In today’s video, I’m going to share my #1 question that I believe every retroactive jealousy sufferer needs to ask themselves.

Read or watch below to learn more about my #1 question to retroactive jealousy sufferers.

Zachary Stockill: I’m speaking to you today in the first month of the new year. And I think the first month of a new year represents a great opportunity to pause and take stock of where we’re at. And to think seriously about where we want to be a year from now.

In today’s video, I’m going to share one of my absolute favorite ways to do this. And I think retroactive jealousy sufferers should ask themselves the question that I’m going to pose in this video. 

You’ll notice that I ask you a lot of questions on this channel. And I also ask a lot of questions in my workbooks. I’m big on encouraging people to ask themselves their own questions. 

Because, I think quite often in life, we have the answers we need already. It’s just about asking ourselves the right questions, and getting clarity and focus when it comes to what truly matters.

There’s one question in particular that I came across many years ago. I think it was from the Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, but I’m actually not sure. 

But I heard this question posed in a seminar that I was watching, and it really resonated and hit home. And I think it’s a great way to keep yourself on track. And to get yourself closer to where you want to go. 

The question that I ask myself on a regular basis, and the question that I think retroactive jealousy sufferers should ask themselves on a regular basis is: 

If I keep letting my weaker instincts win, what’s the worst that could happen? 

question for retroactive jealousy sufferers

I think for many retroactive jealousy sufferers, there’s often a battle inside of us. It’s between what we know we should do and our weaker instincts; our “higher self” if you want to call it that, and maybe our weaker or lower self. If you’re a retroactive jealousy sufferer, you probably know what I’m talking about. 

Quite often, we’re in these situations where there’s this voice in the back of our head, telling us the right thing to do or telling us a better course of action. And there’s another voice, sometimes more powerful, on the other side of our brain. A voice in our head is telling us to give in to our ego; it’s telling us to ask our partner more questions or, “you can look through her phone, that’s totally fine…”

There’s often a battle between our higher self and our lower, weaker self.

And quite often, especially when we’re struggling with something like retroactive jealousy, we let our weaker self, or our weaker instinct, win. 

And this goes for just about anything in life. To use a classic example, something I can relate to personally, and I imagine some of you can relate to if you’re someone like me. I mean, it’s very, very, very easy for me to put on weight, just through choices in my diet, and all the rest. If you’re struggling with your weight, quite often, you’re having this battle between the choices that you should be making, maybe when it comes to your diet or exercise, and your weaker instincts. 

So your higher self on the one hand is arguing, “Zach, you should go to the gym, you haven’t been to the gym in a couple of days. You know, you should eat low-carb today…” And then the other side, there’s this other voice saying, “Oh, you can have another whiskey. That’s fine. You know, you worked out two days ago, and you worked out really hard, you can get away with taking the day off…”

There’s this battle going on in our psyche between what we know we should do, and what we probably shouldn’t do. But it’s often easier to give in to the urge to ask your partner questions about their past, for example. It’s often easier to let our weaker instincts win.

And you’re telling yourself “Oh, no, if I just get a few more answers about a few more questions, this will solve the problem…”

question for retroactive jealousy sufferers

There’s that voice in your head. But at the same time, hopefully, there’s another voice; maybe it’s a little further away, a little fainter. Maybe there’s another voice saying, “You’ve already asked that question… This question is not helpful. Remember what that guy on YouTube said about stopping asking questions about your partner’s past?”

If we want to be successful in any area of endeavor we need to listen to our better instincts, and avoid giving in to our weakest instincts. 

So if you keep giving in to your weakest instincts, if you keep letting your weaker instincts win: 

Ask yourself what could happen, and be brutally honest with yourself. 

We all have these impulses to a greater or lesser extent.

For example: recently, I’ve been in bed sneezing, and it’s been a pretty miserable week as far as my health goes. And I’m running out of new videos to send to my YouTube editor. 

On the one hand, my weaker instinct just today, just 10 minutes ago, said, “Oh, Zach, you can take the day off. And you know, you’ve already recorded hundreds of YouTube videos, you can take a week or two off, it’s fine. You know, you need your rest, and your face looks kind of puffy. And you always want to look good. You can take today off, it’s fine…”

Tthat’s my version of my weaker impulse. But at the same time, there’s my “higher self” on the other side of my brain, saying, “Zach, you have the chance to do meaningful work that has an impact on people, you shouldn’t squander that opportunity today…

“Today’s never going to repeat itself. “

So needless to say, I’m listening to my higher self today.

To bring this back to retroactive jealousy: once again, the next time, for example, you’re having this urge to ask your partner more questions about their past, try listening to your higher self instead. And of course I realize this is easier said than done. 

But the more you keep listening to your higher self, the easier it becomes. 

And if you need extra motivation, again, ask yourself: if I keep giving in to this weak impulse what’s the worst that could happen?

I’ll answer your question: the worst that could happen for retroactive jealousy sufferers…

If you keep asking your partner endless questions about their past, I promise you, eventually your partner will hit that wall where it’s like “Enough is enough. I’m tired of being made to feel this way. And, I’m bored with these conversations. I’m tired of my partner continually telegraphing this insecurity and fear. I’ve given them answers already. I can’t take it anymore. I’m gone.

It gives me no pleasure to tell you that I receive those emails on a regular basis. Emails from retroactive jealousy sufferers asking me questions about how to get a partner back, because their partner finally left as a direct result of retroactive jealousy. 

They couldn’t take the abuse. They couldn’t take the questions anymore. They’re gone. And I don’t want that for you. 

question for retroactive jealousy sufferers

And I would imagine you don’t want that for yourself.

In closing, you can apply this question to any endeavor of life, any challenge you’re facing. Any time you’re trying to get anything done, there’s a version of you that is probably trying to keep you from doing it, or encouraging you to be lazy, or telling you that you’ll fail, or whatever. 

Stop listening to that instinct. At the same time, ask yourself: “If I keep letting this instinct win, where could it get me?”

If you need help overcoming retroactive jealousy (before it’s too late), then be sure to check out my flagship online course “Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast”.

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.