In today’s video, I’m going to share an important message about retroactive jealousy that every retroactive jealousy sufferer needs to hear.

Read on to hear an important message for retroactive jealousy sufferers.

Zachary Stockill: I have a secret group on Facebook for students who are taking my online course, Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast. There was a comment posted there recently from a retroactive jealousy survivor, who recently lost their partner to an illness.

And in the comment, this person was writing about the clarity that the loss of their partner brought; the clarity about what was really important in life and what actually mattered. Now thankfully, this person found my work years ago, and they made a lot of progress.

But in the end, all you can do is look back on time wasted.

I’ve talked about this a lot myself when I’ve talked about my own experience of retroactive jealousy, where I look back with regret on all the time I wasted frittering about nonsense, wasting my days away worried about things that didn’t matter.

message for retroactive jealousy sufferers

I’ve received many emails from retroactive jealousy survivors, who ended up losing their partners. And without fail, every single one of these retroactive jealousy survivors who wrote to me spoke of the intense regret that they experienced after they lost their partner when they realized all the time they wasted worrying about nonsense. All the times they lashed out at their partner because of something that happened many years ago.

All of the love they rejected that their partner was offering them, that they didn’t accept because they were struggling with irrational retroactive jealousy.

I can speak personally about this. Now, I haven’t lost someone, a partner or an ex-partner or anything like that, thankfully. But I have lost people in my personal life. In fact, I’ve lost several people in recent years, who meant a lot to me, including my mother.

And I just want to put this message for retroactive jealousy sufferers out there, or for anyone watching this because, we have an interesting relationship with death, loss, and grief in much of the Western world.

I have spent the majority of my adult life living and working in Asia, and people have a much different relationship with death over here.

In Asia, for the most part, death is not a topic that’s avoided. It’s not a topic of conversation that people avoid. It’s not something people try to clean up and sweep under the carpet. I’m sure you’ve heard this comment before, “Why would you talk about death, that’s being morbid!” When in reality, the only thing we know for sure when we’re born, is that we’re going to die.

And frankly, I consider death, and my own death each and every day of my life.

I’ve been doing this for a long time now. But when I lost my mother, all of a sudden, this took on a new significance and importance. For me, it was more clear than I never had been before. Because before my mother died, I talked about Stoic philosophy and Buddhism…

I’d spent years in India, and I felt like I understand the reality of death. I thought I understood how important it is to consider it every day. But when my mom died, it was like, “I didn’t get it before. I do now.”

My message for retroactive jealousy sufferers: our time on this earth is limited.

We are not going to be here forever. Every relationship ends, either because of a breakup or divorce, or because one of those parties passes away. There is a limit on the amount of time that we’re going to have on this planet, sharing it with beautiful people, making memories, sharing love, giving love, receiving love.

Having all the beautiful experiences associated with a long-term relationship or our relationship with our parents or our children, whatever the case may be. This party will come to an end.

message for retroactive jealousy sufferers

And I don’t say that to depress you, because frankly when I consider my own death, it is the opposite of depressing. It’s motivating and inspiring. It makes me want to be a better man, to record better videos, and be a better coach. It makes me want to write better books, create better online courses and serve my community better. Because I know that my time to do this work and to have an impact in the world is limited.

If I waste a day of my life, that is a day that I’m never getting back.

I can make all the money in the world, but I can never get that day back. That’s all I know for sure about life. And thus, I wanted to share this somewhat somber video, not to depress you, but to inspire you to take action. If it means scheduling an appointment with a therapist, reading my book or someone else’s book, connecting with me, and working with me one on one, great!

The point is this nasty little bastard of an issue that we call “retroactive jealousy” will not go away on its own. And you do not want to wake up one day realizing that it’s too late. That you threw away a perfectly beautiful relationship, or you wasted days, weeks, months, or years of that relationship, worrying about nonsense and things that don’t matter.

Because I can tell you as one who’s experienced a fair amount of grief in my personal life over recent years, that nothing is as clarifying about what really matters as the death of a loved one. And I don’t want that for you.

So the advice that I would offer you is, in your own little way, to consider death each and every day. And again, it’s not depressing, it’s motivating. It’s inspiring and makes you want to really seize the day.

I hope you take this advice and I hope this motivates you to savor that glass of wine a little bit more. To savor your partner a little bit more, remembering that our time is limited. And there’s nothing worse than looking back on wasted time.

You can build any kind of life, any kind of relationship you want. The point is to simply take ownership and take that first step.

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.