The Dirty Empath – Marriage Breaker


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 behaves 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 cadre 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. The DE is the class of empath and there are various Dirty Empath streaks.

One of the dirty streaks which runs through the Dirty Empath is that of Marriage Breaker (or Intimate Relationship Breaker). This streak is based on the narcissistic trait of selfishness.

This situation arises where the DE becomes involved with somebody who is already in another relationship. The DE is single. The other person is not. There are those empaths who would never have a relationship with someone who is already committed to another. The level of refusal varies from those who might engage with someone who is dating other people but would not if they are in a steady relationship and not at all with someone who is living with another person and is/or married, through to those who refuse to countenance any romantic interaction with someone who is engaging with other people, at any level.

The Dirty Empath will not actively seek out a romantic relationship with someone who is already married. If the DE knows somebody is in a relationship, they will not pursue that person as that offends the empathic traits of the empath. The narcissistic trait of selfishness is not so strong as to override the empathic traits and cause the DE to want to pursue and engage in a relationship with someone who is already taken, committed to somebody else and so forth. Such an act is the preserve of someone who is a normal (even then it remains unlikely) and is more likely the response of someone who is narcissistic (not an empath and not empathic) or a narcissist.

Accordingly, a Dirty Empath will not target, pursue and engage with a person who is already in a romantic relationship.

That point made, what are the circumstances which give rise to the Dirty Empath Marriage Breaker? There are three.

The common thread where the Dirty Empath Marriage Breaker (“DEMB”) arises is where the DEMB is targeted by the other person. The person will be highly narcissistic or more usually, this person will be one of our kind.

Addressing the three circumstances :-

The Ivory Response

The DEMB is seduced by the Other Person (“OP”). They do not do the seducing. The OP does not tell the DEMB that they are in a relationship and if the OP is (and most likely will be) a narcissist, the DEMB will be the Candidate IPSS or Shelf IPSS. The DEMB may well be strung along in this fashion, oblivious to the fact that the OP is in a relationship, for some time. They may have suspicions but as ever, the OP will use plausible deniability to assuage those concerns. In the usual style of the seduction of the golden period, the DEMB will be taken in and engage romantically with the OP.

You may be thinking that since the DEMB does not know the OP is in a relationship, was not the pursuer and has been seduced, is it not somewhat harsh to describe them as a DEMB? Possibly, but the fact remains that they are romantically entangled with another person who is in a relationship and thus that comes within the umbrella of DEMB.

However, there comes a point where the DEMB finds out that the OP is already in a relationship. This may happen whilst the seduction is ongoing, it may (more likely) occur when there is devaluation or during a period of being placed on the shelf. The DEMB having learned of this will not immediately walk away from the OP. They will, in accordance with their status as a truth seeker want to gain answers from the OP. The relationship will continue. The DEMB will also make it his or her mission to tell the spouse or partner of the OP what has been happening, thus they earn the epitaph of Marriage (Relationship) Breaker or at the very least, disruptor.

The DEMB will fail to get adequate answers from the OP. The DEMB will not however just retreat, upset and distraught at having ‘been played’ and lied to. This is where the DEMB’s selfish trait flares up. Their moral indignation at their situation must be attended to. They will not withdraw and allow the OP and his or her partner to mend matters and patch things up. No, the DEMB will :-

  1. Ensure the OP’s partner knows what has happened in detail and will encourage them to walk away from the OP;
  2. Ensure other people know about the OP’s behaviour;
  3. Ensure the OP is told precisely what a low-life, cheating bastard he or she is.

Once 1,2 and 3 have been achieved, the DEMB then walks away from the carnage caused and endeavours to remain out of the hoovering clutches of the OP, the OP now desperate to find a new IPPS since in all likelihood the actions of the DEMB have caused the narcissist OP to lose his existing IPPS and be looking at a fuel crisis.

Accordingly, the DEMB is not whiter than white because (unwittingly) they engaged in a relationship with an attached OP. They cause carnage through their response to learning of the cheating behaviour of the OP towards themselves and the OP’s IPPS (and possibly other IPSSs). They are not completely blackened however as their response has sought to achieve some good, albeit for selfish reasons. The DEMB walks away from the OP (and tries to stay away) and accordingly the response arrived is off-white, hence ivory.

The Point of No Return

Similar to the above, the DEMB does not know that the OP Narcissist is attached to someone else. The DEMB is pursued, seduced and falls for the OP. At some juncture, the DEMB later learns that the OP is with somebody else. This could be during seduction, when being placed on the shelf or through devaluation.

