Retrospective Jealousy: How Can I Make My Boyfriend’s Past Not Affect Me?

Jealousy is something that can worsen the quality of a relationship, but what if that jealousy is about past relationships? Discover how to face this problem through psychology.

What is retrospective jealousy and how does it affect a relationship?

When starting a relationship, in many cases you do not look at the ties that a person has in the past. But maybe one day you start talking to your partner about past relationships and you feel like you can’t control the jealousy that those memories make you feel. Although you knew that he had had a partner before being with you, knowing details of what his life was like before you destabilizes you and generates a series of doubts that you would not have asked yourself before. This is where acquaintances can appear retroactive jealousy or retrospective jealousy

What is retrospective jealousy or jealousy of the past?

The most common thing when you start a relationship is that the person you are getting to know has previously had other romantic relationships. That is something that at some point you will be tempted to talk about. But if with that conversation that seems innocent they can activate jealousy of the past Due to the couple’s previous life, this feeling can harm the quality of your relationship.

Generally when we think of someone jealous we are referring to a person who feels jealous in the present moment and/or for an uncertain future that you do not know where it will take you as a couple. However, the retroactive jealousy or retrospective jealousy They are very unpleasant because although you know that you cannot blame your partner since at that moment you were not together and it is part of his past, you cannot help but feel discomfort from what he has done with others in bed or with sentimental level.

How does retrospective jealousy affect a relationship?

An attack of jealousy, especially when it is jealousy of our partner’s past, is very damaging to a relationship. Therefore, stopping being jealous is a more than urgent task since this can mean many disadvantages for your bond.

  • Don’t accept your partner’s flaws

Sometimes you discover things you don’t like about your partner because of explanations of what they have done in their past. For example, if you are a person who does not like to have sporadic relationships and in that conversation you discover that your partner has had one, you can think something like: “I thought you respected yourself more and didn’t lower yourself so much” and how consequently start arguing about things that are no longer part of the lives of the two of you. In this way, you can begin to experience some distrust in the couple since you were completely unaware of this facet.

  • Unsafety

On many occasions the jealousy of the past or retrospective jealousy They arise from an unhealthy comparison with previous couples. When you know there has been someone in the past you want to see photos, know what they are like physically, what communication was like, how they lived together, what they were like in bed, etc. If the person speaks about their ex with a certain amount of affection or positively values ​​what they had, you compare yourself and feel afraid that the other person was better than you and that can also cause problems in the relationship, since you will probably need to hear more messages of affection from your partner or you will need him to comfort you with signs of affection or telling you how much he loves you. In this way, this retroactive jealousy can indicate a clear insecurity or a sign that you suffer from low self-esteem.

  • Fear for the future of the relationship

Maybe before that conversation you didn’t show jealousy, but now you can’t help but be afraid that your partner has feelings for his ex again or that he has never stopped feeling them. You are afraid that he will leave you because of what he had in the past and no matter how much your partner reminds you over and over again that that happened and that he now wants to be with you, you can’t help but think that maybe one day he will change his mind, he will realize that he/she doesn’t love you or that he/she is still in love with the other person. These jealousy of the past They can affect you to such a level that you end up thinking that there is infidelity on their part.

You may be interested:  What Are the Risks and Negative Effects of Multitasking?

Jealousy can be felt on certain occasions. Although it is a natural reaction, the reality is that jealousy as a couple can almost mean cancer for a relationship. Furthermore the retroactive jealousy They are healed through introspection and detecting our psychological insecurities. Therefore, it is vital to overcome jealousy by working on our emotional health with the help of a professional psychologist.

How to overcome retroactive jealousy?

How to overcome retrospective jealousy?

