Questions about Dealing with Emotional Dissociation

Hello  I enjoyed your article on Intuitives, Empaths, and the Dissociated person.  I am traveling through a very difficult time in my life and have literally felt like I don’t know what hit me.  I am an intuitive but just beginning my spiritual journey.  I am a scientist with an open mind and am finding so much truth in the spiritual side of life. 

I have been married for 12 years and although my wife is a great mother (we have two boys), I have discovered that I am in an abusive relationship – abusive emotionally.  I have discovered this after countless hours of research and reading and talking to many different people including a year of counseling (both with my wife and by myself).  My close family members have told me for years that things were not as I observed – I was ordered around and not loved or respected.  My wife is not a bad person, but we don’t seem to function well together, unless I am taking care of all of the emotion.  We are different creatures.  I have felt like my energy has slowly been drained over the years and now I have nothing left to give to her.

It appears that our marriage is over.  I have no desire to jump through the next higher layer of hoops to win her over.  We have both said that in our gut we know it is over.  We are separted but still sleeping in the same bed and this is the plan for a year.  I have withdrawn my emotional energy from her and I am feeling better, but at times she seems bitter.  I am preparing to move on, but finding I feel uneasy and lonely at times.

I have two questions in relation to your article.  First, myself and others that I have shown this article to do not quite understand what is meant by the intuitive processing the dissociated persons emotional energy for them.   I can understand that my energy field has been drained, but not the processing part.

The second part of my question is, is it better to stay in a dead-end relationship for kids sake or is it more important for my soul and that of my children (and even my wife’s) to move on and be true to myself and hope to find another person of similar spirit?  I know similar people to me are out there, in fact I believe I met a soul mate of mine 10 years ago – we have been close friends since.   I know there are studies, some of which say it is best to stay together (for the kids sake), but others say it is best to show the kids true happiness, which can’t be found in the current relationship.  So from a spiritual perspective, what is best for myself, my wife, and our kids?  I truly believe that my wife is dissociated and has deep emotional sadness and pain (which I can’t get to in order to help), therefore the direction that I am heading appears to match what your article recommends – step out of the way gently, which I interpret to mean that I should move on (I am not suggesting that your article is telling me to leave my wife!).

I know from my core that I must move on.  My counselor has told me this and he is helping me move in this direction – not pushing me but definately guiding me, my family has suggested this, my wife wants to.   I guess since I haven’t done this before, it does terrify me, but I also know that I am happy on my own and will always be – alone or not, my happiness comes from within. I love life, my job, my kids, and the journey that I am just starting.  I am finding strength in my soul mate, friends, family, counseling, and wonderfully insightful articles such as this. 

I guess what I am looking for someone to tell me it is okay to move on, in fact it is the right thing to do.  I definately have the strength to do this, but it is incredibly difficult at times.  I know that you do not know me, so I am looking for a broader spiritual answer and not necessarily one specific to my situation.  I am mainly concerned about my children and how this will affect them.  I had hoped and expected to be with them every day of their childhood.

Thanks for your time,


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33 Responses to Questions about Dealing with Emotional Dissociation

  1. Administrator says:

    Hi NeoInsight,

    Thank you for sharing your story and your questions. First, in regard to your marriage, whether to stick with the marriage or not is a question only YOU can answer.

    Remember living the life of an Intuitive means being guided by the Soul, by the Heart, and not by anything or anyone else, even other Intuitives. So, I turn this decision back to you. Besides, it is already clear you know what to do. Courage is taking the actions you know you must take even though you are terrified, and even though the rest of you might not be sure your Soul knows what it is doing.

    As for the unwitting or unhealthy Empath/Intuitive processing the emotions of others, think of it this way. We tend to take on roles in families. Someone may be good at paying bills and earning money, someone may be good at event planning. What tends to happen is if one person is better at handling a certain emotion than the other, that person will channel and process that emotion for the group/family/marriage. I have had client couples in which one person in the couple processes all the anger, and the other processes all the sadness. This isn’t necessarily a problems as long as we’re aware of what is going on.

