In today’s video, I want to share a technique that I and many others use for how to stay motivated when overcoming retroactive jealousy.

Transcript below

Now, this technique for how to stay motivated can be useful. If you’ve been watching these videos for a while, and you know that there are certain steps you need to take to start to overcome retroactive jealousy. But, you’re just hoping that maybe it’ll go away on its own.

You might be thinking:

Maybe I don’t need to set up that appointment with that therapist, I don’t need to read that book. Maybe I can keep treating my partner this way. It’ll probably be okay. It’s annoying in the moment, but maybe retroactive jealousy will go away on its own…

This video is for you, people.

I didn’t make this video to scold anyone or to be prescriptive in terms of exactly what you should do. But if there are certain actions that you’ve learned you need to take when it comes to your retroactive jealousy and you’re putting it off, I think this video might be important for you.

The technique is this: ask yourself

If nothing changes and I continue to act in this fashion, if this pattern continues, what is the worst-case scenario?

As you’re imagining what could happen if you don’t make the changes you know you need to make, make it as vivid and detailed as possible.

Really try to go deep into what the worst case scenario could look like.

If you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy, I probably have a few guesses in terms of what it could look like. Because, I have an inbox filled with emails.

I’ve been receiving emails from retroactive jealousy suffers from around the world since 2013. And, I know many of the worst-case scenarios, maybe not for you specifically, but in general.

These worst-case scenarios involve things like: increased anxiety and depression, sometimes clinical depression.

Breakups, very, very, very common. Breakups of intimate relationships caused by one partner being so frustrated by their partner’s retroactive jealousy and possessiveness and obsessive thinking, often obsessive questioning.

Divorces, same thing. I have the emails to prove it. Many couples do not survive retroactive jealousy.

Alienation from children. Retroactive jealousy impacts many people’s ability to be a good father, to be a good mother, to be an active parent and totally present with their kids. It’s hard to be present with anyone when you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy.

I know I mentioned breakups and divorces, and that’s probably the most extreme case, but more than that, I think retroactive jealousy can take an enormously detrimental toll on relationships in general.

Even if your relationship survives, it’s very likely that if you don’t take the steps you need to take to get a handle on your retroactive jealousy and hopefully put it behind you for good, it’s very likely that it’ll do a lot of damage to your relationship.

It’ll create distance between you and your partner. Your partner might feel less comfortable opening up to you and being around you in general, when they know that there’s this kind of specter of retroactive jealousy hanging over the relationship. Even if you don’t break up or get divorced, it can still do a tremendous amount of damage to relationships.

These are just examples, and I bet if you really check in with yourself and ask yourself this question, given you and your particular life history, maybe your particular demons, your particular bad habits, which we all have, given your particular circumstances, what is the worst case scenario, if you don’t start working to get a handle on this problem?

Asking yourself this question, again and again, is how to stay motivated when overcoming retroactive jealousy.

Again, I don’t mean to be prescriptive this video.

I’m saying, by now, if you’ve been familiar with my work for a while, if you’ve been watching these videos for a while, if the retroactive jealousy comes and goes, maybe you’re okay for a month or two and then it comes back, or you break up and you get a new partner and it comes back again, it’s clear you have a problem you need to solve.

I think a great way to get motivated and inspired and light a fire under you to solve it is getting very clear about what is the worst that could happen and getting very, very vivid and detailed about that in your mind.

Click here to learn more about my premium course “Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast,” and start overcoming retroactive jealousy right now.

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.