Today I’m answering a reader email from Valerie.

What are the things you should do and keep in mind when your partner works with his ex?

Valerie writes…

Hey, Zachary. Thank you so much for helping me through your videos. The only reason I haven’t bought your online course is because my partner’s ex is still in his life. I’m kind of confused because some of my obsessive thoughts are about their past together. And me, getting jealous over everything they’ve done sexually and stuff.

But more than that, I get jealous because they work in the same place. So they have to spend time together. Also, they ended on good terms. They’re both very mature people. Can you make a video on how to overcome retroactive jealousy if your partner’s ex is still in the picture for some reason?

Zachary Stockill: So right there, my online course is absolutely valid and helpful if your partner’s ex is still in his life. So if you’re interested in joining the course, it’ll be helpful for you as long as you take the coursework seriously, as long as you put in the work.

I read your email and I was considering this. And the main message I guess I can get across is basically everything I’m talking about on this YouTube channel, on my blog,, in my guidebook, Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy, my online course, Get Over Your Partner’s Fast Past, it’s all equally valid and useful.

And while when your partner works with his ex, it does complicate things to some extent. Basically, the same practices, principles, exercises, it’s all still helpful and exactly as relevant.

Whether or not your partner’s ex is still in the picture, when it comes to overcoming retroactive jealousy, you don’t really have to worry about that too much.

he works with his ex

I often say the cure for retroactive jealousy is pretty much the same for everyone. Regardless of the fact that every experience of retroactive jealousy is a little different, with different challenges here and there.

But I want to also introduce kind of a nice reframe that I think I’ve talked about on this channel before. And your story serves as a good example of this.

The reframe is this, try to consider that your partner’s ex is actually teaching your partner each and every day that you are the best choice for them.

So one way, you can start to accept this reframe and kind of play with this reframe. And maybe this reframe will feel more true to you.

The more committed you are to personal development, the more this reframe will make sense to you, and you’ll accept it on a deep level. And thus, the more that unease will sort of fade away because you’re remembering all the time “When my partner works with his ex and goes to work, his ex is teaching him that I’m the best match for him”.

Because if you’re committed to personal development, you’re working on yourself every day. You realize that you’re work in progress. You’re reading books, taking courses, exercising, learning, growing, you’re pursuing your passions and interests. You’re engaged in life, you’re working on becoming the absolute best version of yourself.

There’s a quote I often think about by Oscar Wilde…

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that’s all.

That quote is kind of devastating in some ways, but I think he’s kind of onto something there. To really be engaged in life, moving forward, excited about life and working hard on yourself. Trying to make the best possible life for yourself and become the best person you can be, that’s relatively rare.

Most people you see are just trying to get by. And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. By the way, I don’t begrudge anyone for just trying to get by, life is tough. But my point is, if you’re one of those rare individuals who’s really working on themselves, taking personal development seriously, actively striving to be the absolute best woman you can be, your partner is going to notice that. And, they’ll be able to compare you to their ex, and chances are very good.

he works with his ex

Well, first, his ex is his ex for a reason. So keep that in mind. And secondly, it’s very likely that your partner’s ex is not on the same level that you are with regard to personal development and with regard to striving forward to be the best woman you can be.

And thus, when your partner works with his ex, goes to work every day, and sees his ex, he’ll be conscious of the contrast there. Solid differences between you and her.

I’m not saying this in a spirit of competition, like you should be competing with your partner’s ex.

The only competition you should be engaged in is competing with your former self. Try to be better than you were yesterday.

Take the work seriously. Take the process of self improvement and personal development seriously.

And remember, the more you do that, the more your partner will notice. The more he’ll be able to see very clearly that you’re the best choice for him.

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.