Can A Narcissist Be Faithful? 18 Reasons Why They Cheat (And Why They Don’t)


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Can A Narcissist Be Faithful? Reasons They Can Be

Can a narcissist be faithful? This question delves into the intricate world of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and the complex dynamics of relationships involving narcissists. 

Understanding the psychology behind this topic is crucial for those who have encountered or are currently involved with narcissistic individuals. Let us explore the nature of narcissism, the reasons why a narcissist can be unfaithful, as well as the factors that might lead them to exhibit faithfulness. 

Can a Narcissist be Faithful in a Relationship?

Can a narcissist be faithful? This is a nuanced question and doesn’t really have a straightforward answer. Narcissism exists on a spectrum, and individuals exhibit varying degrees of narcissistic behaviors and traits.

Yes, a narcissist can be faithful for various reasons. They might value their image of being seen as trustworthy and loyal, especially if it boosts their social standing or respectability.

If they receive constant admiration and validation from one partner, they may not feel the need to seek it elsewhere. Moreover, narcissists carefully curate their public persona. Being exposed as unfaithful might damage their reputation, which they hold dear.

While they might struggle with empathy, some narcissists become emotionally dependent on a single partner and might avoid jeopardizing that bond. Personal beliefs can also play a role. If a narcissist holds strong convictions about fidelity due to moral or religious reasons, they might choose to remain faithful.

Related: 7 Signs Your Narcissist Is Cheating

If a narcissist recognizes their tendencies and seeks therapy or counseling, they might consciously work on being faithful.

However, narcissists also have a range of traits that can make them prone to infidelity. Their constant craving for admiration might push them to seek validation outside their primary relationship.

Not understanding or disregarding their partner’s feelings can make it easier for them to cheat without remorse. Feeling that they deserve more can lead to justifications for infidelity. They might also use relationships and affairs as tools to manipulate and control others.

While narcissists can exhibit behaviors that make them prone to unfaithfulness, it doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t remain faithful. Every individual is unique, and their choices regarding fidelity will be influenced by a multitude of factors, not just their narcissistic traits. 

It’s essential to consider the entire personality and the context in which they operate when answering this question.

Unraveling the Psychology of Narcissism and Infidelity

Before delving into the question – “can a narcissist be faithful?”, it is essential to grasp the core aspects of narcissism. Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. 

Narcissists typically have an inflated sense of self-importance and often manipulate and exploit others to fulfill their own needs.

Reasons Why a Narcissist Can Be Unfaithful

Understanding the reasons of their infidelity can help us answer can a narcissist be faithful in a relationship –

1. Lack of Empathy

Narcissists often struggle to empathize with their partners’ emotions and needs. This emotional disconnect can make it easier for them to engage in unfaithful behavior without considering the impact on their partner.

2. Sense of Entitlement

Narcissists believe they are deserving of special treatment and privileges. This entitlement can manifest in the form of seeking new romantic conquests, disregarding the commitment and loyalty they owe their partner.

3. Thrill-Seeking Behavior

Narcissists are drawn to excitement and novelty. The allure of new romantic encounters may provide them with a temporary ego boost, leading them to pursue affairs outside of their relationship.

4. Lack of Emotional Intimacy

Narcissists often struggle with establishing and maintaining emotional intimacy. They may engage in infidelity as a means to escape the vulnerability and emotional connection required in a committed relationship.

5. Fear of Abandonment

Paradoxically, narcissists harbor deep-seated fears of abandonment. Engaging in unfaithful behavior might be a defense mechanism to preemptively guard against being left by their partner.

6. External Validation

Narcissists crave attention and validation from others. This insatiable need can drive them to seek admiration and validation outside of their primary relationship, leading to infidelity.

Narcissists rely heavily on external validation to maintain their self-esteem. Seeking validation through multiple romantic partners can be seen as a way to reaffirm their desirability.

7. Impulsivity

Narcissists are prone to impulsive behavior and acting without considering the consequences. This impulsivity can lead them to engage in unfaithful acts without fully contemplating the impact on their relationship.

8. Lack of Boundaries

Narcissists often struggle with respecting boundaries, both their own and those of others. This disregard for boundaries can manifest in the form of infidelity, as they fail to recognize the importance of fidelity within a committed relationship.

