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6 Things a Partner Might Say if They're Caught Cheating

1. "You're cold to me, so what did you expect?"

Key points

  • A narcissistic partner may routinely say six things when they are caught cheating.
  • These statements are manipulative and are meant to get you to believe that you are the one at fault.
  • An understanding of how these statements influence your judgment may help.

A partner who lacks accountability and attempts to shift the blame for cheating may have narcissistic tendencies. Using six tactics, the partner may subtly manipulate you into believing their cheating is your fault. A clear grasp of how a partner is influencing your judgment may help you protect your self-esteem and stand up for yourself.

1. The partner says you are cold and rejecting (physically). Often a narcissistic partner fails to provide empathy and refuses to consider your perspective. They cannot reciprocate your selflessness and conscientiousness. Due to their lack of emotional availability, they are unable to sustain the bond that once existed. Despite the lack of emotional closeness, this partner is aggressive and inappropriate with their attempts to be physically intimate with you. For example, they grope you in the kitchen when you are making breakfast for the kids. Because the advance is surprising and invasive, you may immediately react by pushing their hands off of your body. Yet, in place of understanding how this blindsides you and turns you off, the partner continues to grab, paw, and physically violate you. If you do not comply, they may accuse you of being “cold and rejecting.” Frequently they state, “Sex is the only way I feel loved.” In this scenario, the narcissistic partner is at fault because they refuse to respect your body and they vehemently avoid any emotional connection. Then, they inflict guilt by making you feel like an unloving partner if you refuse their advances.

2. They accuse you of cheating too, so you deserved it. Projection is a primary defense mechanism for a narcissistic partner. They continually accuse you of what they are actually doing. Although they have no evidence to back their claim, they skew and twist innocent interactions between you and others to blame you and excuse their transgression. Suddenly, you feel like you are on the defense when they are the one that was caught red-handed. This manipulation muddies the water and takes them out of “the hot seat.”

3. They say they do not feel loved by you. A narcissistic partner needs constant validation. They expect this at all times, even after they have been insensitive and rude to you. If you fail to constantly fuel their ego, they become passive-aggressive and act out. Cheating is a way that they “get you back” for shortchanging them on compliments and adoration.

4. They declare the relationship has been over for years so it “does not matter." Funny, they failed to mention this sad truth to you. Also, they may have refused to go to couples counseling or they played the victim with the counselor to get the professional on their side. Either way, they ignored your attempts to fundamentally improve the relationship. In addition, any mention of discontent on your part was met with backlash, so you decided to roll on and take things on the chin. Although the relationship was not perfect, you continued to try while your partner deceived you in the process. In this case, the narcissistic partner took advantage of you and your kindness while lying to you for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, their need to exonerate themselves in this situation may trump any realistic and honest interpretation of the relationship.

5. The partner says they are not attracted to you because you have “let yourself go.” This assertion may be the most insulting and hurtful. Authentic love rarely withers because someone has aged or put on a few pounds. Real love grows with every moment and endears people to each other over time.

Conversely, a narcissistic partner may be fixated on the superficial things in life. They also enjoy pointing out other people’s flaws, so they take advantage of this opportunity to rub salt in your wound. This can make you feel shame about how you look. The impact on your self-esteem may be profound, which can cause you to agree with them and blame yourself.

6. They believe that you “owe” them because they have financially supported the family. And if you deny them sex at any point, they believe it is their right to “get it elsewhere.”

A narcissistic partner frequently perceives a relationship as transactional instead of relational. They believe if they fulfill some sort of obligation to you, that they are entitled to sex whenever they want it. You may have strep throat and a sprained arm, but they do not care. In their eyes, you owe them no matter what.

A narcissistic partner is expert at dodging sincere accountability, shifting the blame onto you, and tearing away your self-esteem. After they get caught cheating, they use six strategies to make their cheating your fault. When you understand the ways in which they attempt to manipulate you, you may be able to see that the problem is not you, as they wish you to believe.

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