In today’s video, I share a strange (yet strangely effective) tip for beating retroactive jealousy.

This tip for beating retroactive jealousy has been useful to me, and hundreds of students taking my online course.

Transcript below

Zachary Stockill: Today, I’d like to share an idea, which I don’t think I’ve spoken a whole lot about on my YouTube channel, and that is a neat little way to think about your retroactive jealousy, which I believe takes away some of the power, some of the intimidation, which you might associate with your retroactive jealousy.

This little technique involves, to some extent, personifying your retroactive jealousy.

This is going to sound really weird but just bear with me for a minute here.

Okay, so in my online course, Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast, as well as other places, I’ve described retroactive jealousy and looking at retroactive jealousy as the character Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers series of films, comedies from the ’90s and early 2000s.

I imagine most people are familiar with them, at least, people my age.

(Those films still hold up, by the way. They’re still pretty funny.)

But, anyway, there’s a character in these films called Fat Bastard, and he’s this enormous sort of whale-like figure. He was morbidly obese.

Oh, by the way, he’s one of the villains of the film so this also helps.

But, anyway, if you take a look at Fat Bastard, sort of from the outside looking in, he’s kind of intimidating. He weighs something like a metric ton or something. He’s enormous. He looks like he’s pretty strong. He’s got a lot of weight. He can probably mess you up pretty good.

However, he’s very slow and he’s very stupid.

I think this is a good way to think about retroactive jealousy and, thus, in my premium online course, Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast, I present all these techniques to get around Fat Bastard aka retroactive jealousy, ways to deal with it that get you around this seemingly intimidating force that’s holding you back.

There are a bunch of exercises, practices, perspectives, which really, really help with this.

But, anyway, I also like thinking about retroactive jealousy as almost like a person and naming it and personifying it because, in my view, it takes away some of the power of this phenomenon we know as retroactive jealousy.

This weird tip for beating retroactive jealousy can really help over the long-term.

It can also help when you’re dealing with some thoughts or maybe intrusive thoughts or obsessive curiosity or maybe a mental movie about your partner’s past.

It can help to think about retroactive jealousy as a person because you can tell yourself and you can tell this “person,” retroactive jealousy:

I’m not listening to you right now. You’re full of it. You’re telling me things that I know aren’t true. You’re trying to mess me up. You’re trying to send me down this rabbit hole. You’re just my ego. You’re just an insecurity. You’re just noise in my head, and I’m not going to listen to you.

Like, “Screw you” kind of thing.

It can actually help to tell this retroactive jealousy demon this in certain moments.

An author and a speaker and a YouTuber who I really like is a guy called Caleb Jones. He runs a channel called Alpha Male 2.0. Lots of really good stuff on there.

I interviewed him for my podcast.

Anyway, in one of his books, he talks about naming your “obsolete biological wiring.”

Similarly, I think you can apply this little technique, this method to retroactive jealousy and maybe you can come up with something that works best for you. Maybe you like calling your retroactive jealousy this ridiculous caveman in your head. You can call him Grog. Or, for me, I like to call him Fat Bastard.

You can strip some of retroactive jealousy’s power by doing this.

You can make fun of it.

You can laugh at it in certain moments.

This should help take away some of the anxiety, some of the tension, because, especially if you actually put in the work and really get a handle on what’s true and what’s not, get your values very clear, arrive at some important conclusions regarding your partner’s past and when you really arrive at this full-bodied understanding that the RJ noise in your head is really just noise, it’s not reality, it’s not real, once you get very clear about this, you can actually name the little demon.

You can poke fun at them, and hopefully, this will take away some of the tension and anxiety because you realize that all this noise in your head is just that; it’s just nonsense provoked by this little RJ demon and it becomes much easier to brush them off when you can look at them and point at them and make fun of him a little bit.

Click here to learn more about my online course for overcoming retroactive jealousy, “Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast.”


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 RetroactiveJealousy.com, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.