Jealousy Over the Past

· September 23, 2017

That insatiable jealousy over your partner’s past… know what I’m talking about? Have you been a victim to this feeling? (on either side of the relationship) Maybe you have fallen victim to that endless maze that is retrospective jealousy. That jealousy that many people suffer from not only based in the here and now, but on your partner’s past.

As if the present insecurity wasn’t enough, the past of your partner appears like a hurricane that completely annihilates your tranquility, mental peace and inner security. And it’s not that it appears suddenly, it’s that many times you even seek it out. You look for it morbidly in every detail from the stories and relationships that your partner ever experienced before they were with you.

The details are never specific enough for the green monster starving and voracious of envy. It’s never enough. It’s like a sort of dumping ground where everything goes in, everything is welcome. To a point of being authentically unhinged. It doesn’t suffice to know about your current partner’s past relationships. You need to know every single detail about them.

Jealousy over the past or that hungry envious monster that is never satisfied

Of course, one of the obsessions is knowing how that ex-partner looked like physically. What were they like, how did they treat them, how did they make them feel… Many people are surely asking themselves, why? What for? Is it some form of masochism?  The logic of a “purely” logical mind would think “Why would you want to know about their past if they have chosen you now?”

“The past is in the past. You don’t have to worry about it. And if they wanted to go back into that past? Well then let them go back. You already know what to do in that case.” Maybe you have heard these words from some friend before. You’ve probably heard it from that rational person who attempts to put some filters and limits to your mental and emotional mess.


woman clinging to partner

Your insecurity is the foundation of all of your jealousy

In some way, you develop a need to be the only person in the life of your partner. But, what lies behind wanting to be the only person in their life? There is an insecurity at the basis of all of this (in upper case, underlined and in bold). The person’s own self-esteem is diminished. They feel the need to seek in the external world the security they don’t have within themselves. Something which destabilizes people entirely.

We desperately seek data which will confirm that we are the sole person in their life. The most marvelous and special individual in the entire world. And, for some strange reason, this person has lived a “life” apart from us (their one and true love) before they met us.

couple chained together

This dependence is a consequence of this brutal insecurity. If my foundations are fractured, I will desperately seek something external to offer them support. I will seek someone that will serve as a mirror. Someone to reflect everything I’m not capable of seeing and valuing in myself. And I will cling to this mirror to the point of mental and emotional toxicity.

We depend on others because we never learned to take care of ourselves

All of the means are justified in order to accomplish my end. Because, imagine this…what an incredible end! It’s not just any small insignificant end. It means staying alive regardless of the cost. Not disappearing. Not letting the voracious insecurity I feel eat away at me to the point of non-existence. And if I have to resort to clinging to someone at all costs, I will. Because if I don’t, I will disappear. I will become no one.

In truth, being jealous of your partner’s past is a very common problem. We should keep an eye on it, lest it try to extend beyond this fact. Everything makes sense. It’s this sense which we should seek and treasure. In order to finally revert it in a way to aid, build, take care of and love yourself for who you are. Because comparing yourself to others is an unproductive exercise with a bitter echo.

Comparing yourself is useless, because we are all different. Each individual is unique and unrepeatable. Value and love yourself based on these differences. But begin from the root and look at the whole situation with clarity.  Don’t let yourself be blinded by arguments that have eaten away at your mental health. Really take care of yourself. Ending the battle against jealousy is a difficult task. It means fighting against a Titan who is rooted into the deepest part of our being.

You can always take the first step today!