Retroactive Jealousy

The past is not the past, it is never done and gone.

male sexual jealousy is a dragon that will devour your very soul

I only just learned of a condition called Retroactive Jealousy, but it seems as though I’ve suffered from this horrible character defect for much of my life.  Now I know that this is a quite common condition that’s also known as retrospective jealousy and retrograde jealousy.

Retroactive Jealousy is having extremely painful thoughts and morbid curiosity over your partner’s / loved one’s past relationships and / or sexual history ~ especially if they went through a very promiscuous phase involving multiple sexual partners or were deeply in love with another or others.

Retroactive Jealousy can lead you to do crazy things; stalk your partner’s social media, check through all their old photographs, post very negative and attacking things about them on your own social media, hire a private detective, park outside their house night after night…..  All jealousy is utterly insane and crazy.

It seems that jealousy commonly arises not only about events and thoughts that happen in the present, but also about the past ~ even the past long before we met our current partner.

Jealousy, that dragon which slays love under the pretense of keeping it alive.  ~  Havelock Ellis

Both men and women can suffer terribly from retroactive jealousy, but from very different causes.  Men get jealous over their perception of their partner’s sexual history, whereas women get jealous about the other women they believe their partner has been in love with in the past.  And, retroactive jealousy only happens in the presence of love.  If you are just having a one-night-stand, casual sex, regular sex hookups, or a meaningless fling, then retroactive jealousy will not raise its ugly head.  It is only when you begin to really love someone that you might suffer from terrible jealousies about their past.

This is utterly counter-intuitive, because we are conditioned to believe that true love is unconditional, and that we should accept, understand, and cherish our loved one, no matter what.  Sadly, this is not how real life works.  The past will always affect our deepest emotions, and more often than not things that our partner has done in the past will tear us apart.

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.

Retroactive Jealousy need not plague you forever, as long as you are prepared to change, as long as you are prepared to put in the hard work ~ but that needs to be the topic of another post.

Some say that you should accept your partner’s past, no matter what it is.  And that a competent and self-confident person should be incapable of jealousy in everything.  All I know is that there are only two choices about retroactive jealousy; #1 fully accept and understand your partner’s past, #2 walk away and don’t look back.

Always remember that your jealousy is your problem not your partners ~ so deal with it.


jack collier

if your partner has things like this in her past most men will suffer retroactive jealousy

7 responses

  1. […] I posted some stuff about Retroactive Jealousy, which seems to be the most disturbing, counter-intuitive, difficult to comprehend, painful […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Why is a man more likely to be jealous if a woman has a BDSM type relationship in her past? Chances are that her future partners share similar tastes. In my experience, jealousy has been less so with men in the community.

    A note that not all jealousy is based on past history. There is only one time I’m jealous or suspicious… when my partner is actively cheating on me. My intuition kicks in and I know. Only twice in my life. As a pattern, jealousy is never a part of my relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even the little I have learned tells me that this is very complex. I sort of believe that there has to be a couple or three things going on before someone can suffer from Retroactive Jealousy; #1 they probably have an underlying psychological problem ~ in my case I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. #2 they have to both love and need their partner. and maybe #3 They have to ethically and morally have a real issue with their partner’s past lifestyle. It seems to me that someone in the BDSM community would not normally be jealous of their partner’s BDSM past, whereas someone who is not in the community would suffer from Retroactive Jealousy over their partner’s BDSM past.
      Thanks for your comment. ❤ 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d never heard of this with a label although of course one sees it in people from time to time. Very informative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I thought I was being weird and bad because I’ve had this kind of jealousy. But it seems that it’s not unusual at all. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ughhh! Another great reason to stay alone and not deal with relationships. Who needs someone going through their old posts and interrogating them? Yes, this has happened to me as well…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, a lot of men suffer from retroactive jealousy, and then do some crazy, unpleasant, and possibly criminal things to try to ease the hurt they feel.
      The better guy will find a way to deal with his negative feelings without stalking your past and present.
      Stay strong Sweetheart. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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