Mailbag: How Do You “Compete” With Your Partner’s Ex?

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When you hear the word “settling,” what comes to mind? “Settling down?” “Settling for someone?” “Settling in?” What? When I hear the word “settling,” I cringe. To me, “settling” in the context of relationships implies a choice to be OK with OK. To “settle” for mediocrity. To “settle” for someone who isn’t worthy of you. And, to…

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“Chasing Amy” and Retroactive Jealousy

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For a condition that affects so many people around the world at one time or another, there aren’t many books, songs, and films that deal with retroactive jealousy. With some notable exceptions–John Lennon’s song “Jealous Guy,” Graham Greene’s novel The End of the Affair–it’s a topic that doesn’t get a lot of play in pop culture.…

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Sleep: Your Secret Weapon For Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy

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About a year ago, one of my closest friends became a father for the first time. And ever since, between running his own business, being forced to travel regularly, trying to maintain a healthy relationship with his partner, and managing the many demands of fatherhood, the guy really doesn’t get a lot of sleep. In fact, he recently began experimenting…

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How Being Vulnerable Can Help You Overcome Retroactive Jealousy

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A few months ago I broke my face. Well, not my whole face, but a crucial part of my face, anyway. One wrong turn on a motorbike in Thailand, and I ended up fracturing my nasal bone, leaving a healthy (though apparently fixable, and thus non-permanent) scar on the right side of my nose. I’m thankful that…

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Retroactive Jealousy Is Not The Same As Conflicting Values

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Since I launched this site two years ago, hundreds of people have written to me asking the same question in different ways. That question goes something like this… “My partner is amazing in every other regard, but I can’t seem to get past their past relationships/sexual history. Do you think I should try to work through this,…

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“I Can’t Stop Stalking My Wife’s Past On Facebook:” Retroactive Jealousy And Social Media

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In many ways there’s never been a better, or worse, time to be dealing with retroactive jealousy. Unlike decades earlier, with the advent of the internet the average RJ sufferer can find a wealth of useful information on the topic. While it’s true that there is a lot of garbage concerning retroactive jealousy on the internet,…

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Is Sexual Jealousy Natural?

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Dr. Christopher Ryan is the co-author of the 2010 bestseller Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, cited by many as one of the most important books on sex and sexuality to emerge in the past fifty years. From Wikipedia: In opposition to what the authors see as the ‘standard narrative’ of human…

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Setting Non-Negotiables: A Simple Way To Get Serious About Self-Improvement in 2015

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Happy New Year from Chiang Mai, Thailand!  I originally posted this article over on my personal website, but I thought it would be appropriate to share here as well. If you’re suffering from retroactive jealousy, I believe that getting serious about owning your condition and overcoming it should be one of your “non-negotiables” for the…

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5 Books That Will Help You Overcome Retroactive Jealousy

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NOTE: The links to these books contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link, I will receive a tiny commission (as in, 30 or 40 cents). This commission comes at no charge to you. When I was suffering from retroactive jealousy, I checked out a lot of books that I hoped might provide me with…

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Why Memories From Your Partner’s Past Don’t Really Exist

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Occasionally I get e-mails from readers who are troubled by their partner’s past memories of former lovers. Some people are worried that their partner may look back fondly on their former lovers, or have vivid memories of past sexual encounters, and so on. I try to tell these readers that memories don’t exist the way they think they…

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