The Top 11 Signs Of A Cheating Narcissist — And How To Catch Them In The Act

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Heartbreak

If your partner has cheated before, there's certainly a chance they may cheat again. But telling someone you won't stand for cheating is a waste of time.

The best protection against affairs is to have open communication and frank talks. Be accepting and encourage them to talk about their sexual exploits.

Allow your spouse to tell you when they're attracted to someone else. Don't freak out or get upset — or they'll just hide it from you. An attraction you two can laugh about together and incorporate into your own fantasies and sex life is a lot less threatening than a secret one.

To find out of your lover will cheat, take the time to get to know them so they'll open up about past cheating. Ask a playful question like, "What's the sneakiest thing you've ever done?"

Having an affair often seems easier than working out marital problems. Illicit affairs are easy to initiate online or at the office, especially if your spouse is unhappy with the relationship.

It often seems easier for a dissatisfied partner to transfer affection to someone else, rather than taking the emotional risk of talking out their problems. However, this is a myth: Most marital issues are not that hard to fix, yet cheating is emotionally devastating for everyone.

Why do compulsive cheaters cheat?

Cheaters have an "instant gratification" mentality. When they cheat, they are just doing what "feels good" and seem unable to control their behavior in the moment.

They are not thinking of future problems when connecting with the other person in an affair, masking emotional pain. I handle many of these situations, including working with the cheating spouse when the other partner doesn't know.

What is a narcissistic person?

A narcissistic person is someone with lots of charm, who says exactly what you want to hear and may be dishonest. "Narcissists are master manipulators with a strong objective to objectify and an inability to empathize," says Brenda Della Casa.

Someone with a narcissistic personality lacks impulse control and a sense of responsibility. A braggadocio attitude may conceal a very wounded soul, along with an alcohol, drug, or gambling problem.

Emotionally, these people are stuck at the narcissistic stage that children go through at about two years old. So, you're dealing with an emotional two-year-old in a grown-up body.

In the word of clinical psychology, someone who has narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) has self-centered thinking and behavior, a lack of empathy for others, a need for excessive attention, feelings of grandiosity (an arrogant sense of superiority), and a sense of entitlement. They might be insane if they engage in criminal acts as they sometimes don't even have any criminal intent when they commit these acts.

RELATED: Why Do People Cheat? 5 Excuses People Give For Infidelity (That Are Total Lies)

Are narcissists usually cheaters?

Narcissists tend to lie and cheat because they are obsessed with and care for only themselves. They don’t possess a moral code or basic empathy skills to feel empathy or respect for others.

You will always know a narcissist is cheating if they continually lie. For example, they may tell you a story of when their ex lied and cheated on them, or say the first thing they would never do is betray your trust; this is all so you will trust them early on and won't question if they are being truthful.

You can also tell a narcissist is cheating if their phone is constantly ringing, they frequently cancel plans on you, and you catch them lying often and for no reason — these are all narcissist cheating signs and patterns.

As for whether or not narcissists can stop cheating, there is plenty of research to support that narcissism is correlated with cheating and permitting infidelity, even when the narcissist is satisfied in his or her current relationship. So, there is a very slim chance a narcissist will stop cheating if it's a pattern.

Will a narcissist ever admit to cheating? Don't think for one moment that a narcissist will be up front and honest about their actions; they will most likely never admit to cheating on their partner.

Why? Because losing control is what drives narcissists insane. Part of losing that control means you leaving them. That's why, when leaving a cheating narcissist, safety is important; if you confront them, they can become angry and/or gaslight you.

RELATED: If He's Bad At These 3 Things, He's Likely A Covert Narcissist

So, how do you deal with a cheating narcissist? Is a cheater having an affair to self-medicate with adrenaline, or are they just immature and narcissistic?

These are complicated, circuitous questions, and not easy to answer. It comes down to whether their lack of self-control is willful or compulsive.

Here are 11 telltale signs of an affair — and how to catch a cheating narcissist before they break your heart.

1. Their daily habits change.

Your spouse, who was always home on time, is suddenly (or gradually) coming home later. Perhaps they stop answering their phone or start dressing better.

2. They bring home 'guilt gifts.'

Your man never thought of flowers before, but now brings home bouquets regularly — for no reason.

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3. Extra bills pop up.

Is your partner spending more money under mysterious circumstances? Unidentifiable credit-card charges are often the clue that finally catches cheaters in the act.

4. They stop talking about work.

If your spouse suddenly goes silent about what goes on at work, it may be a sign that they're keeping secrets from you.

5. They are uninterested in sex (with you).

If they're not interested in sex with you, they may be getting their sexual needs met elsewhere. And that's one of the signs a narcissist is done with you.

6. Or, they become demanding about sex.

Cheaters feel entitled to sex any way they can get, rationalizing their affairs and compulsive sexual behavior.

7. They're cagey about their phone or computer.

Does your partner seem more hesitant to show you their phone or computer? They are likely hiding implications of cheating or an affair.

8. They're online a lot.

If your spouse begins spending a lot more time online — without a valid, logical reason, like working more — they may be cheating on you.

9. They suddenly become unreliable.

Your spouse used to be reliable about appointments and dates. Now, they break appointments and makes excuses constantly, which could be a sign of cheating.

10. They have a history of cheating in previous relationships.

Cheaters cheat. That's why it's inadvisable to marry someone who was cheating in an affair with you; when you're the spouse, you'll get cheated on.

11. They don't want to solve relationship problems with you.

A cheater doesn't need to learn how to keep intimacy alive with their partner. These people get their jollies from illicit sex, cheating, and affairs.

RELATED: The Harsh Reality Of Cheating On The Person You Love

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., is a licensed psychotherapist with over 40 years of experience in counseling individuals and couples. She is the author of 14 books in 17 languages.

This article was originally published at Dr. Romance Blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.