How do you respond to setbacks when you’re overcoming retroactive jealousy? That’s exactly what I want to talk about in today’s video. 

Read or watch below to discover how to overcome retroactive jealousy setbacks.

Zachary Stockill: When you are progressing toward any goal in life, chances are very good that there will be some setbacks. There will be some bumps in the road. 

But what matters is not the fact that you encounter a setback. What matters is how you respond to it. And when you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy, and you’ve started to make progress, of course, it’s possible that you too, will encounter the odd retroactive jealousy setback. So what do you do? 

My first tip for you if you’ve already started overcoming retroactive jealousy, and you encounter a setback, is to remember all the progress you’ve already made. 

The very fact that you’re recognizing what you’re currently experiencing as a “setback” means that there have been good days before. It means that you’re making progress. And means that the road to recovery is getting shorter and shorter; you’re making progress, you’re getting closer to your destination. 

If it’s been months straight, obviously, you’re not going to notice a setback, because it’s been pure hell. If you’ve been having more good weeks than bad weeks lately, and you encounter bumps in the road, the odd bad day, the odd bad week, this is a sign of progress. 

The fact that you’re noticing a bad day means that there have been good days before it. So remember your progress. 

Remember that a better way of life, a better way of thinking, and a better sense of joy and happiness are possible for you. 

retroactive jealousy setbacks

… because you’ve experienced that in the not too distant past.

I talk a lot about being present, right? I talk about mindfulness and meditation. And I’ve got all kinds of guided meditations. And I’m one of those weird people who go to 10-day, Vipassana meditation retreats, and all the rest. Mindfulness, and being present, is a big deal to me. 

However, there are times when maintaining a wider perspective on the passage of time can be useful. Sometimes this can help you avoid getting swept up in the drama and chaos of any particular moment… Feeling like it’s “inescapable” and feeling like you’re “always going to feel this way.” So remember how you felt in the recent past over longer periods. Remember all the progress you’ve been making. 

My second piece of advice is to reflect on what is important, and what is not. 

This is so incredibly important when it comes to this particular little bastard of an issue that we call retroactive jealousy.

When we get swept up in certain moments, and we’re thinking about our partner’s past, we’re feeling like oh, “maybe she prefers her ex to me, or they had amazing sex, they had better sex than we had…” And you let your intrusive thoughts and the mental movies and your brain go crazy in these moments… you forget about what is truly important. So what is truly important?

What is truly important is not wasting time in the present. 

retroactive jealousy setbacks

What is truly important is (probably) saving your relationship. Maybe what is truly important is your partner’s love, their desire, their affection, right now, in the present moment. And what is important is all the incredible tools you’ve learned that help you deal with intrusive thoughts and stay present in the moment. What is truly important is the health and the happiness of your family. 

Or maybe if you’ve been struggling with retroactive jealousy for a long period, and your relationship is rocky, maybe what’s truly important is taking the steps that you need to take to save that relationship before it’s too late. Do you get my point? We’re all going to have different answers to this question. 

If you sit with yourself, if you meditate with yourself, if you maintain clarity and focus in a certain moment, and ask yourself and pay attention... That little voice deep inside you… What is truly important will bubble up to the surface.

It’s crucial to maintain focus on that in moments when you’re feeling hopeless. When you’re feeling overwhelmed. 

My third piece of advice whenever you encounter a setback on the road to overcoming retroactive jealousy setbacks is to remember that you have options.

You have tools. 

If you’ve already started making progress, maybe you’ve invested in my products and services like my flagship online course “Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast” or “The Overcoming Jealousy Blueprint”, or someone else’s.

Maybe you’re just looking for free stuff on YouTube

Whatever it is, if you’ve been dealing with this for a while, hopefully, you’ve already made some progress. Chances are very good that you’ve encountered some tools. You’ve cultivated some new knowledge, some new skills, some new habits, and new perspectives that can help you overcome this setback. 

After working on this issue for ten years, I have a pretty good handle on what works and what doesn’t. When it comes to things like overcoming intrusive thoughts, overcoming mental movies, overcoming obsessive curiosity, and all these things. And if you’ve been struggling with retroactive jealousy for a while, chances are very good that you’ve accumulated your own tools as well.

So remember, at any moment, you have options, and you can always make better decisions. The power is in your choice in the moment. So always bring the focus back to what is within your sphere of influence. And as much as possible, disregard everything else. Remember your tools, remember your options. 

My final tip for you, if you’ve encountered setbacks in overcoming retroactive jealousy, is to remember what I said before:

It’s not about how hard you get hit, it’s how you respond. It’s not about falling down; it’s about getting yourself back up.

So don’t get down on yourself. Don’t feel like all hope is lost. Don’t get swept up in drama and chaos or hopelessness. Bumps in the road happen.

But back when I was struggling with retroactive jealousy, and when I was working towards overcoming it, I encountered more than a few bumps in the road. And what’s important is how we respond to these bumps in the road. 

So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, make good choices moving forward, and bring the focus back to what is within your sphere of influence.

Keep moving forward and this bump in the road will soon be a thing of the past.

Click here to sign up for a free four-part mini-course that will help you get started overcoming retroactive jealousy.

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.