I’ve read multiple articles about the dysfunctional relationship between empathic women and narcissistic men. They write about the narcissist knowing how to manipulate the empath, dangling a carrot of what seems like love, so that she’ll continue to stick around.
It’s a titillating topic, especially given that some would say the U.S. has a “Narcissist-in-Chief” right now.
This, however, is not the type of relationship most empathic women need to worry about. Most empathic women do not pair up with narcissists. Most empathic women have enough self-love and respect not to get caught up in those webs.
Most empathic women who choose men choose good, kind, caring men.
Why, then do these couples struggle to have the loving, joyful, harmonious connections they crave?
How do those couples end up in the dull, lifeless land of “This could be so much worse. Do I get to admit that it sucks?”
After living it and watching it happen around me, I can definitely shed some light on this.
Before I do so, let me assure you that I blame no one. There’s no “fault,” only two people both acting upon a multi-generational build-up of unconscious conditioning.
“Unconscious” meaning they don’t realize they’re doing it. I can see the patterns because I was given the gift of living through them, so that I could help us all end this dysfunction within a generation.
Here is where it ends.
You might be aware (I say a little tongue-in-cheek) that for many centuries, mankind has suppressed anything that relates to femininity and feminine energy.
That time is coming to an end now, hence the rising up of women and all that is feminine.
While so much focus has been placed on the effects of this suppression on women, men have been affected too, being conditioned to suppress what is feminine within themselves – namely, their emotions.
The so-called “war on women” that certain men seem to be waging right now is a projection of their fear of their own feminine side, as they were taught to equate the softness of emotion with weakness.
Meanwhile the women who support those endeavors – e.g., by voting for bills which suppress their own rights – are acting in accord with that same unconscious message of ruling out weakness.
But these are not the men or women we’re talking about.
The man who couples with an empathic woman is fighting a war within himself, because he too is a natural empath. This ability to feel deeply is not exclusive to women; in fact, in my study of relationships and Human Design, it seems to me that more empathic men are being born with each generation.
The war within him occurs because while the soul of this good, empathic man pushes him to embrace his whole self – masculine and feminine alike – his ego, fathered by previous generations, silently equates his feeling feminine side with weakness, and he received the conditioning that says above all else, do not appear weak.
He has found his way to the empathic woman by destiny or design, so that she can connect him with the strong emotions he was never taught to express.
Neither of them know this, of course, so here’s what happens instead (perhaps you recognize this):
When they first meet, it’s fireworks. They light things up in each other that neither has experienced before. They are, for a time, their whole and best selves.
The intimacy (including sex) is amazing, because as a woman in touch with her feelings, she is able to welcome his energy into hers.
And as an empath, she is able to siphon off him any negative emotions that would block him from feeling his.
She does this automatically, unconsciously, as an act of love but also self-service, because what her ego wants most is to feel loved by him. And by having those blocks cleared, he is able to feel strongly for her.
This is her multi-generational conditioning at work – one which might make her gag if she heard herself think it – that a man’s love is what she needs to be safe.
The problem occurs if she doesn’t know that she’s moving his negative energy, so she can’t take steps to discharge/discard it.
Instead, it stays within her. And stays. And stays.
It piles up until her energetic container becomes full, perhaps more full of his energy than hers. But she doesn’t know this.
She only knows that something in her has started to recoil from being close to him anymore.
Because what comes after “full” is “shattered,” which her protective mechanisms kick in to prevent.
She doesn’t know why she can’t be close to him anymore, because of course she still desires to be. He is still the good, kind, caring, man that she fell in love with. And closeness is something she enjoys.
Or used to. But not now.
Now, she doesn’t want sex or hugging or touching of any kind because it all makes her hairs stand on end. She’s just fine on the other end of the couch, thank you very much.
He notices and attempts to fix it by trying harder. Closeness – perhaps in the form of sex, or perhaps he recognizes the difference – becomes the one thing he wants more than anything. Whatever will bridge the distance that makes him feel rejected, unattractive, unworthy.
What neither of them know is the other benefit he gets from closeness: the ability to have his negative feelings (about anything) siphoned off by her. It’s not an orgasm that makes him feel better, but the proximity to her empathic abilities and the release from all the crappy feelings he doesn’t know how handle himself.
But that proximity, unfortunately, now makes her skin crawl because she is full up.
If this goes unresolved, the distance will grow until they break up.
Or worse, they’ll stay together and miserable because “good people don’t cheat or leave.”
They’ll spend the rest of their lives in the gray land, knowing it could be worse, optimistic that it will somehow get better, but having no clue how to make that happen.
They’ll live the rest of their lives together but apart.
What, then, does it take prevent this sad ending?
As with anything, it starts with recognizing the true nature of the problem.
The empathic woman will decide the solution is more self-care, following the message she sees all around her and hopes is right. She’ll try meditation and yoga and girls’ nights out and salt baths and Reiki and all sorts of “me time.”
Those will help a little, the way an aspirin might dull the pressure caused by a brain tumor.
They’ll also widen the chasm between her and the good man, as he sits home alone, feeling more and more rejected.
When she finally feels ready for closeness again – or convinces herself that she’s ready, for the sake of her man and their relationship – all of the negative energy that’s been building up in him will transfer to her.
And so the cycle starts again – but worse, because this time her overwhelm came all at once instead of a gradual build.
Is there, then, any real solution?
They both need deep healing of the core issues which put them in this position.
He needs to release the conditioning which says he’s not a real man if he expresses emotion, so that he can learn to handle his feelings himself.
She needs to heal the core wound that says she is only lovable if she carries this burden for her man.
They both need to heal the fear of abandonment and rejection that prevent the honest communication that is necessary for true intimacy.
These patterns can be changed slowly, perhaps with therapy.
Or, they can be healed directly – much faster.
Once those wounds are healed, the empathic woman and good man need to rebuild many patterns of their relationship upon this new foundation.
It takes work, and it must be both of them who do the work, in order to stay together.
The reward, however, is immeasurable: Not just restored intimacy but new levels of it. A conscious joining of partners who are in the relationship because they choose to stay.
Joyfully together because each one knows how to fill and empty their own energy container.
Bringing only their best selves to each other.