11 Reasons Covert Narcissists Love Betraying Their Partners

Shawn and Claire have been a living a happy life as partners for the past two years however; recently Claire has seen some strange changes, as Shawn is more reticent with his phone, mostly chatting with unknown female profiles. When Claire shared that with her Mum, she suggested her to communicate with Shawn, and ask him to show his phone. It seems a logical solution to Claire as Shawn frequently keeps an eye on her phone, asks her straightaway to block someone or refrain from chatting with her friends so, she thought Shawn must give her the same level of access to his personal life. Claire tried many times to ask Shawn for his phone, but Shawn bluntly refused to give his passcode calling it invading his private life, neither did he show any interest in addressing Claire’s concerns rather he said that Claire was no longer the same woman he chose to love. Now, Claire like many other partners is ruminating to rely on the fact that Shawn betrayed the relationship or recall the days when she was dating Shawn and had received a convincing amount of love to marry him. You might think most partners go for the traditional routes to betray the relationship, but unfortunately, here you are wrong. In this case, Shawn is a Covert Narcissist and the changes Claire has now witnessed, are existing from the very beginning behind the façade of a loving person. Let us reframe your lens to spot the Covert Narcissists partner betraying the relationship, what are the signs that you subdue as normal but have heinous consequences. – Who Are Covert Narcissists? – Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do in a Relationship – 11 Reasons Covert Narcissists Love Betraying Their Partners – How to Protect Yourself from Covert Narcissist’s Betrayal

Who Are Covert Narcissists?

Whenever we come across the word Narcissists, our mind is preoccupied with an image of someone with higher self-generosity bragging about himself and has a very extravagant presence that you can notice in a social setup. Narcissism is a spectrum that contains both Overt Narcissists; the flamboyant persona with a grandeur exterior and Covert Narcissists; with timid, attention seeking, flattery, soft persona exterior but cunning interior. The narcissistic traits may vary in a person, the severity of Narcissism may result in Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) but we will leave this for professional mental health experts to diagnose. The devious tendencies of Covert Narcissists remain underlying but they are masters of wielding their gains out of your vulnerability. The reason Covert Narcissists extend a relationship with you lies in playing with your dependency. If you are not watchful of the underlying patterns of the weird things Covert Narcissists do as partners, you can never see the betrayal coming.

Weird Things Covert Narcissists Do in a Relationship

Psychologists over the years researched the weird things Covert Narcissists do in a relationship. The question is about Covert Narcissists’ position as a partner and what role they play in the relationship, it has been observed their overall behavior centers around “Triple E”; Exploitation, Entitlement, and Empathy-impairment. [1] Not all Covert Narcissists show weird signs in a relationship but they do love controlling their partners through various tactics. Partners usually feel special due to what they contribute to a relationship like the role of a provider, the breadwinner, and the homemaker, while Covert Narcissists seek appraisal and validation for being emotionally vulnerable. They feel their pain and suffering in a relationship make them special. To meet the ends of gaining empathy and admiration you can see them flattering their partners on a date, appearing shy and kind, showing extra care and love for your family until you fall prey to their trap. You can often notice Covert Narcissists will ask you to not wash the dirty linen in public but they will be the first ones to call your family and your friends to rant about what you have done wrong. In couple therapy sessions they often show up with screenshots/messages of their ex or partners to prove how helpless they are. Before you take Shawn betraying his wife Claire as an everyday home-wrecking story, you must look at the top 11 reasons Covert Narcissists love betraying their partners. Who knows if you are dating one?

11 Reasons Covert Narcissists Love Betraying Their Partners

Betrayal in a relationship does not happen overnight you must see the practical hints that your Covert Narcissist partner is dropping in your love or marital life. For the following reasons Covert Narcissists love betraying their partners:

Lack of Empathy and Guilt

Covert Narcissists have low self-esteem, unlike Overt Narcissists they cannot openly present their self-entitlement in a relationship; they inhibit the need for admiration by having a lack of empathy. Covert Narcissists will never empathize with the concerns of their partners, as you have seen above how Shawn refused to show any remorse or guilt to attend to Claire’s doubts and blatantly turned down Claire’s efforts to save her relationship.


