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General Sexual Difficulties

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Retrospective Jealousy

This is more common in females than in males, though it can affect both genders. In this situation, one partner will start to question the sexual activity and behaviour that has existed in a previous relationship, sometimes in all previous relationships. Since nothing can ever be 'proved' about previous relationships, this is an almost impossible situation to resolve logically. It is a form of obsession and usually increases over time until one partner leaves, since there can be no resolution to a problem that has already been resolved - the previous relationship no longer exists. It is worse where the accuser was the 'other lover' and might possibly be based on guilt.

The origins of this problem are similar to that wherever there is a jealousy response - self-worth issues. There is usually a fear, which becomes a conviction, that the partner secretly would prefer to be with their 'Ex' and considers them to have been more attractive, more sexy, cleverer, more adult, more capable... and so on. It gets worse. The more the partner insists that none of this is so, the more convinced the accuser becomes that he or she is hiding the truth; any anxiety about the situation is perceived as 'evidence' that he or she is living in fear of being found out... and redoubles their efforts to 'get everything out in the open'.

The behaviour often becomes extreme and occasionally will result in physical violence. It is unlikely that this illness - for it is an obsessive illness, beyond doubt, which is as distressing for the accused as it is for the accuser - will give way without help. The greatest problem we encounter is that of subconscious resistance, wherein the accuser cannot 'let go' for fear of letting their partner 'get away with the lies'. Usually, by the time therapy is sought, the situation has deteriorated to the point that the relationship is all but beyond help.

The Solution
Possibly linked to a form of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), this problem is beyond the scope of self-help and needs the attention of a skilled therapist - you can find somebody to help you on our psychosexual specialist pages.

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