Why am i afraid of being replaced

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Someone will take my place

Are you always afraid of being replaced?
Do you always doubt the intentions of your partner and think that they are cheating on you?

The fear of being replaced is one of the common fears that ruins relationships or at least makes them unpleasant. In such a case the person lives in a constant fear because of believing that at any point they might be replaced by someone else.

From what i have seen this fear is much more common among women than men but maybe that's just a conclusion i made because women are more likely to talk about their deepest fears than men. See also Is talking about my problems a good idea.

Signs you are afraid of being replaced

People who fear being replaced live in a constant state of doubt. They always interpret events in a different way and quickly jump to the conclusion that their lovers are trying to replace them.

Intense jealousy is another strong sign of that fear. When a person perceives everybody as a threat they start becoming more jealous of those people. See How to stop being jealous and insecure

When men develop this kind of fear they start to become overly controlling. They always try limit the woman's interactions with others and they might get into rage mode if they believed their woman interacted with other males. See The psychology of control freaks

What causes this type of fear

There are two major causes for this type of fear. Here they are:

  • 1) Being replaced in childhood: When the youngest child gets replaced by a new born child ,that takes all of the attention of the parents, then this child might develop a replacement wound. As the child grows they totally forget about that wound but it still affects their lives in every possible way. The greatest fear of that child becomes repeating that bad past all over again and this is how the fear of being replaced is developed. See Birth order and personality
  • 2) Being replaced in adulthood: When a person gets replaced or cheated on they might develop a similar wound to the one that happens in childhood depending on how they interacted with the situation. The way we perceive certain events and interact with them greatly determines whether we will be fine or whether they will have a strong impact on our lives. Not all people develop those kinds of wounds because everyone has got their own different coping strategies, beliefs and psychological makeup. See How do psychological disorders develop & How emotional sensitivity leads to psychological disorders

How to deal with this kind of fear

The first step to deal with that fear is to recognize the mistake you are making while thinking. Instead of blaming your partner and accusing them of being dishonest you need to understand that your past is having a big impact on your perception and the conclusions you are making. See How your past affects your present

The second step would be using your self talk to fix the perception errors and the wrong conclusion you are making. This process is going to take time but as you keep doing it over and over you will end up changing the false beliefs you have about yourself and the problem will be solved for good.

Remember that the main cause of this problem is the development of wrong beliefs such as "I am not that good","All people are not loyal","I will always be replaced"...etc.

This is why the treatment is all about changing the wrong beliefs you developed as a result of the bad past experience you have been through.

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