Dealing With Retroactive Jealousy: 3 Actions To Beat It

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by Jeff Billings in Retroactive Jealousy Blog
March 16, 2017
dealing with retroactive jealousy

If you want to start dealing with retroactive jealousy rather than being plagued and controlled by it, this is the post for you. This post may include affiliate links. 

I’m going to reveal the top three kick-ass actions I took when I used to suffer from retroactive jealousy (here’s a retroactive jealousy definition in case you’re unsure what it entails.)

These will enable you to start dealing with retroactive jealousy straight away and stop being tormented by it.

The first step is to understand just what’s causing your retroactive jealousy disorder in the first place…

Dealing With Retroactive Jealousy Action #1: Understand The Ego

dealing with retroactive jealousy

Dealing retroactive jealousy may be a struggle for you because there’s something going on in the background that’s causing you to get upset without you even realizing it.

Every negative emotion mankind’s ever experienced — jealousy, envy, disgust, judgment, and so on — has its roots in the ego.

The problem is, our egos have been hardwired into us since we were running in loincloths clubbing wild animals.

Initially designed to protect us from real world threats such as animals, falling trees, crazy humans with spears, etc. the ego worked by triggering a fear response in the mind.

Forward-wind to the present day, however, and the ego still does the exact same thing except for non-life threatening events, such as public speaking, chatting up a stranger, or a partner’s past.

In these situations, the mind can feel similarly threatened, as if it’s being attacked by a grizzly, and overreact.

These ex-lovers in your partner’s past may have disappeared long ago, but your ego is seeing them as a real-world threat because they symbolically represent something to be afraid of in the present.

The ego takes all potential dangers to its existence very seriously.

This results in retrograde jealousy in which your ego is in effect saying:

“Wait a minute… are you sure you want to be with someone who used to have three friends-with-benefits on the go at once?”

“Are you certain you can be with someone who used to be so in love with another woman?”

The main problem here is that the ego has a particularly hard time distinguishing past and present.

So, even though these events in your partner’s past could have happened months or even years ago, the ego sees them as clear threat to the present.

Hence the repetitive, negative thoughts, emotions and actions and the fact dealing with retroactive jealousy is so hard.

Your ego is trying to help you, but in reality is simply holding you back by keeping you in a constant state of fear and judgment.

But this anxiety about your partner’s past is an imaginary fear — a throwback to similar fear responses created in the mind hundreds of thousands of years ago.

What can be done to suppress the ego?

The best way to calm these negative, unwanted thoughts and emotions generated by the ego is to shine a light on it.

By shining a spotlight on how the ego has a hold on your brain, you’ll start to realize how it’s not really “you”.

And from here it’s that much easier to draw a dividing line between the real you and your ego’s false sense of you, and thus help ease your retrospective jealousy.

In my opinion, the best teacher on the ego is Eckhart Tolle.

I would strongly suggest you start dealing with retroactive jealousy by reading his books A New Earth and The Power of Now.

Also, take a look at his videos on YouTube by putting in “Eckhart Tolle ego” and you’ll soon have a firm grip on what the ego is all about and dealing with retroactive jealousy will start to become easier.

Dealing With Retroactive Jealousy Action #2: Stop These 3 Activities

dealing with retroactive jealousy

When I stopped doing the following activities, dealing with retroactive jealousy became a whole lot easier for me.

If you’re engaging in any of the following, then all you’re doing is keeping your retroactive jealousy OCD alive by keeping it at the forefront of your mind.

Cut ‘em out ASAP.

1. Confronting and quizzing your partner

I have no idea why so many people on blogs and forums such as Loveshack tell anyone dealing with retroactive jealousy to “talk it out” with your partner.

In fact, you should be doing the opposite — not talking about it with them at all.

You maybe think that by quizzing them on their past you’ll somehow hear what you want to hear and the pain will go away.

However, the opposite is probably true.

The more knowledge you have about your boyfriend’s romantic past or girlfriend’s sexual past, the more intense your retroactive jealousy disorder.

This is because more information simply means bringing the past into the present and making it feel 100x more real.

Hearing intimate details on who they once dated or had sex with will only make the past a more visceral experience and dealing with retroactive jealousy that much harder.

Avoid at all costs.


2. Invading your partner’s privacy

The second thing you should eliminate from your behavior right away, is snooping through your partner’s personal belongings.

Email accounts, phones, social media accounts, and so on, should all be strictly off-limits from now on.

If you’re doing this, you’re not only invading your partner’s privacy which is not really the basis for a healthy relationship, but you’ll also probably wind up seeing things you wish you hadn’t.

Once that image of your partner getting intimate with an ex-lover is in your mind, it can be extremely hard to shift.

If you really want to start overcoming retroactive jealousy, make a pact with yourself that you’re no longer going to snoop through their personal belongings.

And while you’re at it, stop searching for their ex-lovers on Facebook and Instagram too.

3. Googling “help dealing with retroactive jealousy” etc.

The third action you should quit as of yesterday is scouring the internet, reading blog posts and threads on dealing with retroactive jealousy.

This is not helping you in any way whatsoever.

Think about it: the last time you spent two hours trawling Loveshack reading threads on “dealing with retroactive jealousy”, did you feel better or worse afterwards?

