* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.
Social psychologists have spent a lot of time studying narcissism as a personality feature. Still, there are unanswered concerns about how narcissism affects relationships. Narcissists, who have an inflated ego and a fixation with success, prefer to form shallow relationships with others in order to boost their own self-esteem.
So, are narcissists cheaters?
Narcissistic infidelity is unique from “ordinary” infidelity because narcissists feel no shame or remorse for their actions!
In fact, they convince themselves that it is your fault and convince the new partner that they are your victim. A narcissist will discuss marriage and children with you while sleeping with someone else. They will ignore you and punish you in an attempt to make you feel bad for their own bad behavior.
Survivors frequently wonder, “Why wasn’t I sufficient?” or “why am I inferior to my new partner?” Because the narcissist will flaunt this person in your face and parade the new target on social media, he or she is a dangerous individual. Every second you spend comparing yourself to this individual will diminish your sense of self-worth and fill you with feelings of inadequacy and rejection.
How did they replace you so quickly and make the same promises to your replacement? The response is simple: All Cluster B disorders stem from an inability to form attachments. They were never attached to you, which is why they attempt to manufacture intensely all the normal feelings of love and bonding, and also why they can detach and do the same thing to someone else within a day. Despite all of their grandiose words, they were never able to successfully bond with you.
According to research, narcissists are more likely to have cold, uncaring, and unsatisfying relationships. It’s also been argued that narcissists are more likely to cheat on their partners. Ahmet Altnok and Nurseven Klç, the study’s authors, wanted to see how narcissism, cheating intent, and relationship happiness interacted. Because data suggest that narcissism is associated to insecure attachment, the researchers looked into the role of attachment style as a moderator.
Sociopaths and narcissists are incapable of forming relationships with other people, so they hone skills such as seduction, flattery, and mirroring in an attempt to imitate what they observe other people doing: loving one another. The issue is that they associate “love” with constant attention and adoration. This is what they give you and this is what they expect in exchange.
The New York Times describes it as such. “Narcissistic alexithymia is the inability to comprehend or describe one’s own emotions. Incapable of knowing themselves, sufferers are incapable of understanding, relating to, or attaching to others. To demonstrate their own existence, they crave endless external attention.”
In reality, narcissistic “supply” is merely a diversion from this condition. When you are unable to alleviate this (and no external factor can), you will be punished and replaced. Regardless of how caring and considerate you were, they still do not feel well, and their disorder convinces them that a new partner will be the cure-all. This is when they “split” you as a psychopath so they can justify their abrupt change of heart.
I hope you can see that this process has absolutely nothing to do with you, despite their accusations. You can observe their new relationship, hope it fails, analyze yourself and them, strive for perfection, demonstrate your worth, determine who was at fault, etc. You are doing nothing but harming yourself.
Shift your focus from the outside to the inside. What do you feel? Inadequacy? Shame? Rejection? Betrayal? These are your emotions, and they are the ones that matter. You must work with these emotions, gain an understanding of them, and learn to offer yourself the necessary comfort and love to heal them. Otherwise, you are left with an unresolved mess of pain stemming from an impossible situation and a fearful heart that believes it is to blame. Unattended, it will eventually fade into insignificance.
Work with this discomfort, comprehend it, converse with it, and communicate with your body. This is the most crucial action you can take. Whenever you are tempted to check on them, ask yourself how you feel. A void? Emptiness? Loneliness? Resentment? Numbness? These issues cannot be resolved by conducting an external search. Yes, they were caused by an outside force, but they are now yours, whether you like it or not. You alone can choose to heal these wounds and cultivate a loving relationship with your emotions.
Jealousy and humiliation are triggered by infidelity to a great degree. This can lead us down the path of vengeance or anger, which is normal. It is a common occurrence in the recovery community: “LOL, HIS NEW BOYFRIEND IS SO HORRIBLE, I’M BETTER THAN HIM! HE IS UGLY AND HUMILIATING! I will expose him to the entire world!” However, this type of irrational rage prevents us from experiencing the painful, unbearable emotions that are completely normal in the face of such a severe rejection by a trusted loved one.
Ultimately, the most important thing we can do is recover our own capacity for love and attachment by locating the wounded heart beneath it all.