How to stop being jealous of the past?

“I’m jealous of my partner’s past!” – Psychologist tells how to stop being jealous of your loved one and stay calm

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Time to read: 10 minutes

Not every woman is capable of treating her partner’s past wisely – that is, accepting their past as a past life stage and nothing more. Often the opposite happens – a loved one’s past (especially love in their past) becomes the cause of jealousy, suspicion and, eventually, the collapse of the love boat.

Colady psychologists told how to stop being jealous of your partner’s past and start living normally.

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Article content:

Why we are jealous of our partner to past relationships – says psychologist Elena Beautiful

Jealousy of the past always has a reason. And once a girl realizes it, it becomes easier to cope with jealousy. Why are we jealous of our partner’s past? Here are 3 popular reasons:

  1. Suddenly he compares me to exes not in my favor. What if he was better with them than with me? The most important thing in this case is to understand that the exes are in the past. And if they split up and now he is building a relationship with you – then he is interested in you. He is ready to invest in a relationship with you. Keep that thought in your mind and notice your importance in his life: his care, attention, desire to please, interest, attraction to you.
  2. What if he’s thinking about his ex when he’s with me? He misses her. In such a situation again there is a fear that you are less important to him than the previous girl. Then ask yourself: why should he be with you if he is interested in another? Most likely, there will be no logical explanation. And then you can allow the idea that this is just your fantasy of whom he is thinking. You can also discuss your fears with your partner, talk about your feelings. Feel his support.
  3. How dare he love anyone but me? It makes me uncomfortable to think of him giving someone else his love. Well, I’m sorry… He’s a human being, too, and he needs love, too. Well, he didn’t get to meet you before. He can’t sit on his porch and deny himself a relationship. And he deserves to be happy, too.

Jealousy is always about wanting to possess a person indiscriminately. And there is also fear in that feeling. The fear of being loved by someone other than me.

The most important recipe for jealousy is to love yourself.

  • Learn to take care of yourself;
  • write a list of wishes and start fulfilling them;
  • Do something that you have been putting off for a long time;
  • Do what you love to do;
  • Learn something new;
  • Make money and spend it with pleasure;
  • Learn to say “no” to things that do not suit you;
  • be honest with yourself;
  • pay attention to yourself.

These rules will help you to feel very valuable and important. And you always want to be around such girls.

Commentary by Ekaterina Mubarakshina, psychologist, coach, expert in building relationships

Jealousy of your partner’s past speaks of insecurity, of the predominance of childish attitudes in life, of self-assertion in relationships.

Why is there jealousy of something that doesn’t exist now? It is as if the little child is upset that he is not alone at his mother’s side. Even though she gives him enough attention and it doesn’t affect the quality of the relationship or his life in any way.

It’s important to ask myself why I wish my partner’s past was different. What would he have been like for me then? What would have changed? Would our relationship be better now? What does it mean to me to be first? Or the lack of other significant people in my partner’s life before me? Why is it scary? Does it mean safety? Most likely, the problem lies in your relationship with your parents.

Perhaps in the comparison of you to other children. The emphasis on someone being better than you. Parents sometimes do this to motivate people to develop. If you notice similar scenarios in your childhood and jealousy of the past now, this is a reason to see a specialist. All the fears, anxieties that have no real threat now, are just at the level of your thinking. And interfere with your life is you, not your relationship.

Accepting the fact that your partner is a living person, with past experiences, and it is these experiences that made him what he is now will help to build a harmonious and healthy relationship.

Jealousy of past relationships

Jealousy as an overpowering feeling and completely block the ability to soberly think, swoops with the head, as soon as the information about the “ex” accidentally pops up in a conversation with a partner.

Even a casually thrown in passing phrase – “I do not want to go to this cafe, I had dinner there with Katya all the time” can be the beginning of a whole detective case – with plowing through social networks of his communication with his ex, looking through his mail and messages, intrusive thoughts that the former he also hugged, loved, took her to restaurants and introduced her to relatives.

Accepting the fact that another woman once occupied as much space in his life as you do now is almost impossible.

