Getting over your partner’s past isn’t as complicated as some people think.

Let’s look at this, step by step.

But first: let’s say you want to build a house.

So you go the bank and take out a loan. You buy a plot of land. You buy lumber, siding, concrete, etc. You find some house-building books and plans, and talk to others who’ve built houses similar to the one you envision for yourself. You spend hours sitting on your plot of land, picturing how your house will look once it’s finished.

Still, your house is no closer to being finished than it was when you started.

Perhaps you want to learn to play guitar.

So you go to the local music shop, talk to one of the employees, and pick out a quality entry-level instrument. You watch some how-to videos online, or read an article written by a guy like me that will help you get started. You daydream about how awesome it would feel to play like Clapton. You fantasize about starting your own band, just for fun.

After all that, you’re still no closer to being a guitarist than you were when you first went to the music shop.

Or, let’s say you want a girlfriend.

So you spend entire weekends sitting in front of your computer screen reading articles, watching videos, and learning from others about how to be more attractive, and approach women you’re interested in. You go to the mall and get a haircut, and update your wardrobe. You get excited when you think about meeting the woman of your dreams.

But still, she’s no closer to entering your life than when you first had the idea.

Noticing a common theme?

You can’t build a house without actually building; laying the foundation, putting hammer to nail, getting a sweat on, and consciously putting together your dream home. Builders build; they don’t just prepare for, and think about building things.

You can’t become a guitarist without learning how to hold your guitar, forming calluses, and learning basic chords and different strumming techniques. You’re not a guitarist until you actually pick up, and play a guitar.

You can’t be more attractive to women without talking to them first; getting out of your comfort zone, walking up to attractive women, and engaging them in playful conversations. You can’t meet the girl of your dreams without saying “Hi.”

No matter what goal you’re working toward, there is no substitute for putting in the work.

No matter how much you prepare for the work to be done, how much you learn about what to do and how to do it, or think about getting it done, or envision how awesome it would be to have the work done already, nothing will get the work done other than actually doing it.

You can read every article on this blog, read my guidebook, take my video course and watch my seminars, but if you don’t ACT–if you don’t take my advice, complete all of the exercises I recommend, and put in the necessary effort–your relief from retroactive jealousy will probably only be temporary. Your progress toward getting over your partner’s past will be minimal.

As I’ve written previously, I can show you the path toward getting over your partner’s past but you have to walk it.

And I can, and will, do everything in my power to help you along, but it’s up to you to take the steps.

I’ve talked to hundreds of people who have successfully overcome retroactive jealousy over the long-term, and we all share one thing in common: we are all doers. We take action. We’re committed to personal development. In short: we put in the work.

There is always an excuse for not doing something you have to do. Do it anyway.

Look, I know you’re busy. I know you have a lot to do. I know you have friends, family, a career, multiple commitments, and responsibilities. But if you want to overcome retroactive jealousy, you have to prioritize it. You need to commit to putting in the necessary time and effort toward overcoming it.

But here’s the good news: if you make that commitment, put in the work, and stay patient, persistent, and pro-active, you will get past your partner’s past. You will regain control over your thoughts, save your relationship, and grow into a happier, healthier version of yourself.

And the work you put into getting past your partner’s past will pay off in all kinds of unexpected ways, and will have positive ripple effects in every area of your life, from your relationships with friends and family, to your career, and beyond.

(And it isn’t as difficult, or time-consuming as you might think. It mainly involves just making the commitment, and looking yourself in the mirror and deciding that, yes, putting in the time and effort to overcome retroactive jealousy will be worth it.)

So cheer up: no matter who you are, you can overcome retroactive jealousy if, and only if, you take ownership of your condition, and are ready to get serious about overcoming it, and putting in the necessary effort.

The efficacy of this commitment to putting in the work doesn’t just apply to letting go of jealous thoughts surrounding your partner’s past. It applies to any goal you’re working toward.

Want to start a small business? Until you build that website or storefront, it’s just a pipe dream. Want to run a marathon without training for it beforehand? Yeah, good luck with that. Want to learn a new language? Prepare to struggle for a little while, and suffer through some embarrassing conversations with native speakers (I write from experience).

In short: you really can accomplish just about anything you want to, but first you have to put in the work.

It really is that simple.

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Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in The Huffington Post, PopMatters, Mic, HuffPost Live, and many other publications. I'm also the founder of RetroactiveJealousy.com, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.