In today’s video, I talk about how to get motivated in the pursuit of any worthwhile goal, but in particular, overcoming retroactive jealousy.

Read or watch the video below to discover how to get motivated to beat retroactive jealousy.

Zachary Stockill: If you search for the term “how to get motivated, how to stay motivated” on YouTube, you’re going to find 18 million different ideas, different perspectives, different tips, and different tricks on how to get motivated and stay motivated. When you’re chasing some particular goal… maybe it’s related to relationships or fitness or personal development, or anything else. 

In today’s video, I want to share a perspective that I haven’t heard anyone else talk about. I think it can be useful in framing this whole question, and will actually help you get motivated and stay motivated. But in particular, for this channel, if this goal is related to something like getting motivated to beat retroactive jealousy. 

How to get motivated? I don’t think the answer is looking around on YouTube for guys like David Goggins and Joe Rogan, and all these guys. I love those guys, by the way. But a lot of these people looking for motivation just think that watching motivational videos on YouTube is going to do the trick. So you just do that every morning, and that’ll get you out of bed. That can work in the short term. 

However, in the long term, I think it’s much more helpful, much more advantageous to 

Bring the focus back closer to home: to bring the focus back dead square on yourself, rather than looking at some ripped guy on a screen.

Bring the focus back to yourself and think about something called compound debt. Okay, so you’ve probably heard of compound interest, you probably have personal experience doing something with compound interest.

Have you ever thought about compound debt? Compound debt in terms of the bad decisions you’re making every day that are piling up on top of each other. You’re going to pay a higher and higher and higher price for these bad decisions in the future. Some companies structure their credit card debt like this, where the debt accumulates on top of debt, which leads to borrowing more money, more time, more debt. And it’s this vicious cycle to hell if you don’t quickly realize what’s going on and take active steps to start undoing some of that damage. 

So I’m going to use two examples of compound debt in this video. It could be relevant to you and your current circumstances. So let’s say you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy. And let’s say you’re asking your partner endless questions about their past. You’re asking them just all the crazy obsessive questions that I asked once upon a time, maybe you’ve asked too. When you’re asking for unnecessary details… 

There’s a part of you that realizes this is unhelpful and irrational, but you feel like you can’t stop. So you keep doing it. 

get motivated to beat retroactive jealousy

And let’s say you have an incredible partner. Let’s say that she, in this case, is supportive and loving, and she tries to give you the answers she feels you need. And sometimes she gets a little frustrated and a little turned off, and her attraction is going down. But we’ll talk about that later. But let’s say, on the surface, she’s totally willing to give you the answers you need. Okay, you’re engaged in a process of compounding the debt of this problem. You’re compounding this problem over and over and over again because you’re reinforcing it deep in your hindbrain. That this is the pathway to some limited short-term freedom, right. You’re getting some payoff, each time you do this, and you’re actually reinforcing this negative pattern in your brain. 

And again, you’re going to get short-term relief. In all likelihood, by doing this, sometimes you’ll get an answer that makes you feel good. Sometimes she’ll tell you how amazing you are, and how different you are, and how much she loves you for the 8 millionth time. You’re going to get some limited payoff that’s going to make you feel better maybe for an hour, maybe for a day, maybe for a week…

Until the cycle repeats itself, until the curiosity comes back, and all the rest. 

And the next time you get the obsessive curiosity, or you feel like snooping through her phone, or you’re making all the mistakes and doing things that retroactive jealousy sufferers often do. Again, it’s compound debt; patterns that become even harder to break than it was before if you caught it early on. Because it’s so deeply reinforced in your brain by doing this again, and again and again. Every single time you do this, it’s reinforcing deeper. The longer you put off healing, the more difficult it becomes to break the pattern and start a new one. 

Now, let’s talk about compound debt in terms of your relationship. So a lot of people, in my experience, on some level, feel like they can just get away with this forever, right? “My girlfriend loves me,” or “my wife loves me. And she puts up with me, and she has patience, and she’s amazing. And we’ve been together for ages, so what’s the worst that could happen?”

You are chipping away slowly at her belief in you, and her perception of you and your confidence as a man. I promise you that:

On some level, her attraction towards you is going down. Every time you ask another unnecessary question, you’re chipping away at it more and more, and your debt is growing.

Every time you ask unnecessary questions, or you act all needy and insecure, and you need just need “mommy’s comfort,” that kind of thing. 

I’m being harsh with you in this video, but it’s something I feel strongly about. And I’m tired of getting emails from guys who’ve blown up their entire marriages and relationships, when they’ve waited too long to get help, too long to take action, too long to start creating new patterns.

Maybe she’s accommodating, maybe she’s sweet and loving, and again, reassuring and all the rest. But there’s going to be some anger and bitterness and resentment deep in her bones. It is a result of having to reassure you, comfort you, a thousand times, over and over.

She may not admit it on the surface, she might not be totally frank about that. But deep down, it’s gnawing away at her. 

And you will have to repay that debt at some point. There probably will be times later on in the relationship when she’ll bring it up. “Do you remember that year when you did nothing but abuse me about my past? Do you remember all those nights you made me cry, and you made me feel terrible about myself?”

get motivated to beat retroactive jealousy

That stuff will bubble up to the surface at some point, and in all likelihood, you will have to pay that debt. So compound dept is a really useful thing to think about in all areas of your life. Sstop digging the hole deeper, because you will have to fill it up at some point, you will have to escape from that hole at some point. 

And the deeper you dig yourself into that hole, eventually, the harder it’s going to be to ever get out of it.

As I often say on this channel, it gives me no pleasure to say it. But it’s true: retroactive jealousy has been responsible for more than a few broken homes, terrible divorces, and painful breakups.

I don’t want that for you. I don’t want that for your future. And I don’t want you to be forced into this position of having to pay this enormous debt someday. Having to pay this enormous price for things that you should have stopped doing a long time ago. 

Now if you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy, and you’re really struggling to break some of these long-standing habits, patterns, and you want to get motivated to beat retroactive jealousy… The good news is, if you’re watching a video like this, it’s probably not too late. I worry about the guys who have just struggled with this problem for decades doing nothing. Neither doing any self-interrogation or research on this topic. Those are the guys I really worry about. But if you’re watching this video right now, obviously that demonstrates, you’re at least somewhat interested in getting help in breaking some of these patterns. 

To start, you can get my free 4-part video mini-course. It’s going to help you get started and get motivated to beat overcoming retroactive jealousy, and breaking some of these habits, breaking these patterns as quickly as possible.

Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.