Why Does a Narcissist Cheat: (7 Sneaky Reasons & Solutions)

Why Do Narcissists Cheat So Much? Cheating is a devastating betrayal that can shatter the foundation of any relationship. But why does a narcissist cheat?

A narcissist’s need for attention and admiration drives them to constantly seek validation and feel special from others, regardless of the consequences.

Their inability to fully empathize with their partner’s feelings and needs means they view cheating as a means to an end – a way to boost their ego and satisfy their insatiable need for admiration.

Moreover, narcissists thrive on power and control, and cheating allows them to exert dominance over their partners. Understanding the motivations behind a narcissist’s infidelity sheds light on the complex and destructive nature of their personality disorder. 

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Discover the intricate reasons behind a narcissist’s infidelity and explore effective solutions to navigate relationships with these individuals. Learn about narcissistic personality disorder, cheating patterns, and more.

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The Psychology of Narcissism and Cheating

Narcissism and cheating often go hand in hand due to certain underlying psychological factors. Narcissists have an inflated sense of self-importance and an excessive need for admiration from others.

This makes them more likely to engage in cheating behaviors to boost their ego and validate their grandiose self-image.

Additionally, narcissists have a lack of empathy and disregard for others’ feelings and well-being. They are driven by self-interest and a desire to win or dominate.

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Cheating becomes a means for them to assert their superiority and maintain a sense of control over their partners.

Furthermore, narcissists often crave constant validation and attention, making them more susceptible to seeking out affairs or engaging in other forms of infidelity. Overall, the psychology of narcissism creates a promising environment for cheating to occur.

When a narcissist feels unappreciated or neglected, cheating may become a means to fulfill their need for attention and validation.

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Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

Understanding narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is essential when exploring why narcissists cheat. NPD is a mental health status characterized by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, a desire for admiration, and a lack of empathy.

It’s crucial to note that not all narcissists have NPD, but the disorder amplifies their narcissistic traits.

Narcissistic cheaters possess a heightened sense of self-entitlement, impulsive tendencies, control problems, and a notable absence of empathy and remorse, setting them apart from traditional cheaters.

Moreover, their inherent inclination to seek pleasure and a constant need for narcissistic supply makes them more prone to engaging in adulterous acts and serial infidelity.

Could You Be in a Relationship with a Narcissist and Not Even Know It?

It is possible to be in a relationship with a narcissist and not even realize it. Narcissists are skilled manipulators who have a way of making their partners feel like they are the problem.

They often gaslight and invalidate their partner’s feelings and experiences, making them doubt their sanity. Narcissists are also highly charming and charismatic, which can make it difficult for their partners to see their true colors.

In addition, narcissists are experts at projecting a false image and hiding their true intentions, so their partners may not even be aware of the manipulation and narcissistic abuse happening behind closed doors.

It is important to educate oneself about narcissistic behavior and seek support from friends, family, or professionals to escape the clutches of a narcissistic relationship.

Do Narcissists Cheat? Narcissistic Cheating Patterns

People with narcissistic personality disorder often believe that they are superior to others and deserve special treatment. They may also be manipulative and exploitative.

While not all narcissists cheat, rates of infidelity are higher among them than in the general population. Narcissists tend to follow specific patterns when it comes to cheating. These patterns can provide insight into their behavior:

– Serial Cheating

Narcissists are more likely to engage in serial cheating, moving from one affair to another in quick succession. This behavior stems from their constant need for new sources of admiration.

– Covert Cheating

Some narcissists engage in covert cheating, being discreet to avoid getting caught. They may use technology to hide their infidelity, making it even more challenging for their partner to discover.

– Justification

Narcissists often justify their actions to themselves, believing that they are superior to others and feel entitled to cheat. They might shift the blame onto their partner, claiming that their behavior is a response to their partner’s supposed inadequacies.

If you are concerned that your partner may be cheating, it is important to talk to them about it. If they are unwilling to be honest with you or try to make you feel bad about your suspicions, it may be time to end the relationship.

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Why Does a Narcissist Cheat On Their Partner?

Why narcissist cheat? Narcissists engage in infidelity as a means to assert power and control over their relationships. By cheating, they experience a sense of dominance, believing they can deceive their partner without detection due to the partner’s preoccupation with their world. 

Additionally, narcissists prioritize self-gratification, pursuing extramarital affairs to fulfill their desires rather than focusing on the needs of their partners.”

Narcissists are notorious for their infidelity, and understanding the reasons behind it can shed light on their behavior. Here are seven sneaky reasons why a narcissist Cheat:

7 Reasons Why Do Narcissists Cheat

It’s important to note that not all narcissists cheat, as personality traits can manifest differently in individuals. However, some narcissistic individuals may engage in infidelity for various reasons. Here are seven possible explanations why do narcissist cheat:

– Lack of Empathy

One of the hallmark traits of narcissism is a lack empathy. Narcissists struggle to understand or connect with the emotions of others, making it easier for them to engage in infidelity without considering the pain it may cause their partner.

– Self Importance

Narcissists have an inflated sense of self-importance, often believing that they deserve special admiration and treatment. This can lead them to seek out new romantic conquests to fulfill their constant need for validation.

– Power and Control

Infidelity can be a means for narcissists to exert power and control over their partner. They may cheat to maintain dominance in the relationship, keeping their partner on edge and insecure.

– Lack of Remorse

Narcissists rarely feel remorse for their actions, including cheating. Their belief that they are above consequences can lead to a lack of guilt or regret.

– Need for Admiration

A narcissist’s insatiable need for admiration can drive them to cheat. They may seek out new partners who provide the attention and praise they crave.

– Manipulation Tactics

Narcissists are skilled manipulators and may cheat as a tactic to keep their partners under their control. They use infidelity as a means to destabilize the relationship and make their partner doubt their worth.

– Poor Impulse Control

Narcissists often struggle with impulse control, making them more prone to acting on their desires without thinking of the consequences. This impulsivity can lead to infidelity.

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10 Signals a Narcissist is Cheating On You

Detecting infidelity in a relationship can be challenging, especially when dealing with a narcissist, as they often excel at deception and manipulation. Here are ten signs that a narcissist may be cheating on you:

  1. Excessive Secrecy: Narcissists may become even more secretive about their phones, computers, or personal belongings. They might lock their devices, change passwords, or hide text messages and calls.
  2. Emotional Distance: If your narcissistic partner suddenly becomes emotionally distant, showing less affection, empathy, or interest in your life, it could indicate infidelity.
  3. Increased Criticism: Narcissists often deflect their guilt onto others. If they start criticizing you more, picking fights, or blaming you for their behavior, it might be a way to justify their cheating.
  4. Gaslighting: Narcissists are experts at gaslighting, making you doubt your perceptions and feelings. They may manipulate the truth, deny their actions, or shift blame to keep their affair hidden.
  5. Unexplained Absences: Frequent, unexplained absences or sudden changes in their schedule can be a red flag. If they’re frequently “working late” or have new, unverifiable commitments, it’s worth investigating.
  6. Decreased Intimacy: Cheating narcissists might withdraw from physical intimacy with their partner. They may use excuses like tiredness or stress to avoid being close.
  7. Defensiveness: If you express concerns or ask questions about their behavior, a cheating narcissist is likely to become defensive, deflect, or even become aggressive to avoid discussing the issue.
  8. Social Media Activity: Watch for suspicious activity on their social media profiles. They may hide their relationship status, delete messages, or suddenly become more active in online flirting.
  9. Secretive Friendships: Be cautious if they develop secretive friendships or frequently mention a new friend without introducing you. These “friends” could be their affair partners.
  10. Gut Feeling: Trust your instincts. If you have a strong gut feeling that something is wrong, it’s worth investigating further. Narcissists often rely on their partners’ self-doubt to maintain their secrets.

Remember that these symptoms are not definitive proof of infidelity but can be indicative of a problem in the relationship.

If you suspect your narcissistic partner is cheating, consider seeking professional support or counseling to address the issues in your relationship.

Solutions for Dealing with a Cheating Narcissist

Navigating a relationship with a cheating narcissist can be incredibly challenging. Here are some solutions to help you cope:

Seek Help from a Mental Health Professional

Consider consulting a therapist or counselor who specializes in narcissism and relationship issues. They might provide guidance and support tailored to your specific situation.

Focus on Your Well-being

While dealing with a cheating narcissist, prioritize your mental health and wellness. Engage in self-care activities that help you regain your confidence and emotional strength.

Understand Narcissistic Personality Traits

Educate yourself about narcissistic personality traits and how they influence behavior. This knowledge can help you anticipate their actions and protect yourself emotionally.

Set Boundaries

Establish clear boundaries within the relationship. Make it known what behaviors are unacceptable, and be prepared to enforce consequences if those boundaries are violated.

Consider Ending the Relationship

In some situations, ending the relationship may be the best option for your well-being. A professional can help you evaluate whether this is the right choice for you.

Build a Support System

Lean on friends and family for emotional support. Sharing your experiences and thoughts with loved ones can provide valuable perspective and comfort.

Practice Self-Compassion

Be kind to yourself and recognize that you deserve a healthy and loving relationship. Self-compassion can help you heal from the emotional wounds inflicted by a cheating narcissist.

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FAQs About Why Does a Narcissist Cheat & Narcissist Cheating Patterns and Infidelity

Can a narcissist change their cheating behavior?

While change is possible, it’s challenging for narcissists to address their behavior because they rarely acknowledge their faults. Long-term change often requires intensive therapy.

Is it possible to have a healthy relationship with a narcissist?

Maintaining a long-term relationship with a narcissist is difficult but not impossible. It usually requires strong boundaries, professional guidance, and a commitment to self-care.

What should I do if I suspect my partner, a narcissist, is cheating?

If you suspect infidelity, consider discussing your concerns with your partner and seek professional help to navigate the situation effectively.

Can narcissism be treated?

Narcissistic personality disorder might be treated with therapy, but success depends on the individual’s willingness to engage in the therapeutic process.

Do all narcissists cheat?

Are narcissist cheaters? No, not all narcissists cheat. While some narcissists may be more likely to engage in infidelity due to their personality traits, this is not always the case.

Do narcissist cheat?

While there is no definitive answer to this question, research suggests that individuals with narcissistic personality traits may be more likely to engage in infidelity than those without these traits. This is due to several factors, including their need for admiration, lack of empathy, and tendency to prioritize their own needs over the needs of others.


Understanding why does a narcissist cheat on their partner is essential for those navigating relationships with these individuals. Their lack of empathy, self-esteem, and manipulative tendencies make infidelity a common issue. However, by seeking professional help, setting boundaries, and prioritizing self-care, it is possible to navigate these challenging relationships and find a path toward healing and personal growth.

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