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How do you stop being jealous of your partner’s ex/ex?

  1. Your partner’s past has nothing to do with you.
  2. By starting an “investigation,” you’re getting into someone else’s personal zone and stoking that fire of conflict between you that you won’t be able to put out later.
  3. If you know about your heightened sense of jealousy (property), ignore all the details of your partner’s past. “Digging” into other people’s relationships will not add to your confidence in the relationship.
  4. Stop fighting with the “chimeras. Live in the present.
  5. Admit your jealousy and learn to control it.
  6. If your partner chose you, it means he is happy with you, and the former love – just one of the turned pages of his life.
  7. Jealousy – a signal that you do not trust your partner. If you have confidence in him, there’s no need to be afraid of the shadows of the past (and the present, too). And if you do not trust, then it makes sense to think – is your relationship so strong? Read also: How do you know if the relationship is over?

Jealousy of all the women in your partner’s past

For some women, even the thought that the hands of a partner touched someone else, can not stand. And, like, a man – far from “nerd” 18 years, and women’s attention to him – quite normal, a woman pissed off the fact that he could be loved by someone else.

  1. If your partner is an accomplished, adult, attractive man, realize that there have been women in his life before you came along. It would be strange if your partner sat in a high tower all his life waiting for you to show up. He is a man, and his bachelor life involves meetings, relationships, and finding a partner.
  2. Accidental (and even intentional) mention of former women is not a reason to explode and look for secret meaning in words and actions. Jealousy always brings discord to the relationship, and pathological jealousy – even more so.
  3. Worried that your partner’s connection to the past is too strong? Analyze the situation. Do you have a real reason for jealousy? If there is nothing but your fantasies – it is worth to calm down and focus on strengthening your relationship (and not on destruction). If the real “red flags” from the past are throwing you out of balance – it’s time to talk to your loved one. Otherwise, the avalanche of mistrust and unresolved questions from the past one day will bury your relationship.
  4. Remember: you have no right to put the blame partner of his old novels. Yes, and you probably had meetings and relationships before him.
  5. Your relationship is a clean slate, which automatically leaves the past where it belongs. And sincere love knows no jealousy.

Jealousy of your partner’s children

A fairly common type of jealousy, which usually has two “faces.”

  • The first: jealousy of the children themselves . More precisely, anger at the fact that the children “get” the attention that should aimlessly belong to you.
  • Second: jealousy of the mother of his children. Every trip to his ex-wife to see his children is perceived in a hostile way – “What if he still loves her?”, “And if she tries to win him back?”, “And maybe the kids – just a pretext to see her?

How do you stop being jealous of your partner’s children?

  1. First, realize that husband and wife are forever bound together by their children. Even if they separated long ago, they are both responsible for the fate of their children and participate in their lives with equal rights (and responsibilities).
  2. Love for one’s children and love for a woman are of a different nature. A man’s willingness to communicate with his children, despite his divorce from their mother, speaks of his decency, reliability, and love for his children. It would be a cause for reflection and caution if the opposite were true. A man who cuts his children out of his life after divorce is hardly worthy of respect. Divorce their wives, not their children!
  3. It is useless to fight for a man’s attention with his children. And you can’t forbid him to see them, or try to influence his attitude towards them. Children are a part of a man. So this rivalry is inherently pointless.

Jealousy of things (gifts) from your past life

Gifts from an “ex” that are kept by a man are a frequent cause for conflict in a new relationship. Tie, sweater, diary, cards and especially pictures – any thing from his past causes anger and jealousy. The main idea – “if he keeps, it means it is expensive.

What to do?

  1. If a thing to him “dear” – it is absolutely not an indication that the partner still has feelings for the former lover. It may be a tribute to the memory of the relationship, just unwillingness to get rid of gifts, etc.
  2. Your relationship is a new stage in his life. His relationship with his ex is in the past. And no gifts (kept, carried, etc.) can change the fact that you are together. But your jealousy can.
  3. Never demand from your partner to get rid of gifts and do not dare to do it yourself. A fight (or even a breakup) will be assured.
  4. His things (no matter what stage of his life) are his personal space. Your life together does not give you the right to go through his things.

