic comments and starting arguments with my girl. It’s hard though when she’s still in touch with her ex f-buddies on facebook. She even meets one of them for coffee about once a month and it makes me sick.

  14. David says:

    I have this!

  15. Zoe says:

    So great to finally find a post on ocd that’s not just about washing hands and straightening out edges! Retroactive jealousy is a form of ocd and I can’t thank you enough for this post Jeff. I will be purchasing one of your products soon. xxx

  16. Donna says:

    I’m very confident that I will get over this.

  17. Iggy says:

    Hi, I read your blogs on retro jealousy regularly. Your humoristic style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!

  18. Howdy says:

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. I can’t thank you enough.

  19. James says:

    I have RJ OCD real bad but now I feel more like I know what to do. Thanks Jeff

  20. Jim says:

    I just want to loose these feelings. How do I do that?

  21. Carneiro Junior says:

    I have read so many articles on retroactive jealosy but this post is in fact a nice post, keep it up.

  22. Diego says:

    When I close my eyes he’s there. When I open them he’s there. Her ex fuck buddy staring at me. Feels almost like I’m gay I think about this guy so fucking much.

  23. Carla says:

    My husband hates everyone I once kissed let alone slept with and its tearing us apart 🙁

  24. Mel says:

    Hello! I just would like to offer you a big thumbs up for your great information on RJ!

  25. Manny says:

    Found your YouTube channel and your right, listening to those feelgood tracks every day really helps! Cheers!!

  26. Ursula says:

    Have you ever considered retroactive jealousy ocd might not be ocd? I work in mental health and most people who think they have ocd don’t in fact have ocd. It’s a rare condition so most people assume they have it when they don’t.

  27. Wilbur says:

    One thousand thank you’s Jeff!! You’re one in a million.

  28. Gary says:

    I’ve just been looking for information about retroactive jealousy for ages and yours is the best I have came
    upon till now. Good work!!!

  29. Joseph says:

    OCD is the best term for this thing because I have zero control over it. The thoughts just pop in my head constantly all day long. It’s torture.

  30. Mike says:

    What’s the longest a client has suffered from RJ in your experience Jeff? Mine has been going on now for 8 years.

  31. Zach says:

    How do I get over this??????? So sick of it.

  32. Juliane says:

    To anyone still struggling with retroactive jealousy I wholeheartedly recommend Jeff’s book. It’s essential reading if you havent already.

  33. Wu says:

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’m loving this Jeff. Helped me so much. Thanks!!!!

  34. Sam says:

    My mind can’t take this anymore 🙁

  35. Jane says:

    So refreshing to read about OCD in the context of retroactive jealousy and not just about straightening edges and washing hands 100 times a day. Thank you Jeff, you’re a star!

  36. Tom says:

    Some days I;m doing okay and then the next I’ll be right back to to square 1 thinking about this shit going round and round my head 247.

  37. Henrietta says:

    i find myself hating my boyfriend thinking about all he’s done in the past. The women he’s had sex with and still holds a soft place in his heart for all of them. He’s in contact with quite a few of his exs and f*** buddies as well which really hurts me but he doesn’t seem to care. He refuses to delete them from his life and whenever I bring it up he just gets all defensive. So tired of feeling like this.

  38. Nick says:

    Show me how to get over this. I will pay you as much as you want.

  39. Johnny says:

    Just leave the skank if you can’t handle her past. Simples.

  40. Toby says:

    I couldn’t agree more with what you say about RJ. It’s important to make some time to be happy.We don’t do that enough I don’t think in life.

  41. Graham says:

    I feel there’s a light at the end of the tunnel…

  42. Peter says:

    Images of my girlfriend with her ex fuck buddy continually in my mind. Like always, How do I get rid? please help.

  43. Paul says:

    This RJ issue really separates the men from the boys doesn’t it? I mean what guy is going to put up wiht the fact his girl once got spit-roasted byh two football players at once? Or took it up the arse on a first date? Just to disgusting really to even contemplate.

  44. Nola G says:

    Big thumbs up. Thanks so much Jeff!!

