“The truly scary thing about undiscovered lies is that they have a greater capacity to diminish us than exposed ones. They erode our strength, our self-esteem, our very foundation.”— Cheryl Hughes
Today infidelity remains the number one reason relationships fail worldwide.
According to the General Social Survey, 20 percent of men and 13 percent of women cheat. Among the cheaters are always narcissists.
Being in a relationship with a narcissistic partner already comes with its price.
Some of its pitfalls may be minor and insignificant, while others may drastically influence your love life and make it almost impossible to continue the relationship, such as cheating.
If you wonder why narcissists cheat, let’s dig deeper into what causes narcissist infidelity.
Why do narcissists cheat?
Unfortunately, narcissistic cheaters are infamous for engaging in emotional and physical infidelity.
Let's look at the Betrayal Trauma, Narcissism, and Attitudes Toward Sexual Infidelity study.
Narcissistic behavior is positively correlated with extramarital affairs and, in general, more permissive attitudes towards infidelity no matter how satisfied with their current relationship they are.
There may be several reasons behind such immoral behavior, such as:
- Seeking power and control;
- Lack of empathy;
- Thirst for validation and narcissistic supply
- Unrestricted sociosexuality; or
- Lower levels of relationship commitment.
No matter how prepared you are to justify your cheating narcissist wife or husband, you should understand that there is no excuse for cheating.
Unfortunately, many spouses try to turn a blind eye to the signs a narcissist is cheating, which definitely won’t make the infidelity disappear.
In contrast, others don’t even know that something is wrong. But can you really tell when a narcissist is cheating? Spoiler alert: Yes, you can.
Narcissist Cheating Signs You Should Not Deny
#1. Liar, liar, pants on fire
“You told me once – and I believed you. You repeated – I began to doubt you. You insisted – and I got that you were lying.”– Chinese saying
The first thing you need to know about narcissists is they lie a lot.
The essence of a narcissistic personality is deceiving people for their own benefit, So don’t fall for what they’re telling you, especially if they repeatedly insist on something.
Often in your relationship, they may tell you how much they despise lying and cheating, which may be their attempt to convince you that they won’t even tolerate such behavior.
Unfortunately, no matter how much they talk about their strong feelings towards integrity and honesty, it may actually be a red flag.
A cheating narcissistic husband or wife wants you to believe that they will never be involved in an extramarital affair so that they can continue benefiting from their lies and the fact that you are still into them.
In addition, they feel superior by not being caught when lying to your face.
#2. Extreme jealousy and accusations take place
Guilt-tripping is a type of narcissistic abuse used against their partner on a daily basis.
Thus, it is pretty typical for a narcissistic cheating girlfriend or boyfriend to accuse you of infidelity first, as you will be so busy defending yourself that you won’t be able to reason with them.
Even the slightest fictitious implication of your infidelity will allow them to demonstrate how strongly they disapprove of being unfaithful to a partner.
That is, in a way, a staged play for further emotional blackmail so that you will fall for the trick and start feeling guilty about suspecting them.
All in all, narcissists know that the best defense is the offense.
#3. Excessive need for “gadget protection”
This is common for any cheater, not just narcissists.
Yet it’s one sign that spouses tend to miss. You need to communicate with your fling, which is often done through texting.
That is why the narcissistic cheating girlfriend or boyfriend will become incredibly overprotective of their gadgets.
A password all of a sudden? Red flag! Always keeping their laptop closed and phone in their pocket? Red flag!
A cheating narcissist will protect their privacy at all costs, and you may notice how anxious they become whenever you need to take their phone or use their tablet.
Today, most people are required to have a password as today we can pay with our phones, and our card information must remain confidential.
However, if you don’t have anything to hide, why stress out over your spouse asking for your password?
#4. Sudden disappearances
Serial adulterer narcissist is a master of fake excuses for why they need to leave town for a few days or come home late on a Friday night.
This sign that a covert narcissist is cheating may be an obvious one.
Since they rarely have enough empathy to take your feelings into account, they won’t find it necessary to inform you about their whereabouts even when you live together.
Frequent disappearances may be a sign that they are seeing someone.
#5. Avoidant type behavior
Manipulative by nature, narcissists are pros of confrontation, making them strive for conflicts from time to time.
That’s why they seem even shadier when they start avoiding conflict overnight.
Of course, when confronted, a cheating narcissist won’t admit they’re seeing someone else.
But the serious conversation may give them a legit excuse to disappear for a while.
They may also play the victim card by acting hurt by your accusations or try the silent treatment tactic on you. Don’t fall for this trick.
They are only doing it so that you will feel guilty and start being on your best behavior to make it up to them.
#6. Out of the blue generosity
Another common manipulation technique is making the partner feel special.
So when your narcissistic boyfriend becomes incredibly thoughtful and caring out of the blue – it may be a sign.
Buying presents and throwing little surprises isn’t normal narcissist behavior. So, perhaps they’re trying to throw you off their infidelity.
Gift-giving is typical for all cheaters.
They will try to throw them off by being nicer and more thoughtful than usual. So watch out for sudden tokens of appreciation.
#7. Forewarned is forearmed
When we’re in love, we don’t believe anything bad said about our partner. An ex may have reasons to say those nasty things about your spouse.
However, sometimes you should watch out for what the narcissist’s ex-partners are trying to tell, especially if they are calling your partner out publicly or are going out of their way to warn you about them.
Of course, a narcissistic partner will call their exes obsessed or even crazy, trying to discredit them.
They may even start telling you preventive lies about their ex-victims.
Anyway, don’t jump to any conclusions; it may be worth it to hear their ex out.
There are several techniques to deal with a cheating narcissist. For example, you can see a family therapist or a relationship counselor.
Another option is to try and confront them when you’ve noticed any of the above-mentioned signs.
But remember, when it becomes unbearable and you can’t handle it anymore, you can always leave a narcissist for your own well-being.
Thank you, I hope you got value reading about the 7 narcissist cheating signs.
Please leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.
Natalie Maximets is a certified life transformation coach with expertise in sustainability and mindfulness. She is also a writer at Online Divorce. Natalie helps people overcome life challenges and build a happier life.