What is retroactive jealousy in a relationship? Signs and tips to deal with it - Hindustan Times

How to handle retroactive jealousy in a relationship? Check out signs and tips to deal with it

Sep 30, 2023 09:05 PM IST

Retroactive jealousy refers to resentment about a partner's past relationships. It can strain a bond if not addressed. Here are signs and tips to deal with it.

Have you ever felt jealous in your relationship? It's normal to feel insecure from time to time or to worry that your partner might be attracted to someone else. But what about insecurities about previous partners in your relationship? It turns out that this is called retroactive jealousy. It refers to resentment about your partner's past relationships. It could be about their past interactions with other people or the actions they took in those relationships. Although a little moderate jealousy is appropriate and can even foster intimacy and inner development in a partnership, more extreme jealousy can strain a relationship by making your partner feel insecure. (Also read: Hidden abusers: Recognising subtle signs of covertly abusive behaviours in relationships )

What is retroactive jealousy in a relationship? Signs and tips to deal with it(Freepik )
What is retroactive jealousy in a relationship? Signs and tips to deal with it(Freepik )

"No matter what, you can’t change the past! Retroactive jealousy can be a red flag, or not, depending on how you deal with it. Have you ever been with someone who was retroactively jealous? Or have you been the one who felt this type of jealousy? It’s so important to be able to accept your partner for who they are and accept that they are with you for a reason.," says dating coach and relationship expert Talia in her recent Instagram post.

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Talia further shared signs of retroactive jealousy and tips to deal with it in your relationship.

Signs of retroactive jealousy

1. Checking up on their ex on social media (or they're lurking on your ex's social media)

2. Constantly asking questions about past relationships

3. Snooping to see if they've kept anything from their past relationships, such as photos (or they're doing that to you)

4. They make snarky or sarcastic comments about your ex

5. Comparing yourself to their ex openly or just mentally

6. They suspect you're still in contact with your ex and may still have feelings for them whether it's true or not

What to do if you feel retroactive jealousy?

No one can change the past. If you feel retroactive Jealousy to the point where your relationship is challenging for you to be in, it's time to do some inner work on these insecurities (maybe with a therapist) and communicate with your partner about what triggers this feeling. It's important to get to the root of it - where are these doubts coming from and what do they say about you?

If your partner can't seem to get over your past, it's important to reassure them that you are choosing to be with them! Encourage them to open up about their feelings and validate their pain, even if their fears are not based on reality. Lastly, if your partner's retroactive jealousy has a negative impact on your day-to-day life, and they're not willing to work through it or get help, leaving is likely the best option.

It's normal to feel a quick pang of jealousy when your partner talks about their ex fondly, or if you know they ran into each other at a party or something like that. Retroactive jealousy is really an issue when it makes you question the entire relationship and/or their feelings for you (or vice versa). Fortunately, retroactive jealousy is solvable if you and your partner are willing to work through it.

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