why does retroactive jealousy occur

Why Does Retroactive Jealousy Occur?

The question on every sufferers’ lips is why does retroactive jealousy occur? Why me? Why can’t I shake these horrible jealous thoughts, even though I know they’re preposterous?

Everyone knows what it feels like to be overcome by retroactive jealousy ocd — the repetitive jealous thoughts, the constant state of anxiety — but no-one wants to feel this way.

The question of why does retroactive jealousy occur, however, is not one that can be readily answered.

Why Does Retroactive Jealousy Occur? – The Basic Answer

Indeed, a large part of the reason why you’re suffering from retroactive jealousy is because you’re trying to figure out in your head why you’re suffering from retroactive jealousy.

In turn, trying not to be anxious becomes an anxiety in itself. And so the self-perpetuating cycle continues.

The reason why it’s so hard to learn how to beat retroactive jealousy is because the emotions generated by it are extremely deep rooted.

As a species we’ve been hardwired since way back in the dawn of human history, to be naturally jealous of anyone who might threaten our relationship.

This includes people from the past as they represent the fear that our partner might leave us for someone else in the present.

These fear and anxiety responses are located in the brain stem — a very primal area of the brain that’s activated whenever we feel threatened.

They’ve been there for thousands of years, helping us to flee from people, animals, natural disasters.

And also keeping us safe by alerting us to non-physical dangers such as losing a mate.

On a basic level of brain functionality, we’ve been programmed to be jealous. And so in trying to cure retroactive jealousy we’re actually up against many thousands of years of evolutionary programming.

Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy

But all is not lost.

How To Get Over Retroactive Jealousy And Break This Programming

A good way to do this is to realize that “free will” in many ways doesn’t exist.

When we suffer from retroactive jealousy about our boy or girlfriend’s sexual past, we don’t really have a choice.

Our minds are making us jealous due to evolutionary programming. If we truly had a choice, we’d be able to just stop thinking about the past, right?

As a quick primer, here’s the eminent neuroscientist, Sam Harris talking about the illusion of free will.

This realization that free will doesn’t actually exist can be quite a liberating experience.

Once we realize that the source of retrospective jealousy can mainly be found within the bundles of nerves, synapses in our brains, plus the cultural conditioning we’ve been raised on, it let’s us abrogate some of the blame.

For more info on free will, check out these two books for starters:

We Are Our Brains by Dick Swaab.

Free Will by Sam Harris.

Another thing you can do is check out my course my course “Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy 101” which shows you what actions you should be taking every day to cure yourself of retroactive jealousy.

About The Author

Jeff Billings

Jeff Billings used to suffer needlessly with Retroactive Jealousy until he found the cure. All by himself. And now he's here to show you how to beat it too.

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