There’s plenty of research out there to show that partners with narcissistic tendencies are more likely to stray. But why? We crowdsourced this question to a panel of experts. Read on to learn what they had to say.

Why Do Cheating Narcissists Cheat?

Kimberly Mueller, M.Sc.,

Kimberly Mueller, M.Sc., Registered Psychologist is the founder of PsychologyCalgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Kimberly is also the co-founder of SheWorth, where the science of personality meets self-worth.


Implicit to the personality of a narcissist is a personality profile that is far different from most individuals. If you find yourself in an intimate relationship with a narcissist, beware. Narcissists cheat because they are outliers. All personalities are distributed on a spectrum from 0-100%.

Narcissists score in the above-average range (90th %) for traits such as disagreeableness (i.e., a complete disregard for the consideration of others). Narcissists have a sense of superiority, grandiosity, dominance, and entitlement. They feel above others and have an insatiable desire for attention and adoration (i.e., NarcissistSupply). When this attention is presented in the form of the opposite sex giving attention to them, this represents the ultimate ego boost, and their complete disregard for others makes it impossible for them to resist. Their life is their movie, and they are the ultimate in selfishness, and they will take what they want with a complete disregard for the consideration of others.


Cheating narcissists cheat because they need to feel admired and excited, while one person can only provide for their needs adequately for so long. At first, you can do no wrong and may experience “love bombing” from a narcissist. Eventually, narcissists become unsatisfied, and you may feel that everything you do is wrong. When your relationship reaches that point, the excitement the narcissist got from you has started fizzling out, and someone else may spark new excitement. Unfortunately, narcissistic infidelity tends to be a chronic issue, because nothing can fill that constant void and need for admiration that the narcissist has.

Why Do Cheating Narcissists Cheat?

Dr. Patricia Celan

Dr. Patricia Celan is a postgraduate psychiatry resident at Dalhousie University in Canada. You can find her at
Why Do Cheating Narcissists Cheat?

Dr. Laura Louis

Dr. Laura Louis, Licensed psychologist, owner of Atlanta Couple Therapy.

Their needs

In my experience as a licensed psychologist, people often cheat to meet a need, whether it be an unspoken need or a verbally expressed need. Narcissists have the tendency to only focus on themselves and their needs, so when they feel like their needs aren’t being met in the current relationship, they are more likely to cheat.

The way they want

A narcissist often feels that they are different and should be treated special. That is why if they feel that their partner isn’t making them their world, they find someone else who can treat them the way they want.

Why Do Cheating Narcissists Cheat?

Samantha Moss

Samantha Moss, Editor & Content Ambassador at Romantific.

Why Do Cheating Narcissists Cheat?

Sonya Schwartz

Sonya Schwartz, Founder of Her Norm.

Fond of themselves

I strongly believe that narcissists cheat because they are only fond of themselves. Most of them do not feel happy with one particular partner because they only love and care about their own self. Narcissists tend to hop from one partner to another because they look for somebody who looks and thinks like them.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.

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