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So, your girlfriend’s sexual past is driving you crazy…

All you can do is think about what she did with some guy(s) in the past. Your mind is full of negative images and emotions about your girlfriend’s sexual past but you have no clue how to get over it.

Sound familiar?
Often (in fact, very often) a girlfriend’s sexual past isn’t even that promiscuous in the first place.
Guys are constantly emailing me to say, “My girlfriend’s past bothers me. She slept with five guys in three months right before we met.”
Sure, her sexual history may include casual sex, one night stands, sex-buddies, threesomes, etc. but for some reason, these events can get stuck in your head and very hard to remove.
If your girlfriend’s sexual past does involve threesomes, multiple casual hookups, etc. this is obviously not going to help… But, a guy doesn’t need his girlfriend to have slept with large numbers of people in order to suffer from a retroactive jealousy disorder. Quite the opposite.
Retroactive jealousy, by the way, is the name given to this constant anxiety you’re feeling about your girlfriend’s sexual past. (It’s also known as retrograde jealousy and retrospective jealousy.)
The fact that your girlfriend’s sexual past is a constant background hum in your mind means many people also call the condition retroactive jealousy OCD, as the more you try to push the images and emotions away, the stronger they seem to become.
In order to get to the bottom of this, we need to take a look at exactly what is retroactive jealousy? And the two main emotions that fuel this anxiety about a girlfriend’s sexual past.
These two key emotions are fear and judgment.

How fear makes you upset about your girlfriend’s sexual past

girlfriend's sexual past
Put simply, on some level a guy who suffers from retroactive jealousy OCD about his girlfriend’s sexual past is scared of losing her, and this is simply how his mind/ego is choosing to deal with it.
In other words, retroactive jealousy is just a manifestation in your mind of its own worst fears regarding the relationship.
So, if you’re a man, what’s the worst possible thing you can imagine your girlfriend or wife doing to you?—yep, having sex with someone else.
(If you’re female, the worst thing you can probably imagine your guy doing is falling in love with someone else. These are broad generalizations but women tend to be more hung up on a man’s romantic past, while men tend to feel more anxiety over a girlfriend’s sexual past.)
It’s very important to understand that these repetitive thoughts — going over and over in your mind like a broken record — are, in fact, representations of your worst fear about the present and the future, not the past.
Ironically, you’re not really bothered by any specific ex-lovers in her past. You don’t really care about your girlfriend’s sexual past at all, as strange as that may seem.
What you’re really afraid of is what they represent.
Intellectually, you know these guys are no longer on the scene, but the reason why they appear to be a threat is that they are the people who your mind has latched on to as representations of its worst fear.
In other words, because you have discovered evidence that your wife or girlfriend once enjoyed sex with someone else, you’re now fearful that they may want to have sex with someone else again.
The other part of this fear is wrapped up in how you think your partner feels about their past lovers and experiences.
In some way, you fear that if she still holds a warm and fuzzy spot in her heart for a previous lover, then that would mean she’s not completely 100% yours in some way.
And if they’re not 100% yours, that means that maybe there’s a chance you are somehow not living up to their expectations and so they could find that missing percentage in someone else.
The confusing nature of this anxiety about your girlfriend’s sexual past and dealing with retroactive jealousy is that, in your conscious mind, you don’t actually think your partner will definitely sleep with, or fall in love with someone else, but in your subconscious mind you probably have a general fear that they could grow dissatisfied with you and so, potentially, it could happen.
Retroactive jealousy is simply a manifestation of this fear, and the repeated images and thoughts are your worst fears being played over and over again in your head. This is why it’s also known as retroactive jealousy OCD.
Now on to the second key emotion which is fueling your retroactive jealousy…

How judgment makes you angry about your girlfriend’s sexual past

Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy OCD
Besides flinging up repetitive images of your girlfriend’s sexual past, retroactive jealousy ocd can also make you see your partner differently, through the eyes of judgment.
Part of the reason why you’re thinking to yourself “my girlfriend’s past bothers me” is because, consciously or subconsciously, you’re looking down on the choices she made in the past and the activities she indulged in.
For men, this often means viewing your partner’s past sex life as “slutty.” i.e. how many partners she’s had, what kind of sex it was, etc.
(For women this could mean viewing their partner’s choice of lover as “questionable.” i.e. who they dated, who they married, etc. Of course, these are by no means hard and fast rules, and it’s entirely possible for men and women to interchange these emotions.)
For example, I once viewed my girlfriend’s sexual past before she met me as promiscuous, but I also questioned her choice of sexual partner during this phase in her life as well.
As a general rule, though, if you’re worried by the thought of your partner having multiple sexual encounters in the past, on some level you’re being judgmental about sex.
As a quick test to see whether this is the case, imagine for a moment your girlfriend once had sex with your favorite actor or musician. Would you still be struggling with overcoming retroactive jealousy in the same way about this past event?
Judgment can play havoc with the day-to-day life of your relationship. You may find yourself looking at your girlfriend — completely innocent, say, picking out vegetables in the supermarket — and feeling judgmental, bitter and angry toward them and their past.
It may not even matter, for example, whether they even enjoyed the casual sex they had in the past. The fact is, they did it. And you don’t like it!

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