    It’s important that the Empath be at choice about this, because channeling anyone’s emotions for them long term can weaken the other person and set up the Empath in a Rescuer position on the Drama Triangle, especially if the other doesn’t learn how to deal with their emotions. At the same time, holding someone’s grief or pain temporarily can be a great gift. When my husband’s mother was dying, I ended up holding my husband’s grief for him so he could be fully present and grounded at her death bed. It turned that last day for them both into one of healing and joy, but it came at a cost to me, especially since I didn’t have a lot of training at the time to understand what was happening. The clue was that I was experiencing all the grief and tears, and my husband did not. This was a temporary state—afterwards I sent all his energy back to him when he had the space to deal with it.

    If you are an Empath married to someone who is Dissociated from their Emotions almost entirely, you will end up processing all the emotional energy that the Dissociated person can not handle. This is incredibly draining because that energy is not yours to begin with. Dissociated Heroes tend to push all emotionally heavy content away from them, and the Empath ends up being a psychic garbage pail.

    Take a look at my essay on my website on Emotional Advocacy–it might help to clarify.

    Hope this helps,
    and Good Luck!!


  2. NeoInsight says:

    Hi Elaine

    Thanks so much for your answer. It is scary following the push from within sometimes, but I have been through some other difficult experiences (including going out on my own in business) and I followed my instinct and have never looked back – the rewards are many.

    As for processing emotions, I would like to share with you an experience from yesterday. I visited my friend who might be my soulmate. We have always been bonded by something – we talk readily and literally energize each other just from talking. I have always cared for her and her for me. Yes, I do find her attractive, but a line has not been crossed in our friendship. Perhaps someday it will, but now is certainly not the time.

    As I said, I have always felt a strong bond with her and have not understood why (up until this past year). During our short conversation yesterday, with your words and guidance on my mind, I was listening to her tell my about some things that were happening in her life and I realized that I was feeling an energy from her. It was almost tangible to me. It was like a wave of energy – I could feel her emotions going up and down and I literally felt a force – a good force. I was momentarily stunned and mentioned to her that I could feel her emotions. We didn’t have time to talk further and I headed out.

    After leaving her place and picking something up at a store, I was driving home and remember a few months ago when my friend and her husband had a fight – it took place over four days and I was aware of each step and there in person for some of it. It ended unpleasantly and she phoned me to tell me what had happened. I remember feeling sick to my stomach through the process, even though I had marriage troubles of my own to deal with. Then I had a chill go down my spine (on my drive home) and it lasted for about a minute – never had I had it that long before and those don’t happen often.

    I realized what was going on. I started to really grasp emotional energy. My bond with my friend is there because we share this energy somehow. I read her really well and can feel energy from her, and the same for her with me. That is why I have always been so comfortable with her – I feel alive around her. I was so excited after realizing this and I am still buzzed a full day later. I do not know what to make of it, except to continue our friendship as part of this journey.

    I can’t recall ever having felt that way with my wife, except perhaps just at the start of our relationship. I feel fortunate to have found my friend because by studying our friendship, how it works, and what is actually going on, it has enabled me to clarify things and move forward on this journey much quicker than if I had not had her in my life. I had hoped that by understanding our friendship, I could then apply that knowledge to my marriage and make things better. But when I tried to apply that, it didn’t work. It didn’t work because of the dissociation within my wife – at least that is what I believe at this time.

    Anyway, that was another incredible experience for me yesterday and I owe it to you – it was your insights that helped me to see clearly what was happening. I don’t understand why exactly the energy and bond are there between my friend and I, but I can only look forward! I have used the word soulmate because as far as I understand the definition, she fits.



  3. Administrator says:

    Hi NeoInsight,

    Yes, you are beginning to understand that you are sensing emotional energy between you and your friend, and that it is a very active exchange. This is an exciting time!

    However, this is also a time of danger for you, so I suggest that you use your very strong intellectual/scientific observation skills and attempt to avoid many of the pitfalls of the beginning Empath by observing very carefully and examining motivations before you act further. Sometimes we have to learn by experience, so if that happens, your Soul needs it, but if I can help you avoid some pain and suffering, I’m glad to do so!

    Please take these general comments about Empaths as they apply to you. They don’t apply to every Empath, but I’d like you to think about this, given what you have already shared. The following is based on my personal experience and the experiences of my clients, who tend to be mostly Empaths.