Jealousy of your partner’s past lifestyle

When a loved one unobtrusively talks about how great it was once to travel around the world, not caring about anything, break away in the middle of the week for fishing (camping, mountains) with friends, “light up” in clubs and do not depend on anyone, the nervous system of women fails. On the one hand – from jealousy to the rich and happy past partner, on the other – from a sense of his uselessness – “Then he was happier than with me.

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Fantasy does its dirty work: mentally redrawing a picture of all sides of his pleasant past without you and not so successful future with you starts the mechanism of inadequate evaluation of the relationship.

How to change the situation?

  1. To begin with we must understand that every person in his youth has a period of absolute freedom and the opportunity to take everything from life. Naturally, this stage leaves a lot of impressions and memories, which sometimes want to pull out of the mezzanine of memory and smile at his past recklessness. But this does not mean that one lives in the past or hides in it from the dreary present.
  2. If there are thoughts – “With me he’s very different, in the past he was happier,” or “Since he returns to those memories, then he was better than with me,” then it’s time to think – all is well in the “Danish kingdom. Chances are, his memories are just a reason to smile. But if they are put to you in a reproach or have other negative connotations – it’s time to talk. Or take a look at yourself. Maybe you put too much pressure on your partner, limiting it in all aspects of life, or lead to a state of despondency by their actions (or inaction). Look closely: maybe your partner is missing something in your relationship? And he automatically compares your life together with his past.
  3. Do not make a mountain out of molehill. One of the female traits – out of nothing and on an even keel to create a salad, a new hairstyle and tragedy. As a rule, in the process of a intimate conversation with her lover it turns out that she again “thickened the colors,” and he is more than happy in the relationship, and he is happy with everything.

Jealousy is a slow poison to a relationship. Everything that is good in them dies from suspicion, unnecessary questions, and quarrels. And jealousy of the past is also an absurd reproach to your half for something you didn’t even have anything to do with.

The only way to harmony in the relationship – the elimination of jealousy in its infancy. Take your partner’s past as it is, live in the present and build a relationship of trust in each other.

Jealousy of the past: the causes and ways to combat it

The past is the baggage of experience. Different. There are things in this suitcase, causing a pleasant memory and a smile, there are those that want to keep the hands and feel as if the time came back, and there are some that you do not even want to look at. These “artifacts” in the family baggage are sometimes past relationships of spouses.


The focus of jealousy of the past can vary. Most often the husband is jealous of his wife (or vice versa) of an ex-spouse or lover. Spouses may be jealous of each other’s child from a previous marriage. The abandoned man or woman may be jealous of the son or daughter of the ex, who was born to him in the new marriage. It happens that jealousy is felt even to the already deceased ex-boyfriend or girlfriend of their loved one. Sometimes it may resemble a mental disorder.

Jealousy can be a real relationship between exes, or the product of a rich imagination. Let’s look at the main causes of jealousy.


  • Weak willpower and insecurity. A man implies resilience, fortitude, confidence in the chosen path and his actions. This is when he was raised by prudent parents and did not suppress these qualities in him. A spoiled and overprotected boy in childhood, as an adult, will believe that everything belongs to him, including his woman with all her personal space. Her intercourse with her former partner may give birth to a sense of possessiveness in him, and then he will demand either constant reporting or being at home all the time to the detriment of her career or hobbies. If the guy was often suppressed and yanked as a child, as an adult he will constantly doubt his worthiness as a man, compare himself to others not at his best, and worry that his girlfriend will choose an ex who seems more worthy than he is.

