Did you find out your partner cheated (or that they never stopped)?

By Kim Saeed | Contemplating No Contact

Dec 28
signs a narcissist is cheating

Did you wake up this morning, still reeling from the traumatic discovery of your partner’s cheating?

Perhaps you learned they went on a little tryst over the Christmas holiday and now you’re sick with fear that they will pull the same trickery on New Year’s Eve.

Or, maybe you recently busted them for cheating and they promised to stop–but then you found another email or text from the affair partner, and your cheating cheater was so enraged that they used a fear or weakness of yours as justification for their philandering.

Let’s not forget the all-time classic, “You kept accusing me of cheating, so I went ahead and did it!”  Seriously?  Of course one would be suspicious if their partner lied and hid his or her questionable activities under a perpetual cloak of secrecy.  (Oh, and they went ahead and did it alright, and have been doing it all along).

You may find this hard to believe, but your partner’s cheating ways have nothing to do with you.  I’d bet, though, that you’ve been hearing all the reasons why their cheating is your fault–ludicrous excuses that hit straight at the heart.

Below, I expose the signs a narcissist is cheating, the real reasons why the narcissist cheats, and why they will never stop.

The REAL Deal

Narcissists will never accept accountability for their actions.  Every negative thing they do will be inevitably traced back to some supposed flaw in YOU.  This isn’t accidental, nor is it due to fictional FOO wounds that gave them fear of intimacy issues.

(So, in spite of what they may tell you, you can’t love them out of their disorder, much less their cheating.)

They need to make you believe that their cheating is your fault because he or she is laying down the groundwork for when the relationship ends.  While you are left reeling in the painful aftermath of the breakup, they will be onto the next victim as if they’ve found the love of their life–and guess what, the new partner isn’t really all that new.

It’s the ole, “See, it was her, not me!  I’ve found this wonderful new partner who is the answer to my prayers.  My Ex was just a crazy, insecure psycho.  Can you blame me for leaving her?”  (Or, insert the pronoun “she” if you’re the victim of a female narc).

Perhaps you recently broke up and now your Narcissistic Ex is flaunting their new partner around town (and around family) while playing the part of Ward Cleaver, complete with festive holiday Facebook photos.

It’s all an illusion—as well as a strategic move to make you look like a damaged emotional leper who will never be a good partner for anyone.

In their mind, all relationships eventually come to an end.  It truly is unavoidable for them because they can only keep up the charade for so long before the cracks start showing and their partners catch onto them.  This is when they begin devaluing their current partner and start searching for their next supply.

The ironic part is that while they are love-bombing the new victim, the Narcissist generally keeps tabs on old supply sources from time-to-time, which is why they never seem to go away–even though they may have been the one to end your relationship.  (They’ve been known to show up after five or ten years!)

But don’t be fooled.  Many of them can keep up appearances for decades, all while they’re out playing the field and cheating on the new spouse, fiancé, or partner.

The reason they have such a perverse dedication to making the breakup seem your fault is so they can pretend to be insanely happy with the new person, therefore  making you believe it was something you did or didn’t do that caused your relationship to crumble.  

So, what are some practical signs you can be on the lookout for to know if they’re still cheating?  Look for these ten bare basics:

Signs a Narcissist is Cheating

1 – They’ve cheated before.  They probably gave you a sob story about how their Ex treated them so badly, they were forced to find love and affection elsewhere.

2 – They suddenly start keeping a different schedule.  If your partner suddenly (or gradually) stops coming home on time when they used to arrive home at 5:30 p.m. sharp, it’s not a good sign.

3 – They begin to work loads of overtime at work.  If this happens, make it a point to call them while they’re “working overtime”.  If they never answer their cell during this time, or you can’t contact them on their business land line, it’s a sign that they’re cheating.  Similarly, if they never answer their phone, yet quickly text back, they are likely keeping company with someone else.

4 – They suddenly start dressing more nicely, wearing a new perfume or cologne, and start working out.  

