Zachary Stockill is an award-winning Canadian researcher, author, YouTuber, and podcaster. His work has been featured by BBC News, BBC Radio 4, HuffPost, The Art of Charm, and many other popular podcasts and publications. Zachary has been acknowledged as a leading authority on dealing with jealousy in relationships. In 2013, he published the guidebook Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy: A Guide to Getting Over Your Partner's Past and Finding Peace, and founded RetroactiveJealousy.com, the most visited site on the internet concerning retroactive jealousy. He is also the creator and host of "Get Over Your Partner's Past Fast" and "The Overcoming Jealousy Blueprint," online video courses in personal development available via RetroactiveJealousy.com. He is also the creator and host of Humans in Love: A Podcast for Curious People, available worldwide via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more. Follow Zachary on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @zfstockill. To learn more about Zachary's online courses, books, and one-on-one coaching, please visit RetroactiveJealousy.com.
What Beating Retroactive Jealousy Feels Like (Listen to This)
Today, I will talk about what beating retroactive jealousy feels like and what keeps me motivated after 10 years of being a retroactive jealousy coach.
Read or watch below to learn more about what beating retroactive jealousy feels like.
Zachary Stockill: This year marks 10 years into my career as a full-time coach devoted to the issue of relationships and helping people overcome retroactive jealousy.
By the way, for the people who are new here: the term retroactive jealousy refers to unwanted intrusive thoughts, often obsessive curiosity, and what I call “mental movies” about a partner’s past relationships and/or sexual history.
And sometimes when people learn about me, and they hear about my work, they ask me: “Zach, you’ve been at this for a long time. What keeps you motivated? What keeps you excited? What keeps you fulfilled? Why are you still doing this after a decade?”
So in today’s video, I’m going to answer the question of:
What keeps me motivated after 10 years as a full-time retroactive jealousy coach?
It’s still weird for me to say out loud that I’ve been at this for 10 years. I mean, I remember when I wrote my first book, Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy. I could hardly imagine that it would take me to this point where I would meet so many incredible people, I’d be so fulfilled, motivated, and inspired 10 years later… If you told me ten years ago that I’d be here talking to you today, I might not have believed it.
But here we are. And here I am.
Needless to say, I have learned a lot over a decade of one-on-one coaching when it comes to the issue of retroactive jealousy. The students in my online courses have taught me so much about relationships, psychology, and retroactive jealousy. I’ve interacted at this point with thousands of retroactive jealousy sufferers from all over the world.
And by the way, I know they come from all over the world because I have had visitors to my website from literally every single country on the planet. So all of this is to say that I think I have a pretty good handle on this issue. I’ve spoken to a lot of people about their struggles with retroactive jealousy. And I’m still just as motivated and inspired by my job today as I was a decade ago.
So the obvious question is: why?
I often say that…
The path to freedom from retroactive jealousy is pretty much the same for everyone.
There are differences along the way. But at this point, after a decade of research, trial, and error…
After ten years of thousands of student’s success stories, we know exactly what works and what doesn’t when it comes to overcoming unwanted intrusive thoughts about your partner’s past.
The path to freedom, the path to peace, is pretty clear. That said, every case of retroactive jealousy is a little different because we’re all human beings. And each and every human being is a little different from all other human...
What I Look For In A Therapist Or Coach
In today’s video, I share my thoughts on what I look for in a therapist or a coach.
Read or watch below to learn more about what I look for in a therapist.
Zachary Stockill: I have been a full-time coach working on the issue of relationships and jealousy for about 10 years now. It probably won’t surprise many of you that there have been various moments in my life in which I have sought out a coach, mentor, teacher, or therapist.
A lot of people ask me questions relating to how to know if someone’s going to be a good coach or therapist. So in today’s video, I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on what to look for in a therapist or coach.
The first thing I would say as a disclaimer is this is not professional mental health advice. I am not trying to interfere with anyone’s course of professional mental health intervention. This is not professional mental health advice. These are just some of my own reflections.
One of the things that I look for in a therapist a coach, and a mentor, is a sense of humor.
And when I was putting together this video, this was really the first thing that jumped to mind. I think having some kind of sense of humor, the ability to laugh at things, maybe even inappropriate things, is really important.
Frankly, I don’t trust people who don’t laugh a lot. Life is really funny. And I don’t trust people who don’t acknowledge, or who can’t see that on a regular basis. And I also think humor can be a great tool in terms of improving our mental health.
It doesn’t matter which issue we’re facing… If we can find something to laugh at, in that situation, it bodes extremely well for our recovery. It bodes extremely well for actually transcending that challenge. I think laughing at ourselves in the world, and life, is very important.
And I don’t trust therapists and or coaches who don’t seem to have any kind of sense of humor. If they can’t poke fun at life, and situations as they arise, I don’t necessarily trust them.
On a related note, another thing that I look for in a therapist in a coach is people who aren’t necessarily moral crusaders. You probably know what I’m talking about. I’m not interested in connecting with ideologues. And I’m not interested in trying to connect with someone who’s trying to convince me of a certain way of looking at a situation.
