The Dirty Empath – Infidelity


The Empath. Regarded as a paragon of virtue with those traits of honesty, decency, compassion, love devotee, moral compass and so on. All of which make the empath and their fuel output tempting prey for us. Yet within these virtuous empathic traits sit other traits, narcissistic traits.

There are four schools of empath (Standard, Super, Co-Dependent and Contagion) . Layered on to these schools are the empathic cadres (such as Magnet, Carrier and Geyser).

Each empath within the relevant school has both empathic and narcissistic traits. Some will have a small number of strong empathic traits with few narcissistic traits which are low in strength. Some will have many empathic traits which are moderate in strength and have few or numerous narcissistic traits which are all very low in strength. Some will have many empathic traits which are strong and numerous narcissistic traits which are moderate or even quite strong. The key consideration is that, in effect, the empathic traits keep the narcissistic ones ‘in check’ and thus the empathic individuals behave in a way which is empathic with other people.

There are however two main instances when the narcissistic traits come to the fore. The first is through The Empathic Supernova which is when the empathic traits become ‘dialled down’ or eroded for a temporary time and thus the narcissistic traits come to the fore. The second instance is a permanent state of affairs and this is the class of the Dirty Empath. The individual is empathic, of that there is no doubt, they have those empathic traits, they also have narcissistic traits too, however one of those narcissistic traits remains strong and prominent throughout and sits alongside the fewer, weaker narcissistic traits and the various empathic traits of varying strength. This does not mean this person is a narcissist, not at all. It does not mean that this person is not an empath. What it means is that they are an empath but there is one (sometimes there might be more) narcissistic trait which ‘dirties’ their empathic status. Think of the empath coloured white with a black streak running through them.

This class of Dirty Empath has various streaks which appertain to the relevant narcissistic trait which prevails and this includes the streak of infidelity.

Thus where the empath is already in a romantic relationship, whether living together,boyfriend and girlfriend or married and they embark on a romantic, sexual relationship outside of that relationship, their narcissistic trait of infidelity has risen to the surface and remained there. What has caused that to happen? As ever, it is a symbiotic equation.

From the empath’s side there is something not right within their existing relationship which means that the narcissistic trait comes to the fore.

For instance, let us take the example whereby the spouse of the empath is either an empath or a normal and has become impotent and/or has no interest in sex any more. All else is well within the relationship – they care for the empath, they pull their weight around the home, they are a good parent, they have a decent job and so on. All is largely well, save for the issue of sexual relations. In such a situation, the empathic spouse has the following choices:-

  1. Recognise that all else is well within the relationship, that sex is but one facet (albeit an important one) and accept that it is better to have all of the other good elements of the relationship and therefore not seek to damage the relationship or hurt their spouse by seeking sexual interaction outside of the marriage. This is the response of an empath who has no dirty streak of the narcissistic trait of infidelity;
  2. As above save that the empath regards sex as so significant that they need it yet they do not want to hurt their spouse. Accordingly, they seek their spouse’s blessing to seek sex outside of the marriage but otherwise want nothing more external to the relationship. This is the response of an empath who has the narcissistic trait of infidelity but it is not so strong as to amount to a dirty streak;
  3. As per point one, save that the empath craves sexual interaction and knows it can only be achieved outside of the relationship. They therefore seek out sexual encounters with other people but have no desire to leave the existing relationship. This individual’s narcissistic dirty streak has risen to the fore and governed the behaviour of this particular empath.

With regard to this third element it remains relatively rare that the empath will do this unilaterally because their traits of guilt, honesty, decency and compassion will fight against the desire to accommodate the narcissistic desire of infidelity. If the narcissistic trait is very strong, the empath may still seek out these encounters and have them with normal people, an empath in a similar position to their own or find a narcissist.

What happens more often than not in this third situation is that the empath spouse has been targeted by our kind.

An empath with no narcissistic streak of infidelity (or a very low one) will resist the sexual overtures of the narcissist. They may remain as a Non Intimate Secondary Source to the narcissist. It is highly unlikely they would be targeted to begin with in any event by the narcissist.

