Why narcissists cheat and leave you
Why is your partner cheating all the time?
Gas lighters and narcissists are chronic scammers. It doesn't matter how "good" you are as a partner or how much of your life you have dedicated to them (because they asked). You will still cheat. But why is infidelity so common with this toxic personality? Read on to find out more.
1. They are constantly trying to replenish their "narcissistic supply".
Gas lighters / narcissists have a bottomless pit. They are always looking for someone to fill that pit. No matter how much you give up on the gas lighter / narcissist and focus all of your attention you will still be cheating (Sarkis, 2019). That is the nature of the gas lighter / narcissist. It has nothing to do with who you are - it has everything to do with their pathology. Gas lighters / narcissists are particularly cheating when their personality tends to be less responsible and have low self-discipline (Buss & Shackleford, 1997).
2. They "bomb" you at the beginning of your relationship and then devalue you.
According to the gas lighter / narcissist, you will never be able to get anything right. At the beginning of your relationship, it seemed like you couldn't go wrong. The gas lighter / narcissist told you that you are perfect, that you are everything they are looking for, and that they have never felt this way before. Then things changed. The gas lighter / narcissist has started picking you, a little thing here, a little thing there. Then it seemed, no matter what you did, you were "damn if you do, damn if you don't". This is because the gas lighter / narcissist puts you on a pedestal until they know you are "addicted" - but you eventually fall off that pedestal and it's a long way down. This has nothing to do with you, even though it feels deeply personal. It's a gas lighter / narcissist trait.
Also, look out for the following common gas lighters / narcissist behaviors:
3. They accuse you of cheating.
They never "make" anyone cheat. It's a decision you made yourself. Don't fall in love with the gas lighter / narcissist's "guilt game". It's a way to distract, and it's also an attempt to make you guilty. The gas lighter / narcissist is 100% responsible for the cheating. Period.
4. Accuse you you to cheat without evidence.
Gas lighters / narcissists are great at this projection. They will accuse you and accuse you of doing what they are actually doing. They will yell at you that they know you are cheating because you are home from work 30 minutes late. They even threaten to look through your phone. Why is the gas lighter / narcissist projecting? Because it takes the focus of their own deceit. The more you rush to find out why the gas lighter / narcissist is accusing you of cheating, the more you don't look at what's going on right under your nose. And that's exactly how the gas lighter / narcissist wants it.
5. You are not taking precautions regarding your sexual health.
If you catch gas lighters / narcissists cheating (when they finally admit it, which is rare) they will tell you that they used protection when they had sex. Don't believe them. They didn't take you or your relationship into account. Why should they make your sexual health a priority? Get tested as soon as possible and then at regular intervals.
6. They expect you to tolerate their behavior.
The gas lighter / narcissist has been constantly working to make you feel insecure. This is for one purpose - they don't want to give up a source of narcissistic care even if they are getting narcissistic care elsewhere. When you tell them you're leaving, the gas lighter / narcissist usually says something like, "Nobody will love you like me". and "Good luck, there's the door." If they tell you to go and go, get ready because ...
7. They will do everything to get you back.
It is very confusing when you are in a relationship with someone who doesn't treat you well but still doesn't want you to leave them. The idea that you are leaving triggers the gas lighter / narcissist for fear of losing narcissistic care. They get hectic and even try to prevent you from leaving. You will find reasons to stop by your home. This is known as "vacuuming" like vacuum. They're trying to suck you back in to replenish their narcissistic stash. You can also encounter the opposite.
8. They will drop you like you never existed.
This can be confusing as well. The gas lighter / narcissist disappears as if they went into the witness protection program. This usually means the gas lighter has moved on to its next narcissistic supply. Many people have asked me if to warn the next victim of the gas lighter / narcissist. First, the more you stay away from the gas lighter / narcissist and their life, the better you will be. Second, the next gas lighter / narcissist victim might tell you, "Oh, [gas lighter / narcissist] told me you were crazy and would try something like this." I have seen this scenario repeatedly in my counseling practice when gas lighter / narcissist survivors intended to ensure that someone else did not fall victim to the gas lighter / narcissist. Unfortunately, most people don't realize they are in such an abusive relationship until months or years later.
9. They will make you distrust others.
As part of the devaluation process, the gas lighter / narcissist will warn you that they are attractive. They can also compare you to their exes. You see others as potentially cheating with your partner. They begin to distrust others and can even break relationships. This is exactly what the gas lighter / narcissist wants you to isolate yourself from others and focus your full attention on them.
The bottom line is that this type of personality will continue to cheat you no matter how many times they tell you they are about to change. They can be very difficult to leave, especially if you have restructured your life to please them. But it is possible to go ahead and heal.
Not sure if your partner is a gas lighter / narcissist? Read 11 Gas Lighter Warning Signs and a three-part series starting with 10 signs you are in a relationship with a narcissist.
Copyright 2019 Sarkis Media.
Buss, D.M. & Shackelford, T.K. (1997). Vulnerability to infidelity in the first year of marriage. Journal of Research in Personality, 31 (2), 193-221.
Sarkis, S. (2019). Gaslighting: Recognize manipulative and emotionally abusive people and free yourself. New York: Da Capo.
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