The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure Book Summary - The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure Book explained in key points
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The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure summary

Jeff Billings

How to Stop Being Jealous of Your Partner's Past in 12 Steps

3.7 (19 ratings)
13 mins
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    The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure
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    Retroactive jealousy 101

    Have you ever seen ducks fight? If so, you’ll know it can be an explosive affair – all feathers, splashing, and squawking. Then, just as quickly as it began, it ends. The two creatures calmly swim off into the sunset like nothing ever happened. 

    Billings believes humans could learn a lot from these interactions. Where ducks shake altercations off like water from their backs, we have an impossibly hard time letting all sorts of things go. Retroactive jealousy is the term for applying this obsessive holding on to our partner’s romantic or sexual history. 

    Right from the get-go, it’s important to highlight that this isn’t personal. Retroactive jealousy has its roots in our species’ survival and evolution, so don’t beat yourself up for succumbing to it. You aren’t the first – and certainly won’t be the last! 

    We’re hardwired to be alert to signs of infidelity. Evolutionarily, a man’s infidelity could mean leaving mother and child to fend for themselves – not a great position for females in prehistoric times. A woman’s infidelity, on the other hand, could result in the father raising a child that wasn’t his – equally undesirable in the eyes of Neanderthal men. 

    All this to say, retroactive jealousy isn’t entirely on you. Yes, there are things you can do to free yourself from its bind, but the condition itself is totally understandable. 

    The actual sensation of retroactive jealousy can be difficult for people to define. It often feels like a melting pot of mixed emotions. And because it’s not something commonly talked about, it can easily remain a nebulous entity burning away in our bellies. 

    The good news is that, in reality, there are just two primary emotions behind retroactive jealousy: fear and judgment. To paraphrase Yoda, naming something is the first step in banishing it – in fact, this clarity alone is at least half the battle. 

    Ironically, the fear experienced in this condition isn’t actually about your partner’s past – it’s about what your partner’s past might represent for the future. For instance, unless you have compelling evidence to suggest someone has recently reentered their life, you probably don’t feel threatened by these individuals. What does feel threatening is that your significant other has had romantic partners or sex buddies previously, which means they could again. 

    Judgment is the second driving emotion behind retroactive jealousy. Broadly speaking, it’s divided into two camps: judgment toward past partners or judgment toward past sexual activities. Women tend to fall into the former camp and men into the latter, but it’s entirely possible to oscillate between the two or feel both simultaneously. 

    What’s tricky is that judgment about your partner’s past can quickly lead to judging them as a person today. This can even spiral into judgment toward yourself for entering into a relationship with such a “questionable” individual. Hopefully it goes without saying, but judgment – whether directed toward your partner or yourself – isn’t a solid foundation on which to build a thriving relationship. 

    So, how can we turn this new understanding into action – and results? Don’t worry, that’s where we’re heading next. To return to Yoda’s advice, basic knowledge of your opponent is crucial. But fortunately, no grueling Jedi training is required here! 

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    What is The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure about?

    The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure (2017) is a guide to overcoming any jealousy about your partner’s romantic and sexual past. It introduces what retroactive jealousy is, the mindset shifts needed to get past it, and actionable changes you can make today. 

    Who should read The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure?

    • Individuals in new relationships 
    • Long-term partners who still feel uncomfortable about their significant other’s past
    • Anyone who’s (considering) diving into the dating world

    About the Author

    Jeff Billings is the founder of Retroactive Jealousy Crusher, an online platform offering courses and coaching on how to overcome retroactive jealousy. His work has been featured in PsychCentral, the Good Men Project, and the Huffington Post

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