In today’s video, I’m going to share one of my all-time favorite quotes and favorite practices for overcoming any kind of jealousy, particularly, obsessive jealousy and retroactive jealousy.

So: what are some ways to overcome jealousy OCD?

So longtime viewers of this channel, and certainly longtime readers of my blog,, you might be sick of hearing me talk about stoic philosophy. One of my all-time favorite books, and I think one of the best books for any jealousy sufferer to read is a book called “Meditations” by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

It’s 1000 years old, and it’s just as timely and as valuable today, as it was when it was written all those years ago.

The book is basically a distillation of all of the wisdom of Marcus Aurelius, who was a Roman Emperor. And to this day, we don’t know if this book was intended to be published, because it really reads like a collection of notes to self. A collection of thoughts and aphorisms which were personally resonant to Marcus Aurelius, when he was ruling Rome.

It’s a remarkable book, I strongly encourage you to read it.

It’s one of my all-time favorites. It is absolutely crucial for obsessive jealousy/retroactive jealousy sufferers to read. And one of my favorite quotes from the book is very simple. The quote is, “Ask yourself at every moment, is this necessary?”

jealousy ocd

How many times when we’re struggling with obsessive jealousy/ retroactive jealousy, are we engaging with thoughts that are 100%? unnecessary?

One of the reasons why I love this book so much is it kind of cuts through all the BS. You’ll find zero fluff in this book. It’s a short, concise, little book. So much of it gets right to the point.

How can we live a better life? How can we be good, honorable human beings? And, how can we have better relationships with the people who are important to us? How can we go to bed at the end of the day feeling like we mattered? Feeling like we did more good than harm the people who are important to us.

How can we overcome jealousy OCD?

Anyone watching this who is struggling with obsessive jealousy, retroactive jealousy, I am willing to bet that more than once you have gone to bed, go to sleep, and at the end of the day, you feel like you wasted a lot of time and energy, which were not necessary.

Thus, it’s best to call it a practice rather than a quote. This active practice of constantly asking ourselves in every moment, is this necessary?

So the next time you feel this impulse to ask your partner questions that you really don’t need the answer to, or to waste an hour or two stalking their past on Facebook or Instagram, wasting time at four in the morning when you should be sleeping, is this necessary?

Another reason why I love this quote is, I think it is true for most people, we know our pitfalls. We know our own Bs. We know our dark side.

Usually, if we check in with ourselves and our intuition, we know when we’re wasting time, engaging in activities or practices that are really not helpful. We know ourselves pretty well and thus, we can call ourselves out on our own BS.

Thus, as long as we remember this statement, this phrase, this practice, ask yourself at any moment, “Is this necessary?”

jealousy ocd

It’s a great way to ensure that we go to bed at night with a relatively clear conscience feeling like we didn’t waste a lot of time and energy today. We focused on the things that are within our control. We focused on things that are important.

Indeed, I would just encourage you to play with this over the course of the next week, or in the next two weeks, and keep this thought in your head.

Ask yourself at every moment, “Is this necessary?”. Will this help me overcome my jealousy OCD?

Because if you keep this at the forefront of your consciousness over an extended period of time, you’ll notice that it’ll become more or less automatic.

You’ll be calling yourself out on your own BS, the more you keep this in mind. The more you remember that we’re all going to die.

Frankly, our time on this earth is limited. Our time with our partner is limited. And you need to be spending your time on things that actually matter, that is going to get you where you want to go.

Not wasting time dwelling on the past that doesn’t matter anymore.

Focusing on the things that are within your control. Focusing on the things that are important, that are actually going to serve you and the people you care about.

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.