    Believe it or not, beginning Empaths are just as confused about their emotional energy as emotionally dissociated people are. Empaths invite lots of emotional energy, they even try to stir it up, while Dissociated people push emotional energy away (mostly as a defense mechanism) In some ways this is a balance.

    When a beginning Empath awakens from a deadened relationship, the Empath can tend to go overboard, having been starved of emotional connection. I have seen and have had many clients feel a deep connection to the first person to be in touch with her emotions. This connection can feel very profound, and Empaths tend to confuse this connection with True Love, or “this is My Soul Mate”, etc. when in fact, if the beginning Empath examined the person with whom they are interacting very carefully, they might see many wounds that lead to bad behaviors that create a chaotic life. It is the chaos and pain that creates the connection rather than a bond based on healthy combined interests, respect, and responsible choices.

    My point is that beginning Empaths, when they awaken, can confuse the emotional whirlwind with Love. They can give their emotional state and their emotional bonds with others too much importance, disregarding other ways of connecting that can be just as important but are not valued by the Empath, precisely because they feel so alive within the emotional exchange.

    This isn’t to say that the emotional exchange is not important. All Empaths, all healthy people, need this exchange to have a truly rewarding relationship. This is to say that the Empath will feel this exchange with anyone broadcasting emotional energy!!!!!!!! Just because the exchange is there does NOT mean the other is a Soul Mate. In fact, the Empath needs to be very suspicious of himself when drawing this conclusion. The Empath also needs to know that healthy people are at choice about how much emotional energy to exchange with others. Unlike the Dissociated person, who is emotionally blocked as a defense, these people have energetic boundaries with their emotions that are flexible. They can decide whether to let a person in or not. It tends to be the beginning Empath who lets it all hang out, or unhealthy or Drama-ridden people inviting an unwitting new Empath onto the Drama Triangle

    I have had multiple clients make this mistake and have watched these Empaths ruin their lives, spreading heavy collateral damage among their families and children, by investing in a realtionship with someone they believed to be their Soul Mate, when actually that person was stuck in Drama and perpetual Crisis. This is not Love or Connection, this is a Trap.

    The way to avoid this trap is to realize that as an Empath, you will feel these exchanges with many people, but you will feel them the strongest with those that have qualities that you have not developed or owned in yourself as yet. It is the nature of being in love to project onto a Love Object. You see your unowned self in your friend, and you like what you see. Once you take that out of the picture, NeoInsight, then what is left?

    In summary, Pitfalls for Empaths are to be caught in the emotional whirlwind and confuse that with Love, to be caught in Drama and be drained or drain others (see the entries on Drama), to place too much importance on the emotional exchange and too little importance on the character and choices of the other. The Empath also tends to make the mistake of thinking that an unethical affair happens only physically, when most of the damage happens emotionally–ironic, given the importance that the Empath places on his emotions!

    So, please tread carefully, NeoInsight! The surest way to navigate this time is to hold fast to your personal integrity, to realize that your exchange of emotional energy is a sacred gift and should be undertaken with a person that you can hold in respect and trust in many areas of life, not just the emotional, and who is completely free of Drama and bondage from previous relationships/agreements, and to make your decisions based on your ethics rather than solely upon your feelings.

    All the best,

  4. NeoInsight says:

    Hi Elaine

    I must say, you are one of the most insightful people that I have “met” in my life. With your first article that I encountered, you defined my marriage and its problems. Then with your latest response you have nailed a hidden fear of mine on the head. I have a nagging fear about my friend whom I consider to possibly be my soul mate. I am concerned about how she fights in her relationships and wonder if I was ever with her, would that pattern continue (I would not fight but she may attack me?). Would we get together and then have it be a nightmare? At least I am progressing at a very cautious pace. I am not leaving my wife to be with my friend (the option is not open from my end or my friends) -if my wife wants to salvage our marriage, I am game – I just can’t go on with the way things have been. Having my friend in my life complicates things, but also has allowed for a lot of clarity, opened my eyes to the potential to someday be in love again, allows comparison between our friendship and what works in that friendship to my marriage, and we are sharing this spiritual journey as friends.

