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narcissism and affairs: illustrations of broken relationship, couple shadow was ignoring each other.A Marital Affair?

Marital affairs can be emotional or physical and may even be fantasy in the case of a partner with a pornography addiction, romance novel addiction or a crush or obsession with another romantic interest.

If you partner is more attached to something or someone other than you and/or your kids, it could be considered a marital affair.

If your partner flirts and seeks praise and attention from other people, this may be a sign of narcissism in your marriage.

Am I Wrong to Worry my Partner May be Having a Marital Affair?

If you are often jealous for no apparent reason this is a sign you may need to work on your attachment style and relationship skills. We have exercises for this in The Love Safety Net Workbook to help you build more emotional intimacy and security in your relationships. However if you have reason to believe that your partner is having a marital affair it is normal to feel jealous.

What is best is to make moves to find out the truth without obsessing. You can discretely ask other members of your family (and your friends) if they know anything, or you may need to hire a private investigator who specialises in investigating marital affairs.

Keeping yourself in the dark is not going to keep you safe. In Back From the Looking Glass I explain the steps I took to rebuilt my Narcissistic/Codependent marriage.

What if it is You Who is Having an Affair?

Working through the exercises in Our Love Safety Net Workbook will help you build love and trust again with your family and help you fill your developmental gaps so that you do not feel so desperate for attention and affection.

What if my Partner is Having an Affair?

The steps and exercises we offer will help you build a much stronger attachment with your partner at the same time as you becoming more attractive.

No matter how much you feel you are the innocent victim of your partner’s marital affair. Statistics show that by leaving your partner (and putting all the blame on them for your relationship problems) you are like to form exactly the same type of relationship again in the future.

This does not mean you are to blame or that there is nothing you can do to protect yourself from your partners bad behaviour. We want to help you learn how to set better boundaries and stand up for yourself effectively. This may or may not earn your partners respect – but even if their infidelity continues and you separate,  it will leave you in a much better position.

You should know that marital affairs usually mean that there is a whole web of lies you are living with including your partner embezzling money from your partnership to spend on their marital affair and possibly using other family members as their alibi.

I know of a man who pretended he was spending time and giving money to his 18 year old son (after he moved out of home and into a new area) he was really spending on his mistress. This poor boy was left alone to fend for himself with very little money or companionship while his family all believed he was being ‘spoiled’ by his father.

This boy didn’t tell his mother or other members of his family because he was scared of his father and also scared of hurting her.

Would you like your children left in this situation because they felt you were not strong enough to handle the truth?

This is just one story out of hundreds I have heard about the collateral damage caused in families by marital affairs.

We want to help you grow stronger and be able to face these problems whether the affairs are physical, emotional or fantasy.

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Signs of Narcissism in Your Marriage (scroll right to left) . . .

For fifteen years, the Coopers have offered themselves as humble guides and mentors, helping families avoid cynicism and chaos. Leading the way as peer support specialists whose own family has traversed love's dangerous terrain.
Taking you to that place inside yourself that you can't go by yourself. Helping you get back in touch with the power of love within you to restore the sanity in your marriage whether you stay or leave.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. I just rec’d an email from a woman who informed me that she is living with the man I have been with for over 5 years. She has listened to a message I left for him stating that if he could not dedicate some quality time for us then I will end it and begin looking for companionship elsewhere. He must have shared this with her to prove that we are not together any longer. However, after receiving that message, he came by my house unannounced and pleaded with me as he still loves me and do not want to loose me. He also left a desperate voice message prior to showing up at my home. She of course does not know this. He is very dependent on me in many ways. She wants me to answer her as she believes he is leading me on. I have been working on strengthening myself and have seen some success. This latest news is a huge blow to me. Do I confront him or stay busy with my self growth, gaining respect and “raising my value”? I do not want to answer her email. I do not want to hurt her and I believe that she already knows – hence the email. She has much more access to him and his phone and email and that is how she went behind his back to email me. I want to do what is best for me and him. I love him and know that he has traits of NPD and I have been actively working on my codependence. I love the magic scissors. Help I need Kim or Steve’s advice as this is time sensitive and I do not want to ruin the hard work I have already invested in your program. I have back from, the love safety net and recently order your blind spot. Thx

    1. I really feel for the situation you are in. It must feel awful.

      As much as you do not want to hurt this other women you cannot protect her from the truth. You need to say sorry for being the messenger and then send her his texts.

