In today’s video, I’m answering a reader question from Nate.

“How do you recover from retroactive jealousy?”

Nate writes…

Can you keep the relationship and overcome retroactive jealousy at the same time?

Zachary Stockill: The answer to this question depends on how much damage it has done to your relationship. Some people realize that they need to change their ways. They’ve done an enormous amount of damage to their relationship, they’ve hurt their partner a great deal. And, sometimes the relationship is not salvageable.

For instance, if people find my work, and they really engage with it, they take what I’m saying to heart, they buy my book, they take my online course, they sign up for coaching, they own their problem, they start to move forward in a positive direction, the relationship is salvageable.

In fact, the more work they do, the better things get. And the relationship generally improves.

recover from retroactive jealousy

Furthermore, your partner can’t solve this problem for you. And overcoming retroactive jealousy is a solo project, it’s largely on you and you alone to solve.

While your partner can support you and be there for you, you can’t put this problem on your partner to solve.

Sometimes I get emails from people where they asked me, “Should my partner take the course at the same time as I’m taking it? Is it okay if we both join your private Facebook group?”

So, what are the ways to recover from retroactive jealousy?

Therefore, for this particular problem, it’s important for you, the sufferer to sort of own it 100%. And while your partner can support and encourage you, I think you should adopt the mentality that this is your problem to solve. And there’s not that much your partner can do to solve things.

I have an email inbox filled with hundreds, probably 1000s of emails from people who’ve managed to overcome retroactive jealousy. They’ve largely taken and own this problem by themselves. They didn’t rely on their partner to solve the issue for them. And as a result, that made a lot of progress much quicker.

In most of those cases, the relationship ended up improving.

recover from retroactive jealousy

So as they overcame retroactive jealousy, they ended up with a relationship that was actually way better than the one they had a year or two years ago.

If you’re concerned that you’ve done a tremendous amount of damage to your relationship, and it might be too far gone to fix. my advice would be…

First, stop talking to your partner about their past. Stop putting this problem on them to solve. Stop punishing them for their past. Because, that’s going to make things much worse, and make the odds of a breakup much higher.

Aside from that, start putting in the work owning this problem yourself and start to take the steps you need to take to overcome retroactive jealousy.

Then later on, when you’re a little further down the path, then maybe you can make a decision about the future of the relationship.

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.