    My friend lost her dad to illness in her early teens. She is close to her mom and brother and her mom is quite involved in her life. Her mom is a wonderful lady and her brother is a super nice guy. Her family, her life goals, her character, etc, all seem to fit with mine and she would fit in well with my family. I could take her and plug her in as my wife and my family would probably love her. She is a great mom, good with money, and her temperament etc match what I want in my relationship. [my wife thinks she is manipulative]

    My friend met her X-husband when she was 18 and they were together for about 17 years. He turned out to be a gambler and alcoholic but on the wagon when I knew him. My friend had bailed him out of debt twice during their time together. In the end, with her 4 months pregnant, he took off, he had an affair in there, and she hasn’t seen him since. They fought a lot at the end (when I got involved) and I was in the middle of one of their screaming matches and I must say that stressed the heck out of me.

    My wife and I believe that my friend really wanted another child so when she finally started dating again and met her new guy, she was pregnant very soon after and now has a 2 year-old – we were not surprised. I thought that she’d be fine with her new guy and in fact we had gotten together many times since they met – for dinners etc. Then it wasn’t long into it that they were fighting. I didn’t understand. I did observe one of their recent fights and I must say from my perspective, the whole thing was silly. If I were with her, that fight would not have happened. The majority of the triggers were pulled by him – not her, and some of what he did was astounding. She just stands up for what she believes in at the time whereas I tend to be more reserved. The problem with my way is that I store up and then blow up later. With her way there are fights.

    I talked to my friend’s brother for the first time a few months ago and he said his sister is very headstrong and likes her own way. I have spoken to her mom recently and she described her daughter and headstrong and argumentative.

    My friend and I can and have talked about everything – very deep stuff. As mentioned, we both feel great when together – we respect each other, listen to each other, and somehow really care about each other. Something that I don’t understand, however, is that we are both the jealous type, yet she is willing to have me very close to her – I have told her that I really like her (after I gave up on my marriage) and that if the timing is ever right, I hope that she’d consider a relationship with me. Although she has said we can’t be together due to complications, etc, she has never said NO. She has always accommodated me – spent time with me when I wanted it -more so than I would think a woman in her position should.

    So my concerns center on her fighting in her relationships and the fact that she has me very close to her, yet she is the jealous type. My friend has asked her new guy more than once if it bothers him that I am close – he has said no, but both my friend and I think he is dissociated and he even admits it. To me, she shouldn’t allow me to be so close, unless she either has no feelings for me, or unless she has a lot but they are deep within her and not at a conscious level yet? She is overwhelmed with a young child, work, and relationship problems, and at times having me shower her with affection. I must also consider though that it is okay to have friends that won’t cross lines if the spouse doesn’t mind.

    My friend has told me and in fact almost begged me to not leave my wife in order to have a hope of being with her. That was noble of her (most of our talk is about hypothetical situations – we are not making plans of any sort). She has not promised me anything, we have not had any physical contact, and although we have what some might call an emotional affair, I am not moving forward with plans of having a relationship with her. I hope that if I do move on, that someday we can, but I don’t expect that.

    Even with your insightful advice and words of caution, I think my friend is fine. She is not perfect, but I don’t think she is reacting to personal chaos and pain. We have known each other too long for her to be consciously manipulating me. If she wanted me she likely would have tried harder to get me after her divorce and would not have had a child with her new guy. She may be keeping me close because deep down she does have strong feelings for me, (that would be flattering to me) but she hasn’t done anything inappropriate, as far as I am concerned. Then again, there is a lot for me to think about since I am somewhat naive with respect to women and with your words on my mind.

    I just wanted to stress that I did not start to investigate my friendship with my friend until after I gave up (not 100%) on my marriage. I do feel guilty at times for liking another woman, but I am following my push from within.

    Thanks so much!


  5. Administrator says:

    I’m glad the comment was helpful!

    Your friend is a classic on the Drama Triangle. Be very careful! Study up on it so you recognize the behavior. It does not matter if she is one way with one person and another way with you. People who play on the Triangle play all the roles of Victim, Rescuer, and Bully, again and again and again.

    Most people don’t play the Triangle consciously. It is unconscious, archetypal behavior. It is the way people stay in prison, and they don’t do their life’s work. I doubt your friend is consciously manipulating you, but that doesn’t mean she couldn’t unconsciously suck you in or retaliate against you, or stir up trouble, or a whole slew of other possibilities. I see it in your descriptions, NeoInsight, so tread carefully. I highly recommend you study what’s written on the web, plus on my website, on Drama. This behavior, because it is archetypal, is predictable. If your counselor is good, he’ll be able to go over the Drama Triangle with you.