5 – You find a random hair on their suit, or worse, on the furniture in your home.  (If your hair is short and black, yet you find a long red hair on your living room sofa, it’s not a good sign).

6 – Be on the lookout for decoy gifts.  If your partner suddenly starts bringing flowers home or other seemingly thoughtful gifts where they didn’t before, something could be amiss.

7 – They leave the room when they answer the phone.  By the same token, they keep a military-style lockdown on their cell phone.  

8 – They accuse you of having an affair (projection).

9 – They start giving you The Silent Treatment with increasing frequency.

10 – You find texts and emails indicating there is funny business going on.  And no, it’s not a wrong number, a phone fantasy with no action going on, or an “old” partner that suddenly started contacting them out of the blue.  They’re cheating.

Faulty Moral Decision Making

Ever feel like you’ve been beating your head against the wall trying to “teach” your partner the basics of being good and decent, or worse, how to be an adult?

There’s a reason for that, too.  While they may be successful at their jobs and have all the people in town fooled, Narcissists are stuck in a state of arrested development.  This explains the constant lying and conning, not to mention their thrill-seeking through numerous sexual conquests, putting you at risk of contracting STDs!

Narcissists never developed the ability to form a healthy attachment or bond with anyone.  This partly explains their constant cheating, but another reason they cheat so much is because it’s a form of entertainment for them, and is also why many of them are sexually deviant.  They need constant excitement to fill their black hole of emptiness.  It also gives them a sense of power when they successfully conquer those whom they have been in pursuit of–which may consist of both genders!

What to Do

It’s extremely difficult to watch the person you’ve shared your life with triangulating and flaunting new partners under your nose.

The bad news is that there’s really nothing you can do to make it stop.  They may go about pretending that they want a fresh start, but it’s only another charade.  You can go to counseling with them, lose weight, gain weight, change your hair or wardrobe-and even learn fifteen languages-but it won’t save the relationship.  It would only be a matter of time before you again found evidence of their infidelities.

You did not cause your partner’s choice to be unfaithful and you can’t stop it by changing anything about yourself.

The good news is that if you start planning now to leave your lying liar of a partner, you can be living a better life in as little as six months.  That doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges ahead, but once you’re out of the toxic environment of narcissistic abuse, you can begin to rebuild your self-esteem and regain your passion for life.

Copyright 2015 Let Me Reach and Kim Saeed

Sick of the abuse?  Check out The Essential No Contact Accelerator Course and join the tribe of other survivors who you can join forces with!

**Please note — these behaviors are more typical of overt narcissists.  Cerebral types generally do not try to maintain the relationship.

Leave a Comment:

(17) comments

kyle January 25, 2016

Great article, this is on point with what im dealing with and have been dealing with for years. Im currently in a divorce battle with my narcissistic wife. Now that the blinders are off, im finding more and more atrocities committed against me in our 6 year marriage. The most recent is probably the most hurtful of all, even more hurtful than the projection of abuse and false accusations of physical and emotional abuse that she has filed against me the day after she left with our children. Ive found that she had been cheating with co-workers for at least the past two years, and had been fired (or quit the same day she was exposed) from 3 of her previous 4 jobs for being caught at work having sex or inappropriate conduct with guys at work. Although very embarrassing and hurtful, I must share this and get help so I can heal and regain some sort of self-worth. The bold faced lies to me and gaslighting while this was going on was unreal. We had been together for 8 years (married for 4) when the suspicion of an affair started. I always trusted her and even told her on numerous occasions that if there were any issues on her heart leading her to even think of cheating to please at least come to me and I would understand and try my best to help her and work it out.. That obviously was well before I had any clue of her deep hidden personality disorders… Of course she never admitted to anything except a kiss, that she said was due to being drunk and making a poor judgment impulsive act one night… It turns out that, that was simply another one of her manipulations to make me think she had confessed to her wrongdoing and was on the straight and narrow. She looked me right and the eye with tears streaming down saying she would NEVER ever “really” cheat on me and that I was the man of her dreams, yada yada yada…. That was about a year ago and I recently found the cell phone that she had at that time. She thought she had lost it, but after she left me I found it as I was packing our house(since she left me with all the bills and we got evicted) …. The texts back and forth to the different guys at work almost brought me to my knees.. Cross referencing the times and dates with texts from her to me; she was with “him” sexually and then coming home and hopping in the bed like nothing ever happened. Emotionless from their interaction and making love to me and telling me I was the best thing since sliced bread an hour later… I never picked up on the affairs by her emotional state, it was always in the details of her lies not adding up… Fast forward to the day I made the mistake of actually suggesting we go to counseling, and her picking the counselor and then leaving me the very next day when apparently the “session” with the therapist didn’t go well with her agenda…. Im an absolute wreck emotionally and now she is still controlling me by using the children and manipulating the court system to keep them from me…

