Can a Narcissist Be Faithful in a Relationship?
Every relationship demands dedication and work and can occasionally be challenging. A relationship with a narcissist, however, presents unique difficulties. If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, one of the first questions you may ask yourself is: Can a narcissist be faithful?
If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you will learn over time that they have an inflated sense of their own importance and a strong desire for admiration. Your narcissistic partner may have little regard for your feelings and act as though they are better than you.
Most people with narcissistic personality disorder have experienced early childhood attachment trauma. Childhood experiences taught them not to rely on or trust people. So, they developed mechanisms to protect themselves at the expense of others. As a result, as adults, they seek narcissistic supply rather than healthy bonds.
As a result, your narcissistic partner may not be able to connect with you in a healthy and loving way.
Do All Narcissists Cheat?
People with narcissistic traits or narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) battle with brittle self-esteem and hypersensitivity to criticism behind their façade of extreme confidence and self-importance.
As a result, they are constantly on the lookout for a narcissistic supply—someone to stroke their egos and provide validation and attention. So, getting attention from new lovers is a common way for narcissists to gain narcissistic supply and feel good about themselves.
At the same time, they lack empathy and the ability to respect moral codes, so infidelity and betrayal are common patterns narcissists repeat in all their relationships.
We cannot choose or control who we will love. Besides, a narcissist may appear extremely interesting and charismatic and seem deeply in love with you at the start of your relationship.
Are Narcissists Capable of Love?
Relationships with narcissists are typically transactional but not reciprocal; narcissists engage in relationships to gain attention and support their fragile egos but do not offer anything in return. Because they place power above affection and pursue relationships solely to receive admiration and attention, narcissists appear unable to maintain healthy, committed relationships.
Narcissists Demand Loyalty but Don’t Offer It in Return
Their lack of empathy means that a narcissist will not be loyal to you and your relationship while demanding absolute loyalty from you. As already mentioned, there is no reciprocity in a relationship with a narcissist.
For example, your narcissistic partner may prevent you from seeing your opposite-sex friends or spending time with other people. You cannot, however, expect the same from them. Instead, they may flirt in front of you with anyone who attracts their attention, later denying any wrongdoing.
Signs that a Narcissist is Cheating
In a nutshell, falling in love with a narcissist is a recipe for potential heartbreak. So if you’re wondering if a narcissist can be faithful in a relationship, here are some signs of infidelity to look for.
They Lie All the Time
Narcissistic behavior is characterized by pathological lying. They twist the truth to play the victim and gaslight you until you start questioning everything you know and are. Then, even if you show them the evidence of their affair, they may deny their infidelity or accuse you of cheating to distract you from their own behavior.
However, if they are unfaithful to you, your narcissistic partner will lie compulsively, even about small everyday things, to avoid being discovered.
Their Sex Habits Change
If they cheat on you, your narcissistic partner can either become demanding about sex or uninterested in sex with you.
Also, If they want sex more frequently, it could be because they recently ended an affair and are now relying on you to meet their needs.
If you notice that they are not interested in sex with you, they are likely getting their sexual needs met somewhere else.
They Distance Themselves from You
A narcissist who is having an affair may randomly cancel plans with you or change them at the last minute. They may withdraw from you and use stonewalling, treating you with silence and refusing to discuss the topic altogether. Relationship experts consider stonewalling one of the most detrimental behaviors to a relationship.
They may disappear for days or make themselves inaccessible to you by not returning your calls, texts, emails, etc. Or they may purposely start a fight as an excuse to spend time without you.
How Do Narcissists React When Caught Cheating?
When caught cheating, a narcissist will most likely deny everything despite the evidence. They may project their flaws onto you and accuse you of infidelity. They may also twist the truth, blaming you for ignoring or mistreating them to justify their behavior. As a result, you may feel guilty, believing that your actions contributed to their infidelity.
Remember that narcissists always see themselves as victims, regardless of how badly they have treated others. So, when they are caught cheating, the main issue is not their infidelity, lying, or abuse, but the fact that you became aware of it.
How to Heal from Being in a Relationship with an Unfaithful Narcissist
Accept that if you decide to leave a narcissist and break the cycle of narcissistic abuse, you may never receive an apology or expression of regret from them. Instead, concentrate on yourself and learn to meet your needs without feeling guilty or selfish.
Practice mindfulness, yoga, or deep breathing relaxation to focus on the present and gain better control of your negative thoughts and disturbing emotions.
Surround yourself with close and positive people to improve your well-being while cutting contact and avoiding communication with your narcissistic ex. Find hobbies you like and be open to meeting new people, seeing new places, and trying new things.
Finally, seek out support. A skilled coach or therapist can help you work through your emotions after ending a relationship with a narcissist. They can also help you develop self-compassion and work on strategies for moving on with your life.