Resolving Fear In Relationships

Most of us go into relationships to find security; we want to be with someone who makes us feel safe. Two people form a better unit of defense against potential hazards and tragedies than one.

If you felt truly safe, fear wouldn’t arise. From the perspective of spirit all fear is a projection from the past, and as long as these projections continue, you will keep generating fearful situations to accommodate them.

Whatever you most fear – abandonment, rejection, failure, loss, humiliation – has already occurred to you. The threats you perceive around you now, or coming at you in the future, are the long shadow being cast by your past.

The reason romantic love makes you feel so safe is not that another person is there to guard you but that love is there to guard you. Most people feel that love has such power only in early childhood.

As infants we fused love with the presence of a loving father and mother. As long as they were there watching over us, we felt both loved and protected. Once we grew up, however, we learned that our parents had their own frailties and fears, that they were not as totally secure in the world as we thought.

This lesson usually came home in a way that brought some shock and disappointment. Faced with aloneness, the young child is thrown out of love and safety at the same time.

But that is where a mistake crept in, for the one lesson – parents can’t always protect you – is true, whereas the other – love can’t protect you – is not. Unlearning the second lesson is how you stop having to control other people, for it was in early childhood, almost exactly at the time you were first left to your own devices, that you started feeling the urge to establish control.

Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).

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Past Member
Past Member 2 years ago

I just had a 12 year relationship finally breakdown and my partner has told me that he is deeply afraid of me. That this fear is long standing and pervasive and that he tried to manage it and just can't do so. He is surprised by my sorrow over his fear, my tears at the thought of him being afraid of me are astonishing to him. We have been raising children together and I would have honestly thought in every way that we shared a genuine desire to be friends and lovers. I don't know where to go from here. He is not interested in working on our relationship, though he is being good about continuing to pay bills and spend time with the kids. I understand better his long silences, the times he lied because it was easier than explaining something minor to me like I took a day off work to take my parents out their appointments. What I don't understand is why? Why be fearful?

Hello G.
Hello G.3 years ago


Deborah L.
Deborah L.4 years ago

Love takes faith. In ourselves, in another, or in a higher power. Fear blinds and negates that faith. Remember we all need a guiding light. You must choose carefully which will be your beacon into the future. Love & fear cannot occupy the same space. The choice is yours, please, step into the light!

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.4 years ago

Love doesn't exist.

K s Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Rosemary H.
Rosemary H.5 years ago

Julie says:
'My problem is that I unconsciously assume that everyone will treat me as my parents did. The challenge is looking the fear in the eyes and asking honestly if it is valid or not at this moment.'

True, Julie! I've made the same assumptions and come to the same conclusion. I've faced old fears and seen them shrink or even go altogether.

Kanta Of Kol
Kay Bee5 years ago

Thanks for sharing this. I find it quite relevant

Mags M.
M M5 years ago

Very helpful and insightful; it helped clarify many things. Thank you.

Julie A.
Julie A.5 years ago

Chris S.
But as the article says, your fear may be based on your past and not the present. I only recently realised that I am frightened of my husband - but that fear is based entirely on what happened to me as a child. I am frightened he will abandon me or that he might physically assault me if I upset him. This is despite all the evidence over our 15 years together that if I upset him, he just feels hurt. Period!
My problem is that I unconsciously assume that everyone will treat me as my parents did. The challenge is looking the fear in the eyes and asking honestly if it is valid or not at this moment.

Chris S.
Chris S.5 years ago

If your gut feeling is telling you there is something to fear in a relationship - then it is usually correct! So many relationships are based on fear - of mental or physical or sexual assault.

Read any survivors story . The fear of taking the first step to get out of that situation is immense but not impossible. Once the step is taken, most wonder why they didn't do it earlier. Life is too short to be always in fear.