About two months ago, I caved and bought an Amazon Kindle. It had been a long time coming — I’ve been a long-term traveler for years, and I’ve spent hundreds of dollars buying books, and shipping books back to Canada while on the road. It’s a pain, and the ease of carting around thousands of books in a handheld e-reader finally forced me to “give in,” and take part in the digital revolution currently underway in the publishing industry.

One of the features I love about my Kindle is how easy it is to highlight, and save particular passages of books I’m reading. When I find a sentence or paragraph that resonates with me, I simply touch the screen and highlight the selected area, and it’s saved in my Kindle account for future review. Pretty neat.

What’s also cool is that you can see what other people are highlighting when they read. The most popular highlights are featured on a book’s Amazon page, and from this you can see what is really resonating with other readers.

Naturally, I looked up my guidebook Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy to see what people were highlighting, and get a better sense of what was resonating with my readers. What I found was really interesting.

Here are the most popular highlights for Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy on Kindle, along with some additional context:

1.) “Your thoughts are clouds. No thought, no matter how persistent or powerful, is permanent. Not one.”

In my video course I go deep into this idea — that by looking at your thoughts as clouds, harmlessly passing overhead and eventually fading to nothing, you reduce the power they have over you. Sufferers of retroactive jealousy often feel like their thoughts are inherently “powerful,” “upsetting,” “stressful,” etc. but it’s not true.

A thought is just a thought — the only power a thought has over you is the power you give it.

2.) “Seize this opportunity to confront and overcome the personal demons that are keeping you unhappy and insecure.”

It’s no secret — I often say that retroactive jealousy was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Retroactive jealousy fundamentally transformed my life, and today I am a far stronger, happier, and more peaceful human being because of it. Overcoming it wasn’t always easy, but in retrospect I am so grateful for the experience.

Which is why I’m such an evangelist for overcoming retroactive jealousy — I want people to experience similar realizations, and transform their lives and relationships for the better. Your jealousy doesn’t represent a problem — it represents an opportunity.

3.) “Your partner is not your everything, and if she is, she will soon not be anymore.”

I think it’s dangerous for sufferers of RJ (or anyone else, for that matter) to make their partner the center of their existence. I don’t think we will be happy or enjoy a healthy relationship if our partner is our “everything.” I know too many people who don’t have a social life outside of their relationship, stop pursuing their passions and hobbies when they enter a relationship, and whose lives seem absolutely consumed by their wife, husband, girlfriend, etc.

Make no mistake: no one is happy in this type of arrangement. The most exciting, healthy, and fulfilling relationships are founded on genuine desire, NOT neediness or mutual dependence. For sufferers of RJ it is particularly essential to be committed to independent personal development, and to have priorities and commitments outside of the relationship. The good news? The relationship will thrive as a result.

4.) “The matter is simple: we cannot be the partners we want to be, we cannot move into the present moment, and we cannot be a part of our partner’s future if we are wedded to an imaginary past.”

I’m really glad that so many readers identify with this statement, as it sums up the spirit of what I’m talking about in my book and video course.

The clock is ticking. You won’t get this afternoon, this week, this month, this year of your life and relationship back. We only have one chance to make today great — why waste it struggling with retroactive jealousy? The quality of your life and relationship depends on whether or not you are ready to step up to the plate, and get your jealousy handled. You have nothing to lose except sleepless nights, stress, jealous thoughts, and confusion, and everything to gain.

Don’t live with retroactive jealousy for a second longer than you have to.


Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, The Sun, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of RetroactiveJealousy.com, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.