  • Unfortunate past experiences. It is not uncommon for a man to have had a history of marital infidelity with other women. If a certain behavior of a former lover led to infidelity (say, she carefully dressed up before meeting with his ex), then in the subconscious such behavior is recorded as the very fact of treason. In a new relationship, a partner’s similar behavior will be a signal of betrayal, although the girl has nothing wrong in her mind and careful self-care is simply a good habit.
  • Frequent contacts of former lovers. If the wife is in constant correspondence or frequently calls and meets with her ex, then naturally, the husband may be offended by this. Although these meetings may be due to common business or the affairs of their children together. Then the jealous man may transfer his irritation to the children.
  • Mental illness. This variant also occurs. Most often it is an acquired deviation from the norm as a result of a combination of the previous causes contributing to strong stress. Stress breaks down the protective mechanisms of the psyche, and the person’s behavior becomes inadequate. It is manifested in the pursuit of the partner, the requirement of constant and immediate report, heightened suspiciousness.


  • Lack of faith in oneself. Mistrustfulness to a greater degree than men is inherent in women. And if a girl in her childhood was underestimated, belittled her feminine dignity, then, as an adult, she will live with the feeling that she is an inferior woman, mother, hostess. These feelings do not allow her to reveal herself fully, and sharpening her doubts, she compares herself to a potential rival and tries to clarify her worthiness through her partner. She may constantly question him about their relationship, how they spent time together, what words he said to her. In this variation, the jealousy may extend to the man’s children from a past marriage.
  • Things that remind her of her ex. The partner himself talks about the former companion, describes moments of their life together, shows places where they vacationed together, keeps things given to her. A woman who is naturally endowed with emotionality, it’s easy to imagine what feelings he had for his ex and project them into the present. Gifts from the previous, really carrying a piece of the former owner, can be just as annoying, and a woman’s fantasy on this basis will draw a picture of treason.
  • Meetings between the partner and the ex-woman. These can be face-to-face meetings or phone calls and chatting. Ex-partners may come into contact over common business or, if it is known that they have no common business or topics, something more brings them closer together.

Another thing men and women have in common is living in the past. This usually happens when something in the present relationship does not suit either of them, and they look for the reason outside of themselves.

How do you get rid of it?

Being jealous of our partner’s past, we sink into an unreal world, that is, while we are at the mercy of negative feelings, we are not living the present moment, but mentally present in stories that have already passed. It is possible to stop being jealous of your ex-girlfriend or your wife of your ex-lover. And it depends primarily on the jealous man himself. Although, those who are jealous, you can also give a couple of tips.

If you have a trusting relationship with your partner, you will not feel irritation in response to a change in his behavior, but the suffering of a loved one. Try to support him, but do not be sorry, it will humiliate your partner, do not spare the words that will help him feel significant and worthy. If jealousy is unfounded, try to talk to your spouse openly, if possible in a friendly atmosphere. Find out what exactly hurts your partner. Even your one sincere attention may be enough to exhaust the confrontation between you.

It is possible that you yourself have noticed or noticed after a conversation that provoke your loved one to jealousy. Maybe you often talk about past relationships or show off things given during this period. If that’s the case, think about it – why do you need to assert yourself?

Now let’s figure out what you need to do to overcome jealousy.

To your husband’s past.

Let’s go back to the causes of female jealousy.

  • Insecurity. Try to remember who and when you told or made it clear that you do not dress like that, are not acting like a woman and, in general, a bad mistress? Recall these or similar negative statements. It is important to understand that they do not belong to you. These phrases once could say accidentally or intentionally your parents or other relatives, friends, those whom you trusted a lot, and therefore took for the truth of these very words. Now work a little harder and find your own statements. Give yourself time for this process and for them to mature. Practice it daily, for life’s script cannot be remade in an instant.
  • He often brings up his ex, talks about her. Whether he’s trying to make you jealous or just stating the facts, you’re feeling frustrated, hurt, hated or some other destructive feeling. You don’t have to be sarcastic, harass him with nagging or beat the dishes to convey this to your husband. About your condition can be communicated in a more gentle way. The most successful of these is a frank conversation.You really want him to know how you feel. So tell him about them. Only when you feel you can talk quietly, choose a moment. The purpose of such a conversation is not to convince your partner what a scoundrel he is, but to get your feelings across to him.

Loving man who values your relationship, though not at once, but will understand your feelings. Show patience. Gently remind him of what you have in mind when you hear or see things that remind you of his former passion.

