In today’s video, I address a common question: “where does retroactive jealousy come from?”

If you’re wondering “where does retroactive jealousy come from?” you are not alone.

Transcript below

Zachary Stockill: Received an email from Brian. Brian writes:

My cases of retroactive jealousy happen years apart, lasting for a few weeks, then disappearing for another year or so. Is this common? Where does retroactive jealousy come from?

Thanks for your message, Brian, and the answer is yes, it is quite common, actually.

I’ve been working on this issue of retroactive jealousy since 2013. I’ve seen and heard it all, I’ve had hundreds of one-on-one coaching calls, thousands of emails, so I think I have a fairly good grasp on this problem, frankly, and I think I have a pretty enormous database of retroactive jealousy stories to work with when coming up with answers to questions like the one you posed.

And the answer is, yes, it is quite common for retroactive jealousy to enter our lives for a certain period of time, disappear or at least fade a little bit, and then recur several months, or sometimes even several years, or sometimes even several decades later.

My coaching clients range in age from 22, all the way up to men in their 60s, and some of my older clients have spoken about the fact that they dealt with retroactive jealousy 30 years ago, 20 years ago, and then it just pops up again out of nowhere, or at least seemingly out of nowhere.

It’s also quite common for men and women to experience retroactive jealousy in consecutive relationships, or at least in multiple relationships over the course of their lives.

Sometimes maybe they struggled with it in a long-term relationship when they were, say, 20, and then they have a few more relationships where they don’t really deal with retroactive jealousy; then they fall madly in love at 30 or 32 or something, and again, retroactive jealousy hits them like a ton of bricks.

Very common for this to enter our lives multiple times over many years or many decades, which is one of the many reasons I’m so passionate about doing this work, making videos like this, working one-on-one with retroactive jealousy sufferers to help them get over this problem once and for all.

Because frankly, if you don’t put in the work to really sit down, check in with yourself, and say to yourself, “I’m going to beat this, come hell or high water, I’m going to put this problem behind me,” if you don’t do that, if you don’t truly commit to beating this problem, it will more than likely come back into your life and be a problem over and over again.

You might have a few weeks, or maybe a few months, or maybe even a few years of relief, but guess what: Some external event in your life may trigger retroactive jealousy all over again, and you might feel like you’re back at square one months or even years later.

I don’t want this to happen to you.

I’m tired of getting these emails from people who watch videos in my channel and don’t really commit to any of the work, don’t really schedule an appointment with a therapist, commit to personal development, whatever works for them.

And instead, it seems like they’re spinning their wheels in the mud over and over and over again, because again, they get retroactive jealousy for a few weeks or a few months, it fades away somewhat, they think they’re in the clear, and then guess what, it pops back up again, and they’re still asking their partner more questions, they’re obsessing over things that don’t matter.

They’re kind of spinning their wheels in the mud, as I like to call it, rather than saying, “Enough is enough. I’m going to commit to overcoming this, come hell or high water. I’m going to beat this thing and put it behind me for good, because I know if I don’t, it will come back into my life over and over again.”

So, for anyone watching this who’s struggling with retroactive jealousy, I highly encourage you to commit to beating it once and for all.

If you’re watching this video right now and you’re struggling with this particular problem, I’m sorry to tell you that it it’s very likely that if you don’t put in the work now to beat it, it will come back into your life and just wreak havoc with your emotional and psychological health over many years, and we don’t want that.

We want you to put this problem behind you once and for all.

Thanks, Brian, for your question.

If you are struggling with retroactive jealousy and you’d like access to a proven step-by-step program that has liberated over 1500 men and women around the world from the shackles of retroactive jealousy, please click here to learn more about my premium online course for retroactive jealousy sufferers, Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast. Thanks for watching this video.

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.