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Retroactive Jealousy

Retroactive Jealousy

You might have repetitive thoughts about the romantic or sexual past life of your partner; it is related to “retroactive jealousy OCD“. Simply we can say that it is an obsessive-compulsive disorder. But you might be confused about what it means to have this condition or how you can deal with it.

In this article, I am going to cover retroactive Jealousy,discovering how is it related to OCD and what you can do to deal with it. So let’s get started:


What is retroactive jealousy?

Retroactive Jealousy which is also known as retrospective Jealousy or retrograde Jealousy means having an unhealthy interest in the romantic or sexual past life of your partner.

It is only passing Jealousy if people feel jealous about their partner’s past at some point or other but are not obsessed with their past. But on the other hand, if it gets out of hand and includes negative emotions and thoughts leading to negative action, then it falls under the category of retroactive Jealousy. It can cause severe distress to a person, and the relationship is ruined. In some cases a, Retroactive Jealousy breakup occurs.

Negative emotions and thoughts associated with retroactive Jealousy

Here are some negative thoughts and emotions linked with retroactive Jealousy.


A person is concerned about the sexual history of their partner and may think that they had no moral values or acted like a slut in their past. They may look down on their partner because of this or lack respect for their partner.


When a person comes to know about the “promiscuous” past of their partner, he or she may subconsciously fear that they will repeat their actions. Simply we can say that they have a fear of losing them.


A person may not have a good sexual experience, he may have dated fewer people, and it was not that interesting or did not have a great time during university life as compared to his partner. It can make them feel envious about opportunities they missed or they feel their partner is more sexually attractive than they are.


A person going through Retroactive Jealousy may feel angry while thinking about the past of their partner; for instance, why did he/she date him/her? And these thoughts add fuel to the fire.


Apprehension of feelings about the past of a partner can lead to anxiety attacks as a person becomes insecure. A person is overwhelmed with negative emotions and thoughts.


After knowing about a partner’s past, a person may start wondering if this is the right match for him or not, i.e. “Do I really want to be with someone who has cheated in the past? or “how can I get married to someone I had sex with after I met them ten minutes beforehand?”

Resulting actions

When you have never ending negative thoughts in your mind, it is impossible to act normally. Your actions are negative too. Here are the resulting negative actions:


You have these mixed emotions, and this can lead to confusion; as a result, you spend a lot of time online searching about websites and forums helping in dealing with retroactive Jealousy. You have recognized there is an issue


At this point, you become obsessed with your partner’s past and want to know about it more. You wonder if he is hiding anything from you. You may violate their personal space i.e. checking their emails, social media profiles, mobile phones etc. It is a classic retroactive jealousy OCD behaviour.


Feelings of anger and judgment can lead to arguments. A person may ask their partner questions when they do not think that they have done anything wrong. Because of irritation and annoyance this can cause repetitive arguments.


Jealous thoughts occupy our brain and jealous emotions in our body. Usually, a person is unable to shrug these off and move on. Instead, it leads to overthinking the whole situation; a person cannot come out of this wormhole.


A person may fire off passive-aggressive or sarcastic comments at his or her partner about their past life. These comments might not lead to arguments every time, but gradually it can lead to retroactive jealousy breakup.

Retroactive Jealousy OCD

Retroactive Jealousy is usually labelled as an obsessive-compulsive disorder because a lot of attributes are the same. It may seem like a black and white case, “retroactive jealousy OCD is a kind of OCD,” but that is not the case there is more to ir. A lot of people use this term without knowing and understanding the exact meaning. Sharon Begley, in her book, says that:

“There’s no such thing as being “a little OCD”. Just as you can’t be “a little pregnant”, someone either suffers from OCD or they don’t.”

She further writes that:

“If a negative thought doesn’t cause someone as much distress as a gun being held to their child’s head, then it isn’t OCD.”

A lot of people who suffer from retroactive Jealousy may not be diagnosed as suffering from OCD, but that is not a big deal. Your life may be dominated by retroactive jealousy OCD, or you may function normally. But the question is not how severe your retrospective jealousy is and whether you want to get rid of your compulsive behaviour and thoughts.  If you want to get rid of this, there is nothing wrong in saying you have mild retroactive jealousy disorder.