  45. Nu Boi says:

    So what are we meant to do?its like an on going thing every day or week it just pops into my head even things that I know don’t matter,I just can’t seem too accept?

  46. Jimmi says:

    When will this pain end? My mind is stuck on a one track groove. And it aint funky.

  47. Sammy says:

    My girlfriend has slept with both guys and girls in her past. Will your course help me with that, bi-sexual events in her past?

  48. Jimmi Nu says:

    I don’t know where I’d be without this site. Big thank you to you Jeff. Keep up the stellar work! Peace.

  49. Glago says:

    I’m afraid my rj will destroy my relationship. She’s such a beautiful loveing kind girl but I can not move past her 3some with two black guys and keep torturing her over it. I’m in hell.

  50. Announamus says:

    I NEED HELP! My boyfriend has RJ OCD, (which I didn’t know until just over a week ago). He started off by questioning me about my past, who has I thought he wanted to know (we have never spoke about our past to each other.. well I haven’t, his ex was in our lives at the start of our relationship which obviously bothered me but I tried to not let it get to me). So he was questioning me so I told him about my 2 previous long term relationships, the last one was over 4 years before I even met my current boyfriend. If I had known about this RJ OCD I would not have told him about my past, but there’s nothing I can do now, he knows and that’s that. He can’t seem to move on from it, and I’m trying my best but I shouldn’t feel so shameful and disgusted in myself for having 2 long term relationships should I? It’s breaking us and I don’t want that to happen. My last relationship was horrid, he made me feel so disgusted in myself for not being a virgin and that’s why it ended. Now I feel like I’m in the same situation.. bad luck or what? I can’t talk to my friends and family about this because I know they will think bad of my boyfriend and want me to come home (I live away because I WAS A student) I feel physical, emotional and mentally drained from this, and so hurt for the namesame he has called me. I’m still here and trying but it’s so painful. I need help for him, I don’t know what to do, it would be so much easier and less painful if I was to leave the love of my life instead of staying. I don’t want to leave him though. He needs help and I’m writing here because I need help to help him (and just to tell someone). Please help us, I can’t live like this much longer.

    1. Drop me a line at jeff [at] retroactivejealousycrusher [dot] com and let’s chat.

  51. Glacier says:

    Thanks for writing this Jeff. It really helps.

  52. Neil says:

    I definitely agree with your points. I think I need to get over the RJ first, because it is something I definitely suffer from, and breaking up with her now would leave me with RJ AND a broken heart! When I overcome RJ then I will be able to think about my needs as a man with a clearer mind.

  53. FFS says:

    the problem is VERY persistent and deeply rooted in something. I’m 43 years old and I’m amazed I have this problem as intensely as I do. The ability to think “those” thoughts (or inability to stop “those” thoughts) as often as I do is shocking! I’m fighting the good fight and hoping that this battle is ultimately winnable.

  54. Thiago says:

    My gf’s past keeps popping in my head, like constantly all day every day. What can I do??

  55. Sarah says:

    I came across your Retroactive Jealousy OCD website and just wanted to say thank you 🙂

  56. Chazzy Chaz says:

    You’re a legend Jeff. Thank you so much for creating this site and putting all this info out there. I’d buy you a beer if I could.

  57. Dannielle says:

    Do you offer emergency coaching Jeff? I am will to pay extra.

  58. Patrick says:

    I have been suffering from RJ for quiet some time now, probably 2-3 years but I didn’t know that was what it was until just recently. My wife of 8 years had slept with around 60 guys before we met and had a threesome too. She suffers from bulimia so I think her promiscuity stems from that and a need to be accepted but still that doesn’t make it easier to accept. We go through sex droughts often and when they happen my RJ seems to peak because I go through all the “you gave your pussy up to all those pricks who didn’t even love or give a shit about you but you wont have sex with me, YOUR HUSBAND!” bullshit and that makes things worse. I keep lashing out at her and throwing it in her face because I can’t deal with the rejection so I get angry and want her to feel some of my pain. I am hoping I can get some answers here as I am at my wits end!

    1. Hi Patrick, feel free to reach out any time. You can beat this thing, trust me.

  59. Edgar says:

    my brain hurts thinking about this bullshit all the time . even reading this post doesn’t help, i’m lost.

