Though branding all narcissists as cheaters is wrong, narcissists, in general, are notorious for cheating in relationships, committing adultery, and having extramarital affairs. They are well known for engaging in physical and emotional infidelity,
Narcissism is not directly linked to cheating but the probability of infidelity among narcissists is higher. This is a matter of concern for those in relationships with narcissists. Studies suggest that narcissism has a positive correlation with infidelity and a sexually-permissive attitude concerning infidelity. This may happen even when the narcissist is in a stable and satisfying relationship.
A cheating narcissist cannot be compared to a typical unfaithful partner. Narcissists cheat to gain more control and power. Their lack of empathy, need for validation, and requirement for constant narcissistic supply only aggravates the situation.
All the while, they will maintain a good relationship with their partners. Their unmatched ability to lie and gaslight helps them in deceiving their partners into believing that all is well in the relationship.
If you’re dating a narcissist or married to one, you need to be aware of what is going on. This article lists the prominent warning signs a narcissist is cheating on you.
Warning signs a narcissist is cheating on you
All narcissists are not the same. Narcissism comes in various levels, types, and forms. Narcissistic traits also differ vastly. However, a cheating narcissist would have some traits in common. You can find a pattern in the way they work on their victims and keep them in the dark about their activities.
Here are some narcissist cheating signs.
1. They declare beforehand that they will not cheat or lie
A narcissistic partner prone to cheating would make a grandstand declaration about their hatred for cheating and lying. This is like anticipatory bail. They are about to do something wrong that they know is wrong. But wash their hands off it in case they are caught red-handed.
A person who is honest and straightforward need not say they are honest and straightforward. Their actions will speak for themselves. When someone tells you how honest they are, your antenna should go up. You should pay more attention to what is happening so that you can detect any narcissist cheating signs early on.
A cheating narcissist may even come up with a sob story of how they were the victim of cheating. They will say emphatically that they will never subject another human being to that level of distress.
You need to remember that narcissists are far removed from reality and their self-image differs vastly from the real one.
2. They stand you up and leave you clueless
If this happens in the early days of your relationship, you may interpret it as them playing it cool or proof of their unreliability. However, if the narcissist continues this behavior, it can be an indication of their roving eyes, one of the clear cases of narcissist cheating signs.
Narcissists typically resort to the silent treatment or stonewalling while they are pursuing their other “interests”. They may even ask you for a break from the relationship in the guise of pursuing their goals or making the relationship healthier. But once you consent to this, they may go totally silent for days together.
Living together with the narcissist doesn’t mean you are more aware of what is going on. The narcissist would find ways to hoodwink you and do what they want right under your nose. They may even invent an argument and quarrel with you to create a valid reason for staying away from you. You may find it hard to believe that the narcissist is cheating on you.
3. Their social media activities seem fishy
Narcissists use social media to feed their egos and to extract power and validation from their followers. If you pay attention to their online activities, you would find them abnormal and suspicious.
Narcissists find dating apps irresistible. They use these platforms to find more victims even while they are in a committed relationship. You may find them flirting with multiple users at the same time through the comments section. You may also notice them following erotic, pornographic, and sexually provocative accounts.
They may desist from revealing their relationship status or connecting with you on these social media platforms. Moreover, you could see that they keep getting questionable new contacts.
A narcissist may go to the other extreme and may have no social media presence. They may be having one that is hidden from you and purposely hiding it from you. When a narcissist is cheating on you, this is far more dangerous and harder to catch.
4. You get warned about them
People who knew the narcissist before may approach you discreetly and warn you to be extra careful and vigilant. This may make you wonder why. Sometimes, the narcissist’s exes may go public about their behavior. You may feel that they are saying this as a warning to you.
If you haven’t yet discovered the Jekyll-Hyde personalities of the narcissist, you may think that there is something wrong with these people. It may even make you think that these people are jealous or crazy.
When the narcissist comes to hear about it or you confront them with these warnings, the narcissist will try the typical narcissistic methods to make you believe that they are innocent. They will claim that such people are envious of you and delusional. The narcissist wouldn’t hesitate to run a smear campaign against their past victims who dared to speak up.
If the narcissist is cheating on you and suspects that their ex-victims might rise up against them, they may steal a march on them by tarnishing their image with lies. But it is up to you to decide who you want to trust. It’s better to weigh the pros and cons before rejecting allegations by ex-victims of narcissists.
5. They turn jealous and make cheating accusations
A narcissist may accuse you of the same behavior they may be accused of. It is a tactic to distract your attention from their own wrongdoing or a preemptive move to counter your accusation. They may use this to draw attention to their hatred for lying and cheating so that you will not be suspicious of their infidelity. You may find narcissist cheating patterns hard to detect.
Even if you manage to discover their two-timing and infidelity, you may find it hard to raise the issue when you are trying to defend the same allegation. The narcissist will put you in an impossible position and corner you into submission. Ultimately, they intend to have things their way but without losing control over you, their narcissistic supply.
Final thoughts on a narcissist is cheating on you
The narcissist may lose interest in you and may spend less money and time on you when they are cheating on you. However, you also need to remember that not all narcissists are liars and cheaters. That makes narcissist cheating signs hard to catch. But having a narcissistic personality disorder makes them predisposed to cheating and lying.
To get a narcissist to admit they cheated is no easy task. You have two options when you discover that your narcissistic partner is cheating on you. You can either confront the narcissist or leave them.
Whichever option you choose to take, you need to be well-prepared before taking the step. Narcissists being narcissists can confuse and gaslight you. They will do anything to retain control and power over their narcissistic supply.