9. Need for Control

Narcissists have an inherent need for control and dominance. Engaging in infidelity can be a way for them to exert power and control over their partner, further reinforcing their inflated sense of superiority.

So can a narcissist be faithful? The answer is both a yes and a no. Let’s keep exploring to gain a better understanding.

10. Perpetual Dissatisfaction

Narcissists have a constant desire for perfection and admiration. This perpetual dissatisfaction can lead them to seek validation and admiration from new romantic partners, even if they are already in a committed relationship.

Related: The 7 Thrilling Narcissist Cheating Patterns You Need To Know

11. Lack of Emotional Investment

Narcissists often struggle to invest emotionally in their relationships. This emotional detachment can make it easier for them to justify and engage in unfaithful behavior without experiencing guilt or remorse.

12. No Consequences

Narcissists may believe that they are above consequences and that their actions will not have any negative repercussions. This mindset can embolden them to engage in unfaithful behavior without considering the potential damage to their relationship.

13. Lack of Long-Term Vision

Narcissists tend to focus on short-term gratification rather than long-term consequences. This myopic perspective can lead them to prioritize immediate desires, such as pursuing affairs, over the long-term health of their relationship.

14. Insecurity and Jealousy

Paradoxically, narcissists often harbor deep-rooted insecurities and jealousy. This insecurity can motivate them to seek validation and attention from others, even when in a committed relationship.

15. Emotional Manipulation

Narcissists are skilled manipulators who excel at exploiting others’ emotions. They may engage in infidelity as a means of emotional manipulation, using it to control and manipulate their partner’s behavior or emotions.

16. Lack of Introspection

Narcissists often lack self-awareness and struggle with introspection. This lack of self-reflection can prevent them from recognizing the hurtful impact of their infidelity on their partner and relationship.

17. Lack of Emotional Fulfillment

Narcissists often crave constant validation and attention, which can be challenging for a single partner to provide consistently. This can lead them to seek emotional fulfillment from multiple sources, including extramarital affairs.

18. Lack of Remorse

Narcissists typically lack remorse for their actions, including infidelity. They may rationalize their behavior, minimize its impact, or shift blame onto their partner, further perpetuating a pattern of unfaithfulness.

Now that we know why a narcissist tends to cheat, let’s find out why they choose to be faithful as this can help us answer “can a narcissist be faithful in a relationship?”.

Reasons Why a Narcissist Can Be Faithful

Despite the aforementioned tendencies towards infidelity, it is possible for a narcissist to exhibit faithfulness in a relationship. While these instances might be less common, they shed light on the complexities of narcissism and the potential for growth and change.

1. Idealization Phase

Narcissists often engage in an initial idealization phase in relationships, where they shower their partner with attention, affection, and praise. During this phase, they may be highly faithful, as they perceive their partner as a source of validation and admiration.

2. Fear of Exposure

Narcissists often meticulously craft their public image and fear exposure or humiliation. This fear can act as a deterrent for engaging in unfaithful behavior, as it could potentially damage their carefully constructed facade.

3. Dependence on the Partner

In some cases, a narcissist may be emotionally dependent on their partner. This dependence can result in a decreased likelihood of seeking external validation or engaging in infidelity.

Related: The Complex Mind Of An Empathic Narcissist: Understanding The Paradoxical Personality

4. Fear of Abandonment

While fear of abandonment can drive narcissists towards unfaithful behavior, it can also motivate them to maintain faithfulness in an attempt to secure the relationship and prevent their partner from leaving.

5. Self-Image Preservation

Narcissists often view themselves as exceptional individuals deserving of admiration. Maintaining faithfulness can align with their desire to uphold their self-image as a devoted and loyal partner.

6. Narcissistic Supply

Narcissists rely heavily on a concept called “narcissistic supply,” which refers to the attention, admiration, and validation they receive from others. 

Some narcissists may find that being perceived as faithful provides a steady source of narcissistic supply, encouraging them to remain faithful.

7. Fear of Repercussions

So can a narcissist be faithful? Yes. Narcissists who possess a keen awareness of potential consequences, such as the loss of financial stability or social standing, may choose to be faithful to avoid these negative outcomes.