I’m certainly not interested in connecting with someone who isn’t open to my viewpoints and perspectives.
And the unfortunate reality is, that nowadays, in many mental health-related fields, there are a lot of moral crusaders. There are people who seem to think that rather than helping to facilitate change in individuals, rather than listening to people, there are a lot of mental health professionals who are moral crusaders who are caught up in all kinds of social justice issues.
And to my mind, for me, personally, this is an enormous red flag. I think any kind of moral crusader attitude can be pretty dangerous.
In a mental health setting, I also want to connect with someone who is an active listener.
The SECRET of Meditation: Listen to This
In today’s video, I talk about the secret of meditation, and discuss the misconceptions many people have about this ancient mindfulness practice.
Read or watch below to learn about the secret of meditation.
Zachary Stockill: I often speak about the incredible benefits of meditation.
Meditation, breathwork, or any kind of mindfulness are practices that help strengthen your ability to stay present and stop focusing excessively on the past or future. These mindfulness practices are especially beneficial in dealing with issues like retroactive jealousy.
For over a decade, I’ve encouraged people with retroactive jealousy to try basic meditation or a mindfulness practice.
However, many people resist the idea at first. In fact, many readers and coaching clients tell me:
“Zach, I tried meditation, but I can’t do it because I’m ‘bad’ at it.”
If that sounds familiar, and if you feel like you’re “bad” at meditation, I think you’re going to want to read the rest of this article.
So when you make the statement “I’m ‘bad’ at meditation”, I believe you’re building that statement based on two pernicious myths.
Myth number one:
If you say that you are “bad” at meditation, that means to me that you have some idea in your mind of what “good” meditation looks like.
And I think many people who think they are “bad” at meditation think that “good” meditation is being in a state of transcendent bliss and complete peace of mind.
You’re one with the Buddha and monks in the Himalayas. And you’re just kind of one with the universe—this transcendent experience of total oneness with all things. I think a lot of people who think they’re “bad” at meditation think that’s what “good” meditation looks like.
As I often tell coaching clients and students in my online courses, even someone like the Dalai Lama or the Buddha in his time had moments where he or she felt that they were bad at meditation.
We all have moments when it’s challenging, with thoughts rushing in and feeling unsettled, and we think:
“Why the heck are we spending so much time learning this silly technique?”
Even the most experienced meditators have extremely challenging moments, and “good” meditation is not about some transcendent state of bliss.
The secret of meditation is about practice.
In my opinion, and in the opinion of many other people I respect, “good” meditation is about remaining diligent, simply making the attempt, and staying consistent with their attempts over extended periods of time.
When I was in my early 20s, I got very interested in Zen Buddhism, and I remain very interested in it.
You’ve probably heard of Buddhism.
Unwanted Retroactive Jealousy Thoughts: Try THIS
In today’s video, I share a technique for dealing with unwanted retroactive jealousy thoughts.
Read or watch below to learn more about overcoming unwanted retroactive jealousy thoughts.
Zachary Stockill: If you’re struggling with a problem like retroactive jealousy, chances are you’re struggling with unwanted intrusive thoughts. There are thoughts that sometimes pop up out of nowhere relating to your partner’s past experiences that have the potential to disrupt your day and or night.
I talk a lot about how to overcome retroactive jealousy. And, how to transcend and overcome unwanted intrusive thoughts. I’ve created all kinds of products and services relating to this topic.
And in today’s free short video, I want to share a technique for dealing with intrusive thoughts that you probably haven’t thought of before, and that I find particularly helpful in challenging moments.
You could even reframe this video as a different way of dealing with any kind of negative thought.
Sometimes we all have thoughts about ourselves or about situations or other people that aren’t really getting us where we need or want to go.
The beauty of life is that we always have the power to choose our perspectives. And, at any moment, we have the power to choose better perspectives.
On that note, the subject of today’s video is a simple way to reframe any unwanted retroactive jealousy or intrusive thought.
Let’s take a classic retroactive jealousy example…
So let’s say I’m in a relationship and my partner once had some kind of casual sex. Scandalous, I know. But, in the modern age, it’s very common.
So let’s say your partner once had some casual sex. On some level, you may be going around with the thought of “My partner’s promiscuous, she’s promiscuous,” or “He’s promiscuous,” or he likes casual sex, or she likes casual sex… you get my drift.
On some level, maybe you’ve attached meaning to that experience of casual sex. You’ve maybe thrown a label on your partner, or you use words to describe your partner that kind of sum up their attitude about, in this case, casual sex.
Now, a simple thought experiment. Ask yourself: could the opposite also be true?
In other words, to come back to our example, what’s the opposite of my partner liking casual sex? My partner doesn’t like casual sex.
Okay, do I have any evidence in support of the opposite argument? Do I have any evidence to say that my partner doesn’t like casual sex? To use an example, let’s say they’ve spent most of their adult life in relationships. As I say, endlessly: look for patterns over perfection if you want to gauge who someone is.