I’m guessing you felt worse, and this is because 1. the information contained on these sites is often less than useless, and 2. you’re simply keeping the RJ monster alive.

Mostly, the advice online struggles to rise above the “it’s all the past — get over it” variety.

But the main issue is that doing this keeps your mind zeroed in on dealing with retroactive jealousy rather than the present moment and whatever you would be doing if you didn’t suffer from the condition.

So, starting right now, make a promise to yourself to quit all these activities for good.

Go cold turkey. Or, if this is too difficult, try to not do them for a week, or a month. Whatever you think you can handle.

Whenever you feel like asking your partner another question about their past, stop yourself… take a deep breath, and let the moment pass.

Every time you feel like diving into their Facebook account, ask yourself if you’re really prepared to see what you might see.

If you find yourself grow weak and unable to stick to your commitment, focus instead on something else.

  • put on your favorite comedy
  • call your mother
  • go out for a jog
  • dance around the room to You Get What You Give

Just do whatever it takes to shift your mind from the past, back into the present.

Dealing With Retroactive Jealousy Action #3: Work On Your Self-Confidence

dealing with retroactive jealousy

I’ve helped hundreds and hundreds of men and women in dealing with retroactive jealousy.

Guys hung up on their girlfriend’s sexual history, women obsessed with their boyfriend’s previous relationship, and everything in-between.

The one thing that unites practically all of them is a lack of self-confidence (whether they’re aware of it or not).

This is because it’s very hard for someone who’s self-confident and knows what they want out of life, to become fixated by past events in their partner’s love life.

On the other hand, someone who ponders on some level if they can live up to their partner’s ex-lovers, is prone to needing some form of retroactive jealousy help.

In short, to feel anxious and upset about the people your partner once dated or slept with, means you’re probably comparing yourself to them and putting yourself second best.

Your logic is currently going something like this:

“That guy must’ve had something if he was able to just have sex with her whenever he wanted.”

“His ex was way prettier than I am. How am I supposed to believe he thinks I’m more attractive.”

The thing is, NO ONE particularly likes thinking about their partner having the time of their life with someone from the past.

But only people dealing with retroactive jealousy tend to find themselves putting their partner’s exes up on a pedestal.

There are probably many reasons why your partner once went through a “promiscuous phase”. Or were in love with someone who was obviously not right for them.

And none of them relate to these exes being anything remotely out of the ordinary, or “special”.

This image is being created by your ego in an effort to keep you fearful and suspicious.

People have sex, or date people they shouldn’t, for a wide variety of reasons, including:

  • loneliness
  • lack of self-confidence
  • being under the influence
  • being young and free
  • personal trauma
  • experimental phase

And so on…


It’s been proven scientifically, for example, that human beings have been biologically programed to subconsciously need sex as it increases immunity, alleviates stress, and improves sleep and blood pressure,.

When we suffer from retroactive jealousy, however, and are maybe lacking a little confidence, it’s not easy to realize this.

Firstly, I recommend acknowledging that your partner is not holding these exes up on a pedestal.

They were in all probability just average people who happened to be around when your partner needed them.

Also, really try to work on your self-confidence.

I read recently that Tony Blair has “such unshakeable self-confidence that he never thinks about the past”.

Retroactive jealousy and self-confidence really are interlinked.

If you were totally confident in yourself your ego wouldn’t be able to keep shifting you back to the past.

It wouldn’t be able to keep you in a state of anxiety over whether your partner had a better time in the past than with you.

Your partner, right now, probably has no interest whatsoever in these ex-lovers, and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now than here with you.

You understand this, but your ego likes to fool you into believing you don’t.

Realizing that you’re a confident man or woman who your partner has chosen over every other person they’ve met in their life, is the best way to start dealing with retroactive jealousy.

The first step is working out if you are lacking a bit of self-confidence in some way. And if so, why?

  • what don’t you like about yourself?
  • what would you change if you could?
  • what qualities do you wish you had?
  • are you anxious that your partner may find them in someone else?

Once you know the answers to questions like these, it’s then just a case of working out what to do about it.

  • maybe you need to lose a few pounds?
  • or gain a few?
  • or have more get-up-and-go?
  • or earn more?

Whatever you don’t like about yourself, get started on improving it and you should find that the “power” these ex-lovers seem to have over you will begin to subside.

Dealing With Retroactive Jealousy: Conclusion

dealing with retroactive jealousy

Constantly searching for a retroactive jealousy cure 24/7 is no way to live, as you probably already know.

It may feel right now that these negative, repetitive images of your partner having the time of their life with someone else from the past are impossible to shift.

But they’re not.

As Eckhart Tolle says, “There’s nothing more powerful than the present moment”.

Remember this at all times, and decide today to take the necessary steps toward dealing with your retroactive jealousy once and for all.

I can help you too. If you’re interested in learning about the other kick-ass actions I took when getting over retroactive jealousy, check out my retroactive jealousy book The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure: How To Stop Being Jealous Of Your Partner’s Past in 12 Steps below.

I also have a course and offer retroactive jealousy therapy for those particularly afflicted by the condition.




  1. Amar says:

    Hey there, what a fantastic blog! My jealous issues are more at ease now already.

  2. xxx says:

    Thank you so much for this!!

  3. Sealousy says:

    Thank you so much

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