This is exactly what my partner told me last night. And while he wasn't saying it directly at me, I have to admit that it stung quite a bit because I took it personally. But once I got over my feelings of entitlement, it actually got me thinking about what it means to be replaceable.
We are all replaceable to someone. Even as basic members of society, we are replaceable. Most of us will live for 80+ years and then die. The future generation will replace the current one. So on and so forth.
While it's easy to think of being replaceable in terms of the big picture (i.e., society), it's a lot harder to think of it when you're dealing with intimate relationships. There are these funny things called emotions that bond us to certain people and sometimes we forget our role within the relationship. What starts out as a two-way, mutually beneficial setup can easily become a one-way street to misery that we either resign ourselves to or "upgrade" (but really, rinse and repeat). Unfortunately, this has become commonplace with some women even when we don't think we're doing it. We slack off here and there, we gain a little weight (or a lot), we prioritize differently now than a few years ago, etc. And we expect our partners to put up with this. For some relationships, our partners DO put up with this. I've witnessed it in my own social circle and in various other social circles. Why do we do this though? When we start out in relationships, we want to present our best possible self in order to attract/keep the man. So why don't we want to continue to do that 10 or 20 years down the line?
When I first thought of myself as being replaceable, I thought of it in a very negative way. I like feeling special to my partner and feeling replaceable takes away those feelings. It makes you think, "What's the point?". However, I have learned to replace those thoughts with these: My partner is not obligated to be with me. He CHOOSES to be with me of his own free will. Gratitude for that is not out of desperation, but out of humility. I do not think I'm entitled to my partner's love or care or material goods, but I graciously accept and appreciate that he chooses to share those things with me. And because I keep that frame of mind, I am filled with the genuine desire to want to be my best possible self for him. He could still replace me if he wanted, so this doesn't come from a place of fear or manipulation which I think is a common misconception. I could be everything he wanted and he could still say "No", just as I could be a nagging harpy and he could still say "No". So trying to argue that this mindset comes from fear/manipulation is really just a moot point.
We are all replaceable. We should never forget that, in general, others are not obligated to us. We are not special snowflakes and we do not deserve special treatment. Keep abundance mentality in mind, appreciate that your partner chose you, and continue to bring your A-game. Don't get hung up on the details or the little things. Most men are very simple, straightforward creatures. A lot of the "drama" that women blame men for is really what we create out of nothing. When you keep things simple for yourself, you keep things simple for him. And he'll love you for it.