When An Empath Loves A Narcissist: The Lure Of The Broken Soul
Guest post by Steve Waller
When An Empath Loves A Narcissist: The Lure Of The Broken Soul
They occupy opposite ends of the love spectrum, but empaths and narcissists often find themselves coupled up in unlikely relationships. But why? What is it that attracts one to the other?
This article will focus mainly on why empaths find themselves pulled towards narcissists, how they get trapped, and what they have to do to escape.
What The Empath Sees
Gifted with the ability to sense the underlying emotions and feelings of others, an empath is uniquely placed to see into the depths of a narcissist’s being to the wounded, unhappy soul that resides there.
Upon discovering this pained creature, the instinctual response of the empath is to try to help, heal, and love them.
Before they know it, they become entangled with this narcissist and the toxic relationship begins.
How They Get Sucked In
Narcissists can, when required, display copious amounts of charm and charisma. You might think that empaths would be less susceptible to this artificial persona, but it is precisely because they are beings of love that they wish to see the best in everyone.
They can sense the pain that is hidden behind the smile and the wit, while, at the same time, believing that this act is some sort of suppressed character trying to assert control. They think that they can help free it through their care and affection.
They envisage a time in the future when this narcissistic individual can become a changed person, cured of all their bad traits and free from pain. Once they believe in this possibility, they feel compelled to try to make it a reality.
What Stops Them Leaving
It won’t be too long before an empath begins to regret their decision to get involved with the narcissist. The person they initially fall for will quickly disappear, revealing the true nature of the beast.
The empath will shower love and kindness on the narcissist – to the point where it turns into adoration – in an attempt to purge the pain from them and soothe their damaged spirit.
But to the narcissist, this sort of attention is like a drug; they simply can’t get enough of it. And unfortunately for the empath, it only serves to reinforce the egoistic self-adulation.
Then comes the game playing and manipulation. To maintain their air of superiority, a narcissist will seek to control every situation involving their empath partner. They will use destructive and demeaning language to tear them apart, piece by piece, until they can exert their utter dominance.
In spite of all their good intentions, the empath will find themselves in a trap; one of loving a person who is incapable of caring for them, let alone showing love back.
But they aren’t yet aware of this trap; they continue to seek the narcissist’s affection in a vain attempt to mend the broken heart they see before them. They struggle to understand what is happening to them because, from their position, the behavior of their partner is utterly incomprehensible.
What happens next is quite possibly the most damaging aspect of the whole process: the empath looks at all of the pain and trauma now filling their life and pins the blame squarely on themselves.
Rather than accept that the narcissist is the cause of all their misery like they should, they insist that it is they who have failed. They wrongly believe that all the conflict and resentment in the relationship is their fault; that they somehow didn’t try hard enough to rid their lover of the pain they endure.
From this self-blame grows an unwillingness to do what is required; to break up with their narcissist partner. They proceed to lock themselves in their own prison by forfeiting their right to be happy. They insist that to do so would only heap more misery on the already tormented soul they have such affection for.
How They Finally Break Free
There is only one method of escape for the empath and that is to fully open their eyes to the situation they are in. In order to make a break for freedom, they must first understand that the original lure of the narcissist was misguided.
They must realize that it is nobody’s duty to fix another; that they have no responsibility to stay with their partner any longer. They must accept that whether the narcissist will ever change is not something they have any say in; they can only captain their own ship and it’s time to choose a different course.
This will not, by any means, be the last they hear from the narcissist. In an all-out bid to regain what they see as a possession, they will declare their undying love for the empath, swear they have changed, and make many promises that they know they cannot keep.
They will turn the charm back on and, for a while, the empath may see some of what they initially found so appealing. But if the empath can hold their nerve during this period, the narcissist will eventually unleash a barrage of malicious words and actions in a desperate attempt to pull their victim back in. This can be extremely difficult to endure and it can seem like the whole world is crashing down around you, but you must hold firm.
Leaving a narcissist isn’t the end of the story for the empath; it will take a long time for them to put the pieces of their life back together and even longer to regain their faith in the goodness of other people. But they will have broken the bond that so often draws empaths and narcissists together.
Are you an empath who has been through such a trial? Leave a comment below and share you thoughts and experiences.
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Steve Waller is the founder of A Conscious Rethink – a growing voice in the world of mind, body and spirit. He has benefited greatly from self-help books and other aspects of the personal development movement, and now wants to share some of his knowledge and wisdom with those who need it. His Facebook page reaches millions of people each week with its mix of inspirational quotes, motivational videos, and helpful articles.
