Retroactive Jealousy: How Can It Mess With Your Mental Health And Relationships?

Have you ever been jealous of your partner’s past?

Whether you admit it or not, you’ve stalked your partner’s exes. That in turn made you feel something. There’s a name for that feeling, and it’s retroactive jealousy.

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Put it this way. You’ve been with your partner for quite some time and you end up talking about your exes. For some reason, you decide to look up your partner’s exes on social media. The more information you find, the more insecure and upset you get. You find yourself imagining them going on dates. Or worse, having sex. God, make it stop!

Simply put, retroactive jealousy is when you’re jealous of your partner’s previous relationships. When you’re in a committed relationship, it’s pretty common to feel this way.

Retroactive jealousy vs. your relationships

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, jealousy can eat you up and it sucks. Jealousy can cause you to overanalyze and overthink. That can leave you angry and frustrated at yourself and your partner, and you don’t want that.

Retroactive jealousy can also make you think your partner was happier before. The thought of them being happy with someone else sets you off.  It messes up your view of the present, not to mention your self-worth. Many relationships end because of retroactive jealousy. It’s not pretty.

It’s a toxic attribute. Not a lot of people acknowledge or recognize it, which is why it’s a common relationship hurdle. It could even cause you to become passive-aggressive toward your partner. That’s never a good thing.

It’s not wrong to want to know everything about your partner’s past. But if you get retroactively jealous, resist the urge to interrogate your partner.

How to overcome it

It’s one thing to acknowledge these feelings, and it’s another to pretend they don’t exist. Your feelings are valid, so don’t go around thinking they’re nothing.

The best thing to do is to communicate with your partner. Clear the air. Who knows? They might be feeling the same way. After all, you have a past too. But if your partner tells you everything is alright and they continue to reassure you, trust them.

Sometimes retroactive jealousy is a “you” thing. Maybe you feel like you’re lacking something. Maybe you don’t know what you bring to the relationship. So do your best to work on yourself.

Again, it’s normal to be curious about your partner’s past, but don’t let it get the better of you. How you handle and look at the situation is what’s important.

Featured Image Macky Arquilla

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