Reply
Elisa January 16, 2016

Hi Michael, you just have to sit on your hands when the urge to call or drive to see her is there. Narcissists do not really feel emotions. They do not have the ability to form attachments. I am almost finished divorcing one after a 20 year marriage, and I know. Although your relationship was never real to her, it doesn’t mean that your feelings were inauthentic. Yours were real. Hers were not and will never be. Narcissists are very, very destructive of the people around them. Find a counselor, talk to friends. Travel places on weekends. Learn to be comfortable being with just yourself. Keep busy. Do not allow yourself to become further enmeshed with her. You will eventually be able to find a perspective on this relationship and on the time you spent in it, but you must give yourself time and space to develop it.

Reply
Michael January 15, 2016

I lived with a woman for nine years; she’s 12 years younger than me. A year ago, I came home early to find she’d brought a lover into our apartment. He’s a psychopath, and physically enormous. He’s done 13.5 of the last 18 years in prisons (including for shooting someone). He’s in adult films. She’s a narcissist of the highest order, I’ve found out. I’m ex-law enforcement, so she picked someone who’s the antithesis of me. In June of 2015, she received a severe beating, including a multiple-fracture of her wrist that required surgical reconstruction with a plate and screws. I had moved out after the coming-home scene, and she hoovered me right back to tend to her for three months (she has no real family and no real friends). Of course she claims to this day that it wasn’t a beating, she “fell.” What is particularly difficult is the aftermath of months of the silent treatment. While I wept nearby night after night, she sat on the couch, one leg over the other, sipping wine and watching television, without so much as looking at me, much less speaking. I mistakenly continued to try to ‘work things out,’ before I began reading about this stuff. This past Christmas Day, I took her to visit her invalid father. Then I cooked her a wonderful dinner. That evening, after I used the bathroom and rejoined her, she was texting the same guy, “I love you too.” I’ve tried No Contact but I’m finding it’s sooooo difficult to maintain. I can’t seem to just walk away, to let go. And I wonder what happens when a narcissitic sociopath hooks up with a criminal psychopath.

Reply
Anonymous January 4, 2016

Kim-
How do you tell the difference in a guy that is just a jerk or one that is truly a narc? I struggle with if it was “we were not meant to be” or it “cannot ever be…with anyone”.

Reply
    Kim Saeed June 26, 2016

    Hi Anon,

    Well, the short answer is that it doesn’t really matter whether the person is a jerk or a narc, because both personalities will always remain the same. If you’re not happy and the person isn’t treating you respectfully, you’d want to think about whether it makes any sense to stay in the relationship. Don’t doubt yourself. If your self-worth and self-esteem are declining instead of improving, that would be a good indicator that your best bet would be to leave.

    Wishing you all the best…

    Kim

    Reply
Tben December 29, 2015

I had been the object of hoover and discard for 25 years. After filing for and getting a divorce the week after it was finalized the N tells me he is so happy we are divorced because he is in love. He proceeds for the next few months to annihilate me and our memories and our life together (four children). He tells me he will NEVER cheat on this new one. He twlls my children he will bever cheat on her because “when you are into someone you just don’t want to cheat…sometimes you just know.” Abd this devastates me why? Because I found out that he fathered a child who is two months younger than our youngest child and he was cheating throughout our “marriage” and Was able to keep it all hidden until a bank statement came in the mail to my house with his name and the name of one of the cheating partner.

