PEOPLE IN TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS often struggle with how to tell when a narcissist is cheating. This is because when a partner is highly narcissistic, they use a variety of manipulation tactics to deceive others, making it challenging for their partners to spot the red flags of infidelity.
We reached out to life coach Rachel Coffey to explore some of the dead giveaways she has seen in her coaching practice when highly narcissistic partners are unfaithful.
Manya Wakefield: In your experience, Rachel, what is the first sign that a highly narcissistic person may be cheating on their partner?
Rachel Coffey: Never ignore that gut feeling that things are not quite right. Our subconscious is brilliant at picking up tiny clues that our conscious brain tries to filter out and rationalize. If you feel like something is up, there probably is.
Manya Wakefield: What is the most likely think to ping the alarm bell of our gut instinct.
Rachel Coffey: Little lies. You know when you notice that what someone is saying isn’t quite true, but you don’t know why they’d bother lying about it? For example, you ask what time a parcel was delivered – they say the courier handed it over at 4.00 pm, but you find out they actually left it on the doorstep at noon. Or you casually ask what your partner had for lunch, they say they had a Subway, but then you find a random receipt showing they had a sit down meal elsewhere. Someone who is having an affair lies constantly.
Manya Wakefield: Right, and when you express the concern to a narcissistic partner, they respond with denial, gaslighting, and blame-shifting tactics. This is why it’s important people learn how to tell when a narcissist is cheating. So how do you catch them out?
Rachel Coffey: The big lies, their main cover, is usually water tight. The small ones that they don’t even notice they are telling? They are the tell tale lies they lose track of – and can be their downfall.
Manya Wakefield: Are there any observable behavioral signs of infidelity to look for in your partner?
Rachel Coffey: If your partner’s appearance has dramatically improved or their grooming routine has gone into overdrive for no apparent reason – especially if you’ve been feeling a bit unkempt recently – it can be a red flag. It’s easy to explain away – but there’s many a partner that rues the day they did!
Manya Wakefield: Can you share another behavioral sign that a narcissistic person is cheating on their partner? Can you give some clear examples of they style of deception?
Rachel Coffey: Grand gestures that aren’t warranted. For example, you might receive a random bouquet of flowers or a surprise romantic getaway out of the blue? Watch out! The person having an affair tries to overcompensate. Sometimes out of guilt, and, in other instances, they mirror what they are doing with the person they are cheating with to convince you how much they care!
Manya Wakefield: Rachel, thank you for sharing your advice on how to tell when a narcissist is cheating, manipulation tactics, and tips on what signs of infidelity to look for.
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