Retroactive Jealousy disorder

Retroactive Jealousy is very common. It is normal to feel jealous of someone your partner dated in the past. Commonly, men get really jealous of the physical connections their partner made; they may end up more upset by their partner’s casual hookups than the closeness they shared with some partner two years ago. Ladies are the inverse: Their Jealousy is centred on the passionate association. They see past loves as greater dangers than flings or hookups. They usually do not mind that their partner was engaged in sexual relations with different ladies; they care that they spent good time with another person, upheld another person, trusted in another person, and shared inside jokes with another person.

A normal amount and, at some point, a healthy amount of Jealousy can turn into OCD; why? This question is really tough to answer. In general, it is a disorder having several causes, and there is not one main cause.  Among the greatest causes is disturbed communication in the brain; in the OCD mind, the brain’s front parts do not always communicate effectively with deeper parts, bringing about a person seeing risk where it does not seem to exist the judgement becomes clouded.

Communication in brain

Sufferers commonly have low levels of specific neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, which is the reason anti-depressants are utilized for OCD treatment. They may likewise have high glutamate levels, a neurotransmitter that deals with memory and learning.


Hereditary qualities matter as well, as they will in general be familiar to other family members, and about 25% of individuals with OCD have a close relative who has it too. Studies have additionally tracked down that numerous OCD sufferers have a mutation on a gene called serotonin transporter gene (hSERT), showing a direct genetic connection.

Compulsive behaviour

Compulsive actions and behaviours, while not the reason for OCD, are what allow it to grow. Fundamentally, OCD can’t exist without compulsions. In the event that an individual is hereditarily or physically inclined to the issue, behavioural conditioning makes it even stronger.

Retroactive Jealousy test

A retroactive jealousy test is something that can help you in identifying if you are suffering from retroactive jealousy disorder or not. There are plenty of online Retroactive jealousy test available that you can try. Here are some of the questions that you will be asked in these tests:

  • Do you care how many sexual partners your boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse has had?
  • Do you quiz your partner about his / her past relationship(s) or sex life?
  • Have you ever gone through your partner’s laptop, phone, or other belongings to find out more about his / her past?
  • Do you feel anxious and angry when your partner brings up his / her past lover(s) in conversation?
  • Do you suffer from repetitive “mini-movies” starring your partner and his / her former lover(s)?
  • How often do you think about your partner’s past relationship(s) or sex life?
  • How bothered are you that your partner is still friends with his / her ex-lover (s) on Facebook?
  • Do you worry that your partner may cheat on you in the present because of his / her “promiscuous” past?
  • Do you worry that your partner’s former lover was somehow “better” than you?
  • How often do you get into arguments with your partner about his / her past?


No matter what kind of OCD a person is experiencing, treatment is done in the same way. Specifics are different in the course, but the overall strategy remains the same. Let’s have a look at some of the treatment options.

Retroactive Jealousy therapy

Therapy is the most reliable treatment for any kind of mental health disorder. Let’s have a look at   Retroactive Jealousy therapy options.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy with ERP

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the excellent approaches used in the treatment of retroactive jealousy OCD by experts. With the help of this approach, negative emotions, thoughts patterns are identified. Whatever a person thinks, it affects their behaviour. In case a person has negative emotions or thoughts about his partner’s past, you will see this in his or her behaviour with their partner. In retroactive Jealousy, OCD makes false assumptions far from reality in their people have extremely judgmental thoughts and anger in their mind, thus behave accordingly. These emotions or thoughts are identified by an expert, and with the help of this approach, treatment is done.

Simple technique in CBD comprises saying “STOP”, either loudly or in your head when you feel like negative thoughts are attacking your mind. An experimental technique called Imagery re-scripting has also been used in association with CBT. It is suggested that cognitive-behavioural therapy, in combination with ERP, can play an effective role in the treatment of retroactive jealousy OCD by breaking an association between compulsive actions and obsessional thoughts. For instance, a person dealing with retroactive jealousy disorder may be asked to trigger his/her doubts regarding relationship and preoccupations by saying, “I am not sure if I am okay with my partner’s past”. Instead of doing a compulsive ritual or stressing as a result of these thoughts, the individual is encouraged to deal with the anxiety and to know how he/she can dissipate these thoughts eventually.

