Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?
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Navigation »Talk About Marriage »Focused Topics »Coping with Infidelity » Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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Old 05-24-2013, 09:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

I have been with my husband for almost 10 years and married for 5 of those. Three years ago, I discovered a secret email account and he had been making fake profiles up (using fake pictures) to meet people for one night stands via online dating sites. He had also been using Craigslist for this, too. I kicked him out but we had literally just moved across the country and a very close family member to me died at the same time I found out about the cheating (with at least 7 people - women and men), so I was alone and fearful and devastated so I took him back. We tried counseling but couldn't find a counselor we liked. We are still together. And I thought things were good. It has always been very roller coaster like for us - good times are great and bad times are hell but we have been working on us for the last 3 years. Or I was.

The thing is, we we started this relationship, I made it very clear to him, because of my past relationships, that this has to be a monogamous relationship. Well, I had my suspicions over the years but when I asked about it, he would say I was crazy. I even found an email once to a friend of his that said he couldn't go hang out with her because he was going camping - which was a lie because he was going home with me to meet my family for the first time.

Anyway, I thought that because I had been burned in the past, I was being too paranoid. But when I found out about the cheating and had evidence, he couldn't deny it. I still took him back because I was in a terrible situation in my life having moved and lost a loved one.

Fast forward to 3 years later. I had my suspicions again and this time I set up a fake online profile and was able to catch him in the act. He has admitted to 2 more one night stands in the course of the past 3 years. He says he doesn't know why he does it. He says he loves me. He says he needs help.

We have started marriage counseling together because I hate to throw it away without trying. He has moved out too. I really do believe that there is something mentally wrong with him. Of course, I have also realized that there is something wrong with me. I know I have trust issues but I also have low self esteem. And his constant "you're crazy to think I would cheat" has really driven me crazy; I was doubting myself and my gut. And I knew I was right.

I found out 3 weeks ago. And I am sitting in a hotel at a beach alone on a vacation we planned months ago for just the 2 of us.

I don't know if he is deserving of a 3rd chance. I don't know if he is capable of change. I don't know if his words are just more empty air and manipulation. He promised before he wouldn't hurt me and yet he did.

I think for him, he enjoys the thrill of the chase and the sex. I feel like he wants the best of both worlds - our very comfortable and "normal" life and his cheap thrills.

He is very charming and uses his words very eloquently. I contacted one of his recent one night stands and even though they only had sex once, they talked online for months. She told me that she still hopes she can meet someone as good looking and charming as him and that if we don't work it out, to tell him to find her!!!! Amazing!!!!!!

I fear being alone. I fear him cheating again. I don't know if he can change. We have no children (thank heavens). I am, in my work life, smart and very successful. I have a great family (one reason why I think he stays with me is this - his childhood was awful and his family bonds are nonexistent). I have great friends. I love my job and am so happy with things outside of this marriage. I have stopped blaming myself (no more "it's because I'm 30 pounds overweight or didn't love him enough or didn't keep it spicy enough). I would just like to hear from others to see if a person like this can really change or if I should cut my losses and face my fear of loneliness.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

In a word....no.

There is no cure for narcissism.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

He cannot change. He will always cheat and lie. He is incapable of being monogamous.

Maybe you can have an open marriage if you don't want to be alone. He can have his adventures and as long as he fulfills the role you both agree on, you will not be alone.

You are operating on fear, the fear of being alone. If you had faith that you would not be alone you would never put up with this.

Why not go to IC and work on increasing your self esteem and confidence. A hightened sense of your worth will brighten your view of the future and your need for your cheating husband will naturaly dissipate.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

Yeah. It get a one time slip which is still hard but, he's out of control. Get checked for STDS pronto!
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

I have an appointment to get tested and he does as well.

I know that fear is driving my actions. And I am pissed that I can be so strong in other areas of my life and so weak when it come to this relationship and him. I do love him. Well, I love who I thought he was. Which was a lie.

I feel like its a "fool me once, shame on you but fool me twice, shame on me." I just need to figure out how to be strong enough to face my fear of loneliness.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

No kids easy decision move on alone you will be fine. No he is too damaged to change.Don't look back
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

It's not fear of loneliness really. It's lack of faith and Self-confidence. Otherwise, how can you be so sure that you will be lonely without him?
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

It is lack of self confidence. But I am in my 30s and have never lived alone. I'm one of those people that can't be alone. I definitely had periods where I was dating someone but I had stronger ties to friends then (ie roommates) so I wasn't alone.

I feel dumb to even say it. "Yes. I will put up with a cheater bc I don't want to be divorced and alone." And I think that no one will ever love me again.

I want to give him a chance because I wasn't raised to give up so easily on marriage. But I feel like this is just too outrageous.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

Again it is fear talking to you. Fear makes you do things that are self destructive. You feel no one will love you because you will not leave a man who does not love you enough.

This confirms your feelings that no one will love you. If you loved yourself, you would know that you are worthy of love.

Work on your self esteem and all of your doubt about your ability to attract a good man will go away.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

When you are with someone who keeps lying to you and cheating on you, it's not that you have trust issues, you have a untrustworthy person in your life.

You don't have trust issues that you need to fix inside of yourself, instead you heed to remove the person who keeps lying to you.

And no, he isn't going to change.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

What a blessing that you have not had children with this man. When there is children involved things get a little more challenging and harder to part ways.

I hope that you will stay away now that you've found the courage to be separated. This definitely would have been an ongoing battle for you otherwise.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

Do I continue the marriage counseling together? We have gone once. I said I would go for 6 months. He got a 6 month lease at an apartment.

The funny thing about children is that I thought I never wanted any. And then I started to realize I didn't want any with him.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

YOU need counseling. Individual counseling.

MC is a waste of money in your case.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

I myself do not know if these types of men are able to be monogamous. I'm with a serial cheater who claims he's done with all that. He used to be just like your H. He's relapsed so many times. I say relapsed because it's just an easier word to use. But we have children, so I feel much more tied to him. Not as an excuse. It's just reality.

If you feel that MC is the way to go, then see what he has to say. If you feel for one minute that he is not ready or capable of being a one woman man, then I say leave him in the dust and he can live the single life
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can a serial cheater/narcissist change?

No kids, serial cheater... think about that. You can be happy. Please take care of yourself, get checked for stds.
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