    Empaths get sucked into this archetypal behavior without even realizing what is going on. You need to be careful!!!!!!! You can get sucked into one of the roles and not even know what is happening. If your friend is really committed to making herself happy, encourage her to get a handle on this, too.

    Everything you have described to me is Drama. You don’t need that. Believe me, life is complicated and beautiful enough without the Drama!! Beware the emotional affair. I sense you’re already in sticky territory there, even though you are trying to stay out of it.



  6. NeoInsight says:

    Again Wow! You have given me so much to think about – just when I thought I was getting myself together and grounded my world gets turned upside down again – believe me I see this as only positive and more opportunity to grow and be more useful to myself and others in the future.

    I read several web pages discussing the drama triangle. It took me a while (and some email guidance from you), but I see myself as a big actor in this game. I thought at first that I wasn’t in it, I figured that my wife was, my friend was, but no, it is myself and my friend and my wife!

    You specified that I needed to look within myself and figure out where I am the bully in my relationship. This took some time because I do not directly bully my wife – I have always tried to be kind to her. But, I am a bully! It may seem strange to many people, but I bully my wife’s cat. I do not physically abuse it, but I do chase it and scare it. Now this cat represents comfort and security to my wife, so the fact that I choose to bully the cat is quite shameful and I am not proud of it. I know I was mean to the cat, but I actually didn’t know why (I did ask myself that question in the past). When my wife was away, I was actually nice to it. So this new understanding has given me the power to change the way I behave towards the innocent cat.

    The other and perhaps bigger part that I play in Drama (and the reason I get angry and take it out on the poor cat) is that I set myself up as the victim in my relationships. I have only had two serious relationships in my life, and in the first one I ended up in a similar position to where I am in the present. I allowed my girlfriend to bully me – she had control of us. I don’t know how I bullied her (it was a long time ago) but I likely did somewhere. The point is that I was “rescued” by my wife from that relationship. It has led to two wonderful children and a relationship that I do not regret, but it is nice to be aware of my pattern. I allowed my wife to bully me by not addressing issues in the moment. I felt uncomfortable standing up to her at times – I found it easier to back down. The problem is that my anger builds over time and then I took it out on the cat. I was stuck in a long-term triangular cycle!

    This brings me to my friend (soul mate). I now see that our Drama triangles’ overlapped – we rescued each other. Because I was playing the Drama game with my wife, I was vulnerable and looking for people to rescue me – that is why I allowed my friend to get so close to me even though I don’t think it is right to have a close female friend outside of marriage. This explains so much – why I was so attracted to her, why we allowed each other to be close even though we are both the jealous kind, why I felt I “needed” her, why I couldn’t give up that friendship when my wife demanded it.

    What you have given me is the ability to step back from my friend – it has freed me from my life habit. If we had gotten together, I likely would have done the same thing over – allowed myself to become the victim and then things would have proceeded from there. Now, with my new clarity, I can have a friendship with her with no strings and my “need” for her or feelings of soul mate will either go away or be replaced by real, non-Drama feelings.

    I have talked to other friends recently and they appreciate a beginning understanding of the Drama Triangle. It may explain why so many affairs get started – why there are so many divorces. It appears that things like drug abuse and gambling and excessive spending could also be linked to Drama. People use these things as their rescuer.

    I have informed my wife about the triangle and said that I bullied her cat and that it would now stop, which it has and I have found it easy to do so. My wife seemed to appreciate the cat idea but has not asked me anything else about Drama and she doesn’t seem interested. I am assuming that she needs to do a lot of work – a lot of looking inside, but I am not sure if she can do this – I still believe that she is dissociated, which likely has led to at least some of the problems in our marriage.

    I have another question – can people use inanimate objects such as animals and even security blankets as their rescuer? My wife has an item that she cannot be without even for a short trip – it goes everywhere with her. I think it is strange for an adult to have a “security blanket” and not be able to go anywhere (overnight) without it. Isn’t this a reflection of insecurity?