Covert Narcissists are pro at manipulating their partners and playing with them like puppets. Covert Narcissists will appear as the most loving and selfless person you have ever met, their façade of genuineness will fool you into thinking they are your prince charming or woman of love, whereas they will pull your strings by winning your trust and make you dependent on their mercy. Shawn’s caring partner demeanor was there until they were dating which manipulated Claire into handing over her phone to him and following his orders blindly while he was himself busy eroding their relationship.


Covert Narcissist partners will play mind games in a relationship. Covert Narcissists love to objectify their partner’s physical appearance, their contributions, their intellect, and their opinions. After gaining the partner’s confidence, they will make them feel insecure about themselves.

Rationalized Cheating

Covert Narcissists love justifying their betrayal, they will rationalize their infidelity by claiming the partner has changed, or they are not emotionally available anymore so they had no options left. Covert narcissist partners will always cry about how nobody understands them and their problems so their unfulfilling relationships force them to commit betrayal.

Flattery and Flirtatious

If you spot your partner beginning to find your friends attractive, get tipsy around the opposite gender, or give references of other men and women of your age as “aging like a fine wine”, you must get alert and keep an eye on their activities. Covert Narcissist partners initiate betrayal by wiring your thoughts about a certain person’s uniqueness, they will claim the special interest they take in someone is due to certain factors, but deep down they are using their favorite flattering technique. “Oh, no honey there’s nothing between us, I’ve got the best wife why would I look around? “I just found her like my younger sister; we just discuss random stuff together.”

Self Perception

Covert Narcissist partners have a fragile self-perception, as their bond with the other person gets older they find it not as validating as it was before. They believe the control their partner may have in the relationship could threaten their vulnerability such as, the partner earning comparatively well, or the partner taking authoritative roles.

Accusation and Projection

If you are smart enough to catch a Covert Narcissist partner with unfaithful motives, they will blame you and accuse you of being the one who is committing infidelity. They will cook stories and malign your image in front of significant others to present themselves as a vulnerable partner in a relationship. Covert Narcissists are envious of the attention and empathy you may seek upon reporting their betrayal, so they start playing the victim card.

Lack of Self-Control

Covert Narcissists from the beginning of their lives struggle with maintaining a self-image; they lack self-control in terms of showing their anger and vindictiveness. Whenever they feel slightly triggered in a relationship, they will take huge steps like betraying their partners by losing control over their self. Covert Narcissist partners believe how they have been hurt is unique and are in dire need of reassuring their ego.

Sudden Change in Plans

You can see them delaying and refusing to attend to the plans you have made, often Covert Narcissist partners show signs of forgetfulness about the plans you as a couple have ahead. This is due to satisfying their ego Covert Narcissists gain their self-importance. They might be sneaking up with someone else during betraying their partners by appearing extremely busy.

Fluctuation in Sex Drive

Covert Narcissists tend to exploit their partners including physical relationships, they will love bombs by showing intense sex drive but will suddenly appear like losing their interest, or often indulge in lovemaking with a more desirable partner to commit infidelity and reward their self-entitlement.

Secretive around their Phones

Despite monitoring all of your activities on your phone, Covert Narcissists will not let you possess any control over their phones or the stuff that can lead you to their whereabouts. They are cunning in keeping their phone cling to themselves; you will notice they put their phone screen down and forbid others from unlocking it. They betray their partners by giving estranged treatment whenever someone inquires about what they do on their phones. Covert Narcissist partners will not state the same rules in a relationship, their impaired ego and self-esteem push them towards committing cheating and betrayal. The rules will always work in their favor but do not get upset we are here to help you redefine your rules in your relationship with a Covert Narcissist partner.

How to Protect Yourself from Covert Narcissists’ Betrayal?

Prioritize Your Emotional Well-being

Having a betrayal relationship with a Covert narcissist can have a severe impact on a person’s emotional well-being. The victim must seek social support and counseling for Narcissistic Abuse.

End the Dependency

Covert Narcissist partners are all about themselves; one must refrain from expecting any kind of reassurance from them. You should not emotionally depend on Covert Narcissists and keep looking for pieces of evidence of infidelity.


Be comfortable in your skin, begin self-care and self-love, and count on your strengths and achievements to counter their foxy manipulation. Further exploring these patterns in Covert Narcissist Partners lead to identifying Covert Narcissists in other spheres of life. If you want to know, more about Covert Narcissists then click here!

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