16 thoughts on “When An Empath Loves A Narcissist: The Lure Of The Broken Soul”
I too have experienced this. And it’s very difficult when you have had children with a narcissist… I left my husband of 20 years due to his infidelety, and alcohol and abusing pain meds. Its been 5 years… I’m still dealing with emotional issues from my children and the pain it’s caused them that I left their father. Even when I tell them the truth and I’ve been struggling ever since and I’ve gone without to make sure they have what they needed… Its still not enough. The efforts I give go unnoticed. I was victimized by my ex and now my kids are acting out and doing the same to me. It’s a mess…
Hugs to you. Read more about how to protect yourself from negative energy on my blog!
Great article sums up.the situation so well.
I have been there now putting the pieces of myself back together. The challenge for an empath is not to partner with another narcassistic
Not being in a relationship.now creats the space to think and feel.
Good job on putting yourself back together and learning to move on to someone who does not act like this! <3
Okay how do you stay away from the Narcissist for good? I think/ now believe this individual was a past life relationship (I grew up Mormon so that should say how far I came from my thought process and how strong this relationship was). I met him so randomly and very romantic and spontaneous. We had really fun, great moments. And very low moments as well. My young children fell in love with him as well and I had forgiven him countless times but I always stood my ground and left and created distance when needed or I felt we’d had enough. I can’t seem to get him out of my head, it’s consuming so much of me and I’ve lost myself and my relationships with others. My empathic ways have turned into quite a bit of isolation and depression, I feel like I physically need him. (This writing is horrible I apologize, I do write quite often), however this is me speaking off the top of my head and exposing the ugliness in all this. My dad died a month after I met this Man (I was 30) it has been 2 1/2 years and idk how to get over this and find my happiness and confidence back. Any suggestions…..
Hi June. Let me see if I can write an additional post for you on this:) Hugs!
I lived through this (to a major extreme) with my ex-wife for 8 years. If I began to tell our stories, no one would believe it. We’re both celebrities in the spotlight, and I am an empathy who was aggressively pursued and bulldozed by a narcissist. I have 2 daughters (and another from one of her affairs), and although I have custody of the children and no contact with her, she finds ways to launch attacks every time she’s destroys another relationship and her focus turns back to me.
So sorry to hear. I can imagine that would be very tiring. I do my weekly Live shows to help my readers on my big page own up to whatever is happening in their life and to try to make the best of it. You are welcome to join us Thursdays at 10a.m. EST on my page.
Started shaking when I read this…… it’s sinking in.
That is a completely accurate description.
This is the story of my life. Can’t understand why I keep ending up with women like that
Empaths need lots of support. Use the search on “journal” or read more under the Head|Heart|Health Club. We have to raise our vibration of energy to start attracting the same frequency if that makes sense. hugsxx
I am that empath girl 20+ years and dying inside. Forgotten who I am. He has made me completely dependent on him and those stories are him to a tee. I’m lost and miserable.
Kristi, hey hun. Start watching my weekly FB Live shows on the FB Fan page for this blog. There are ways to get back to yourself and I also encourage you to click on the post called Head|Heart|Health Club <3 ~Aimee
This can happen with close friends too. I got close to a guy who I thought was wonderful. So full of charisma and charming. Gave me lots of attention.
Started off sucking me into his world with lots of ‘whoa is me’ stories and I felt sorry for him. He’d had a hard life. Let me wave a magic wand and make it all go away. I started to rely on his attention and support in my life but once I was hooked he started to get nasty to me. If I ever said anything he said I was overthinking and being dramatic. I thought I had to try harder to give him space or be kinder or more loving.
He used alcohol and gambling a lot to mask his own pain, cheating and lying on partners and generally keeping me down where he wanted me. He would never compliment me or do anything to please me but expected me to stroke his ego often and always took what he wanted.
A few times I tried to escape as in stop talking to him, but he kept sucking me back in, and then once he had what he wanted from me in the form of free driving lessons and some free business tuition he had no need for me anymore.
Instead of conducting a sensible adult relationship where we just go about our seperate ways happily, he started to get really nasty to the point where I thought it was all me. And he told lots of lies. I didn’t realize that once the narcissist person is finished with you, they try to dispose of you. He is already onto his next victim.
I’m so glad a friend posted an article online about this relationship problem so I could see what the truth was. Otherwise I might have gone on for years being mentally put down and abused by him and thinking I wasn’t good enough. Two and a half years of this mental torture and mind games was enough. I’m free.
Feel this is the situation I am falling into. Am I strong enough to get out. Narcisists have such an attractive, dangerous draw that to me is like a drug. Mentally damaging and physically intoxicating.