Jealousy of the past or retrospective jealousy ends up being a serious problem for the person who suffers from it. So much so that in many cases relationships can end because of these personal problems. Therefore, it is essential to work to overcome retrospective jealousy

1. Be realistic

Even if you find what your partner has told you shocking, it is all part of their past, and not the current situation. If you too have had partners before, think about how unfair it is that you wish he or she hadn’t. Everyone has to experience and live and you can’t pretend to be the only one in their life. Just because you are not the only one does not mean that the relationship you have now is worse, it is simply a different one. If you have not had more partners, it is still important that you accept that nowadays most people have been through more than one serious relationship. Therefore, to cure the retroactive jealousy It is essential to forget everything that has happened in the past.

2. Stop asking

The more general this conversation is, the better. The more details, the more you will make comparisons and it will be much more difficult for you to leave these behind. jealousy of the past If you see that talking about it causes arguments or worsens your relationship, don’t ask any more, bite your tongue and live with the uncertainty and ignorance of what happened before you.

You may be interested:  Why Do I Wake up with Anxiety? 7 Reasons Behind Morning Anxiety

3. Analyze why it hurts so much

Is it a question of low self-esteem? If so, work on improving your self-esteem instead of focusing on your partner’s past. Are you a controlling person? Remember that you cannot control your partner’s past because you were not there. Have you been disappointed by what he has told you? Perhaps you should consider whether you are too demanding with him/her as well as appreciate that what was done in the past does not have to be repeated or be the same today. Analyzing what happened is vital to know how to overcome past jealousy

4. Your past does not define you

You may think that your retrospective jealousy They are more than justified since those actions define your partner. Lived experiences make us learn. Not all the relationships we have are the same since we grow, mature and evolve. Thus, we try to prevent the mistakes we make from happening again and your partner does not have to be an exception. What you have now is what counts so stop judging others for things that no longer exist.

5. Live in the present

If your partner is with you and not with his ex, that is what you have to value. The past is no longer reality, reality is you. So focus on enjoying your relationship, filling it with good moments and stop provoking arguments or demanding too much out of fear. On many occasions for stop being jealous or overcome retrospective jealousy the solution lies in paying more attention to the present and stopping having recurring thoughts about the past.

You may be interested:  What is Acrophobia? 5 Methods to Know How to Overcome the Fear of Heights

6. Ask for professional help

If you see that you can’t stop thinking about this issue and you can’t get ahead on your own, ask psychology professionals for help. We can help you both on a personal level and in couples therapy.

Ultimately, you can choose what type of relationship you want for you and your partner. Don’t get carried away by the past and build a future from the present you have.

How to help someone with past jealousy

How to treat your partner’s retrospective jealousy?

In the event that you are not the one suffering from the retroactive jealousy or past jealousy Or, there are some attitudes or actions that can help your partner overcome these sensations.

  • Talk to your partner

Communication within the couple is essential for overcome past jealousy In many cases, the person who suffers from these types of feelings does not know that they have a psychological problem. Therefore, it is vital to try to make him understand that he must accept that he has retrospective jealousy to know how to overcome it.

  • Be understanding

Perhaps on some occasion your partner has suffered a jealousy attack in which he has done emotional blackmail to you. Although you cannot allow this type of attitude in your partner, perhaps you should show a little empathy for their feelings. In these cases you should let him know that it is an incorrect attitude but always with mutual respect.

  • Respond honestly to your partner

On many occasions the one jealous girlfriend or boyfriend You will end up asking a lot of questions to try to calm your past jealousy. On this occasion you should not deceive him but it is essential to respond from sincerity. Lying will only serve to further substantiate his unjustified suspicions.

  • Couple therapy

When these retroactive jealousy are affecting your emotional health, it is vital to convince your partner to be able to treat these feelings with the help of a professional. It may be difficult to try to go to the first session, but these types of therapies will be essential in healing your relationship and controlling past jealousy that may have arisen.

Staying stuck in the past is never good. Therefore, the best way to know how to overcome retrospective jealousy is precisely to leave it behind. By doing so we will not only be able to overcome jealousy, but we will also be able to focus on improving our relationship.