8. Empathy Development

Though empathy is often lacking in narcissists, some individuals with narcissistic traits can develop a greater capacity for empathy over time. This growth can lead to an understanding of the pain and hurt caused by infidelity, motivating them to pursue faithfulness.

9. Therapeutic Intervention

Narcissists who seek therapy or counseling to address their narcissistic tendencies may be more inclined to work on their behavior, including being faithful. Professional intervention can provide them with insights, tools, and strategies to develop healthier relationship dynamics.

10. Personal Growth

Individuals with narcissistic traits are not inherently incapable of personal growth. Some narcissists may recognize the destructive patterns of their past and actively work towards change, prioritizing faithfulness as part of their personal development.

11. Relationship Satisfaction

Narcissists may experience periods of genuine satisfaction and contentment within their relationships. During these times, they may be less likely to engage in unfaithful behavior, as they recognize the value and fulfillment their current partner provides.

12. Commitment to Self-Improvement

Narcissists who commit to personal growth and self-improvement may actively strive to become more faithful partners. This commitment can stem from a genuine desire to create healthier relationship dynamics and foster emotional intimacy.

13. Genuine Love and Connection

While narcissists often struggle with forming deep emotional connections, some individuals with narcissistic traits are capable of experiencing genuine love and attachment. In these cases, the emotional bond they share with their partner can serve as a foundation for faithfulness.

14. Life Circumstances

External factors, such as age, maturity, or life events, can influence a narcissist’s behavior. As individuals mature or experience significant life changes, their priorities and values may shift, leading them to prioritize faithfulness in their relationships. 

This is why the answer is yes to your question – Can a narcissist be faithful in a relationship?

15. Empowerment and Awareness

Individuals who have been involved with narcissists can empower themselves by setting clear boundaries and expectations. Communicating the importance of faithfulness and holding the narcissist accountable can potentially influence their behavior.

16. Supportive Relationship Dynamics

Narcissists who find themselves in supportive and nurturing relationships may be more likely to exhibit faithfulness. When their emotional needs are adequately met within the relationship, the temptation to seek fulfillment elsewhere decreases.

17. Value of Long-Term Stability

Some narcissists place a high value on stability and continuity, appreciating the benefits of a long-term committed relationship. This recognition can motivate them to prioritize faithfulness to preserve the stability they crave.

18. Empathy for Partner’s Feelings

In some cases, narcissists may develop a greater capacity for empathy, allowing them to genuinely understand and consider their partner’s emotions. This empathy can serve as a driving force for them to remain faithful and avoid causing pain to their loved ones.


The question “can a narcissist be faithful?” delves into the complex nature of narcissism and its impact on relationships. 

While narcissists are prone to unfaithful behavior due to their need for validation, entitlement, and lack of empathy, it is important to recognize that individuals with narcissistic traits are not incapable of faithfulness. 

Factors such as personal growth, therapy, supportive relationships, and a genuine desire for change can influence a narcissist’s ability to exhibit faithfulness. It is essential for individuals involved with narcissists to maintain self-awareness, establish clear boundaries, and prioritize their emotional well-being. 

Understanding the psychology behind narcissistic behavior can empower individuals to make informed decisions about their relationships and take necessary steps to protect themselves.

Ultimately, the potential for a narcissist to be faithful depends on a variety of factors, including their level of self-awareness, commitment to personal growth, and the dynamics of their relationship. 

By fostering open communication, seeking professional help, and prioritizing emotional health, individuals can navigate relationships with narcissistic individuals with greater clarity and understanding.

Related: How To Leave A Narcissist: 6 Powerful Hacks

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Will a narcissist ever be loyal? 

A narcissist’s loyalty is often conditional and self-serving, making it challenging to sustain meaningful, consistent loyalty to others.

Can a narcissist truly love their partner?

A narcissist may appear to love their partner, but their love tends to be self-centered and driven by personal gain.

Are narcissists usually cheaters? 

Narcissists may cheat due to their desire for attention and admiration, but not all narcissists are cheaters, as behaviors vary.

can a narcissist be faithful in a relationship
can a narcissist be faithful in a relationship

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