The Dirty Empath : Relationship Breaker

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.

32 thoughts on “The Dirty Empath : Relationship Breaker

  1. leelasfuelstinks says:

    Exactly! 🙂 I have the impression that at the moment my narcissistic traits and my Supernovae are pretty much out of control. Sometimes appropriate, sometimes totally misfired!

  2. leelasfuelstinks says:

    I don´t know why some people are surprised that Empaths can have dark sides and dark streaks. We Empaths are no angels. Some have more and stronger narcissistic traits and others less, depending on the schools. The dark sides of my kind show when it comes to self-defense, but I noticed that sometimes this self-defense misfires. It fires when it shouldn´t or it fires the wrong way 😀 Probably due to deep seated trauma.

    Besides all this: We are only humans, not angels 😉

    1. A Victor says:

      Leela, I have been figuring out that we can learn to control our use of our narcissistic traits. Not sure why I didn’t see that before. And, doing it, using them, is most uncomfortable unless I have reached a boiling point, so to speak. It is something I will be investigating further, how to know when it’s appropriate and how to use them effectively. Things I feel we should learn as children. But, better late than never.

    2. Melmel says:

      Yes!
      I started on this journey after an incident at work with a narcissist. In that moment, I decided I needed to learn how to control my Empathy so that I was mindful of who I was allowing to give me emotional input/stimuli. Now I see that it’s probably my Dark traits that I need to learn to control. Instinctively using them has definitely misfired and led me to the situation I am in. Choosing when and how to unleash them, and to do so defensively and selectively so that I don’t push the good relationships out to make room for the toxic demanding ones… So good.

      1. Asp Emp says:

        Melmel, I found HG’s assistance package ‘How To Deal With A Narcissist At Work’ very useful indeed, if it was a work situation that brought you to KTN blog.

  3. Melmel says:

    Yessssss! HG can you identify any other “Dark streaks” that Dirty Empaths may have?

    I must admit I did not read the article. Just the introduction so far. But I will read it. This is not my Dark Streak and I don’t want to develop it at this point. I have enough of another… or several perhaps. Exactly how HG describes it, narcissistic traits in varying strengths alongside the empathic traits that define how we interact with the world until some defence mechanism kicks into gear and the Dark Streaks emerge and can even become prominent depending on which Narcissist in our lives is creating the most problems at the moment. Ha! So true that Narcissists are drawn to Empaths. They come at me in the grocery store, at home, with extended family, in my workplace…

    Maybe that’s why as a Dirty Empath (or Dark Empath to use more mainstream terminology) I feel overwhelmed ALL of the time. I feel as though I am constantly fighting off attacks. And trying to hold my own in the areas where I am less capable of defending myself, at least outwardly. And at the same time using Empathy in all of my benign or NYD relationships which can be super draining.

    My Dark Streak(s)? Probably a Need to Control. That’s why I continue to dig myself deeper… Down the Rabbit Hole so to speak. Why I make choices that are self-destructive. What seems like a simple solution to rest of the world just does not make sense to me. If I could puzzle that out maybe I could come out better in the end.

    Thanks for letting me vent my spleen.

    1. Asp Emp says:

      Melmel, RE: Dark Empaths – usually have the Dark Triad traits and cognitive empathy yet lack the emotional empathy, maybe not quite the same as a Dirty Empath?

      The ‘need for control’ – I can relate to – simply because of a loss of control (ie not having the ‘freedom’ to be ‘me’) at some point in my life (especially from a young age to older years). There are different reasons why people feel the need to have control.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        A dark empath is not an empath, that is a narcissist.

        1. Asp Emp says:

          Ok, Sir. Thank you for ‘correcting’ me. I was simply ‘pointing out’ that a Dark Empath is not the same as a Dirty Empath.

        2. FoolMe1Time says:

          HG have you written information on the dark empath? It’s the first time I remember you writing anything about it.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            No, because there is no such thing.

          2. FoolMe1Time says:

            Thank you. Do you think Harry will return for the services surrounding his Grandfather the Duke? I was just curious to see what you thought, I’m not sure Meagan will allow him to attend?