ERP is sometimes planned and sometimes unplanned. In the case of planned ERP, a person intentionally exposes himself to hurtful thoughts and images that provoke anxiety, and then he makes a conscious effort to deal with it. On the other hand, unplanned ERPs are organic where a person faces such a situation out of the blue and tries to deal with it. A sufferer may be asked to think about his partner having sex with someone from the past. After that expert may instruct him not to solicit reassurance from his partner, not to look into emails or the phone of their partner. Do not snoop around and do not analyze these thoughts, moreover do not engage in any kind of behaviour that makes him feel better. The concept is to ignore these intrusive thoughts.


In the early stages, medication is not recommended for most mental health disorders. In the case of OCD, medication works for the majority; about 70% of patients respond. OCD won’t go away completely even with the help of medicine, but that is fine. The goal is to reduce anxiety to tolerable levels where ERPs can work.

Because of genetics, OCD medications may not work for everyone, and a sufferer may have to try a lot of medicines before the right medicine. Just like other prescriptions, OCD prescriptions are designed for the general population who metabolize drugs at normal levels. But some people metabolize drugs at faster rates and some at a slower rate, so they are far apart from the target audience. So they may find it hard to deal with retroactive jealousy OCD.

To avoid taking risks, and wasting time, it is better for a patient to have their genetics tested. This will help in finding out what kind of metabolizer they are. This will help in finding out what kinds of medications are not good for them. A physician can order this test for the patient.

Those who are dealing with preexisting conditions or are having drugs for other ailments may find it even more difficult to deal with retroactive jealousy OCD. Some medications are not favourable to take with other drugs or should not be given to those having heart conditions, diabetes or kidney disease. In addition to that, teens, young adults and children must not take certain anti-depressants as they increased the risk of suicide.

The most common medications prescribed for OCDs are SSRIs that work by increasing serotonin levels. SSRI drugs include:

  • Lexapro
  • Prozac
  • Luvox
  • Celexa
  • Paxil
  • Zoloft

There are some off-label medications that are preferred when traditional medications fail. These medicines are not approved for OCD explicitly but are believed to prove effective based on scientific studies and anecdotal reports. Some common drugs include:

  • Risperdal
  • Haldol
  • Zyprexa
  • Abilify
  • Seroquel
  • Valium
  • Xanax
  • NAC
  • Buspar
  • Namenda
  • Pristiq
  • Ketamine
  • Tramadol

What you can do?

Dealing with retroactive jealousy OCD is not easy at all. The treatment is not enough. You have to make some lifestyle changes too and change your habits in order to deal with retroactive jealousy disorder. Here is what you do on your own besides treatment:

  • Change your eating habits, eat healthy, and avoid alcohol, processed foods, sugar and a lot of coffee.
  • Exercising is healthy and helps you deal with anxiety.
  • Meditation is very helpful in such conditions. Practice mindfulness or yoga.
  • Join support groups this way; you can spend time with those who are going through the same situation. You can know about their struggles, and it will help you in dealing with your own.
  • You can ask your partner not to enable your disease by providing reassurance.

Retroactive Jealousy OCD Reddit

Here is what people are saying about Retroactive Jealousy OCD Reddit:

“If you can’t get over it yourself, you need therapy. The older you get, the more likely it is that anyone you get with will have a past. If you can’t learn to recognize and get over this, you’re not going to have a good time.”

“You’re probably not doing yourself any favours by dwelling on the subject, and it’s not going to go away on its own. If you don’t want to work on this with a therapist, read a little about cognitive behavioural therapy – you can put that to use on your own pretty easily. (and even if you had a therapist, you’d still do most of the work on your own.)

  • Start consciously recognizing when you have jealous thoughts – basically name them when they happen, even if they’re just fleeting.
  • Pay attention to what scenarios in your life trigger these jealous thoughts and link them.
  • Consider what distortions you apply to the thoughts and how those distortions connect to your core beliefs, challenge these thoughts by consciously identifying reasons they’re wrong. Etc.

After a while, it becomes an automatic process almost; it’s like you build a new circuit in your brain to deal with this, and after a while, it goes away almost.”

