Many experts believe narcissism and cheating in a relationship are inextricably interlinked. The symptoms of narcissism are often such that these individuals cheat repeatedly on their spouses or significant others, usually without understanding that they have done something wrong. The typical narcissist believes he is beyond reprisal and entitled to do as he pleases at all times. Many narcissists may hate women so much that they use sexual degradation and infidelity as a means of punishing them for perceived wrongs. The narcissist may also feel obligated to maintain a "normal" appearance of married life, while still viewing his spouse as a hindrance and resenting the fidelity she requires of him.
Many narcissists pursue sexual conquests as a means of ego validation. They can gain a sense of power from the sexual act, and the acquisition of new partners may give them the feelings of worthiness and value that they usually inherently lack. Narcissism and cheating in relationships may be linked especially because many narcissists enjoy having intercourse more if it is difficult to achieve because the target is perceived as difficult. Encounters such as these tend to boost the person's fragile ego even more than encounters that come easily.
Unlike partners who cheat due to unmet needs in the relationship, narcissists will typically cheat repeatedly, no matter what the perceived quality of the central relationship in their lives. Many may claim to hold their spouse or partner in high esteem, while insisting that their extramarital liaisons mean nothing. In reality, these people tend to have no more regard for their partners or spouses then they do for the women with whom they are unfaithful.
Most experts agree that, when a narcissist enters a relationship, he will typically cheat again and again, believing he has every right to do so and that there is nothing wrong with his behavior. This belief is often so ingrained that, when the spouse or partner eventually gets fed up and leaves, the narcissist will typically attempt to do everything within his power to preserve the marriage. People with narcissism tend to use marriage for the social status and the appearance of normalcy it can bring them, rather than for intimacy or family, since they are typically incapable of real emotional closeness.
Most psychologists agree that narcissism and cheating in relationships often occur together because the average narcissist is unable to sympathize with, or in some cases, even see, the emotions of others. People with narcissism don't usually understand, or care about, the emotional turmoil that their cheating causes in their spouse. Nor are they usually concerned with the wider family and social ramifications of these acts in a relationship, such as the effects that such behavior may have on any children in the family.