Have you ever asked your partner how many people they’ve slept with? Whether they’ve ever had a threesome? Or what their ex was like? Or maybe they told you without you asking.
No matter how you came to know about your partner’s sexual history, it seems some people are able to just forget about it, while others fall into an abyss of insecurity, anger, and obsessive over-thinking called Retroactive Jealousy.
Why is this?
Why is one person able to hear that their partner once had a threesome and not care, while another curls up into a ball at night playing the image over and over in their head?
The answer lies in the cause of all human suffering since the beginning of time — the EGO.
The Ego And Sexual Jealousy
For anyone who’s ever suffered from retroactive jealousy — a constant obsessing over a partner’s sexual and/or romantic past — this post is for you.
I write this as a former sufferer who was able during my long road to recovery to work out that the root cause of my jealousy was my ego, and also how to combat it.
Yes, my condition was caused by insecurity, judgement, fear and all the other ailments regularly put forward on retroactive jealousy blogs — but if you want one, clear, all-round culprit for the incessant brain wrangling caused by retroactive jealousy, it is the ego.
Just What Is The Ego Exactly?
Contrary to common wisdom, the ego is not just an “inflated sense of self.” The ego is your mind’s perception of self. It’s what you think makes you, “you,” and it has two aims:
The first is to protect you from danger — the on-rushing bear, the car out of control, being alone, making a fool of yourself, or any scary proposition you can think of.
The second is to ALWAYS BE RIGHT.
The truth is, the ego is the #1 reason why people suffer from retroactive jealousy and for ALL the pain, misery and suffering that’s ever existed in the world.
The bad news is, the ego has been hardwired into you, and all of us, through evolution — an evolution that has made sexual jealousy a core feature of its survival mode — and this is why retroactive jealousy is so hard to shake.
You’re up against thousands of years of human evolutionary programing.
However, learning what the ego is and how it holds you back is the first step on your road to recovery. In order to bring the ego under some sort of control, I highly recommend this little technique called “watching the ego”.
How To Watch Your Ego
Start by taking a moment to think about something that bothers or annoys you. Retroactive jealousy would be the obvious thing if you suffer from it, but focus on something else for now — something like a frustrating situation at work, or an argument with a friend.
Dwell on these feelings of anxiety and anger for a moment. Think about all ways you’ve been “wronged,” or what you should’ve said but didn’t. Now, have a go at noticing yourself being anxious and angry.
Step back and simply observe these thoughts whirling away inside your mind. Once you’ve recognized them, become aware that these thoughts which position you as “the victim,” fighting against an “oppressor,” are coming from your ego.
This may be difficult at first, but just practice noticing whenever you become lost in negative thought patterns during the day, and try to realize each time that this is your ego talking and not necessarily “you.”
These angry, judgmental, fearful thoughts and emotions are your ego at work and have nothing whatsoever to do with who you truly are. How can they be if you’re able to step back notice them?
Once you begin to disassociate yourself from your thoughts in this way, you’ll soon find that you’re able to better control your ego and therefore your emotions.
The basis of this technique can be found in the art of meditation which is the single best way to free yourself from the endless noise and “monkey chatter” in your head. But that’s another blog post…
If You Want To Learn More
To really get a grip on these concepts I strongly recommend you read A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle — probably the best book ever written on the ego and the nature of the self.
And to learn more retroactive jealousy and how to get over it, check out my book “How To Stop Being Jealous Of Your Partner’s Past In 12 Steps.”
Jeff Billings is the founder of Retroactive Jealousy Crusher — a website devoted to helping people get over their partner’s sexual pasts and live a life free from retroactive jealousy. Please visit his website for more help on crushing your jealousy for good: http://www.retroactivejealousycrusher.com