Reply
lev4yeshua December 28, 2015

Reblogged this on Narc Bait Diary – Ex Files and commented:
This:
Narcissists never developed the ability to form a healthy attachment or bond with anyone. This partly explains their constant cheating, but another reason they cheat so much is because it’s a form of entertainment for them, and is also why many of them are sexually deviant. They need constant excitement because they don’t have the normal human emotions to contend with. It also gives them a sense of power when they successfully conquer those who they have been in pursuit of–which may consist of both genders!

Reply
chankla2 December 28, 2015

EVERY ARTICLE , POST IS TO THE TEE
ABT NARCS, GUY/GIRL, ANY AGE..
KIM’S SITE&OTHERS ARE INSIGHTFUL…
THEY ARE FAKE, USERS, NO SELF ESTEEM, ADDICTED TO THEMSELVES, PERIOD..
SOMATIC, CEREBRAL ETC… ITS ALWAYS ABT THEM….. SOME COME BK SOME DON’T…
REST ASSURED THEY DON’T CHANGE, REST ASSURED THEY ALWAYS HAVE BK UP, OLD, OR SEEKING NEW SUPPLY, FACT…
REST ASSURED THEYRE NOT IN LOVE, NOT HAPPY, ILLUSION IS ALL IT IS… AN WE WERE JUST A STOP ON THEIR PATH…. THYRE PATTERN, RINSE*REPEAT…..
LOOK FOR THE HEALING ARTICLES, POSTS…. ITS A LOT OF INNER-WORK,
COMMITTMENT FOR US, ACCEPT WHAT IS, ITS LIKE APPLES&BANANAS
THEY DONT FIT….
ALMOST 60 DAYS N/C I WONT GVE HIM AN EGO BOOST, 7 YRS EX BF NARC…. HE WAS HOOVERING JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO…. I’VE NVR BN THRU THIS&WON’T EVER AGAIN…
LET EM’ BE THEY’LL HANG THEMSELVES AT SOME POINT( FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING)
HARD YES!!!! GOTA GET GNG FORWARD, LOVE YOURSELF! BEING SINGLE ITS OK, FIXING YOURSELF IS OK, THE RIGHT PERSON WILL COME..
WHEN THE STUDENT IS READY? THE TEACHER APPEARS…..
NO, PEOPLE WHO HVNT BEEN IN THE NARC ZONE, OR DON’T REALIZE IT? DON’T GET IT…
INDIFFERENCE YOULL FEEL ONE DAY TOWARDS THEM….
LOVE THEM FROM AFAR, WHILE GOING AHEAD WITH YOUR LIFE…
KARMA YOU CAN ONLY STRETCH SO FAR, BEFORE IT COMES BK TO SLAP YOU IN THE FACE(NARC)
SUCCESS IS BEST REVENGE…
N/C!!!!!
STRENGTH
=^:^=

Reply
Theresa Ellyatt Dougall December 28, 2015

My husband left the family home the week before our 20th wedding anniversary, telling everyone that he wished he’d ended our joyless marriage years ago. What he doesn’t mention is that it was me who had asked for a divorce and I had turned down his pleas to stay married because we were so “comfortable” together. And I don’t think he also mentions that the “new” woman who is now making him so wondrously happy is someone he met in 2012, and that she is one of dozens of women that my husband has got close to during our marriage.
Kim, you have described the end of my marriage so perfectly. I never knew or suspected my husband was a narcissist until this summer, when he behaved so bizarrely and I googled my problems. Thank you for posting such a perceptive article, there have been days and nights when I have thought I must be going mad.

Reply
Veronykah December 28, 2015

Oh yeah, the girl emailed me then sent pics of them together. It was a wonderful moment in my life. Ha!
I of course was so deep in it with him that I took him back and stayed another year. I never found out if he cheated again but now I have to question so many things that I chose to ignore while we were together. I wager he was probably cheating the entire time.
My advice is don’t go back, don’t try to work it out, once that trust is gone, it’s GONE and you will always wonder if they “work late” or “go out with their friends” if they are cheating. It’s no way to be in a relationship.

