In today’s video, I’m answering a reader email from Fabian.
So, what should you do if you’re struggling with “questions about my partner’s past?”
I’ve decided to stop asking my partner questions about her past. But I still have written down some questions I would like to eventually ask her.
Is that the right mindset to have? In other words, when I eventually overcome retroactive jealousy, will it be right for me to still ask her those questions as a way of postponing my need of seeking more details?
Zachary Stockill: Fabian, this is a method that I don’t necessarily advocate. I have some issues with that approach. When you go back and flip back to that journal, then you see this massive list of questions, that could trigger your jealousy all over again.
It might keep of dwelling in these questions that maybe you don’t necessarily need the answer to.
So I’m a little bit suspicious of this technique, but if it’s working for you and if it’s helping you resist the urge to “ask questions bout my partner’s past”, it might be the right thing for you to do.
An important question you should be asking yourself as you grapple with these questions, are these deal-breaker questions or not? In other words, do I need to know the answer to certain the answers rather to certain of these questions? To know whether or not I want to stay in this relationship?
And the reason I think it’s worthwhile to frame it like that is because you don’t want to waste your partner’s time. You don’t just put off asking these questions for six months. And then, knowing the whole time that these are deal-breaker issues for you. Eventually, you ask the question, and then maybe you don’t get the answer you want from your partner. And then, you’ve just wasted six months of her time.
So you don’t want that to happen. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that these are not deal-breaker questions. I have a suspicion that these are probably the typical irrational retroactive jealousy.
When people write to me with this kind of thing, it’s very clear that they know in their hearts that these are not deal-breaker questions that I want to ask my partner. This is just this niggling little OCD retroactive jealousy. This little demon in the back of our mind, poking and prodding and looking for more answers, looking for more reassurance
Because, for most retroactive jealousy sufferers who are engaged in the cycle, there’s this sense that if I just get the answers to one or two more of these questions about my partner’s past, my curiosity will end, I won’t be curious anymore. And my retroactive jealousy will basically just sort itself out and everything will be great.
It’s never enough. There are always going to be more questions that the little demon wants to ask. It never ends.
So if I were you, I would take some time by myself. You can go meditate or take a walk. Try to get clear on whether or not these questions that you think you want to ask are deal-breaker questions.
For example, have you been married before? I’m not saying it’s a deal-breaker for me or it should be a deal-breaker for anyone. Lots of people out there have been married and divorced. Nothing wrong with that. But for some people, that’s a deal-breaker for them. They just don’t want to get involved with someone who’s been married before. Nothing wrong with that, your values are your values, and you should live true to them.
There are 1,000,001 more that might be deal-breaker questions, but spend time to get to the bottom of whether or not they’re deal-breaker questions, and spoiler alert, I could be wrong.
But more often than not, these are not deal breaker questions that you feel you need the answer to. This is just the annoying little demon retroactive jealousy, running away with you. Nothing more and you will never fully scratch that itch.
You’ll never get to the bottom of retroactive jealousy that way by asking your partner endless questions about their past.