An empath with a narcissistic streak of infidelity, which is greater than very low, will succumb to the overtures of the narcissist and find themselves engaged in an affair, breaking their wedding vows, breaching the trust of their partner and becoming sucked in to the world of the narcissist. If the narcissistic streak of infidelity is very strong, the empath may even have sought out (unconsciously) the narcissist.

Combine the narcissistic streak of infidelity in the Dirty Empath and a narcissist and infidelity is a given. How this pans out very much depends on the desires and wants of the narcissist. Please see the latter part of The Married Target as to how we are drawn to those who are married and are thus susceptible to our overtures. We may want the empath to become our IPPS and thus they are designated the role of Candidate IPSS as we love bomb them and lure them away from their spouse using our range of manipulations in the way that is described in ‘The Married Target’. It may be the case that both Dirty Empath and narcissist are content with an arrangement whereby the Dirty Empath is a Shelf IPSS and sees the narcissist intermittently and is treated as a friend with benefits, side person or mistress. Both parties are content with this. The narcissist gains in accordance with The Prime Aims and the Dirty Empath scratches that itch for sex outside of the marriage (coupled with the excitement that accords with it) but keeps their own relationship intact.

Sometimes the Dirty Empath becomes the Dirty Little Secret and is content with that arrangement also.

Note however that whether the Dirty Empath is a Candidate IPSS, Shelf IPSS or Dirty Little Secret, this is always at the behest and control of the narcissist. The Dirty Empath may willingly embrace the dynamic (unaware of course that they are with a narcissist and what their role is) as it fulfils the desires of the narcissistic trait of infidelity.

The issue arises however when the Dirty Empath wants to remain in the role of Shelf IPSS or DLS but the narcissist wants the empath to become the IPPS. Battle is joined to pull the Dirty Empath in the direction the narcissist requires with all of the drama, triangulation and heartache that follows. The problem for the Dirty Empath is that having allowed themselves to be governed by the narcissistic streak of infidelity they have already trampled over their partner and the narcissist knows this. In the same way you cannot get a little bit pregnant, you cannot be a little bit unfaithful, you either are not or you are.

Where the Dirty Empath has hitherto enjoyed being the Shelf IPSS or DLS, keeping this activity secret from their partner and enjoying all the other benefits of the best of both worlds, it is the narcissist who ultimately calls the tune and if he or she wants that Dirty Empath in a different role, the narcissist will strive to make it happen. If the Dirty Empath will not accord with the change of allocated role then he or she can expect their partner to be told of their infidelity and invariably the narcissist will have evidence (photos, film, documentary evidence of hotel trysts, oral testimony from Lieutenants) to use against the Dirty Empath. If the threat of release of this material does not persuade the Dirty Empath to submit to the whim of the narcissist, then it will be released. The hitherto painted white Dirty Empath will be painted black, they will be devalued prior to dis-engagement and their own existing relationship with spouse or partner will be the prime target of the narcissist for the purposes of causing its destruction and spreading misery. The need to punish the disobedient Dirty Empath and the significant fuel available (negative fuel from IPSS, negative fuel from secondary/tertiary cuckolded spouse, negative fuel from secondary/tertiary sources allied with said spouse and/or Dirty Empath, positive fuel from loyal secondary/tertiary sources to the narcissist) means that the chances of the Dirty Empath being ‘let off’ are virtually nil.

The Dirty Empath may find they can keep their own infidelity quiet for some time, remain as a DLS or Shelf IPSS and enjoy an elongated golden period with the narcissist, but they have no control over that. If it continues that way, this is purely down to the approach of the narcissist. There remains a risk that the narcissist will wish to change the dynamic and with that comes significant consequences for the playing away Dirty Empath, his or her spouse, partner and family.

Those who “give in” to their narcissistic trait (and this is usually because a narcissist has ‘sniffed out’ this Dirty Empath will eventually end up suffering.