Here are some other Retroactive Jealousy OCD Reddit suggestions:

“It’s really shitty of him to be upset with you over things you can’t control and things that don’t really matter. If you had a one night stand during your relationship, sure. That’d be grounds to have some jealousy (you would still need to work through it), but to tell you that you’re stupid for your past sexual history is unfair to you. It’s not ok to make someone feel bad about things like that. I can’t imagine that he went into your relationship thinking you were some kind of strict virgin that has never had any kind of intimacy with another person.”

“I really believe that RJ is the responsibility of the sufferer. They need to take ownership and work on themselves to fix the problem. I did it, and I have succeeded. I want people to know that it’s possible to heal. In saying that, I had to work through the stages of suffering. I was an absolute asshole to my partner. I asked so many questions. I got answers for most of them. I do sometimes wonder if it would have been worse if I didn’t get the answers and was left wondering. At the end of the day, though, it’s his choice to be with you. He should take on responsibility.”

Retroactive Jealousy quotes

Here are some retroactive jealousy quotes for you:

  • “Jealousy lives upon doubts. It becomes madness or ceases entirely as soon as we pass from doubt to certainty.” — Francois de La Rochefoucauld
  • “Nothing is more capable of troubling our reason, and consuming our health, than secret notions of jealousy in solitude.” — Aphra Behn
  • “What sort of love is permeated by Jealousy? You are jealous because you are unaware that everything you need is inside you.” ― Peter Deunov
  • “A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” — Robert A. Heinlein
  • “Jealousy is one of the wickedest of all the passions. It is that which has been the most fruitful mother of tragedies, murders, and wars. But reprehensible though it is, Jealousy is almost rather be pitied than blamed–its first victims are those who harbour the feeling.” — Arthur Lynch
  • “Jealousy – that sickening combination of possessiveness, suspicion, rage, and humiliation – can overtake your mind and threaten your very core as you contemplate your rival.” — Helen Fisher
  • “Jealousy is that pain which a man feels from the apprehension that he is not equally beloved by the person whom he entirely loves.” — Joseph Addison
  • “There’s no regret. You can’t regret it. I mean, I’ve felt regret, but I’ve also refused to allow regret to sow a seed and live in me because I don’t believe it. You feel it; it’s like guilt, it’s like jealousy, it’s like all those horrible things. You’ve just got to snip them and get them out because they’re no good.” —Jude Law
  • “The surest route to breeding jealousy is to compare. Since Jealousy comes from feeling less than another, comparisons only fan the fires.” — Dorothy Corkille Briggs

Some other retroactive jealousy quotes are as follows:

  • “It would be impossible to estimate how much time and energy we invest in trying to fix, change and deny our emotions – especially the ones that shake us at our very core, like hurt, jealousy, loneliness, shame, rage and grief.” — Debbie Ford
  • Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealously, and envy. Og Mandino
  • Do not listen to nay-sayers or those who may be envious or jealous of your intentions. See the possibilities. The world belongs to the doers, not the nay-sayers. Byron Pulsifer, Can We Make A Rainbow
  • If we trace the evolutionary history of humankind, we find that part of the reason we suffer from jealous thoughts and emotions about the past and (the present) is that it has been hardwired into us since the dawn of time to do so. Jeff Billings, The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure
  • Jealousy is never satisfied with anything short of an omniscience that would detect the subtlest fold of the heart. George Eliot
  • Jealousy cuts across and does not necessarily blend with other aspects of a relationship. Terri Apter, The Sister Knot
  • To live each day also means to allow forgiveness. By holding a grudge or allowing spite to rule your day, you are placing emphasis on the negative and not on the positive. Get rid of envy or Jealousy. Byron Pulsifer, The Tonic Of Life
  • Blessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy, to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate. William Arthur Ward
  • If two people can fully trust one another and are good at communicating with each other, Jealousy will never win. NEVER! Robert Rain, Dealing With Jealousy, Insecurity and Trust Issues
  • A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs
  • If you’re suffering from problems of self-esteem or from constant bouts of Jealousy, it didn’t happen overnight. Bailey Jackson, How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others


Retroactive Jealousy can make your life hell, and it can ruin your perfectly romantic relationship. So you have to seek professional help if you are dealing with this. A professional may suggest Retroactive Jealousy therapy and medications based on your condition. He will also give you some tips to change your lifestyle.

So this was all about retroactive Jealousy. I have tried my best to share useful information with you; We hope you will find it helpful.GET HELP WITH MY JEALOUSY NOW.

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