In today’s video, I’m going to talk about the best part of retroactive jealousy.

So, how can you stay motivated getting over retrospective jealousy?

If you’re currently struggling with retroactive jealousy, feeling obsessed with your partner’s past, asking them questions constantly, stalking their past on social media, whatever you’re doing, whatever your experience of retroactive jealousy is like, believe me, I get it.

I was once in the trenches along with you. I’ve had this experience and I know exactly what it’s like. And I’m not trying to poke fun, certainly not at your experience. I’m not trying to diminish that experience whatsoever.

But there is a silver lining here. There is the best part of retroactive jealousy. And in this video, I’m going to share exactly what that is.

So for me, the best part of retroactive jealousy was the fact that it was probably the biggest wake-up call as a man I ever had in my entire life.

I consider myself a pretty confident guy. In my late teens, I was suddenly smacked upside the head by this really bizarre, consuming, destructive and miserable experience that we call retroactive jealousy.

Getting Over Retrospective Jealousy

My life was good. I had a beautiful girlfriend, My studies were going really well. Everything in my life was good. My family life was good. I’d never struggled with jealousy and any of my high school relationships or anything like that. And all of a sudden, here I was, looking at random internet forums at 3 am. And, trying to find answers, talking to therapists and friends, trying to figure out what the hell was going on? Where did this issue come from? How could I start overcoming it as soon as possible? How to get over with retrospective jealousy?

It was really a wake-up call for me. And again, by wake-up call, it forced me to take a long, hard look at the mirror at myself. I didn’t entirely like what I saw, I realized that maybe I wasn’t as confident as I thought I was. I realized that I had some really profound and deep insecurities that I needed to start investigating, and eventually overcoming or at least accepting.

It made me realize that I had some pretty backward views in a lot of ways on sex and attraction. And maybe backward is the wrong word, maybe just naive.

In some ways, I had a lot of growing up to do. I’m not saying that this is every retroactive jealousy sufferers experience. But for me, this was really a catalyst for personal growth, for personal transformation, and a catalyst to force me to question some of my underlying assumptions about women, about life, and about love. And for me, that was absolutely critical.

One of the best emails I’ve ever received was from a guy, I remember a student taking my online course, Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast, he said that my course was like a gateway drug for personal development. And this has remained pretty consistent.

I get this kind of feedback a lot from students taking my introductory course, they were kind of reading the odd self-help book now and then they realized they had a few things in their life, and they want to address a few things they wanted to work on, but they’d never really committed before.

And frankly, they kind of needed a bit of a smack upside the head to say “I’ve got some things that I need to work on because it’s going to cost me my relationship. And frankly, it’s probably going to cost me my sanity, if I don’t start getting to work on those things.”

Reading that email, hearing from someone, and saying that my course was like a gateway drug for personal development was extremely gratifying.

I received a few emails like that, from students taking my online course, Getting Over Your Partners Past Fast.

In many ways, retroactive jealousy was my gateway drug into personal development. I grew up in a house where there were always a lot of self-help and psychology books laying around. My incredible late mother was a social worker and extremely intelligent and very curious about human beings, psychology, relationships, parenting and all this stuff. So I kind of grew up in this environment where there were always a lot of self-help books around.

And, I had somewhat of an interest in self-help and personal development before retroactive jealousy came into my life. But when retroactive jealousy entered my life, when I finally realized, “Oh, I’ve got a serious problem. I need to start solving immediately. How can I get over with retrospective jealousy?”.

Getting Over Retrospective Jealousy

When that finally happened, I had no more excuses. I took a long, hard look in the mirror. It was time to prioritize personal development, prioritize personal growth, and personal exploration in a way that I hadn’t before.

Now, some of that can be attributed to the simple fact that I was young. I was a young man when retroactive jealousy impacted me. But again, I have some students in my course in their 60s and 70s. And this is not uncommon. This is a very bizarre issue as I always tell people. However, the good news is many people just like you and I have managed to overcome it.

It just takes work to get over with retrospective jealousy.

And frankly, the work is so worthwhile. I’ve been doing this work for a while now. I think I started my blog in 2013. I wrote my first guidebook, Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy in 2013. I’ve been doing this for a while, and sometimes people ask me, “How do you stay interested in focusing on such a relatively narrow topic for so many years?”

And the main reason I stay interested in this topic is that it’s actually really interesting when you have the perspective on it, when you’re not in the trenches. I realized, it might sound crazy to say, “Oh, it’s interesting, like I’m diminishing it again, I’m not doing that”.

But I mean, when you’re on the outside looking in, it’s actually a really interesting issue. And it can be this incredible gateway drug into personal development, personal exploration, and knowledge into learning.

So, how to get over with retrospective jealousy?

Many people who emerged from my online courses, people who are active in my Facebook groups, are very different people than they were before retroactive jealousy. And for many of these people, we kind of needed it. We needed this kick in the seat, or a smack upside the head, or whatever you want to call it.

We needed this experience, to grow, to learn, and to overcome our insecurities. And frankly, to get some of the necessary perspectives on life, love, and relationships that we were sorely lacking.

For some of you watching this video, it might sound absolutely crazy to call retroactive jealousy, a blessing in disguise. But I’m here to tell you that it absolutely can be as long as you take ownership of your problem, as long as you commit to putting in the work to overcoming it, as long as you maintain your sense of humor, and your curiosity about learning about the world and relationships, life and love.

And believe it or not, it really can get better.

You could be sitting in my position someday, years later, looking back saying, “It was absolute hell, but I’m glad I went through it. I’m glad I had that experience because it led me to become the person that I am today”.

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.