Do you have the misfortune to be in a relationship with a narcissist? For sure, it wasn’t your choice. But to add insult to injury, you found them cheating on you. What are your options when a narcissist cheats on you?
Are you sure your partner has a narcissistic personality? And what about cheating? Before you move ahead and figure out a way to deal with it, you need to make sure both are true and not just your figments of imagination.
If you are basing your conviction on guesswork and feelings, you need to back it up with something more solid. Or else, you may find yourself staring down the wrong end of a gun. Your partner who you thought to be cheating as well as narcissistic will take you to task for the misrepresentation.
On the other hand, if you are right about your assessment of your partner and they are indeed narcissistic and cheating, you need to take timely action to protect yourself from mental trauma. If you want to know the options open for you and how you can extricate yourself from the situation without much harm, read on.
This article will help you understand how the mind of a narcissist works and why they cheat and lie. Here you will also find narcissist cheating signs and tips to deal with a cheating narcissist. You may even get a narcissist to admit they cheated.
What makes a narcissist cheat?
Narcissists crave constant attention, feel superior and entitled, demand respect and admiration, and have a huge ego that needs to be fed regularly. They are manipulative, self-centered, and indulge in self-projection. They cannot resist controlling and exercising power over others all the time. They find it hard to ignore new sources of narcissistic supply.
Though narcissists want to control others, self-control is absent in them. They cannot resist temptations to boost their ego. Together with a huge ego, poor control of impulses, and inflated feelings of self-importance, it forms the perfect recipe for cheating. When someone new is giving them extra attention, they are naturally drawn to them. They cannot resist a new source of narcissistic supply.
Their lack of shame, remorse, and empathy adds fuel to the fire. Narcissists have such strong delusions of grandeur that they just can’t imagine getting caught at cheating. They firmly believe that they can get away with lies and cheating. So, they lie and cheat with impudence.
On top of this, they don’t think lying and cheating are wrong either. They show no remorse for their actions. If they experience even a speck of guilt, they wouldn’t indulge in such activities.
Even if they are aware of the seriousness of their actions or the severe consequences, they will show no tendency to change their narcissist cheating patterns. Even if they get caught, they consider it inconsequential as lying or cheating isn’t a serious crime. They think of it as a means to make themselves feel better.
As remorse is absent in a narcissist, they will continue to cheat again and again. In fact, cheating and narcissistic behavior have intrinsically linked to one another. However, there are narcissists who do not cheat as well, though they do have a higher susceptibility to lie and cheat.
Signs your narcissistic partner is cheating
Before you accuse your narcissistic partner of cheating, you need to gather evidence of the same. You may find these narcissist cheating signs helpful to recognize cheating by your narcissistic partner.
- They disappear often and are elusive and vague about where they have been.
- You notice sudden and drastic changes in their behavior.
- They cancel your dates and change plans frequently.
- They shower you with love and gifts unexpectedly.
- You find them spending lavishly without your knowledge.
- They accuse you of affairs without basis.
- They lose their sex drive all of a sudden.
- You often catch them flirting with others on social media.
- They won’t let you anywhere near their phone.
- They dodge talks about their shady behavior.
What can you do when a narcissist cheats on you?
If you doubt that your narcissistic partner is cheating you, as a first step you should identify correctly the kind of cheating you’re being subjected to. You need to tailor your response based on this.
These are the common narcissist cheating signs.
- With lies
- Being defensive
- Not reassuring
- Asking for space
- Cagey behavior
- Crookedness in sexual behavior
Once you have identified your narcissistic partner as a cheat and zeroed in on the cheating methodology, it is time to turn inward and assess your response to it. You need to be prepared for their typical narcissistic tactics such as denial, gaslighting, abuse, and defensive strategies. Go ahead and confront them only if you are prepared for the narcissists reaction. Or else you will end up in a worse situation than before.
Here are some steps you may consider taking when a narcissist cheats on you.
1. Understand your feelings and thoughts
Even when you may go wrong in your assessment of the narcissist cheating patterns of your partner, you can never go wrong about your own reactions and feelings. Before you decide on how you are going to deal with your cheating partner, pause for a moment to examine how it makes you feel. Base your reaction on your own emotions rather than what you perceive.
2. Chart out a plan
You need to have a thought-out plan when dealing with a narcissist as they are very good at gaslighting and self-projection. You also need to factor in their anger and verbal attacks. While planning your response, remember to focus on how their actions made you feel rather than their actions. When you focus on their actions, they will consider it as a personal attack, which defeats the whole purpose of the conversation.
3. Consider saving your relationship
Even though long-term relationships rarely work out with narcissistic partners, it would be unfair to rule them out without considering this. Some narcissists are capable of leading happy relationships. Explore whether your partner will qualify for this. You may have to rely on counseling and therapy to get you through tough times.
4. Revisit your relationship
Depending on the reaction of your partner to your allegations of infidelity, you may have to consider walking away. If your narcissistic partner is refusing to acknowledge your emotions, is not ready to compromise, is physically aggressive/violent, and is a threat to your health or life itself, you should seriously consider ending the relationship. You need to exercise caution while breaking the news as narcissists may turn angry and violent.
5. Reach out for professional help
If you are unable to deal with the infidelity of your narcissistic partner and are unsure how to move forward, you should seek professional help. Therapy can help you clear your mind and see the situation with clarity. Then, you can arrive at the right decision on your own.
Besides individual therapy, you can also try couples counseling so long as there is no physical violence involved. For this to show results, both you and your partner must be consenting and committed to seeing through this difficult phase.
Whenever you see an aberration in the behavior of your cheating narcissist partner, you shouldn’t hesitate to initiate a conversation. Suppressing your thoughts and emotions without conversation can cause long-term harm to your relationship.
You can try the conciliatory approach first to save the relationship when a narcissist cheats on you. If it is not working and if your life is under threat, you should get professional help. If need be, you should consider walking out of the relationship.