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 streak 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 :-
- Ensure the OP’s partner knows what has happened in detail and will encourage them to walk away from the OP;
- Ensure other people know about the OP’s behaviour;
- 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 :-
- Tell the OP’s Partner about their existence;
- Focus on winning back/retaining the OP’s interest;
- 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.
One thought on “The Dirty Empath : Relationship Breaker”
My father had a relationship with a woman who I guess I must call a DEMB. He didn’t tell her he was married. When she found out she considered leaving him. But she believed she was too far in and could no longer disentangle herself. She was in love. Plus, he persuaded her to continue the relationship.
I am not sure when I came into the picture but I have a potential (it is occasionally disputed) half-sister whose mother is another woman again – and she is a year and a half younger than I am. I am not 100% sure of the timeline as everyone involved has a slightly different story, but I don’t think all three of these women were with my father at any one point. I think in the earliest stages my mother and other women (of varied significance) were in relationships with my father simultaneously, then my father married my mother, those other relationships continued, then I came along, then one of the other (more significant) women became pregnant. That relationship turned sour, then my father formed a relationship with new DEMB who he probably already knew. His marriage continued. He spent alternate nights and alternating weekends with each and parented his other daughter who visited him when he was with the DEMB.
All the evidence points to him being a narcissist of some kind and he did have a very difficult childhood. At his funeral one of his much older brothers (who was charged with speaking about his early life) said he wanted to find something good to say about his childhood but couldn’t find anything. But he was always there for me – a very kind and generous person who never let me down.
I have always seen his relationships as him trying to fill a void inside himself – and always having a fall-back plan in case of the women let him down – so that he was always in control and always had someone to care about him. Both my mother and the DEMB were both very caring women.