Unwanted thoughts about your partner’s past do not allow you to gain peace of mind and you are obsessed with your partner? Well, maybe you are still not aware but this condition has a name and it is called retroactive jealousy. Shortly put, retroactive jealousy is a form of Obsessive compulsive disorder that makes you suffer from unhealthy thoughts about your partner’s past. This condition usually causes such feelings as anxiety, uncertainty, anger, envy, etc. Detecting it in time and facing the key to your success. Otherwise, it might have irreversible consequences starting from small fights to even breakups.
There are various reasons that retroactive jealousy might appear. For example, your partner might have a bigger experience in relationships and you envy him/her for that. However, the main reason is the lack of self-confidence. So the first step toward overcoming retroactive jealousy is to gain or regain trust in yourself and your willpower. Various experts in the field who can share their experience and help you get through your inner hell. One of them is Zachary Stockill. Unlike other therapists, he has hands-on experience in dealing with his partner’s past, and based on his own experience and a lot of tried practices he wrote a book and even built an online course based on it to make your route more enjoyable. Yet, remember that no one can help you if you don’t take actions yourself.
What do you need to know about RJ?
Yeah, it is commonplace to call RJ a form of OCD. Yeah, to some extent, it is true but It’s important to understand that retroactive jealousy is not something to live with like ordinary disorders. You should realize that it is not as scary and as big as you think. The sooner you stop being afraid of it, the easier you will get back the control over your thoughts and brain overall.
Secondly, you should stop blaming your partner and start working on yourself. Your partner is not guilty that you have such kinds of repetitive thoughts. They can reassure you every day that you are the only one in their life and no one from the past is important to them anymore. But it will never be enough. So first, try not to put the blame on your partner.
And finally, start gradually decreasing or better cut off at once all the talks about your partner’s previous partners or past at all. Take our word for it, as soon as you stop talking about his/her past, you will start seeing your mind clearer. Newer conversations about the past will only bring newer mental movies or ideas so you only dive deeper into your anxiety and terrible thoughts.
Two tips from OCD literature
- Remind yourself it’s your opinion, not a fact
Sounds too simple? Well, in practice it is not that easy as seems. First off, this will help you put a big gap between reality and imagination. Let’s assume that next time you have thoughts like “My partner is cheating on me with his/her ex” or you see a mental movie featuring your partner and his/her ex together.” Simply catch yourself on these thoughts and ask whether this is a reality or just your imagination. If you can’t see or hear it right now then it is just an opinion,
This way you will be able to differentiate real and imaginary thoughts.
- Identify your obsessive thoughts
There might be moments even after a long journey that toxic ideas about your partner’s past will try to poison your mind. What should you do? Don’t allow them to do that. Distract yourself by reading a book, watching a movie, cooking or baking, etc. Try not to concentrate on your obsessive thoughts that are trying to take control over your mind.
And remember no one is perfect. Not even you. Your partner had a life before you, you also did. Try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Has your life been flawless before him/her? Of course, no. Make it perfect together. Start building a future with your partner without digging into the past.