Do you find yourself constantly obsessing over your partner’s past? Do you worry about who they have been with and what they have done? If so, you may be suffering from retroactive jealousy OCD. This is a common condition that can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms of retroactive jealousy OCD and offer some tips on how to overcome it.
What Is Retroactive Jealousy OCD?
Retroactive jealousy OCD is a form of OCD that is characterized by excessive worrying about one’s partner’s past. People with this condition may obsess over who their partner has been with, what they have done, and whether or not they are being faithful. This can lead to a great deal of anxiety and stress. Retroactive jealousy OCD is often triggered by a change in the relationship, such as when one partner starts seeing someone new. It can also be triggered by something that reminds the person of their partner’s past, such as hearing a song that was popular during their ex’s era.
Causes Of Retroactive Jealousy OCD
There is no single cause of retroactive jealousy OCD. However, some risk factors may increase the likelihood of developing this condition. These include:
- Having a history of OCD or other anxiety disorders
- Having a family member with OCD or other anxiety disorders
- Facing or witnessing infidelity or other types of betrayal in or around
- Having an anxious or insecure attachment style
- Experiencing trauma or abuse in the past
- Having low self-esteem or feeling insecure in the relationship
Symptoms Of Retroactive Jealousy OCD
The symptoms of retroactive jealousy OCD can vary from person to person. However, common symptoms include:
- Constantly thinking about your partner’s past and who they have been with
- Worrying that your partner is cheating on you or is not being faithful
- Checking your partner’s phone or social media for evidence of their past
- Asking your partner repeatedly for reassurance about their fidelity
- Avoiding situations that remind you of your partner’s past
- Feeling jealous of your partner’s past partners or feeling like you are not good enough for them
- Wanting to know your parent’s whereabouts all the time
- Constantly quizzing them about their exes
- Persistent fear of your partner leaving or breaking up
Effects Of Retroactive Jealousy OCD
Retroactive jealousy OCD can have several negative effects on the sufferer. These may include:
- Trust issues
- Distress and anxiety
- Intimacy issues
- Increased fights/arguments
- Having unhealthy boundaries within the relationship
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing
- Intrusive thoughts and images
- Experiencing panic attacks or other forms of anxiety due to your obsessions
- Avoidance behaviors
- Sleep problems
Retroactive jealousy OCD can be a difficult condition to live with, but there is help available. If you think you may be suffering from this disorder, please seek professional help. With treatment, you can learn how to manage your symptoms and overcome your obsessions.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of therapy that can help you learn how to manage your thoughts and emotions. It can also teach you how to change the way you think about your partner’s past.
Exposure and response prevention (ERP): ERP is a type of therapy that involves exposure to the things that trigger your obsessions, such as photos or songs from your partner’s past. You will then learn how to control your anxiety and prevent yourself from engaging in compulsions, such as checking your partner’s phone or social media.
Couples Counseling: Couples counseling can help you and your partner learn how to communicate better and understand each other’s needs. It can also help you work through any trust issues that may be present in the relationship.
Medication: In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help manage the symptoms of OCD. This can include antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.
Support groups: There are many support groups available for people with OCD. These groups can provide you with information and support from others who understand what you are going through.
In addition to professional help, there are some things you can do to help manage your symptoms. These self-help tips may include:
Ensure honest and open communication: It may seem difficult but being truthful about your thoughts can help you and your partner. It is important to remember that it should be the partners against the problems instead of the partners against each other.
Identifying your triggers: One of the first steps in managing your OCD is to identify what triggers your obsessions. Once you know what these triggers are, you can avoid them or be prepared for when they happen.
Practicing relaxation and gratitude techniques: Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help reduce stress and anxiety and count
Live in the present: Remind yourself that you are living in the now with your partner instead of the past. Exes and old memories in the past should be left there.
Ensure a healthy lifestyle: Eat, sleep, hydrate, and exercise enough to take care of your physical and mental health.
Avoiding alcohol and drugs: Alcohol and drugs can make OCD symptoms worse. Avoid using them so that you can focus on managing your disorder.
Talk to someone you trust: Talking to someone you trust about what you’re going through can help you feel supported and understand that you’re not alone in this.
Retroactive jealousy OCD is a form of OCD that is characterized by excessive worrying about one’s partner’s past. People with this condition may obsess over who their partner has been with, what they have done, and whether or not they are being faithful. This can lead to a great deal of anxiety and stress. If you think you may be suffering from retroactive jealousy OCD, it is important to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.
With treatment, it is possible to overcome this condition and have a nurturing and healthy relationship. Therapists at Mantra Care offer affordable and accessible online therapy sessions from all around the world.
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.