So maybe you have way more evidence that they prefer sex and intimacy in a committed relationship, as opposed to casual sex. You’re not denying the reality of what happened, you’re not denying any aspect of their past. You’re simply introducing a different perspective that is at least as true as the previous thought in your head… and possibly even more true.
How to Achieve Emotional Control: Listen to This
In today’s video, I’m going to talk about one of those skills that will improve every area of your life: emotional control.
Read or watch below to discover how to achieve emotional control.
Zachary Stockill: In today’s video, I’m going to talk about one of the skills that will improve just about every area of your life. And that is emotional control. And I think this concept will be particularly relevant and valuable for anyone out there struggling with jealousy and possessiveness in their relationships.
So what is emotional control? My definition of emotional control is simply not letting your emotions control you. I think many people in the world, and certainly myself in certain moments in my life, can be guilty of letting our emotions control us. We may think that we’re running the show, but really our anger or sadness, or whatever is controlling the actions we’re taking, controlling the words we’re speaking, you get the idea.
Emotional control is not letting that happen.
Emotional control does not mean not experiencing emotions.
And I think this is one of the things that people get wrong about emotional control.
People think that to have emotional control means you need to be a kind of robot with no inner world and no anger, no sadness, no joy. And that’s not what I’m talking about at all.
I’m simply talking about being aware of your emotions, and making good decisions based on your emotions without letting your emotions take over your life and control you… Without your emotions leading you to take action and make decisions that cause future regret.
So why is this important? Because people who lose emotional control get themselves into all kinds of really terrible and challenging situations. Many of the people in prison let their emotions get the better of them in certain moments. And look what happens.
That’s an extreme example. But I’m sure most of the people watching this video can relate to having one of those moments, maybe a fight with your partner, or a fight with your kids, or whatever, where you lose control of your emotions. And it causes you to act in ways or say things that half an hour, an hour, perhaps a day later, you look back and seriously regret.
So, needless to say, emotional control is truly valuable to achieve. And a skill that is worth spending some serious time working on.
There is a difference between emotional suppression and emotional control.
When we talk about emotional control, I think it’s also worth drawing a distinction between emotional suppression and emotional control.
So emotional suppression is experiencing an emotion and trying to deny that it’s even there. Trying to ignore the reality of your experience of this emotion. It’s experiencing real anger and guilting yourself or trying to push it down, or act like it’s not there.
And as I often say, on this channel and elsewhere, what is suppressed eventually needs to be expressed. That emotion, that energy, isn’t going anywhere.
“How To CHANGE Beliefs About Sex?” Q & A
In today’s video, I respond to someone who wants to know how to change deeply held beliefs around sex.
Read or watch below to learn how to change beliefs about sex.
Zachary Stockill: Everyone has a certain framework that they rely on to go through life and make sense of the world. And every once in a while in life, I think it’s worth pausing, recontextualizing and reconsidering that framework just to make sure that it’s actually serving us.
In today’s video, I’m going to respond to someone who wrote to me who is doing exactly that. And who wants to know: how to change beliefs about sex?
So I was doing a Q&A on Instagram recently, and a question came in from someone who follows me, asking…
“How do I change deeply held beliefs surrounding sex?”
Number one, I think it’s the wrong way to frame that question.
If I can pick that apart a little, I think you’re framing this issue wrong. And in so doing, you’re putting yourself at risk of putting yourself on the defensive, and not accepting new information.
What I mean is, if you’re telling yourself “I’m trying to change my belief,” immediately, I think, it’s going to put you on the defensive a little, and might make you less receptive to new information.
So I wouldn’t necessarily frame this process as how to change beliefs about sex. I think a better way to look at it is: How can I gather some new information, new data, and new facts?
Number two, I think a great place to start is to go back.
Think back to the very beginning of your life, and start asking yourself…
Where did I pick this belief up? What were the earliest ideas that I was exposed to around sex, sexuality, women, dating?
Think back to your childhood. And think in particular about your preteen and early teen years. What were some of the ideas that you were forming around sex and sexuality at that time? What was the source of some of these ideas? Where were these perspectives coming from?
We often carry the perspectives that we formed around sex, sexuality, and dating in our early years around with us for the rest of our lives. Even if they aren’t necessarily serving us.
So it’s a great place to start; think back to the beginning and think about where this belief came from.
An additional point is, I think it’s probably time to start reading and learning a little more widely. Start reading and learning from people who you haven’t necessarily encountered before. And try to make the group of sources that you’re relying on for new information as diverse as possible.
Read men, read women, read young people, read old people, read people like me who are still alive. Read people who are dead; philosophers from long ago. However, you want to do it, make sure you’re gathering new information from a wide range of sources. Make sure you aren’t going to one school or one person or one book or one thinker to form your entire view around sex and sexuality or dating.
As you do this…
Always be asking yourself: What makes sense? And what seems rational? What seems realistic?
This guy spends a large amount of time doing apologetics for lying spouses.
Sure, recovering from jealousy is a good thing. But justifying LYING by the spouse about their past crosses the line. There is no excuse for dishonesty in a marriage but this guy is completely fine with it. One star.