Do you suspect your partner may be cheating on you? Do they tend to disappear for days on end and not answer your calls until they return? Do they get all accusatory when you confront them about disappearances and unfaithful behavior?
Are they constantly glued to their phone and shady on social media?
As much as you may not want to hear it, you may be dealing with a cheating narcissist.
These are only some of the common narcissist cheating signs. But before exploring them, let’s dig deeper into narcissistic cheater traits and the reasons for infidelity.
Who is a narcissistic person?
Narcissistic people often feel entitled and superior to others and have a massive ego that they need to feed regularly. They crave constant attention and want people to admire them.
They are self-centered, manipulative, and often project their infidelity to their partner.
They feel the need to control their partner, and that power trip isn’t satisfied with just one person. The more people they seduce, the more powerful they feel.
Do narcissists feel remorse for cheating on their partners?
Unfortunately, they don’t.
If they felt any guilt, they would perhaps be able to change their behavior and stop cheating.
No consequence is enough to turn them around because, in their eyes, cheating isn’t anything serious. It’s just a way to make them feel better about themselves.
And since they lack remorse for their actions, nothing stops them from doing it again.
Narcissists often cheat because they have little to no self-control. It’s not usually in their nature to resist the temptation to feed their ego with new sources of attention.
Poor impulse control, a big ego, exaggerated feelings of self-importance, delusions of grandeur, lack of remorse, empathy and shame, and a constant need for narcissistic supply are the key reasons why narcissists lie and cheat on their partners.
Most of all, they simply think they can get away with it.
Now that you have a better idea of why narcissists lie and cheat, you may be wondering:
Do all narcissists cheat on their partners?
Narcissists and cheating often go hand in hand, but you’ll be happy to know that not all narcissists cheat.
You wouldn’t say that all cheaters are narcissists, would you? The same goes the other way around.
Just because your partner may have some narcissistic cheater traits doesn’t mean that they’re going to sneak behind your back and become unfaithful.
Still, a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) does make a person more likely to lie and cheat for no good reason and do it repeatedly.
Knowing narcissist cheating signs and how to recognize that your partner may be having an affair can save you a lot of potential pain and heartache.
These are the telltale narcissist cheating signs you should be aware of:
1. Disappearing frequently and being vague about their whereabouts
The first in the list of narcissist cheating signs is that many cheating narcissists tend to drop off the face of the Earth regularly and not take their partner’s calls for hours or days on end.
Even if you live together, they may not find it difficult to find excuses to go away for several days. They could say they’re visiting a friend or a distant relative that lives in another city.
Obviously, they don’t need to disappear for long periods to have an affair. But if they’re unreachable for hours, they may be seeing someone else.
2. Flirting on social media
Flirting with someone else on social media may be a sign a narcissist is cheating on you.
You know what they say, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
If you confront your partner about it, they may say that they’re only friends. However, if they’re publicly flirting on social media, it only means they don’t respect you or care about what you or others might think.
3. Not putting their phone down or letting you anywhere near it
One of the narcissist cheating signs or for anyone, in general, is that when anyone is cheating, they usually communicate with their flings via text messages. That’s why their phone isn’t likely to leave their side. It’s also always password-protected.
If there’s a chance of their fling calling, they’re likely to keep their phone in silent mode and inside their pocket.
4. Accusing you of having an affair
“The best defense is a good offense.”
If you accuse your narcissistic partner of having an affair, they’re probably going to deny it, even if it’s true.
But to turn the focus away from their infidelity, they might start accusing you of cheating. Projection is a narcissist’s defense mechanism and clearly one of the narcissist cheating signs that they use to play the victim and throw you off the scent.
5. Sudden changes in behavior
Has your partner started paying much more attention to their hygiene and appearance? Have they started being sneaky and coming home late? Maybe they no longer answer their phone while you’re around?
If you notice any unusual behavior changes that indicate infidelity, and your gut is telling you that something fishy is going on, it may be one of those narcissist cheating signs, and you may be right.
The same is true if they start displaying a higher libido than usual. It may mean that the person they’re cheating you with isn’t currently available, so they turn to you again.
7. Canceling plans frequently
Whether you’re dating a cheating narcissist or you’re married to one, canceling plans at the last minute may be signs of a narcissist cheating asthey’ve made other plans.
They may say it’s because of work or anything else important that came up. While that may be true at times, it screams infidelity if it happens all the time.
8. Avoiding a conversation about their cagey behavior
Confronting a narcissist about lies, cheating, and their cagey behavior only makes them behave shadier. They rarely want to talk things out because they aren’t likely to admit they’re seeing someone else, which is one of the important signs of a cheating narcissist.
If your partner isn’t used to buying you gifts, but they start doing it frequently, they may be trying to throw you off the scent of their unfaithful actions.
Making you feel special all of a sudden is one of the most common manipulation techniques of a narcissist. They make their partners think they’re thoughtful and caring and that they would never cheat on them.
The video below talks about different games narcissists play, like dehumanizing, blame-shifting, etc. Find out more:
10. Mysteriously spending more money behind your back
If you’re dating a cheating narcissist, you probably don’t have an insight into their spending. But if you’re married to one and discover unidentifiable charges on their credit card, they may be buying gifts for someone else.
Talking about finances are essential in marriage but such signs of a cheating narcissist are true if they insist you switch to separate bank accounts after having a joint account for years.
What happens when you confront a narcissist cheater?
If you notice any of the red flags above and they turn out to be true, it’s important to understand that cheating is not your fault. Most narcissists will cheat on anyone they’re with, especially when the relationship or marriage is already well-established.
It’s also crucial to understand that being cheated on by a narcissist doesn’t mean that you’re less intelligent than they are.
Quite the contrary.
Narcissists often think they’re cleverer than their partners and that they can get away with cheating. Underestimating their partners is how they make mistakes and get caught.
Now, confronting a narcissist cheater may not go the way you imagine.
When a narcissist is caught cheating and lying, they often make up a heap of more lies to convince you that they’ve been nothing but faithful. Even if you have evidence of cheating, they’re likely to deny everything and even project their infidelity onto you.
Getting angry and gaslighting you may also be their response.
But what happens when they can no longer deny the evidence? What if you catch them in the act?
Then they might blame you for their cheating.
They may think of a dozen reasons why it was allegedly your behavior that made them seek attention outside your relationship or marriage. Narcissists will say anything to turn the focus away from them and blame it on someone else.
These narcissist cheating signs may not always indicate an affair. But if your partner displays those signs, you should have an honest talk with them to try and find out the reasons for their behavior. The way they respond when you confront them should tell you if they’ve been faithful or not.
If you want to work on your relationship, you should see a mental health professional or a relationship counselor to sort things out, especially if the relationship is not an abusive one.
But even if they haven’t been cheating, you may be better off without them. You deserve a loving, caring, and loyal partner who respects you and makes you happy.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.