          3. HG Tudor says:

            I do as explained in more detail in ALTRN Part 38, FM1T.

          4. FoolMe1Time says:

            Thank you HG. I heard last evening that Harry will be attending the funeral but that Meaghan will not be with him.

          5. Asp Emp says:

            Laughing…… oh, HG.

          6. WhoCares says:

            FM1T,

            Nice to see you posting!
            How have you been?

          7. FoolMe1Time says:

            WC,
            Hi, how have you been? I’ve had a lot going on lately but all is good. I have started a small baking business on the side that was actually something I wasn’t planning on doing! However once I received so many requests I had to give it a shot. It’s always nice to hear from you WC! Take care of yourself. 💞xo

          8. Asp Emp says:

            FM1T, ah, look, what has Asp Emp done? (frantically trying to super glue the opened can of worms lid back shut) 😉

          9. FoolMe1Time says:

            Asp,
            No can of worms. I just thought I missed something that HG had written. Xo

          10. Asp Emp says:

            FM1T, no, HG never mentioned it previously, it was me…..

            Well, once a can of worms is opened, the blighters cannot stop coming out – so the super-glue didn’t work 😉 …..

          11. A Victor says:

            Asp Emp, as always, a well-timed laugh, just when I needed it! You are so special to me, thank you once again for the humor!

        3. Bubbles 🍾 says:

          Dear Mr Tudor,
          Thank you for clarifying this. I’ve been seeing quite a few articles popping up on my newsfeed about Dark Empaths of late and was actually going to raise the subject !
          Now we know !
          Luv Bubbles 😘

          1. HG Tudor says:

            Indeed. It is a term bandied around principally by unaware narcissists.

          2. Bubbles 🍾 says:

            Dear Mr Tudor,
            Thank you for that
            Is this some sort of new trend to add to the forever growing made up lists ….. perhaps to add to the confusion ?
            Kind regards
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

  4. A Victor says:

    This is a tough article for me.

  5. Asp Emp says:

    “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”……

    Commenting on this article last year – “The White Knight – ah, no. They are both narcissists. Victim MRN shoulda known better than to involve me. I was a NIPPS for a very long time then he goes and obtains an IPPS. Allowing the spouse to assume I was a DE – the IPPS is the MB, not a DE, but a narcissist too!! The triangle is them 3, I removed myself from the quagmire of narcissists” – I recall saying to MRN once that I was not going to ‘compete’ with anyone over him.

    I suppose that is a reflection of being cheated on in the past in my early adult years (and on occasion since). I am confident it will not happen again.

    I think my narcissistic trait of selfishness is lower than some of my other narcissistic streaks – I’d never been ‘selfish’ in any of the relationships / friendships I have had with others.

    1. Melmel says:

      Me too Asp Emp! I am hoping HG will cover some others at some point.

      1. Asp Emp says:

        Hi Melmel, there are more ‘streaks’ that Empaths have (aren’t we lucky?), HG offers a Trait Detector Consultation if you wanted to find out more about your specific narcissistic traits. This TDC covers 10 of each – the Empathic and the Narcissistic traits – he has done a video on this which explains more.

        1. Melmel says:

          Thank you! I am not quite ready to do the ED, but the TDC sounds like something I could entertain for sure. I did a personality inventory a few months ago and was able to read the summary report, but not the full interpretation/scores, so I was able to get a few insights from that already. My problem is that I already care too much about what people think is “wrong” with me (there’s the sensitivity to criticism that was identified in those terms for me) that I tend to obsess about it until I work myself up into a very dark mental spiral that makes it difficult for me to function in life. It is extremely helpful to understand that it’s all on a spectrum of different and opposing traits. But if I were to hear something that I don’t understand or initially agree with, I would have a hard time not taking it as Gospel Truth and losing hope. I really need to feel confident in my own self-analysis before I let a Narcissistic Psychopath tell me what and who I am. (No offence, HG! I really would love to hear your thoughts some day when I feel stronger).

          1. Asp Emp says:

            Melmel, thank you for your response. Why do you need to care about what others think about you? I understand what you mean when you say “I tend to obsess about it until I work myself up into a very dark mental spiral that makes it difficult for me to function in life” – there are some people that do this – which appears ‘normal’ to the individuals that do it but may appear ‘different’ in the eyes of others that may not quite understand.