    1. Drop me a line, Edgar, and we can discuss options.

  60. Johannes says:

    Are there any books I can read on how to get over retroactive jealousy?

    1. Yes! You can purchase my book on overcoming retroactive jealousy here:

  61. Harvey W. says:

    Say goodbye to the slut and get yourself a girl who hasn’t slept with half the town already.

    1. That’s one way of looking at it, Harvey. Some people want to make their relationships work, though. And there’s nothing technically “wrong” with a girl’s past if she was single and just having fun.

  62. Serge says:

    I feel like my battle with RJ could be the defining moment of my life. Once I get over this and I know I will with your help Jeff, I will be a new man. Nothing will stop me!

    1. Sounds good, Serge, I’m sure you’ll get there!

  63. Caitlin says:

    I want to get over this stupid jealousy in my head ASAP but don’t know where to start.

    1. Hi Caitlin – drop me a line and we can discuss how to move forward.

  64. Catherine says:

    I’m gonna get help for my boyfriend. Now that I know what he’s suffering from I think I can help him. He can’t forget my sexual past and it gets so bad that I’m not sure I can stay any longer if he doesn’t accept help.

    1. Hang in there, Catherine. I hope he does try to get better.

  65. Daniel says:

    I have recurring thoughts of my wife’s past. We’ve been married for almost 16 years and have four children. She is six years older than me. I only lost my virginity some 8 month before we met to single night relationship, thinking that at age 22 it was about time. Not the ideal situation, but I was getting a bit desperate.

    She on the other hand have had an active sex life for more than a decade before we met. There a many small thing nagging me. She didn’t want to sleep with me as soon as previous some boyfriends because she didn’t want to “ruin” it. Also sometime she made a comment slip of some kinky sex she had. That could have been fine, but lots of what she tried previously she wont do with me, because “she tried it, and didn’t like it so much”. But I haven’t tried it. I don’t know if I like it. It pains me that she did stuff that I don’t know, and can’t ever know.

    I feel so infinitely insecure because almost the entirety of my sexual and romantic history is with her. She had more than a decade before me. I have never had a f***-buddy, she has. I have never had a kinky chocolate-sex, she has. I have never had anal sex, she has. And she had it while I was a boy being bullied in school.

    I hate being the “marriage material”-guy that she wouldn’t sleep with right away not to “ruin” it. How could it ruin anything? It was not like she was a virgin.

    Sometimes I feel like this is all wrong. On the surface I’m a very successful man, I have four children, an awesome car, a big house, a high paying job and a loving wife. I’m good at my job, come across as self confident, intelligent, well spoken. But somewhere inside I’m still a boy being bullied in school while my to-be wife has kinky awesome sex.

    When we’re having our normal daily routine things are fine, but if something comes up the RJOCD beast awakens inside me. Recently she didn’t want to have sex, saying something along the lines of “couldn’t be bothered now”. It feels like a belittlement. Why can’t she be “bothered” with me, when she could with someone she didn’t even love? It eats away inside me for days.

    1. Sorry to hear this, Daniel. I’m sure I could help you out, though, if you want to get in touch.

  66. Lenny says:

    Thanks so much for this great post! It really helped me to understand my condition so much better. I finially know that I’m a retroactive jealousy sufferer!

    1. That’s great to hear, Lenny. Let me know if you need any help.

  67. Steve says:

    25 years go by and I’m okay, within margins, of the past relationships I knew about. Then, bam, word slips out about literally someone I cannot stand with her just weeks before we met. Though it only happened a few times all those years ago, the information is new to me now and it’s just like it happened – in my brain. Emotionally that is. She says she didn’t “know what you did” about the guy as though that makes it any better. So I start asking questions, wondering if she just didn’t care about her exploits enough to check-in to who she was screwing (this guy ran whores constantly). Now at my age I’m visualizing her, back then, as a totally different person that I had met. The thing is, we are and always have been loyal. But to me, this is a totally new situation and remarkably different from a few long term relationships she’d had before. Very tormented.

    1. I totally get where you’re coming from. I have a ton of resources on this site that should really help you with your retroactive jealousy.

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