Happy to say I’ve been out for nearly a year but the one thing that nags me is now that I’m dating someone new and seemingly normal, I am still paranoid about being cheated on and lied to. It’s the worst legacy of my relationship. I find it really hard to trust this new guy with zero reason. Hoping eventually it will go away…

Reply
Stacy December 28, 2015

I discovered my SocEx advertising himself on Craigslist! Shocked me into reality. He’s onto his 3rd relationship with the same pattern: find sweet, intelligent girl at gym, charm her into bed, make a baby, destroy her life. Should be a crime. So glad I’m outta there! Thanks, Kim, for bringing these topics to light!

Reply
Julie December 28, 2015

My ex narc never cheated, didn’t actually go out or sleep with anyone else, or I just never found out about it ,don’t know. What he did do though was have his hands on every woman, even total strangers, he encountered when he was with me. He had to touch them in some way, hand on the shoulder, arm around them, prolonged hug if it was someone he even slightly knew, maybe he was trying to determine if they had any boundaries? When I tried to talk to him about it, told him it made me feel disrespected and demeaned I got the typical narc bs. He fts the somatic narc description to a T. Good riddance!!! It’s been 9 months, I still feel sad sometimes but I know I am so better off with him gone!

Reply
dlimback December 28, 2015

This is a great article, and it describes my narc ex. It has taken me about 18 months or so to start moving forward and away from all the damage and destruction. We have been no contact for a little over a year. It’s still hard to believe that he was able to be that calculating about everything, but he did every single one of the things you write about. I’m grateful that you share your wisdom. Looking forward to moving forward in 2016!

Happy Holidays!

Reply
Stephen Bach December 28, 2015

Excellent post, Kim.

When my last narc of a girlfriend finally admitted to me she had been cheating on me because she had exposed me to an STD, I was more than crestfallen. We had been together 4 years, and I thought we had a good relationship. Looking back, our relationship was a nightmare, but thanks to dear ol’ mom, I learned to love a nightmare.

One of my NxGF’s comments after I ended our relationship was that I was a “stepping stone to her true happiness”, i.e., I used you to get where I wanted to go and now you are useless to me. What a wonderfully trite devalue and discard statement!

Happy holidays to you and your readers!

Stephen

Reply
    Sunshine December 28, 2015

    I hear you, Stephen… Their parting shots are always the best! My ex Narc just got married …the day after Christmas…to someone he’s only known 5 months. I feel bad for his new wife because she has no idea of the hell that’s coming her way, but, better her than me! At least there will be a new “psycho bitch” in his life and it’ll give him someone else to blame everything on instead of me..

    Reply
      Stephen Bach December 28, 2015

      Agreed, Sunshine!

      I think their parting shots give you a direct vision of their inner psyche, because they no longer have to play the charade for you and are free to tell you what they truly think. It’s a modicum of honesty in a typhoon of lies and confusion.

      That’s wild about your ex, and unfortunately very typical. His new wife must have been a pretty easy mark to agree to marry him in such a short period of time, or the relationship existed a long time before it became ‘official’ 5 months ago. I’ve also felt the same about my ex’s next victim; you want to reach out and smack some sense into them; tell them that they are being lied to and constantly mislead. It would all be for naught, though, and would essentially validate the story your ex has been telling to his new mark about how crazy you are.

      I believe that the narc moving onto their next victim is the best thing that can happen. They have someone else to play their crazy games on! In that regard, the cheating isn’t such a bad thing, because it gets them out of the picture just that much quicker. My NxGF was convinced that I would come back to her, but in the meantime she pursued her new mark, and, following 3 days after I ended our relationship, I heard nothing more from her.

      Stephen

      Reply
Angela December 28, 2015

Thank you.

Reply
Add Your Reply

Leave a Comment: