No one wants to be cheated on, but sadly it does happen for various reasons that people don’t always understand. Another sad fact is that a person’s SO (significant other) has cheated on them once, it’s possible that it will happen again. Revealing that you know about the cheating can lead to many different situations, but telling the individual that you won’t stand for the act isn’t bound to do much, especially with a narcissist. According to many sites and specialists that deal with relationship issues, it’s possible to sit and talk to your SO about the matter and to keep an open line of communication. Some might actually tell people to encourage their SO to tell them about their exploits, but for a narcissist, this is simply adding fuel to the fire.
It is necessary to keep your head and your wits about you, and there is a good reason for this that will be explored later in this writing. But when looking for signs a narcissist is cheating on you, it is important to maintain a certain level of control in order to preserve your dignity and your own self-confidence.
Understanding what a narcissist is, what they do, and how they act around people is an important step in learning how to deal with such an individual. Narcissists are those that possess a great deal of charm, ego, and who tend to say exactly what other people want to hear. This might make it sound as though everyone is just a narcissist in some way, but true narcissists tend to be great at manipulating others and getting their way. They also tend to lack impulse control and don’t often worry too much about personal responsibility. To the average narcissist, the world and everyone in it is there to please them, not the other way around.
Narcissists tend to have trouble empathizing with anyone since they lack the ability to care about another person, but they are often skilled at masquerading as someone who cares. Unfortunately, most narcissists care about one person and will do almost anything to secure their own needs and satisfaction, even if it has to come at the expense of others. Essentially, a narcissist is someone who never really grew out of that ‘me’ stage as a child for several reasons. In terms of cheating when in a relationship, narcissists will think only of themselves and their needs, and if they feel that their needs aren’t being met, they will cheat in a rather casual manner as to a narcissist, the ends always justify the means, so long as they’re satisfied.
The question is, how do you know that such a person is cheating on you, and how can you catch them at it? Dealing with a narcissist is a separate issue since remember, many narcissists are able to and willing to be as manipulative as possible in order to have their needs met and satisfied. There are ways to catch a narcissist in a lie, though one will have to be careful and a bit more guarded when doing so, as the typical narcissist will attempt to turn these methods back on you in an attempt to find their way out of trouble and into a more pleasing position of authority.
With that being said, here are several ways to tell that a narcissist is cheating in a relationship
• Take note if their daily habits change in a significant manner. This could be something as simple as their daily routine to something far more dramatic. If your SO comes home late without an excuse, or stops taking your calls, or even starts to practice better grooming and hygiene practices, there might be cause to worry. In some cases, it might not be grounds to worry too much, as an open line of communication could possibly clear this matter up. But if your SO doesn’t want to talk about it or constantly deflects the conversation to matters they want to talk about instead, it might be cause for concern.
• Beware narcissists bearing gifts. Many might say not to look a gift horse in the mouth, as this is a good way to feed into the paranoia of being cheated on. But while a narcissist isn’t about to bring home gifts just to say “I love you”, there’s also nothing to worry about unless the gifts become frequent and your SO doesn’t ask for anything or appear to expect anything in return. At one point it needs to become obvious that the gifts are a smokescreen to keep you from realizing what’s going on.
• New expenses popping up can be a problem. While it’s not an indication of cheating all on its own when coupled with the idea that your SO isn’t telling willing to tell you what they’re spending the money on and why it’s easy to bet that they’re not buying you a surprise gift that will be showing up on the doorstep. Credit-card charges that you don’t understand are easy enough to check up on, and they become a solid clue to out a cheater.
• Talking about work can be a smokescreen to hide their activities, but if they stop it might become suspicious. Let’s be honest, hearing about someone else’s workday can be stimulating or utterly boring depending on what they do. But if your SO talks about their work on a regular basis and suddenly stops, it might be a warning sign that you need to pay attention to, as any deviation in their normal routine could indicate a problem. Again, talking about it might help to ease the suspicion, but if there’s no dialogue then there’s no way to know for certain.
• In all honesty, sex becomes slightly less important to some couples as the years keep rolling on. But if your SO is no longer interested in sex, with you, then there could be a problem. This is a touchy situation however since while some couples engage in sexual activity often, others will find that their love life might taper off after a while. But if you and your partner are normally quite active and they suddenly show a lack of interest, it could very well mean that they have found someone else that can fill their needs in a sexual manner and have moved on from you.
• Worse than no sex is the rationalization that they feel absolutely entitled to find someone, anyone, that can satisfy their sexual needs. In this manner, a narcissist might actually try to explain their compulsive behavior as being your fault since you don’t stimulate them enough. Remember what was mentioned earlier about keeping your wits. This is one of those times when you need to be emotionally and mentally strong enough to avoid letting your SO turn the tables on you since they will if given even a hint that there might be a chance that they can have their needs met and shrug off the blame.
• If their phone or computer is off-limits to you then it might be time to worry. Couples should have their privacy without a doubt, but if a single glance or even a moment of looking at one of their devices causes them to panic or appear hesitant then it’s likely that they’re hiding something, and don’t want to deal with the consequences since it means they’ll be asked to take responsibility for their actions.
• If they’ve been known to cheat in other relationships this should be a huge red flag. Some cheaters can kick the habit and settle down with someone that can satisfy them. But with a narcissist, who tends to be compulsive by nature, cheating is like a drug, and many of them won’t stop simply because they’ve found stability. Much like an addict, they will find a way to get what they want.
• The lack of desire to solve any type of relationship issue is another huge red flag. This tends to mean that they’ve moved on already and that intimacy isn’t something that will work to their benefit, at least not with you. As explained above, an addict will lean towards what makes them feel good, what is essentially their drive and purpose in life, and even a monumental shift might not be enough to get them to change.
When dealing with a narcissist one has to remember one thing above all. The average narcissist will be well-versed in how to act like a completely rational and reasonable human being. It’s a survival trait in society for narcissists and another manipulative attempt to get people to lower their guard around so that their natural charm can do its work. Not all narcissists are as bad as others, but the idea that their needs come first, always, and that all others should be appreciative that they pay them any attention are trademarks of how a narcissist works. It’s never their fault, it’s all you. Keep your wits about you and learn to read the signs, and remember that the average narcissist can’t stand to be challenged and will do anything and everything possible to avoid a confrontation they can’t win.