    So, now I feel grounded. I feel sober and a little lost – as though I have fallen off of a cliff and I am picking up the pieces and trying to figure out where I am. This is a real feeling and I think quite a gift that you have given me. I do not know if my marriage can be salvaged, but I am now free to proceed in life without drama, or at least to be aware of it and avoid it. If my marriage is over, then I can move on into a healthy adult relationship. You have empowered me to be a much freer and more useful person and I Thank You!!!

  7. Administrator says:

    Hi NeoInsight,

    That is great that you are learning to step out of Drama. It’s a practice, and it takes work to spot yourself at it. It’s always easier to see others doing it rather than take full responsibility for your own part. The hardest role to spot in ourselves is the Bully Archetype. But when we do, we really make progress in our healing work. It sounds like you’ve done a great job noticing the bully!

    As for your wife’s security blanket, it might be helpful to think of it this way. Dissociated people tend to have suffered a lot of soul loss at a young age. So, to cope and calm themselves, their methods seem rather childlike because in some ways they are frozen in time at the moment in their lives. It’s very common for dissociated heros to carry childhood stuffed animals with them. It may not even be the same stuffed animal, but remade several times over in the original image. In my experience this is an indication of what time the soul loss happened in their lives to leave them so vulnerable and insecure.

    We all have our ways of coping. Addiction is another common way of avoiding the wounds of the soul. The classic Drama Triangle is based upon the addict and the co-dependent, with the co-dependent as enabler/Resucer trying to save the addict/Victim. Sometimes when the addict gets better, the enabler can switch to bully to get things back to the status quo. It is an intersting dynamic to watch. Sometimes when the enabler gets out of the Rescuer position, the Victim will turn Bully and Bully the enabler for a Failed Rescue. It’s a very painful, guilt ridden situation. It’s no wonder that many people do not get out of it.

    Although your Drama was not as severe as the traditional Addict, it was still addictive, and I am glad you are on your way out of it for good, NeoInsight.

    Great Work!!

  8. NeoInsight says:

    Hi Elaine

    It has now been nearly 2 months since my emotionally dissociated wife moved out. The end came abruptly and although I did not ask her to leave and was willing to keep trying, I simply got out of her way and she ran away as fast as she could. I wanted to let you know that not only did that event pass smoothly for me, but I have literally not missed a single moment of her not being in my life. I am upset about the loss of family structure, but I see my kids a lot and we have a really good time together and get some great bonding – in fact I think the kids are better off. It was with your help that this process was made much easier for me and I thank you for that. I believe my X-wife has learned nothing and she is in fact starting to “see” men already. Not necessarily dating, but spending time with single men. She likely never looked inside herself much – she is very much like her mom – a black hole of emotion – sucks everything out of you and then moves on. She always wants change and new, in fact I am the one who is keeping the old “bullied” cat – now that says a lot! She now has three new cats. The old cat and I get along great and I think of her as family.

    Reflecting on my marriage, I can now see that my X maybe never accepted criticism from me – I was always blamed and asked to change – I often looked inside myself and realized she was right, but she never did the same or didn’t appear to. So the end of 12 years of marriage was anticlimactic to me and I hate to say it, but I am better off for it. Thanks so much for helping me find comfort in what can be a devastating transition in life. I understand why our marriage failed and that is why I am comfortable with it.

    You advised me about Drama Triangles and to make sure that the woman I called my soul mate was not close to me due to Drama. Drama Triangles might be the most important thing I have learned about in recent years. I do now realize that the reason I married my to be X-wife was due to Drama and I intend to never make that mistake again. I set myself up as a victim in my relationships and looked for a rescuer – if I was aware of that earlier in life, I might not have been married to her. I have no regrets, but life could have been different.

    As for my soul mate, I distanced myself from her for quite some time but have always kept some contact. I still am trying to stay away and let her figure her own life out. Her current relationship is very difficult to watch – they are completely wrong for each other and are not doing well. As for me, as I said I distanced myself from her and dug deep to determine if there was Drama between us. I also talked to her about Drama and explained that we may be close because we rescue each other, so she is aware and quite interested in the Drama Triangle information. Because we rescued each other, to a certain extent my attraction to her was Drama related, but after working on that, I am finding myself still liking her. In fact, I have to admit that I love her as far as I can tell. I am desperately trying to eliminate these feelings and make sure that they are not Drama related. However, when researching articles such as 10 Reasons to Marry the Wrong Person, The Law of Attraction, and many other articles and books, I find that she is likely the most compatible woman that I have met in my life. She is beautiful inside and out and I can’t shake her – she is to my core. Can Drama still be playing a part in my thinking? I don’t feel that it is – there are too many positive things about my friend, however I am still trying to unravel this one. At least I have the time to work on this.

