In today’s video, I’m going to talk about the “flipside” of taking proactive steps to beat retroactive jealousy, and how identifying what NOT to do is equally important.

Read on or watch the video below to learn the truth about retroactive jealousy.

Zachary Stockill: If you’ve been watching my channel for a while, hopefully at this point, you’ve garnered a lot of different strategies, perspectives, and exercises that will help you get closer to your goal of overcoming retroactive jealousy. In short, I hope you’ve learned a lot of things to do, you know, proactive steps that you need to take.

Needless to say, if you read my guidebook Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy, or if you take either one of my retroactive jealousy online courses, you’re going to get even more practical, actionable solutions; actionable strategies, actionable exercises, proactive steps that you can take to beat retroactive jealousy for good.

While it’s so important to focus on what to do when it comes to defeating retroactive jealousy, it’s actually equally important in some ways to stop doing what clearly isn’t working. And in today’s video, I’m going to share my thoughts on what not to do when it comes to this issue, and share the real truth about retroactive jealousy.

So this is a mistake a lot of people make…

And I’ve certainly made this mistake in many areas of my life. Let’s take the fitness example: if you want to get in shape, or you want to change your diet. For example, you’re going to look at all kinds of things to do; gym routines, specific diet plans, and a specific nutrition plan that you should follow, on a specific amount of water that you should drink at a specific time of day, the best exercise, etc. you get my drift. 

Anyone who’s gone through a bit of a fitness kick early in this new year probably knows what I’m talking about. We want to seek out the things to do; “Just tell me what to do, to get closer to my goal, tell me what I need to do to get what I want.”

But frequently, what we all overlook in these situations, is that it’s equally important to figure out very clearly what not to do, what doesnt’ work, all the things that we’re doing every day that it doesn’t matter what else we do, if we keep doing certain activities, we’re never going to get closer to our goal.

I am by no means a fitness guru. But I mean, I know a little about this. So you’ll find someone who’s really overweight, and they think, “Okay, I just need to go to the gym all the time.” And they’ll go to the gym, you know, five days a week, sometimes they’ll spend an hour or two each time.

But if their diet is still nonsense, if they’re still eating all kinds of processed food and fast food and all kinds of calories, they can go to the gym all they want–nothing’s really going to change. Now, obviously, some exercise is better than none. However, in this case, what not to do is extremely important. And this person going to the gym all the time is overlooking that.

Just to use a classic example, let’s say you sign up for my introductory online course, Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast

You’ve read the testimonials, you’ve heard me talk about it, you think “You know what, this is great…”

“I’m going to make this investment.” Excellent. Join the course, come on in, we’d love to have you. And let’s say you really commit to the course. Let’s say you commit certain hours in the day to consuming content, performing some exercises, and doing all the redirecting activities and all the rest. 

But if you’re still asking your partner 100 unnecessary questions about their past every day, guess what? The course will probably be of some help to you, but you’re not going to make near the progress that you could be making if you stopped doing what isn’t working, if you stopped harassing your partner with more and fewer questions about their past.

Here’s the really interesting thing.

Over almost 10 years of intensive coaching, particularly on this issue of retroactive jealousy, the truth about retroactive jealousy… if you sit someone down and you build up some degree of trust and camaraderie and all the rest, pretty soon you’ll get them to open up. And frequently, retroactive jealousy sufferers know very clearly–without my having to tell them–exactly what they’re doing that isn’t working.

All the little choices they make every day, all the little things they’re doing that are not getting them closer towards their goal, actually holding them back. You probably know this too. If you’re watching this video, and you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy, you could probably name ten different things you’re doing when it comes to retroactive jealousy, that if you just stopped doing those things, and you didn’t take any other steps–you didn’t read about a book or take a course or get on a coaching call,–you did nothing else, you just stopped doing what isn’t working, you’d be surprised at the progress you would make simply by not doing certain things.

Now, of course, this may not solve your problem entirely. As I often tell people, unfortunately, retroactive jealousy is one of these nasty little issues in life that, in general, and I mean, the vast majority of cases, does not go away on its own. You are going to have to take certain steps, you are going to be proactive to a considerable degree.

The REAL Truth About Retroactive Jealousy

However, if you just stopped doing what isn’t working, and nothing else, you’d make a lot of progress.

And it doesn’t matter how many proactive steps you take, unless you stop doing what isn’t working, you’re not going to reach your goal. And if you do reach your goal, it’s going to take you way, way, WAY longer. I often use the expression “Stop spinning your wheels in the mud”.

Anyone in Canada, certainly my native Canada, or probably anyone in the United States who’s used to driving in snow and rain, know this. If you get stuck in the mud, and you just rev the engine faster, if you keep doubling down on what isn’t working, you’re going to sink lower and lower and lower in the mud.

It’s going to be even more of a pain to actually get your car moving and on the road again, whereas if you stopped doing what isn’t working, you’re going to be back on the road back towards the destination much, much faster. So a bit of homework, shall we say for today? 

If you’re reading this article or watching this video and want to know the truth about retroactive jealousy, then, sit down with yourself. Be honest with yourself, which is so incredibly important when it comes to this issue of retroactive jealousy. And ask yourself, “What am I doing that isn’t working?”

Put off your search, even just for half an hour of what could work, and solutions and all the rest. It’s great if you’re looking for solutions. But put that search aside for a minute. And just ask yourself, “What am I doing that clearly isn’t working?” And you probably have a lot of evidence that it’s clearly not working.

Maybe you’re getting feedback from your partner. But perhaps you’re just feeling “I’m not making any progress on this little bastard of an issue that we call retroactive jealousy. I’m not any better today than I was a week, a month, two months ago. In fact, perhaps I’m worse.” Think about all the little things you may be doing that could be holding you back. Now, as much as you can, stop doing those things. It’s really simple. Now, I realize it is easier said than done. Believe me, I get it.

As you know, I was once retroactive jealousy sufferer. 

Back in the day when I struggled with this issue, it was really difficult to stop asking my partner more questions about her past; more unnecessary questions that I didn’t need to know about stupid events that don’t matter anymore, and all the rest.

And in the moment, it was extremely difficult to resist that behavior. But once I started resisting that urge, eventually, over time, the more I resisted that urge, the more I tried to stop doing what isn’t working, the better things got, the urge started to fading slowly, and then pretty quickly once I started taking other steps. 

The truth about retroactive jealousy is, this issue won’t improve for you unless you stop doing what clearly isn’t working. Be honest with yourself: what are you doing that isn’t working? Try your best to stop doing it. Stop spinning your wheels in the mud. It doesn’t work, keep being proactive. Keep looking for solutions. I think that’s great, but at the same time, it’s equally important to stop doing what isn’t working.

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.