Today’s question comes from Alex, who wonders if his girlfriend can help cure retroactive jealousy.

If you’re trying to help cure retroactive jealousy, it can be tempting to look to your partner for support.

Alex writes:

Should I talk to my girlfriend about my retroactive jealousy whenever I’m feeling depressed? She knows I’m suffering. However, I want to know if talking to her about it is okay, even her attempting to help me? By that, I don’t mean we talk about the past, but is it okay to share or should I avoid talking to her about retroactive jealousy? Should I hide when I’m feeling depressed because of it? Can she help cure retroactive jealousy?

Transcript below

Zachary Stockill: Okay, Alex, I don’t think that it’s necessarily appropriate for me, or frankly anyone on the internet trying to tell you what you can and can’t talk to your girlfriend about. That’s not my place. I don’t know you. I don’t know your girlfriend. I don’t know the relationship.

And quite often people ask me questions like this and I feel a little awkward trying to answer, because if you really need to talk to your partner about something, I shouldn’t be the one trying to tell you not to.

However, I will say that in general, I advise retroactive jealousy sufferers that the less you talk to your partner about your retroactive jealousy, the better.

Chances are very good, by the time you’re watching this video, that you’ve already had many conversations with your partner about retroactive jealousy, maybe you’ve already had a lot of conversations with your partner about their past.

More of these conversations aren’t going to do any good.

In fact, more often than not, they’re going to cause more harm. You’re going to get more details that you don’t need. You’re probably going to ask her hurtful questions. It’ll just be a continuation of the really painful and destructive retroactive jealousy cycle. And we don’t want that.

Another really important point in my view is, even if you’re not talking to your partner about their past, if you just want to share that you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy and you’re feeling depressed, or whatever…

Many, many male retroactive jealousy sufferers are hoping that their partner can help them cure retroactive jealousy.

In some way, they’re hoping that their partner can take some of the burden off of them. Take some of the responsibility from them.

I frequently tell retroactive jealousy suffers that your partner cannot solve this problem for you.

This is on you, my friend, to solve.

No one can truly solve this for you, except you. You can buy my book, you can join my premium course, Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast, but unless you’re truly willing to, for example, take my advice in the premium course, actually complete the exercises I suggest on your own, and actually take action, you’re probably not going to get much relief.

So it’s really on you to own this problem before it can actually get better.

So be aware of, on some level, sort of hoping your partner will solve this problem for you.

I understand that if you’re in a situation where you’re struggling and your partner’s right beside you, sometimes it’s difficult to hide.

In general, I would advise you to just say to your partner, “Look, I’m struggling with something right now, but I’m dealing with it, I’m handling it, and I’m taking care of it on my own.”

Don’t put the burden on your partner to help cure retroactive jealousy.

A lot of guys do this.

And frequently they’ll do this over a period of months or years. And guess what happens? Their partner’s attraction often diminishes over time because in some ways it’s not very attractive when you’re depressed, and sad, and sulking about your partner’s past. It’s not a very sexy characteristic to exhibit.

(By the way, I don’t mean to judge anyone out there doing this. I used to do it as well. Which you’ll know if you’ve read my guidebook or taken my online course.)

But the more important point is that it actually doesn’t help you solve retroactive jealousy.

Time and time and time and time again, I get emails from retroactive jealousy sufferers who tell me that they’ve been trying to get their partner to help them through this problem.

Or they’ll ask me, “Can my partner take the course along with me? Can my partner read the book?” But it doesn’t work like that.

This is one of those problems that is truly on the suffer to solve for themselves.

And as much guidance as I can offer, and I offer all of the guidance I can on this topic, in my guidebook and even more in depth in my premium online course, Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast, I lay out a proven step-by-step plan, proven step-by-step program, that works, but your partner can’t do the work for you, I can’t do the work for you.

And ultimately, it is on you to own this problem a hundred percent before you can put it behind you for good.

If you want to cure retroactive jealousy, since 2014, my premium online course, Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast, has liberated over 1,500 men and women from around the world from the shackles of retroactive jealousy. It’s a proven step-by-step program that works.

You’ll find all the information about signing up for “Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast” here.

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.