    As I progress towards divorce, I am finding it more and more lonely – certainly there are a lot of good things happening and I have no desire to go out and meet women at this time. But the problem that I am having and am seeking your advice on is how do I handle my feelings for the soul mate. Remember that I did once ask her that if we were both single some day, would she be interested in me and her answer was that she did not know. I suspect that men are more gullible than women are and that I may just be that guy with one-sided affection for a girl that just needs a friend. However, she has never denied me time and we care a lot for each other and admit that we energize each other and are compatible. Her body language when I am with her tells me that she is interested. I think I was looking for her to release me when I asked her the single question, but I now realize that it is up to me to release me, not her. But alas I have found that I can’t. I believe that I am basically waiting for her to break up to see if she is then interested in me as I suspect she is.

    I think that I can handle this and will be fine, but when I talk to her or see her I definitely feel a “flutter” in my heart and soul. This is more difficult to handle than I thought it would be or have admitted. My friends and family advise patience – they seem to see what I see but don’t want me to do anything that would hurt me or her (i.e. don’t push her – what I mean by push is to tell her how I feel [again] and tell her of my struggle with my feelings). So I will try to wait and enjoy my life and the time with my kids and hopefully have the piece to my completed family puzzle in place some day.

    Recently when my friend and I were talking, I said to her that I am feeling so free these days and not desiring to have any female relations……… which she asked “what about me”. I told her that my feelings are the same – I want to at least be friends with her. She simply nodded. She seems to want to keep me hooked! I don’t think it is Drama because she doesn’t pursue me as much as I do her – she just keeps the hook baited and that is where my struggle is. She gives me just enough to stick around and be hopeful.

    As mentioned, my family and friends advise patience. My soul mate friend is heavily burdened in her relationship and stressed about young kids and work, so I am holding back lately about telling her of my affection for her. Remember that she does know how I feel. I think I have asked her all that I can in terms of how she sees me (and she has not said no), so should I just let things go for now (as I think you’d advise) or push her a bit. I think it would be selfish of me to push her and I also need time by myself, but when I am in a down phase, I get tempted to spill my soul to her some more. How does a man know if a woman is interested but she can’t go there at this time, as she put it? Does her allowing me to be close mean she just trusts me as a friend or does it mean she wants to keep me around for when things break down in her relationship? Her body language tells me strongly that she likes me and I know that possibly 65 to 93% of human communication is non-verbal so that might mean a lot. When she tells me of what she wants her “husband” to be like, she is describing me. Basically she gets from me what she wants in a relationship and I get from her what I want, but we are not together. This is both bizarre and difficult to deal with, yet I feel fortunate to have her as a friend.

    I suspect that my friend is having a great internal struggle with respect to me. Not that I am god’s gift to woman, but I am a decent guy and a decent “catch” – she has even said so and has said that my wife is making the biggest mistake of her life to leave me. I suspect my friend is so overwhelmed with work, kids, and relationship problems that she really can’t deal with how she feels about me. The other option is that she has me in her life due to Drama on her part.

    Thanks for your continued support. You have helped me to change my life for the better, allowed me to be comfortable dealing with the end of a marriage, which can devastate some, and you are helping me figure out how I can deal with my “soul mate”!


  9. Administrator says:

    Hi NeoInsight,

    I am so glad you and your X have made a relatively graceful transition out of your marriage. It sounds like you both are better off for it. Good for you!! And I am glad that I was of assistance to you.

    Well, Neo, you seem to be still stuck on the soul mate idea. Here’s a question for you—If your friend was NOT in your life, what would you be spending your time and energy on right now? What would you do with your focus? Where would you focus?

    Sometimes we engage in Drama to avoid expanding into something more. The unknown can be scary, so it’s safer to stay with the known, even though it keeps us running around in circles and we never get what we want. At least its known!!

