NARCISSISTIC PARTNERS DELIBERATELY make it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. They are slick and persuasive liars, prone to gaslighting others in order to escape being held to account for their misdeeds. Put simply, a narcissistic partner is not a reliable source of the truth. They are unlikely to willingly admit to adultery. If your suspicions are confirmed they usually react by devaluing and blaming you for their infidelity. This is why it’s helpful to be able to recognize narcissistic cheating patterns on your own. Once you know what to look for, you can make an informed and independent decision about how you wish to go forward.
Nikolina Jeric, co-founder of the dating site 2Date4Love, shares her expertise about how to spot narcissistic cheating patterns.
- Don’t ignore your instinct if you sense your partner is being unfaithful to you.
- Pay close attention to their actions, not their words.
- Some signs of cheating include secrecy, changes in sexual activity, provoking conflicts, and unexplained costs.
- Sometimes these signal may signal that your relationship is breaking down for reasons other than infidelity.
1. Unfaithful partners are secretive
An unfaithful partner will seek to keep you in the dark about their infidelity.
“They may suddenly become secretive about their phones and computers. If your partner never had a problem with you checking their phones but now has passwords and hides the screen every time they get a message or start deleting texts and clearing browsing history, you’re likely in a relationship with a cheater.”
2. Changes in frequency of sex
Another red flag to look for if you suspect a narcissistic partner is cheating on you is a change in your sex life.
Nikolina says this can show up in two different ways:
“There may be more and less sex. Both increase and decrease in sexual activity may indicate you’re in a relationship with a cheater. Less sex often indicates your partner is focused on somebody else, or they’re guilt-tripped because they cheat. More sex – with plenty of new moves – might indicate they’ve learned something new with somebody else, and they want to share that knowledge with you.”
3. They pick fights with you
Narcissistic people try to avoid accountability at all costs, especially when they are knowingly betraying someone. They usually accomplish this with a tactic called DARVO, which stands for deny, attack, reverse, victim, and offender.
Nikolina shares what this might looking like in an intimate relationships:
“They pick fights. Cheaters often want to rationalize their behavior by pushing the blame onto another person. If you notice that your partner is constantly picking flights about insignificant things, that may be a sign of cheating since they want to justify their adultery.”
4. You notice unexplained costs
Often unfaithful partners tend to get physically, emotionally, and financially invested in their new romantic interest.
Nikolina talks about an economic change you might notice:
“You notice unexpected costs. If you have joint accounts and you see there’s suddenly less money, you might be dating a cheater. If you ask them about it, and their answer seems insincere, it’s another way of confirming the suspicion.”
If you believe that your partner is unfaithful, consider reaching out for support from a mental health professional. Remember that you are not to blame for their actions. Your sole responsibility is to take care of your health, recover from their betrayal and move forward with your life.