Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Monday, October 9, 2017

What Is Retroactive Jealousy?

Filed under: Jealousy,Relationships — Larry James @ 10:30 am
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Jeff Billings, Guest Author

My retroactive jealousy started five years ago… At around 2 a.m. my girlfriend and I were asleep in bed. Her mobile phone rang, waking us up. She took one look at who was calling and tossed it aside. A few moments later it beeped with the arrival of a text. Turned out it was a former “friend-with-benefits” asking if she was available to share some quality benefits. My girlfriend politely declined the request, but for some reason he found it strangely hard to take the hint and continued to pester her over the coming months.

An assortment of other former sex buddies also came out the woodwork and started cropping up on her phone, on Facebook, in conversation, etc. Many people would’ve been able to just shrug off these guys from the past without a second thought, but for some reason I became consumed by what’s known as retroactive jealousy OCD — obsessive anxiety and over-thinking about a partner’s romantic and/or sexual past.

After months of research on how to get over the repetitive images in my mind of my girlfriend’s sexual past, I discovered that certain exercises and mind hacks were able to ease the pain. The foundation for these, though, was built on first working out just what was going on inside my head.

A large part of the problem with retroactive jealousy OCD is not knowing why you’re feeling jealous about the past in the first place. Once the mind has latched onto a problem like, “Why am I feeling jealous of events that happened in the past?” though, it can be extremely difficult to release it.

Below I lay out the three core components of what’s going on in the mind when it comes to retroactive jealousy. Once I learned what these emotions were and how they were fueling my retroactive jealousy, I was finally able to start getting over it.

Fear

Strange as it may sound retroactive jealousy is not really about the past at all. It’s about anxieties you’re harboring about the present. And those are all bound up with a lack of confidence in yourself that you’ll be able to actually hold on to your partner. Retroactive jealousy, therefore, is merely an expression of this fear — that you’ll lose your partner.

The reason why these feelings are so strong is because you feel so strongly toward your partner. If you think back to an ex who you maybe didn’t care about as much, would you say you’d have been as “jealous” of their past if it had been exactly the same as your current partner’s? Probably not. So the thing to remember is that this retroactive jealousy you’re feeling is just your ego’s way of telling you to be careful because it doesn’t want to be hurt.

Judgment

Judgment plays a massive factor in retroactive jealousy. Quite simply, it’s more or less impossible to suffer from retroactive jealousy without being judgmental. This primarily manifests itself in judging a partner’s past actions. Sleeping with many people, one-night-stands, questionable exes, etc., are often very much looked down upon.

However, with retroactive jealousy it’s also not uncommon to be judgmental in some way about how a partner is behaving in the present too. So, keeping in contact with exes either in person or online, refusing to delete photos, reminiscing about the past, etc., are all actions that can inspire judgment.

A good way to overcome judgment of your partner’s past or present actions is to learn to trust them. Once you let go of your anxieties and fears that they may run off with someone else, and actually believe it when they tell you they love you, your feelings of judgment should start to dissipate.

Envy

I began to understand that envy played a part in my retroactive jealousy after comprehending that I wasn’t fearful or judgmental about my girlfriend’s sexual past in general. I didn’t particularly like the fact that she’d slept with five guys in six months, but this wasn’t what kept me awake at night. What really bugged me was one guy in particular — the one who’d woken us up at 2 a.m. in the morning and had continued to pester her for months afterwards.

I recognized that mainly I was envious of just this guy’s relationship with my girlfriend, and this was brought on by the way she seemed to treat him differently from all the other guys. While all the others had long been deleted from her phone and social media accounts, this one remained. Her refusal to remove him from her life, and generally favorable view of him, made me feel envious of their past and present relationship, and this was the final piece of the puzzle I needed to work out what was going on in my head.

If you’re struggling to overcome retroactive jealousy, focusing on these three areas of fear, judgment and envy should be your first point of call in learning how to overcome retroactive jealousy OCD. Figuring out what’s going on in your mind is half the battle, but hopefully now you know what you’re up against and are better equipped to fight it.

Copyright © 2017 – Jeff Billings.  Jeff Billings is the author of The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure and founder of RetroactiveJealousyCrusher.com — a website devoted to helping people get over repetitive thoughts about their partner’s past caused by retroactive jealousy OCD. He lives on the south coast of England with his wife, Emma, and dyslectic cat, Mike.

BONUS Article:
Romantic Jealousy is Scary!
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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Romantic Jealousy is Scary!

Filed under: Jealousy,Relationships — Larry James @ 12:47 pm

Jealously. . . it feeds on your insecurity, devours your self-confidence, and gobbles up the trust in your relationship.

Jealousy has been defined as an emotion experienced by one who perceives that another person is giving something that she or he wants (typically attention, love, or affection) to a third party.

Jealousy4Jealousy is an emotion resulting from the resentfully suspicious nature of man. It is a universal emotional trauma caused by things as well as people. Jealousy is a reaction to a perceived threat – real or imagined – to a valued relationship or to its quality. Jealousy has a mind of its own and it is strong enough to make us believe and see things that are not even there or that have not happened yet.

Jealousy is a “complex reaction” because it involves such a wide range of emotions, thoughts and behaviors.

“To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is; a dissatisfaction with self.” ~ Joan Didion, author

Believe it or not, like other difficult emotional experiences, jealousy can be a trigger for growth, increased self-awareness, and greater understanding of both your partner and your relationship.

While some couples seem to feed off of inciting a playful type of jealousy, many other relationships are laid to waste by uncontrollable and irrational fits of jealous rage.

In small, manageable doses, jealousy can be a positive force in a relationship. Jealousy heightens emotions, making love feel stronger and sex more passionate. But when jealousy is intense or irrational, the story is very different.

Jealousy is almost always a demonstration of our own insecurities and low self-esteem. Unless an unfaithful partner has broken trust, about 90% of jealousy comes from from personal insecurity. When you are feeling unloved, be careful not to focus on your partner when the feelings are really inside you. Jealousy provides an opportunity to come to a fundamental understanding of yourself. You may be being driven by your fears.

Insecurities bring forth jealousy, which, in effect, is a cry for more love. It is within our rights to ask for more affection when self-doubts surface, however, the indirect way that jealousy asks for it is counterproductive. Excessive possessiveness is inappropriate. Jealousy is the surest way to drive away the very person we may fear losing.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to try and hide it. Jealousy is usually a signal of something needing fixing, and ignoring that usually only makes things worse.

To keep yourself on the right track of jealousy conquering, just remember these steps:

Acknowledge your jealousy. Ask yourself where it is coming from and why it makes you feel jealous. I suggest asking yourself, “What do I feel insecure about? Do I feel unattractive or uninteresting myself? Do I doubt the other persons love for me? Their physical attraction? Do I doubt that I can have the type of relationship I want?”

Make self-health and lifestyle changes that will assist you in fighting it off. Combine jealousy with a more rational emotion. Have patience and practice!

As long as you keep those steps in mind and follow them, you will learn how to take control of your jealousy instead of it controlling you.

Emma Goldman once said, “All lovers do well to leave the doors of their love wide open. When love can go and come without fear of meeting a watch-dog, jealousy will rarely take root because it will soon learn that where there are no locks and keys, there is no place for suspicion and distrust, two elements upon which jealousy thrives and prospers.”

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2008 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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