The response is not one of ivory however.

Instead, the DEMB has reached The Point of No Return. Such is their addiction to the OP Narcissist, such is their desire to keep that person as their own and ‘beat’ the OP’s partner, the DEMB’s narcissistic trait of selfishness rises to the fore, overriding the empathic traits and causing the DEMB to fight for the OP.

He or she will do whatever they can to maximise their chances of being retained by the OP over the OP’s Partner. The combination of the seductive addiction and their own selfish narcissistic trait means that they will :-

  1. Tell the OP’s Partner about their existence;
  2. Focus on winning back/retaining the OP’s interest;
  3. Possibly even smearing the OP’s Partner themselves in order to achieve their aims.

The DEMB’s usual empathic traits are outshone by this single, strong narcissistic trait of selfishness to the extent that they appear to have taken leave of their senses. They want the OP, they see that they should be the one who ‘wins’ the triangulation and they will keep on trying to secure this outcome again and again, even when placed on the shelf or devalued. Of course the OP may well find their relationship with their IPPS in tatters but will not be unduly concerned as the Narcissist OP will feed on the twin stream of fuel and either remain with the original IPPS and dis-engage from the DEMB IPSS or choose the DEMB IPSS instead and continue with the shelf arrangement with them or make them the new IPPS.

The DEMB in these circumstances has reached the Point of No Return, they want the OP and notwithstanding the carnage caused, the roller coaster ride which awaits them, they earn the title of DEMB justifiably.

The White Knight

In this scenario, the OP tells the DEMB that he or she is with someone else. Nevertheless, the narcissist OP will adopt the tactics of

“We are effectively separated.”

“We are only together for the children and lead separate lives otherwise”

“I am being abused.”

“It is a loveless marriage”

“I have tried to make it work but he/she just isn’t interested any more and I have not left because x, y or z”

“My wife doesn’t understand me.”

The DEMB adopts the role of White Knight riding to the rescue to save this poor OP from their misery, their banal existence or the clutches of the tyrant spouse. It is the familiar story of faked misery and abuse manufactured by the narcissist OP, the cultivation of the DEMB in the role of rescuer, the OP as ‘victim’ and the OP’s Partner as the ‘perpetrator’. The DEMB operates through a hybrid of empathic traits (doing the decent thing in rescuing the poor downtrodden narcissist OP, exhibiting compassion for this person etc) and also the narcissistic trait of selfishness because they want to be with this person, they want to ‘save’ them even though they are attached to someone else. Yes, they have been duped by the OP’s manipulative act and illusory behaviours, but nevertheless, the DEMB knows this person is attached and because they do not walk away, but instead engage in the relationship with the narcissist OP, they earn them mantle of DEMB.

Thereafter, this White Knight DEMB may be the Candidate IPSS and becomes crowned as IPPS, only then to suffer the devaluation and then learn the truth about the nature of the OP and what he or she did to the innocent OP’s partner. They may become the Shelf IPSS and find out the truth when they are on the shelf or possibly (though rarely) have been dis-engaged from. Once the White Knight realises they are not the rescuer, their response changes and they may respond with an Ivory Response or continue to fight for the OP, as per the Point of No Return. The fact remains, they knew this person was with someone else but they engaged with the OP and went along with the seduction despite this state of affairs. Yes, they may well have done so for noble empathic reasons but they also did so for a narcissistic selfish trait also.

Thus the Dirty Empath Marriage Breaker arises in three different ways, all of which either dent, damage or destroy an existing relationship between the narcissist (or narcissistic) OP and their existing partner.

12 thoughts on “The Dirty Empath – Marriage Breaker

  1. Morning sun says:

    I have to ask – since when are other people’s promises ours to uphold? Since when is not preventing other people from breaching their agreements (that have nothing whatsoever to do with us) in itself narcissistic? Or is the simple act of taking something that is offered narcissistic?

    People tend to get a bit barmy when it comes to monogamy/fidelity due to the ~1500 years of religious brainwashing – which admittedly prevented Europeans from dying out due to venereal diseases.

    I certainly wouldn’t expect every woman on earth to be the keeper of my partner’s fidelity. I would expect him to keep it in his pants all by his big adult self.

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Morning Sun

      Preach. You can neither keep nor take someone. If they go its because they wanted to. People try to make it more complicated but its that simple.

      1. Laurel says:

        Truth. Well said 🙂

  2. WhoCares says:

    “I find it draining emotionally and it affects my moods.”

    Narc affair – I find your personal insights of interest. Out of curiosity do you have any physical reactions to stress or the experiences of others?

    Personally, I find that even after being out of the fog and confusion of a narcissist entanglement
    that I feel things so fresh it is like having new, pink vulnerable skin – not unlike maybe a burn victim. And while I’m now able to more effectively sort through emotions – I’m still at risk of being bombarded, overloaded if I’m not careful. And when I have a spike in stress levels it results, almost instantly in physical reactions (like an intense headache, or shooting leg pains/aches) when I never really had a history of such ailments. And back in the fog of the relationship I could never distinguish any specific pains but only an ongoing feeling of pain and ‘unwellness’.

    Plus, nowadays, the only time that I can truly hear my own thoughts and feel my own true feelings is in the middle of the night…when most everyone’s minds around me are shut off.

    Even as I write this I feel as though I am expressing it for the first time.

  3. Kate says:

    Hi HG,

    Can you tell me what a Contagion Empath is? I have never heard of that before. Thank you!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Kate, the Contagion Empath is one of the schools of empath. Very rare in nature. There will be a specific article about this school of empath in due course.

      1. narc affair says:

        I cant wait to read the contagion bc im 100% certain that im one. I never understood it before other than what two psychologists said which was a hsp highly sensitive person. It goes beyond that tho. I liken it to how a psychic can be a medium and take on someone elses experience and relay that message back. I my situation a situation stays with me for weeks maybe months and can affect my mood and become almost an obsession as it goes thru my mind. Its like you become what that persons went thru. Youre putting yourself in their shoes in your mind for days or weeks. I find it draining emotionally and it affects my moods.

      2. Twilight says:

        Narc Affair

        First off I want to say I am not attacking you.

        You stated “I my situation a situation stays with me for weeks maybe months and can affect my mood and become almost an obsession as it goes thru my mind. Its like you become what that persons went thru. Youre putting yourself in their shoes in your mind for days or weeks.“

        This is over thinking a situation, which is one reason why we stay stuck.

        “Youre putting yourself in their shoes in your mind for days or weeks.”

        Are you stating it is in your mind that you are putting yourself into another’s shoes? I understand this as you are thinking this is how it feels.

  4. WhoCares says:

    I realize now – only post-formal relationship – that my experience fits the White Knight scenario.
    And I got crowned.
    Yay, me.

  5. Empress1 says:

    I have the coffee cup and the t-shirt! It is so hard for someone to fall in love only to find out the other person is married, and yes the narc says I am leaving- I was before I even met you……. so you drink the kool-aid and stay. What a warped mess…… I do not know any person who would willingly wish to enter a relationship like this. However, yes, we do have our own ego’s and I realized a few years ago mine was in high activiity- I did want to ‘win’– I wanted the fantasy life I thought she had….. the obvious fact he was cheating on her, did not love her was not part of my rational thinking!

  6. W says:

    HG, is it fluid at all? can one ,finding themselves in Supernova state , and other factors, become a DEMB when they normally would never have considered such a situation …and then come out of DEMB status once Supernova state is finished?
    Meaning … For Empaths, can one grow from one type to another, or even change types due to circumstance?

  7. SarcNarc says:


    you paint such a dire pircture of empaths that one could wonder how they still make it through life!

    Real-life-story1 and a 4th case scenario: all might end relatively well. DE can get depressed, recognize where she got lost on her EMpath, while the OP goes back to his IPPS and the sun continues to set every day. Nobody tells IPPS anything.
    Besides this is one of the relationships of mostly convenience, so the OP got some real affection in the process and seems to fare better in life now.
    As far as I know, DE is grateful now that she was not promoted to IPPS, as much as she might have wished for it (but never dared to ask) while the affair was on.

    My point is, the third person usually gets to be the scape goat but in reality, they are the free electron in this situation and, by my categories, if they didn’t use manipulation but feeling to get there, then that may not be the fairest play of them all (and I’m happy she saw that too), but life happens to everybody and she was nobody’s parent to tell them how to live theirs.

    I know the IPPS and I don’t think telling her is my moral duty, as her biggest concern for ending the relationship, while she instinctively felt that something was wrong, was the money, things and place to live she would lose in the process. And no, she is not a narc, just from a poorer family and has a “rational” life philosophy.

    Who is the real DE in this story, hm?

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