  • Your husband is dating an ex-lover. They may actually have things in common and that’s fine. Why would he make enemies around him? Keeping a normal, human relationship may indicate that he is non-confrontational, and the fact that he is not hiding them from you is his honesty to you. Interesting point: the way he talks about his ex-girlfriend’s feminine qualities or other girls can often be a good indicator of his attitude toward the female sex in general. If there is no obvious reason for jealousy, try to use the situation in your favor, keep your hand on the pulse. If it still does not give you peace, it is worth talking to your man heart-to-heart, not insulting him, and sharing your feelings.

To your wife’s past.

Which of the following reasons makes you jealous of your companion?

  • Exaggerated self-esteem. Do you seriously think someone can belong to you? Then be aware that in life there will be (or are already happening) situations where you will be considered an object of someone else’s belonging.
  • Increased Mentality. When in your childhood your parents or relatives, sincerely wishing only good for you and believing that they bring up in you strong-willed qualities, teased you, ridiculed you for a noble action in relation to the girl, yelled at you when you showed assertiveness and independence in asserting their opinions, in your subconscious formed the thought image: I am ridiculous, awkward and have no right to their opinion or something like that. Identify these attitudes, which you are now living with, is the first step to finding your real self. It is not a quick process, but it is worth the effort.
  • Jealousy as a result of past failures with women. This process is easier to control, as it is more conscious and not difficult to trace. Despite the similarity of some moments of your previous and current relationships, you still need to understand that your companions are completely different people. Therefore, it is important to separate the past from the present by consciously fixating yourself on it.
  • Your wife frequently communicates with your ex. All issues are resolved if they are resolved peacefully. Irritation and resentment will only push you away. Deal with feelings will help you to talk to your companion. Tell her your doubts. Your measured, balanced thoughts, calm and confident, but not assertive tone will do their job, and you will be able to convey to his wife, what you want. In order for a dialogue to take place, it is necessary to listen to the answer, not making premature conclusions, and giving half as well as speak.

To children from previous marriages

If you are jealous of your partner’s children, then you yourself are an immature person. Because a stable and stable person in general is difficult to get out of balance, such a person knows his own worth and appreciates and respects other people’s feelings.

The bond between a child and a parent is a bright feeling, the experience of parenthood is unmatched happiness! If you have that experience, it’s easier for you to understand your partner, but if not, open your heart. Understand, true love is a state when you feel it for everyone and everything that surrounds you and your companion. It is all-pervasive and doesn’t divide the family into your-my family. Seek this feeling, cherish its awe-inspiring manifestations, and your life will take on new meaning and joy will settle in your heart. Then you will notice how your relationship to children in general, to your spouse’s children, and to your spouse himself will change.

Exercises and tips from a psychologist

People with low self-esteem should learn to distinguish between their own and others’ feelings, thoughts and opinions. Visiting you destructive thoughts that disturb inner harmony, prevent communication with others, you can and must learn to let go. To do this, define such a thought in a convenient way: by name, color, shape or, if it is so perceived, by smell or touch. This will help make its representation more clear.

Thank her for her science (thanks to her, you can now know yourself better), forgive her for hindering you, forgive the one who contributed to her strengthening in you, and mentally let her go. The thought and feeling you let go of may fly away in your mind like a balloon or dissolve into a fog, or disappear in some other way.

Psychological trauma from the breakup of a previous relationship. Living in the past is the same as being in a virtual reality. To learn to live in the present, try a simple exercise: choose a convenient time, a place (preferably alone) and for five minutes (you can set a timer) note what feelings you notice, what thoughts, feelings, desires come to you. Practice it regularly, and you will note for yourself that you are more and more in the present, and you yourself feel more and more present.

In the case of a mental disorder of jealousy, the degree to which the jealous person himself is aware of his deviation plays a role in the resolution of the problem. If he is aware of his condition and the reasons that led to it, you can try to work through the problem independently with the help of the techniques given in the article. If you can not cope independently, it is worth seeking help from a psychotherapist.

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