This happens in the following circumstances :-

  1. The DE is DLS or Shelf IPSS for some time and then the narcissist wants to promote them to Candidate IPSS and then IPPS, but the DE does not want this as this will blow open their infidelity;
  2. The DE is DLS or Shelf IPSS for some time and then the narcissist decides to dis-engage against the will of the DE;
  3. The DE wants to become the IPPS of the narcissist, but the narcissist does not want this to happen;
  4. The DE wants to become the IPPS of the narcissist, achieves this, leaves their former spouse with all of the attendant heartache that causes and then enjoys a golden period with their newly acquired (but unrecognised) narcissist. Of course you know what is coming next don’t you? Yes, the DE IPPS is then devalued and dis-engaged from. Their narcissistic streak of infidelity has seen them lured from an otherwise satisfying relationship, drawn by the golden allure of the unrecognised narcissist only for that to collapse and now they find themselves alone, rejected and often hated by narcissist and the cuckolded spouse they once had.

The Dirty Empath with the narcissistic streak of infidelity who becomes ensnared by our kind is only heading for misery. They do not have the lack of remorse, lack of conscience or lack of guilt that allows us to drive ever forward. Instead they are left to rue the consequences of this narcissistic trait being intensified and exploited by our kind.

Further articles will follow concerning the various streaks of the Dirty Empath.

21 thoughts on “The Dirty Empath – Infidelity

  1. Frida says:

    Well done, another puzzle solved.

  2. Alice says:

    Great post!!

  3. BekaM says:

    My issue was that I always craved a man’s attention and affection. I am an empath and married a narcissist (actually, I was arrange married to him while we were in a bible cult church). In the beginning he was all attentive and affectionate but soon his true colors rose. My need for attention and affection was not being met, so I got crushes on other men, eventually falling in love with another man in our church (but it wasn’t reciprocal, there was no actual affair). When my narc husband figured it out, he was crushed, divorce happened.

  4. Becoming Observant says:

    What about hiring a narcissist (as an empath)? Empaths are modest. We don’t boast. My friend (who says he is a narcissist and somewhat of a predator) worked an event with me and sold my products well. He offered to travel to other events on my behalf and represent me. He is a much better salesperson than I. What risks should be considered if I let him go out on his own as my rep? He’s a careless roadie (I will have to repair my display pieces more often), but if he can sell, who cares?

  5. Becoming Observant says:

    Wow. Thank you for this. It clearly shows that, once again, my worldview/mindset is so different. After reading your books, I am more readily recognizing narcissists (suspecting ppl, not sure of my accuracy at this point). But even still, with my antennae on alert, the things I worry about as possible outcomes have me looking in the wrong direction.

    Some of the outcomes you illustrate here are things which do not cross my mind. Big things. Things I have to consider. I was feeling confident, that I was making informed choices, even second-guessing whether or not certain individuals are narcissists. BUT: what other type of person (other than a narcissist) would be hyper-focused and relentlessly pursuing a married woman while living with an intimate partner (and children)? I may be underestimating the vitriol of the midrange/lesser narcs.

    I have to chuckle: I spoke to one of the friends who offered to help with my situation. Iexplained that I was trying to avoid drama with narcissists, which is what I seem to magnetize on every level of friendship or relationship. First response? “Oh, well I am a narcissist.” No, no you can’t be. I have known you for years. I’d know. But yes, yes he is. 😖

    Can you point me in the direction of your articles on schools/cadres of empaths? I have found a couple of individual articles, but not the all-encompassing one which defines each of them in general terms.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I have not written about them all yet. There is an article for the Super Empath and the Co-Dependent in covered in ‘Chained’ (book). Work to follow on Contagion and Standard Empaths. With regard to cadres – see Magnet, Carrier, Geyser, Saviour.

  6. Jude the Obscure says:

    This is extremely enlightening.