      I would also let him know what has happened and that you are prepared to give him space and shelter if he decides to come home to you but that you will not tolerate being two timed.

      Just leave it at that for now and let things become uncomfortable where he is.

      You need to give him space if he is home with you but keep a close eye on where he is when he is out.

      Let things settle – but long term if he wants to be with you he needs to accept having something like chaperone on his phone. If he complains it is to spy on him say, “no it is for you to prove your innocence”.

  2. I believe my husband has a crush on his co worker. He tends to live in a type of fantasy world. Our oldest son is in the same grade as her oldest. He talked about her nonstop til she remarried. He was very agitated with myself and the kids during the sports season this year ad tried to discourage us from attending so he could sit with her I assume. Suddenly her son quit the team and he flipped and suddenly wants to go with us and sit with us and etc.
    The one game I was at with both of them was VERY uncomfortable and awkward. I can not speak to him about it because he will get defensive and shut down. This is not his first crush. I am hurt and am.resenting him very much. I asked him the other night if he watched porn. He said no. I said never , he said he wouldn’t say never. I think he may watch it at work. One of his job is a FF and I think they watch it. Over the last 3 years he has basically shut me out of the finances. I have begged, pleaded and asked many times to discuss finances and even take over bill paying b/c I am much better at handling $ than he is and he will admit that but will not hand over the finances. We have children and I have invested 17years in this marriage. I also believe deeply in my faith and do not wish to divorce but I am so frustrated. He also runs cold and hot. He gets sex and throws me aside until he wants it again. We have been to counseling over the years. The last time he went alone. He refuses to do the work. He just throws me under the bus then when he is asked to do any work he refuses. I don’t know why he married me.or why he is still here. He will just drop these what I call bombs on me out of nowhere. He is very wishy washy as far as making decisions. I will think we are on the same page and he will flip the other way. When confronted he will just avoid me. He often seems preoccupied or “not here”. I have stopped trying to tell anyone other than a few close friends. Everyone from the outside thinks I am so lucky, he is a great guy, great Dad etc. I have learned and understood some things better through your work so thank you.

  3. my husband has been talking and going out with with my brother in law’s sister. He has gotten to the point that he took our children to the eat and to the park with her and her children, I had been working on the steps from back from the looking glass and the love safety network, things seemed they changed but not for too long since he started talking to her again and is taking it farther by involving our children, but of course he will deny there is anything between this woman and him…What should I do Kim? I really do think he is having an affair with her and I know she likes him and he is very attracted to her…I thought of having one of my community network of support speak to him about it. He is a minister from my church that he admires and respects

  4. I was in a two year relationship with a narcissist and it was the most horrible experience of my life. He lied constantly, and, after his first cheating episode, he gave me permission to log into his phone and his att account. I was anxious all the time and, in the end, he still figured out a way to cheat. I left him, started attending CoDa and realized that while I became very codependent with him, this is not my typical behavior in relationships. I don’t know why you would encourage anyone outside of marriage to stay with these people. At the end, when I finally crawled away, I had zero self esteem and no longer recognized myself. 7 months later, I’ve forgiven him in my heart, but will never be with him and his chaos again. I’m so happy to be free and to have regained my sense of self.

    1. Hi Lori, Ending a narcissistic/codependent relationship is not always easy – especially if you share children. Many women will often find that without working on their codependence they will walk into the same type of relationship again. We do not advocate people stay or leave but instead teach people the skills they need to protect themselves.

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