How To Cope With Jealousy And Insecurity – A New Mind Hack

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by Jeff Billings in Retroactive Jealousy Blog
March 10, 2014

One way of learning how to cope with jealousy and insecurity in a relationship is by realizing that to greater or lesser extent, your irrational jealous thoughts about your boy or girlfriend’s sexual past are to do with wanting to control them.

Learning how to cope with jealousy and insecurity in a relationship

Jealousy, in all its forms, including retroactive jealousy ocd, is to some extent about control.

The obvious examples can be found within “normal jealousy,” as in the wife who demands her husband text him every half an hour when they’re apart.

Or the jealous boyfriend who can’t stand the thought of his girlfriend going on a night on the town, and spies on her leaving a club at 3 a.m.

In some way, just like the people in the examples above, you too feel the need to control your partner. Except, of course, with one key difference: a retroactive jealousy disorder is about wanting to control the past rather than the present.

Learn how to cope with jealousy and insecurity by surrendering control

In this post I want to talk a little bit about this phenomena and illuminate a technique for dealing with retroactive jealousy by surrendering control.

This technique is not included in my book, How To Stop Being Jealous Of Your Partner’s Past In 12 Steps*,” so think of it as kind of bonus a 13th step!

Let’s start by seeing if control is an issue for you by answering the following questions:

1. Have you ever wished your partner had never met a particular ex-lover?

2. Have you ever wished you could go through your partner’s computer and destroy every single photo of them with an ex-lover?

3. Have you ever wished you could destroy every single email, text or Facebook message between them?

4. Have you ever demanded that your partner not talk, text, or generally have anything to do with an ex-lover?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of the questions, then control is definitely an issue. Especially if you’ve actually done any of these things!

It’s important to make clear that this kind of controlling behavior is especially toxic to relationships. Nobody likes to be told what to do and / or have their private space violated without them knowing about it.

It’s slightly loopy and, ultimately, a destructive way to behave. Definitely not a healthy ingredient to have floating around in your relationship. Learning how to cope with jealousy and insecurity can be made especially difficult when one person wants to control the other like this.


Why does retroactive jealousy OCD make us want to control things?

You feel like controlling your partner at the moment because, as previously mentioned, you’re wary of any kind of emotional or sexual connection between them and other people, whether these people are in the past or not.

The past seems painful because you have no control over it. Realizing this is essential to finding your own retroactive jealousy cure.

It’s already happened, and so, while feeling stuck and helpless, you resort to trying to control what you can in the present; and that’s photos, messages and any form of contact between your partner and their ex-lovers.

You think that by destroying all evidence of their past relationship and / or ties with that other person, you’re somehow making them “belong” just to you; which is kinda creepy if you think about it.

The trouble is, you’re seeing the past through the lens of the present, and transferring the current mutual feelings of love between you and your partner back into the past.

This is where this feeling of “being cheated on” comes from. “How could he have been so happy with someone else when he belongs to me?”

The truth is though, as you know, they didn’t “belong” to you then and they don’t belong to you now.

Coping with jealousy in a relationship and its controlling issues

Okay, so that’s enough theoryville; how do we go about coping with retrospective jealousy by surrendering this need for control?

First up I want to you to have a think about your partner being together with their ex, as painful as this might be. Then, take the paper and write down and answer these questions:

1. What are they doing that’s “wrong” in this moment, as captured on film, or in your mind?

2. What crime did they commit by dating this person, or having casual sex with them?

3. Explain why you feel they are not allowed in some way, like you, to have enjoyed sex and tried to find love in the past.

4. Explain what gives you the right to want to deny them happiness before they met you.

5. Does your partner daydream about this person, talk about them constantly or call their name out during sex?

6. Would your partner rather be back in this person’s arms than with you?

7. Is your partner responding positively to constant requests from this person to get back together?

Pretty tough to come up with logical answers isn’t it?

Sometimes it’s hard to see when you’re in the midst of it but, hopefully, doing this little exercise will illuminate just how irrational your need for control of the past really is.

Hopefully it will make you ask yourself, “Why am I trying to control something that obviously has so little meaning in my partner’s life?” and you will start to learn how to cope with jealousy and insecurity in your relationship.


As I said, this technique doesn’t form a part of my book on coping with jealousy and insecurity in relationships and overcoming retroactive jealousy, but I thought I’d include it here as a further insight into how you can go about dealing with retroactive jealousy.

For the full 12 steps on how to deal with retroactive jealousy, check out the book! 

Do you feel like you want to control your partner and their past? What crazy things have you done as a result of retrograde jealousy? Have you learnt how to overcome retroactive jealousy? Let it all out (in confidence) in the comments section below!

To learn more about how to cope with jealousy and insecurity in a relationship, 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.



— Jeff

  1. Charles says:

    Great post. RJ sucks but with posts like this I can see a light at the end of hte tunnel.

  2. Senthil says:

    Hello sir, thank you so much for writing this , you save me from hell I was going through so bad for many years. Thank you very much .

  3. Valerie says:

    Thank you for writing this Jeff. You’ve been a great help to me and my husband.

  4. Jay says:

    I have been suffering from rj for 4 years now. Just can’t get my girlfriends sex life out my head. Now that i’ve found this site tho I will be reading everything I can and hopefully it helps. Peace.

  5. Melina says:

    These questions are ACE! I feel better already 🙂

  6. Hudson says:

    Love this. Thank so much Jeff. You’re a star.

  7. Agnes says:

    I luv this site, helped me sooo much with rj ocd over my bf lol.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have all the symptoms. I know I need help.
    My biggest fear, which stems from her past is the amount of partners she had. And from that I have developed a fear or thinking that I can not satisfy her sexually. That just destroys what little confidence I have.

  9. Jack says:

    My girlfriend only slept with ONE person in three years. ONE measly drunken fumble… yet this is all I think about… this site has helped somewhat, as well as meditation & seeking mindfulness.

    I’ve also realised a lot stems from my own insecurities & want to control the past.

    1. Yes you’ve hit the nail on the head there, Jack. Let me know if you need any help.

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