In today’s video, I’m going to share a crucial question that I think every retroactive jealousy sufferer should ask themselves.

Read or watch below to learn more about putting together your vision for the future.

Zachary Stockill: When you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy, it’s all too easy to get completely consumed by the past. This is why it’s so important to have a clear idea and a clear vision of an ideal future.

This is the subject of today’s video. I’m going to share a crucial question that I think every retroactive jealousy sufferer should ask themselves. 

For the people who are new to my channel and new to my work: the term retroactive jealousy refers to unwanted intrusive thoughts, often obsessive curiosity, and what I call “mental movies” about your partner’s past relationships and/or sexual or dating history.

It’s an absolute nightmare. 

And it can result in people becoming totally fixated on the past. Often, they wake up, and they go to sleep, fixated on their partner’s past. A

nd sometimes, they’re also fixated on their own past. Maybe opportunities they feel they missed out on, or whatever.

And when you’re struggling with this bizarre issue that we call retroactive jealousy, it’s absolutely crucial to think about exactly where you want to go and who you want to be moving forward into the future. What will be your vision for the future?

This is why I believe every single retroactive jealousy sufferer should ask themselves this question:

If I do what I know I need to do, where could I be a year from now?

your vision for the future

I recorded a video recently discussing the differences between positive and negative motivation. Negative motivation is mostly focused on what’s the worst that could happen. What could I lose as a result of X? 

Positive motivation is the flip side, which basically says, what could I gain if I do X? So naturally, the question that I just posed to you is more related to positive motivation. And I like this question for a couple of reasons. 

Number one, what I know I need to do. Most people are fairly self-aware, especially if they’re struggling with a problem like retroactive jealousy. If you are struggling with a problem, like retroactive jealousy, you’re probably making certain mistakes. And you probably realize, at the same time, that you’re making certain mistakes, and thus, you probably have some idea of what you know you should be doing. 

So, the second part of this question relates to the timeframe that we’re talking about. Where could I be a year from now if I do what I know I need to do?

A year sounds like a long time. I’m in my mid-30s now, and it seems like every year keeps getting shorter. 

A year isn’t as much time as we may imagine it to be. And at the same time a year is enough time to make real, lasting change.

Profound changes can be possible; changes in your physique, perhaps changes in your psychology, changes in your relationship, changes in your outlook on life and on love in the world… You can go through a staggering amount of change in one year, and you can transform yourself to a considerable extent with a one ear time horizon. 

And if you need to make this time horizon a little bit more real in your mind, there’s an interesting experiment that you can try. You can go on your phone, or you can go on your computer or whatever, anywhere where you have a certain photographic record of your life.

Go back to exactly one year ago today, and see what you were doing. See where you were, who you were spending time with. You may be surprised and realize, “Wow, that feels like it was yesterday. But it was one year ago.”

At the same time, this exercise is interesting because you may be shocked to discover that either a lot of change has happened, or maybe almost no change has happened. 

In certain cases, you may realize that you’re still struggling with retroactive jealousy to the same extent or perhaps even worse than you were a year ago. And what does that tell you? That probably tells you that certain changes are not only advisable but probably essential. As the saying goes, “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting…”

Do you really want to be struggling with retroactive jealousy the same way you were struggling with retroactive jealousy a year ago, another year from now? 

In other words, do you want to stay stagnant? Do you want to stay in this place of struggling with painful, intrusive thoughts, obsessive curiosity? Nonstop mental movies about your partner’s past? Do you really want to be in that place a year from now?

If your answer is “no,” the next question is: what do I need to do to be in a much different place a year from now? What vision I should have for the future?

I wanted to record this video to get a certain segment of my audience thinking. And when I say a certain segment of my audience, maybe you’ve been watching my videos for years now. You know, not my courses, not my books..

You just kind of watch free videos on YouTube from me and other people every once in a while. And maybe, retroactive jealousy is this kind of “nagging” presence in your life. Maybe, it was there a year ago…

And if you keep doing what you’re doing, it’ll be here a year from now. 

your vision for the future

You probably need to try something different.

If that involves working with me, great. If that involves signing up for therapy with someone else, or coaching with someone else, great. And If that involves, you know, signing up for my course or someone else’s course, great. 

The point is: reflect on this one year time horizon. Reflect a year in the future. Have a vision for the future, and think about where you were a year in the past. Because when you do this, you might realize that change is not happening at the rate that you wish it would, and it’s time to try something different.

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

Or, if you need more help, then you can consider signing up for one-on-one coaching with me. [Subject to availability]


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.