Is Retroactive Jealousy Ruing Your Life?

Updated on September 25, 2020 by Amber & The Team

couple in bed playing with phones

In this post we might recommend products that we find helpful or cute. Read our full disclosure here.

couple in bed looking unhappy

Retrograde jealousy, retrospective jealousy, or retroactive jealousy means an unhealthy curiosity in your partner’s romantic or sexual past.

Now, feeling jealousy at some point about your partner’s past is known as passing jealousy, which is usually a normal human response. But, if at some point it gets out of hand and it becomes an obsession, negative thoughts, negative actions, and emotions, then it’s commonly referred to as retroactive jealousy.

This unpleasant feeling might cause limitless distress and damage to the relationship and, in some cases, even end it.


Is Retroactive Jealousy Ruing Your Life?


To answer this question, there are several things we need to understand – the way it affects us emotionally, and the way it manifests.


Negative Emotions associated with Retroactive Jealousy


The following are some of the negative thoughts and emotions which come with retroactive jealousy:

  • Judgment: It usually concerns a partner’s sexual or romantic history, which involves thinking they have behaved immorally in the past.
  • Fear: Fear is a knowledge in which the sufferer feels insecure that the partner might leave you because of the Promiscuous past.
  • Envy is a form of negative emotions in which sufferer might have had less romantic or sexual experience than their partner, or not had a great time, or dated fewer people in the past. And they found out that their partner did; this causes feelings of envy over missed opportunities.
  • Anger is also a form of negative emotion in which the sufferer feels angry while thinking about their partner’s past. And try to find the answers to the wrong questions, which adds more fuel to the retroactive jealousy.
  • Anxiety is a feeling in which the sufferer is overwhelmed by negative thoughts and emotions about a partner’s past, which leads to anxiety attacks.
  • Doubt is a form of negative thoughts which include past actions of the partner’s romantic or sexual past. The sufferers start doubting themselves with questions like why this person is with me or do I really want a relationship with a person who did this or that in the past.


Signs Of Retroactive Jealousy


Obsessing is a psychological sign in which the sufferer constantly has negative thoughts involving the partner.

Analyzing involves looking at why and how you are so obsessive about your partner’s romantic or sexual past.

Irrational assumptions are based on negative thoughts in which a person thinks about different questions. For example, “If the partner hadn’t done this/that in the past, then this would not have happened.”

Depression is a form of negative thoughts and a loss of control. Concentration is also affected by depression.

Anxiety is a form of psychology that includes the inability to relax and enjoy a certain part of life.

Fear and avoidance are a psychological sign in which the person avoids certain situations and topics of conversation like the past sexual or romantic relationship.

Insomnia is very common for retroactive jealousy sufferers to be kept awake at night because of the negative thoughts about a partner’s past.



Why is retroactive jealousy bad for your relationship?


Retroactive jealousy is not a bad thing, and it doesn’t make you a bad person. However, it can lead to unwanted emotions like obsessing, dwelling, depression and fear.

You might feel anxious, depressed about the future, or confused around your partner. While the sufferer is going through retroactive jealousy, they tend to violate the personal space of their partner, or harm them in any way or try to listen to their conversations and more.


How to deal with retroactive jealousy?


There are a lot of ways to deal with retroactive jealousy.


1. Accept it


Acceptance is the first step in resolving anything. You accept that you have jealousy and if you are having a hard time accepting it, then ask yourself what jealousy means to you.


2. Swap places


Think about your partner and swap yourself with your partner. Think about all the good times you have in past relations and how you feel about your relationship. At some point, you might even have sexual or romantic relationships, and that’s the same as your partner.


3. Don’t snoop


Do not violate their privacy by snooping into their personal space because it will only destroy all the good things you and your partner have for years. It includes checking emails, cell phones, laptops, social media profiles, and more.


4. Talk it out


Talk with your partner instead of keeping it in yourself. It will only destroy you, nothing more. So, talk with your partner and tell him/her how you feel, what he/she means to you. Talk it out with your partner in a polite way, share your fear of losing, etc.


5. Redirect your energy


Instead of feeling fear, obsession, you can put all the negative energy in developing a stronger relationship with your partner. Dwelling on past mistakes in relationships or losing them won’t help you. What will help you is the effort you put in to become the best partner.

– – –

When you share your life with a person, it is a natural response to feel possessive about them. Jealousy is not always a negative emotion, in fact, it can showcase your love and affection for the other person within certain limits. The problem arises when you get so hung up on your partner’s past that you forsake the relationship and spend all your time digging through the dirt.

If you can relate to one or more of the negative emotions associated with retrograde jealousy, you, my friend, may be on the wrong track in your relationship. However, it is easy to fix this problem by being more open with each other and accepting that you can’t change the past. Once you start communicating and focusing your energy on the present, I promise everything will get better!

Like these tips? Scroll down for more!

Was this helpful?

Rate this article: