The Dirty Empath : Relationship 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.

25 thoughts on “The Dirty Empath : Relationship Breaker

  1. Duncan Lory says:

    And if the empath never tells the OP’s partner about their existence? Never encourages the narc leave their relationship? The empath still dirty for “getting dirty” with the OP, so to speak?

    1. HG Tudor says:


  2. Whitney says:

    Dear HG, I was loyal to the psychopath for all of the twelve years. He was the first man I was with. I didn’t even have male friends for twelve years. He said men and women are not friends.

    I have these narcissistic traits though:
    1) disregard rules and convention (eg I can’t work at a job. Boring and against my values. I do everything my own way)
    2) sense of entitlement (eg driving an unregistered car- the police turned off camera and didn’t give me the normal $200 fine. Then I got the police to drive me to my event and give mechanical advice.
    3) romantic jealousy (when I’m with a narcissist).

  3. Ashley says:

    Oh jeeez some of this reminds me of myself lately. I don’t mean any harm but after a long period of being too good or too nice, whatever you want to call it, I go on the other end of the spectrum. I don’t do anything “bad” real life but I just am inappropriate like I get a little wild sometimes. I catch myself thinking in certain ways & I know I shouldn’t but I don’t care. That Ariana Grande song “break up with your girlfriend cause I’m bored” describes those moods I get in. A lyric is “I know it aint right but I don’t care” . I go from sitting at home reading the bible to feeling like I want to drink 20 drinks & do whatever. I think it’s because I don’t have balance or moderation. I’m either one way or the other way.

    1. njfilly says:

      “I’m either one way or the other way”. This describes me too.

      My personality is two polar opposites in any given situation, and I’m not quite sure which is the real me. I often can’t even identify to myself how I might react to a circumstance, or what are my true feelings and beliefs (other than my belief in God, which is solid).

      I understand this might be common for people but it does often leave me feeling a bit unstable.

      1. WokeAF says:

        There IS no “real you”

        1. njfilly says:

          Can you explain what you mean? I’m very interested.

          1. WokeAF says:

            With enough inquiry it will be seen that ”you” ARE the happiness, or sadness, or anger, in that moment. There isn’t a separate person it’s happening to. We want a separate, permanent self bc it’s the illusion we grew up with and it feels uncertain to be groundless. But it’s freedom . “YOU” are whatever is happening In THAT MOMENT.
            Look and see if you can find any separation between what is happening and the supposed experiencer. Is ANYTHING EVER happening OUTSIDE of your experience?
            “YOU” don’t exist if you’re not thinking about yourself. Just what is happening.

            You are free to be polar opposites at any given moment . Don’t let it concern you .

          2. njfilly says:

            Interesting comment. Thank you for sharing.

      2. FYC says:

        Filly, I would suggest both are your ‘real’ expressions, but they are likely influenced by very different psychological motivations. You may want to consider what your resting state is (your core state of being without outside actions or influences) and what your provoked state is and why you are triggered by such provocation. Usually when we are provoked, our defenses come to the fore. Per psychological theory, the less we need to rely upon our defenses, the healthier we are. That said, all people have psychological defenses (this is well documented by research). The important thing is to know the what and the why, and to have more power to choose your response. Choosing instead of reacting gives you more power over your life and experience.

        1. njfilly says:

          Very interesting. Thank you for your thoughts.

      3. Ashley says:

        I’m with you, njfilly 💖

    2. Witch says:

      I relate to feeling that way and for me it stems from having a controlling parent and also having been in a long term controlling relationship.
      These days I feel more settled and less inclined to feel rebellious or that I have something to prove. I’m looking forward to having an average and relatively peaceful life.

  4. CandaceMarie says:

    This post reminded me of a situation I was in years ago when I was with my ex husband. We were having problems and I was not happy. I ended up going to a bar one night and met a guy who told me he was single. If I remember correctly I think I told him I was single too. We danced together and exchanged numbers. The next day I admitted to him i was married and he told me he was married too. He said his wife didn’t want to have sex with him anymore and he was very hurt by this. I don’t remember if I believed his story or not. We spent a lot of time talking on the phone. It wasn’t like I was really interested in having an affair with him. It was more like revenge on my husband at the time. I had found out he was having online affairs and I thought I would feel better if I did something bad as well. My husband did find out I was talking to a married man. He wasn’t happy and told me what I was doing was wrong. As if he had any room to talk with all his girls online.
    I never had sex with this other guy because I knew that would be wrong. No matter how much I wanted revenge, sex with another man would make me feel worse about myself. I did make out with him one night after getting drunk but it never went beyond that. He still called me a lot but eventually I started ignoring his calls and that was the end of it.

    1. NarcAngel says:

      That’s interesting and begs the question of what constitutes cheating. Is it intent? Or only if a physical act results? I realize results will vary, but it makes me wonder when people say they cheated or were cheated on, what that actually entails. It’s also still quite baffling to me how many variations and levels of severity of abuse will be endured, but “cheating” in whatever form is often the thing that will be cited as being the most grievous and cause for action. There are many who endure constantly being demeaned or even regularly suffer physical violence and it does not spur them to action, but if the partner “cheated”? That’s the straw.

      1. alexissmith2016 says:

        That’s an interesting point NA. I agree cheating is cited as the worst but perhaps that is because of the emotional abuse which very often accompanies it is the part that really hurts. The triangulation and attempts to make us jealous. Cheating and physcial abuse are more tangible, easier to quantify to make others understand and to understand ourselves. Emotional abuse is not. We don’t even recognise or realise we have been emotionally abused and there in lies the problem.

        1. Mercy says:


          I agree when you say we don’t realize we are being emotionally abused. In my case, I couldn’t explain to others or even myself what was happening. I had no words to explain what I was experiencing. Cheating I understood. I think it’s a word we can point our finger at and say “See, I’m not crazy, you ARE bad”.

          I agree with you and the others that recognition is a real problem. I had a friend that I now know as a narcissist. I distanced myself because I recognized the lies. He soon started manipulating two of my close mutual empath friends. I gently tried to point out the lies without using the word narcissist. I wanted them to protect themselves (he targets married woman for money). They listened but dismissed the facts that I pointed out. I couldn’t understand how these very intelligent women could not see it. One of them was diagnosed with brain cancer a couple days before New year’s. She is literally fighting for her life. She doesn’t know this but the narcissist has started telling our mutual friends that he also has brain cancer. People believe him even though he seems to be in perfect health while our other friend is deteriorating from aggressive chemo and radiation after surgery. I’m so blown away and angry at the support he is getting. It’s not hard to see if people would open their eyes. Sometimes I think the world has “it’s not my problem” syndrome.

          Sorry to unload. Your comment about recognizing the behavior being a problem really hit home.

          1. No problem at all Mercy, we all need to unload. I’m truly sorry about your friend. that must be horrific and quite how someone can be so cruel to even mirror that is completely beyond me.

            Try not to be angry. He will get his support as will millions of other Ns. People don’t open their eyes and the don’t see. I have one very close friend who I would love to educate, she has a significant amount of geyser and therefore a complete love devotee. She says things word for word that HG writes about and from time to time I will show her the odd article but she still will not see it. I won’t give up on her, but have to take it at her pace frustrating as it is.
            I hope things work out for your friend.

          2. Mercy says:


            Thank you for your kind words. She’s an amazing person and she’s been so positive through all of this. He hasn’t reached out to her since she’s been diagnosed which I’m glad. I think that alone is all the proof she needed. Like I said, I’ve distance myself from the narc friend and his current inner circle so it doesn’t bother me most of the time. If I think about what he’s doing for too long it makes me want to go slash his tires or key his car haha. I wouldn’t but it makes me feel better thinking about it.

            Your friend sounds like my other friend (the one that isn’t sick). You are right, we have to take it at their pace.

      2. WhoCares says:


        That is a good observation.

        I know that I engaged in emotional infidelity towards the end of my first long-term relationship (talking online to strangers etc., most were men – this was before the pervasiveness of online dating.)

        The sex in that particular relationship was GREAT – but I wanted a life together and a commitment. That is what I was lacking then…did I ‘cheat’ on my partner via the online relationships?

      3. Witch says:

        I find that interesting too. From my own experiences and also from listening to other people’s experiences, there are far worse things someone can do to me than cheat. But my jealousy trait is on the low end of the scale so that could be why I feel that way. Why cheating would negatively affect me is primarily due to my pride trait which is quite high.

      4. FYC says:

        NA, you make a very thought provoking observation. Synonyms for fidelity include not only loyalty, but also devotion, integrity and trustworthiness. There are many forms of broken trust, lack of devotion and lapsed integrity beyond infidelity. It has been said that infidelity is a symptom of a greater problem in a relationship. That could easily be extended to abuse. We know narcissism is one of the underlying conditions that can foster both abuse and infidelity, yet few have any depth of understanding on what narcissism is or how it impacts relationships (loyal readers of KTN excepted). Sexual infidelity is well represented in movies and literature, but abuse far less so, especially more subtle emotional abuse. Historically, for many millennia, infidelity has been deemed an unacceptable form of behavior. Yet abuse has only received serious attention in the last 100 years. Hopefully, as awareness increases, in another hundred years, people will have a broader definition and deeper understanding of what is truly necessary for a loyal, nurturing and supportive relationship. We, on a societal level, need to do a better job of understanding human behavior, and teaching the young to learn what to look for and even how to have a healthy relationship. Behavioral problems are often passed down through generations due to abuse. This needs to stop if we truly want to evolve.

  5. Cloudy says:


    Will empaths cheat if given the opportunity?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      See the articles about Dirty Empaths, it is all explained in there.

  6. WokeAF says:

    I was drawn in knowing he had a Candidate IPPS . Of course I didn’t recognize this for what it was- I thought he was single and dating as was I. I wasn’t in any rush to commitment and he said the same and I believed him. Suddenly she was promoted to IPPS.
    I know now I was the S-IPSS, with possibility of a promotion to C-IPPS if the other one didn’t work out, as he brought us both in at the same time, on the heels of an unexpected divorce and he was in Chaos mode.
    However, him being MMR-Elite Type B, I was bedazzled and hung around as S-IPSS even when it became clear what was going on.
    I gave her good fair warning not only of the situation- but that I wasn’t planning on going anywhere as long as he wanted me around! – as I was hooked on him and also I am not interested in a commitment with a cheater lol

    Based on the excuse I’d warned her and “on her head be it”, 😉 I happily stayed for 5 more years as S-IPSS / DLS , on and off, dependent on if I was seeing anyone else bc I don’t cheat myself.
    Eventually I got bored as the seduction-facade waned over the years and it became clear he’s just a big whiny baby. (Not attractive- and not who he portrayed himself to be- altho he kept it up for a good while as I’m IPSS so it was always golden-time.)

    I’m super glad I was never promoted at the beginning because DAMN.

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