    This is me. My situation was a bit different in that the narcissist was also married, albeit separated. I quickly became IPPS (although I’ve come to realize there were several IPSS candidates that I beat out, who were used later for triangulation and one of them may have been my ultimate replacement) but once the devaluation began, the estranged husband, now living with a new partner, was used for triangulation with me as he was constantly being hoovered (obviously blind to what he was dealing with).

    I remained with my spouse and as the devaluation and abuse continued, I began to pull away from the narcissist and reconnect with my wife. My repeated criticisms and mirroring of the narcissist’s abuse behavior combined with poor fuel output (I was giving my attention to my wife) led to an ignition of heated fury (rare for this midrange victim narcissist whose forte was passive agression) and her enforcing a “break” (aka silent treatment) at which point I escaped and started therapy.

    It wasn’t until she started hoovering that I discovered narcissism. I went no contact and survived the initial grand hoover (which wasn’t as intense as HG describes, probably due to her having embedded my replacement and only wanting to keep me as a shelf IPSS whilst hoping for some prime negative hoover fuel). I wonder if she hasn’t managed to hoover her husband back. She doesn’t work and he is quite successful and funds her life in lap of luxury.

    After almost 6 months NC, she managed to leave a message on my work phone (I deleted without listening). My relationship with my wife is better than ever, but I’m sure I haven’t heard the last of the narcissist.

  7. PureRage says:

    Evil bastards cursed demons, which will suffer the same flaming hell inflicted to the empaths.

  8. Kris says:

    You always share the most enlightening thoughts. thank you-

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you Kris.

  9. It’s such an ugly trait to have. How does one ever develop it in the first place? Just because I have it doesn’t mean I have to cheat. It just means that if things go south in my relationship then I become more vulnerable to getting caught up with a narcissist. Good to know. At least I am aware now and it actually makes since of some of my behavior.

  10. BurntKrispyKeen says:

    I’ve long said that we all have a touch of narcissism… of course, some touched more heavily than others! But this article is full of interesting information. Insightful, indeed.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      That is correct.

  11. Would an empath cheat during The Empathic Supernova or only as an dirty empath?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Going supernova may well involve cheating on the narcissist as that particular narcissistic trait becomes more exposed by the receding empathic traits.

  12. Conductor: Next stop Misery
    Me: excuse me, pardon me, coming through.

  13. narc affair says:

    I cringe reading this bc ive never considered my empath status as dirty bc i never set out to want to be unfaithful. I tried for years to fix the sexual issues in my marriage and finally gave up. After years of feeling dead and rejected i decided to go elsewhere to find what i was lacking in the marriage. I didnt and still dont wish to leave my hubby. Were best friends and ill be by his side til the very end. He makes me happy in a lot of ways but that one area. I know he knows im unfaithful and has acted suspicious but in the end he also knows why. It was never to hurt him or betray him and i feel horrible about this every single day. Its not just sex its intimacy. I needed intimacy the way a man and woman are intimate. I found it but with a narcissist that uses it as a tool to manipulate.
    I didnt want to leave the marriage and pretty much knew my hubby was asexual and couldnt ask him for an open marriage bc hed not agree to it and just asking would hurt him deeply.
    I do know my narc would never want me as a primary and am certain he has no primary. Hes quite content being single at age 61 and has never been married or had kids. He would never set out to ruin my marriage either. I know a lot about his family and he trusts me knowing that information. We never got together with the intent of me leaving my marriage. Hes respectful of my family time and im respectful of his time when were not together. He gets a source of positive and negative fuel and i get a companion/sometimes lover who is sweet but sour at times. Sounds like a narcissistic match made in heaven or is it hell…it depends on the day.

  14. Windstorm2 says:

    Definitely not one of these.

  15. So I guess I would be a dirty empath since I was flirting and texting and sending naughty pictures to a narcissist after my husband told me I better not. Even though I never had sex with him.
    But I wanted to. And I would have.

    I guess it’s good that it never went that far.

    Thank you!

    1. Or does my behavior fall under the category of virtual fuel matrix or both?

    2. HG Tudor says:

      Potentially, it depends on where someone draws the line as what amounts to infidelity.

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