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Well OP here's the thing...you new this about her before dating, then you married her and during this time it hadn't really bothered you much at all. There is clearly a trigger for you that you must figure out and I don't think it's just her friends talking about it that caused it.
You may have an underlying issue with OCD which explains the obsessive intrusive thoughts. I have been diagnosed OCD and obsessive thoughts absolutely suck, granted mine don't involve RJ, but they still suck nonetheless.
 

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The full name for RJ is retroactive jealousy OCD.
I am not OCD, but I most definitely have a lot of OCD traits. I also struggle to some degree with RJ. I can never seem to get over the feelings completely, but I've found ways to deal with them and keep them in check. It is tough, because small things can trigger it. I see a song on Sirius XM that says it came out in a particular year and it think, "at this time in that year she was probably in bed with her Ex." or "she was moving in with him this month in that year" Mind you, this is over 30 years ago! Totally irrational, but it is there in my head. Basics of what I do are...

I remind myself it is my problem, not hers. I've even talked to her about this, she knows how I feel.
I remind my self it was before me and has nothing to do with me and I remind myself how great she has been to me since we were a couple
I remind myself that I had a past before her too
Then I usually think about the last time she did something that really made me feel loved

I pretty much do that every time and it gets me out of the funk.
 

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I am not OCD, but I most definitely have a lot of OCD traits. I also struggle to some degree with RJ. I can never seem to get over the feelings completely, but I've found ways to deal with them and keep them in check. It is tough, because small things can trigger it. I see a song on Sirius XM that says it came out in a particular year and it think, "at this time in that year she was probably in bed with her Ex." or "she was moving in with him this month in that year" Mind you, this is over 30 years ago! Totally irrational, but it is there in my head. Basics of what I do are...

I remind myself it is my problem, not hers. I've even talked to her about this, she knows how I feel.
I remind my self it was before me and has nothing to do with me and I remind myself how great she has been to me since we were a couple
I remind myself that I had a past before her too
Then I usually think about the last time she did something that really made me feel loved

I pretty much do that every time and it gets me out of the funk.
Yes, you have the classic symptoms. The problem is that RJ can get worse over time. You may be able to get out of the funk now, but in ten or twenty more years, you may not be so lucky. I didn't realize it at the time, but I saw an 88-year old man with dementia struggle with it. He didn't realize what he was doing, but he actually talked about his wife's sexual activities with an older man when she was 17. It was before he met her. His adult children didn't realize it was RJ. It was uncomfortable for them to hear about their mother's sexual history from almost seventy years ago.

Then I usually think about the last time she did something that really made me feel loved
What I've discovered is that RJ fills a void. If your spouse is not paying much attention to you and not doing anything to make you feel loved, even if it's unintentional on her part, RJ sneaks in to fill the void. Insecurity feeds RJ.

I've been researching and studying RJ for at least five years. One conclusion I've reached is DO NOT discuss it with your spouse. The problem is yours, not hers. She didn't cause it, she can't fix it. All you will do is make her feel bad for doing something that was not wrong and not aimed at hurting you. One of the most frustrating aspects is that you can never forgive her for what she did because she didn't do anything wrong that needs to be forgiven. You didn't even know each other. What if discussing your RJ with your spouse causes HER to develop it about your past? Would you wish it on her? Be very careful.
 

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I've been researching and studying RJ for at least five years. One conclusion I've reached is DO NOT discuss it with your spouse. The problem is yours, not hers. She didn't cause it, she can't fix it. All you will do is make her feel bad for doing something that was not wrong and not aimed at hurting you. One of the most frustrating aspects is that you can never forgive her for what she did because she didn't do anything wrong that needs to be forgiven. You didn't even know each other. What if discussing your RJ with your spouse causes HER to develop it about your past? Would you wish it on her? Be very careful.
This is really great feedback, thank you. That bold sentence really is the whole thing in its simplest terms.

It was much more of an issue for me when we were dating. It was much fresher then, but I still tried not to browbeat her about it. Although I have to admit I often said more about it than I should have at that time.

We were both young when we met, but my wife is a few years older. I was a junior in high school and never had a sexual relationship. She was 1 year out of high school and had been in a relationship for about 2 years. That added to some of my insecurities. She did nothing wrong. She was living with a man she loved and fully expected to get married to. She was doing everything she was supposed to do. Even though there was no concrete proof, there was lots of evidence she was being cheated on and she immediately moved out. I met her a few months after that. Believe it or not that seemed to aggravate my feelings. My completely irrational thinking was, "how could you have not seen he was no good before?" So even that piece, I've had to remind myself how strong she was to stand up for herself and got out. Time has mellowed the feelings. I can talk about it now without getting upset. In fact it feels somewhat cathartic to write this.

I've only mentioned it to my wife a few times during the 31 years we've been married, but the most recent wasn't that long ago. I don't remember how the topic came up, but I briefly said it still pops up from time to time, but I very clearly said to her that it is my problem, not hers. She consoled me a little and that was the end of the topic. I will take your advice to heart and I'll make that the last time I talk to her about it. In hind sight it was probably a good way to close the issue.
 

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I've only mentioned it to my wife a few times during the 31 years we've been married, but the most recent wasn't that long ago. I don't remember how the topic came up, but I briefly said it still pops up from time to time, but I very clearly said to her that it is my problem, not hers. She consoled me a little and that was the end of the topic. I will take your advice to heart and I'll make that the last time I talk to her about it.
Good post. The problem with mentioning it to her is that she is helpless to do anything to help you ("she consoled me a little") except to love you unconditionally and work to have a great marriage. This point is a little obscure, but if she works to have a great marriage because of your RJ, it's the wrong reason, and it will not work. It's like a Catch 22, I guess.

You said that you don't remember how the topic came up, but do you remember whether you bought it up or did she? I ask because if she brought it up, you need to deal with it lovingly and briefly. Of course, you need to make sure you never bring it up again.
 

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Good post. The problem with mentioning it to her is that she is helpless to do anything to help you ("she consoled me a little") except to love you unconditionally and work to have a great marriage. This point is a little obscure, but if she works to have a great marriage because of your RJ, it's the wrong reason, and it will not work. It's like a Catch 22, I guess.

You said that you don't remember how the topic came up, but do you remember whether you bought it up or did she? I ask because if she brought it up, you need to deal with it lovingly and briefly. Of course, you need to make sure you never bring it up again.
I know for sure I'm the one that brought it up, I just can't recall what prompted it. I think her response was something along the lines of, "you still feel that way?" I said yes and that was when I told her its my problem to deal with, she's done nothing wrong and I don't want her to try to do anything. That was it and we moved on. It didn't last more than a minute. We really do have a great marriage and I am very confident in saying it isn't because she has been trying to appease my RJ. There have been very large spans of time where it never came up and I would say our marriage has only strengthened over those periods of time without it being a factor. I think it is great for all the right reasons. That said I very selfishly never gave full consideration to how bringing it up could impact her. Discussing it here has really cleared that up for me. I won't be picking at that scab and opening up the wound on that one anymore.

I genuinely appreciate this discussion, thank you. BTW, I never even knew what to call these feelings before coming here. I would be interested to hear how the OP is doing and dealing with this now. I hope some of this is helpful to him.
 

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At least this was disclosed prior to dating and didn't somehow come up later. RJ is a real thing, but I think you need to convince yourself that this was disclosed by her, and you know her true feelings on it now.
 
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