In today’s video, I’m going to share a counterintuitive question for anyone struggling with retroactive jealousy disorder.

I really believe this question is essential for anyone struggling with retroactive jealousy disorder to consider.

Transcript below

Zachary Stockill: As I sit here today recording this, I have an inbox filled with emails from retroactive jealousy sufferers. I’ve been doing this work since 2013.

I was talking about retroactive jealousy disorder when no one else was or extremely few people were putting their real name and face out there.

I think I have a pretty good grasp on this issue, has been going strong for eight years., get a lot of emails from retroactive jealousy sufferers around the world.

Retroactive jealousy disorder sufferers should ask themselves, do you want to overcome retroactive jealousy?

Now, before you throw your smartphone at the wall, or your computer across the room. Before you get mad at me, hear me out.

If I ask you that question and you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy disorder, your gut reaction is probably, “Well, I want to beat this horrible affliction, I hate this! Why do you think I’m watching your videos? Why I subscribe to your channel and opening your emails? Of course, I want to overcome retroactive jealousy.”

I understand that response, but go deeper. Ask yourself again.

Are you sure you really want to overcome retroactive jealousy?

I asked that question not to be mean, but to illustrate an important point that I think a lot of retroactive jealousy sufferers overlooked.

I overlooked this back in the day when I was struggling with retroactive jealousy. Many retroactive sufferers overlooked being a victim can feel kind of good.

Feeling wronged can feel kind of good.

Having intense drama in our life, where it’s tied up with all of these emotions, can be kind of appealing on some level.

If we’re not careful, part of our subconscious will want to keep this drama and energy going, because it adds meaning to our lives.

When at all artistically inclined, or an intellectual type, you’re probably reading sad intense dramas.

Or, if you’re like me, listening to really sad emotional music, and all these things.

The reason I bring this up is to illustrate the fact that there’s a part of many retroactive jealousy sufferers like the feeling of a victim to our partner’s choices in the past.

There’s part of us that kind of gets off on that because it adds some drama and excitement, even if it’s negative excitement.

And thus, I have a lot of people emailing me they want to overcome retroactive jealousy, but I’m not sure if they actually do.

This is one of the reasons why I try to limit my experience and exposure to retroactive jealousy Facebook groups, or on social media. The stuff that I see online are filled with a lot of people, spinning their wheels in the mud.

Sort of kind of getting off on the victim complex and endlessly complaining. Not really making any real progress and growth.

You’ll find them posting about the same things, months and even years apart when they haven’t really taken real steps to step up to the plate and beat retroactive jealousy for good.

By the way, I’m not saying that the only way to beat retroactive jealousy is with my work.

I don’t care if you sign up for my courses, read my books, or whatever you do.

As long as you’re doing something to taking steps forward, whether it’s reading someone else’s book, signing up for sessions with a therapist or a coach, whatever it is…

Try something new, stop spinning your wheels in the mud endlessly.

This is one of the reasons I’m so grateful that I started my Facebook group for students taking my online course because there’s a barrier to entry. You have to be a student in the course to join the group.

The group is only filled with retroactive jealousy sufferers who are actively committed, have skin in the game, and who have said enough is enough, I’m tired of this.

I want to change enough to commit to this course and group. Be careful about the people you’re spending your time with, even in online communities.

There’s this famous quote by the author Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

There’s a lot of truth to that. Frankly, it also applies to online communities.

If you’re part of some retroactive jealousy community, posting in chat forums all the time helps you. You’re getting good advice, surrounded by people who are not in a victim mentality when they’re working to overcome this thing, great! Keep at it! That’s fantastic.

But if you’re stuck and you’re constantly having the same conversations, drama and comments are coming back at you. It seems you are stuck in the same victim stew.

It might be time to reconsider your approach to overcoming this thing. Ask yourself on a deep level, whether you are truly willing to change.

Because overcoming retroactive jealousy is going to take some change.

It will force you to confront some parts of yourself that maybe you’re not that excited about confronting.

I believe that it is absolutely worth it. I’m living proof of that, as are hundreds of the students in my online course.

Aside from that, ask yourself. Do I really want to overcome retroactive jealousy? Am I willing to let some parts of my ego and my former self go in order to beat this thing?

Ask yourself this question over and over.

If I were you, I wouldn’t be satisfied until I arrived at a wholehearted yes in response to this question.

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.