            May I suggest that you look at HG as an individual that is doing a task rather than attaching any ‘labels’to him as a person?

            As you have said that you already have had a ‘personality inventory’ done on yourself, that is how you can view the TDC when you get round to doing it – it is a ‘measurement’ of the strengths & weaknesses of your empathic / narcissistic traits within you as an individual. I took part in ’16 Personalities’ test (online) and it was interesting to get an idea of myself via a different type of test.

            Only do these sort of things when you are ready, in the meantime, enjoy reading some of HG’s work & comments on the blog 🙂

          2. Melmel says:

            Asp Emp to answer your question,

            The need to care what people think about me is a learned response from the Empath/Narcissist dynamic in my childhood. My father is a narcissist (Lesser based on HG’s descriptions), and my mother was an Empath (probably Codependent majority). Being Codependent and very intelligent, my mother tried to manage her anxiety through controlling everything and everyone including her narcissistic husband which made for some very interesting power dynamics when my father felt wounded by her. Part of her wounding was the concept that I was not his child, but only hers (as if by refusing him emotional access to me she was protecting me from him).

            This made me a sort of a Codependent Golden Child, and a Narcissistic Scapegoat. She saw me as an extension of herself; so does he. She died a while ago and he often triangulates her as a form of control: “she took care of me so now you have to”, “I am entitled to all the fuel she provided, so now that she’s gone, that job falls to you”, “I never had any luck with women, except your mother. You look so much like her right now”. I had a bit of a reprieve when he met a younger woman on holiday and fell madly in love, then said “to hell with Covid and the fact that I’m living for free at my daughter’s expense, I’m going to move there to be with the love of my life until she dumps me and moves on to the next sucker that’s more than twice her age”.

            But my fuel was never as potent to him as my mother’s, so since childhood I’ve been a scapegoat for his abuse. Neglect, abandonment, insults… never enough, but at the same time always Too Much. So that attachment was broken or distanced in my adolescence. Weird I knew the relationship was “Grey Rock”, but didn’t recognize what he was or was continuing to do until recently.

            The attachment with my mother, therefore was everything. She needed me to be perfect, so I tried to be perfect for her. She lived vicariously through me, so I tried to achieve higher for her. But she also had her own pain, and because she did not know how to heal her own trauma (her father was physically abusive and quite likely also a narcissist, which is why she was attracted to my father), she couldn’t teach me how to navigate the same life experiences that occurred because of my Daddy Issues, any differently than how she had managed with hers. Thus I always felt like a constant disappointment to her – I was only just a reminder to her of her own past failures played out in front of her eyes as her child that she felt totally powerless to save. Then she died.

            I really feel like I let her down by not listening to her when she was still alive. If I had the knowledge about the narcissistic dynamic then that I do now, I could have avoided a lot of pain… which would have translated to causing her less pain or maybe even helping her heal. So I care what people think because I cared what she thought, and I want to achieve all the things that she had hoped for me (even though I know a lot of her hope was to increase her own codependent sense of self-worth). And because my dad couldn’t give a flying fuck how amazing I was as a child, it was never good enough. I was always too much like Her.

  6. December Infinity says:

    This scenario reminds me of the marriage I left in 2008. The woman my then husband was involved with behind my back had notified me she was seeing him (she stole my mobile phone). She was determined to have him, based on his woeful stories of being in a terrible marriage. I tried to end it earlier by letting the then husband know that she had contacted me and left me a series of messages (she had the MOST ANNOYING voice I have ever heard in my life), to which I quipped to him, “Acting as though you are single? That can be arranged.” He supposedly cooled it off but not for long as I quickly realized. They kept up the relationship and once things escalated to a horrific extent in the marriage, I left. She would have had no idea what I had to put up with. I guess she would have found out the hard way what she was about to be dealing with. I never looked back. I think the ex-husband would have lost his appeal quickly once she realized that he had no idea how to function as an adult and how filthy he was. Then again, maybe not.

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