What Is Retroactive Jealousy?

Retroactive jealousy — what is it, how is it affecting your relationships, and how can you manage it? These are questions that you may be asking yourself. Jealousy, while it can be ugly, is experienced by almost everybody. It’s naturally inherent to feel jealous about even the littlest of things. As humans, we tend to think about things we can’t have and want things that aren’t ours.

When it comes to relationships, jealousy has a way of rearing its ugly head in the partnership. This frequently manifests in a partner feeling jealous about previous relationships. This form of jealousy is what is referred to as retroactive jealousy. It’s normal to feel slightly insecure about your partner in terms of their previous relationships for several reasons. However, problems begin to present themselves when those feelings escalate, and learning how to manage those feelings can make all the difference in maintaining a healthy relationship.

Further Understanding Retroactive Jealousy

To manage retroactive jealousy, we must first have a better understanding of it. Retroactive jealousy typically follows a pattern of feeling envious and obsessively thinking about your partner’s past relationships. This is where the line between jealousy and retroactive jealousy lies. We all experience jealousy of our partner’s past as a result of our own hidden insecurities. However, when these thoughts become compulsive, you and your relationship may become hindered by the obsession. 

Recognizing Retroactive Jealousy

You may not be able to easily recognize retroactive jealousy in your relationships. While recognizing the signs can be difficult, there are key indicators that show you may be suffering from retroactive jealousy. 

For example, you may find yourself seeking more information about your partner’s previous relationships. That may include going through the social media pages of your partner’s ex, aggressively seeking information from your partner, or even arguing more frequently because of the assumption. 

Another key indicator is that you may begin to feel severely insecure about yourself and your relationship. In those instances, you’ll find yourself constantly seeking reassurance, but unfortunately, with retroactive jealousy, a partner’s reassurance won’t help. If untreated, the intrusive thoughts you experience will worsen and cause damage to your relationship and mental health. For this reason, seeking treatment early on is essential.

Treatment Methods Available for Retroactive Jealousy

Individuals suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), low self-esteem, or attachment disorders may be more prevalent to experience retroactive jealousy. Seeking treatment for mental health disorders such as these can help with retroactive jealousy, and similar treatments can be effective specifically for this condition. 

The first step to treating retroactive jealousy is recognizing the signs and admitting you need help. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to discuss with your doctor or mental health professionals what path of treatment you can explore.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Learning to manage retroactive jealousy can be done successfully through a number of counseling methods. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can be particularly useful. CBT is frequently used to treat disorders characterized by obsessions and intrusive thoughts. 

The goal of CBT is to help clients understand their patterns of thinking or behaviors and teach them the tools needed to change those patterns. Clients slowly gain more control of their thoughts and, as a result, begin to improve whatever behavior may be hindering their relationships and mental health. 

Other Types of Therapies

Hypnotherapy and trauma-informed therapies can also help to effectively manage retroactive jealousy. In addition to therapies like these, there are steps you can take to manage retroactive jealousy and ways that SokyaHealth can help you experience wellness.

How You Can Begin Managing Retroactive Jealousy

Seeking therapy can help you manage any obsessive and intrusive thoughts you’re experiencing due to retroactive jealousy and make the necessary changes for achieving optimum wellness. It can be helpful to remember that you have a past, too, not just your partner, and talk therapy can offer the tools to help you accept this. 

From there, you’ll slowly be able to implement changes. That may include cultivating positive self-esteem through self-care, having healthy conversations with your partner about any insecurities, and implementing those tools from therapy into those conversations as well.

How SokyaHealth Can Help

Especially after the past two years, there has never been a greater need for treatment and mental health services. You may have struggled with retroactive jealousy throughout the pandemic while questioning where you can turn for help. One of the pillars that SokyaHealth stands on is the ability to offer mental health and wellness services in the online space. That means being able to provide holistic, client-centered therapy and wellness coaching all through our telehealth platform. 

If you are struggling with retroactive jealousy and your relationship is severely suffering, you don’t have to wait to seek therapy. SokyaHealth can help you experience wellness today. 

Many people struggle with retroactive jealousy but are completely unaware of it. Jealousy is an inherent reaction among humankind, especially within relationships. However, there are times when this jealousy becomes so extreme that it causes obsessive and intrusive thoughts about your partner’s previous relationships. These thoughts can lead to harmful behaviors that cause harm to your relationship and overall well-being. Similar to struggles like low self-esteem or other disorders that cause obsessive or intrusive thoughts, such as OCD, psychotherapy and counseling can effectively treat retroactive jealousy. Therapy can help you identify patterns of intrusive thoughts and behaviors and offer the tools to help change those patterns. At SokyaHealth, we can help you manage retroactive jealousy from the comfort of your own home, thanks to our online platform. Visit our website or call SokyaHealth today at (877) 840-6956 to experience wellness.

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