    Your soul mate seems to be a Drama Queen. From what you describe, she seems to be unable to live her life without Drama. What about you, NeoInsight? Are you addicted to Drama, too? Could you live without the constant, “Does she love me?” refrain? I’m not making fun of you or picking on you. This is the favorite passtime of unhealthy Empaths—getting involved and ensnared in romances instead of moving into their creative soul’s work.

    Of course your soul mate has wonderful qualities. Of course she is lovable. Of course in ideal circumstances you might be a fantastic match. However, when people are addicted to Drama, Drama has to always be there. That means, consider carefully what your life would be like if your soulmate actually divorced her husband and got together with you. How would the two of you generate Drama together? Because you will if you do not heal this now!! And she will if she does not heal it now, too. And from what you say, she is NOT interested in letting go of Drama.

    Life is pretty boring without it. But it is boring in a wonderful way. All the sudden you have all this freed up emotional and psychic energy, which equates to CREATIVE energy. You can throw yourself into projects and begin enjoying an exciting life without the drama.

    Drama keeps you running in circles. It is a well known thing that the best way to get someone addicted to is be available in parts. That way the person keeps coming back to check if the reward is there or not. It becomes a compulsion, which you definitely are feeling now, huh! Your soul mate is playing that game with you, and you have fallen for it! Not that she may be doing this consciously, but you are trapped, NeoInsight. The only one that can free you is you.

    So, I would say, if you want to play Drama, keep doing what you are doing. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just not very creative or expansive.

    If you want to get out of Drama, tell your soul mate to contact you when she’s divorced and finally free. Then, in the meantime you need to look carefully at yourself and see what pay off you are getting by staying hooked (addicted) to this unhealthy relationship.

    Remember, the faulty thinking is, “But I love her, she’s such a wonderful soul!” EVERYONE is lovable and has a wonderful soul. That is the baseline, that is the given. The real discernment happens when we also look at what they are willing to do or not do, and what motivates them. What is motivating you, NeoInsight?

    Heal your reasons for being addicted to Drama, and I think you’ll lose your interest in your soulmate and move on. Take back that emotional cord you have stuck in her, and it will be available for another woman, Neo, and then you’ll start finding other women more interesting again becuase you’ll be emotionally available.

    But I really suggest working on your Drama addiction, or else you’ll just attract another woman also addicted to Drama.

    You’re getting there!! Don’t give up!!
    lots of love and support,

  10. NeoInsight says:

    Hi Elaine

    I read what you posted and shortly after that I realized that although my friend might be addicted to Drama, I am the real Drama Queen here. I love Drama! Many aspects of my life are about it and yes it takes up a lot of energy and time – I don’t watch soap operas, but I certainly create my own. My friend and I share each other’s Drama.

    My X wife gave very little FEEL in our relationship and I was rather starved of it. So when my friend asked for my help 8 years ago, I let her in with open arms and we became close. I realized that I was starting to really like her, so I did back off, but we remained friends over the years. Looking back now and thinking of Drama, I can see that I “used” my friend to provide me with FEEL in my life (we shared each other’s Drama) and my wife for the functional aspects of the relationship. It seems strange to say, but between the two of them, I almost had a compatible mate. Obviously, this is not right, but I was unaware of what was going on so it worked for a while. During those years, I always felt that something was not right (morally) with my close friendship but since I was not physically involved and it was not a daily communication, I didn’t figure it out. Now I have a sense of guilt, however not regret. My X wife and I are not right for each other.

    Once my wife exited my life, I turned all of my attention to my friend and the fantasy in my head came to the forefront. Since my friend is a married woman, of course this is not acceptable. Not only that, but this started to become a huge distraction and was becoming painful to me. Thus I again sought your help.

    My friend is a lovely lady and I think the world of her. I will not speak poorly of her; she is a great person. I had the problem, I had to do something about it. With that in mind I did talk to her and “break up” with her so to speak. You asked me to watch for more hooks during this conversation and there were two good ones. The first was she said maybe a good solution is to talk even more, to which I said that would make it much worse! The next was really good – I finally got her to admit that she had no chemistry feelings for me – good, I needed that. But then a few minutes later she mentioned a friend of hers who was overweight and balding, but he had good qualities. She said that when she was single she would have gone out with him if he asked since he had these qualities she liked. I caught this one immediately and I asked her if she knew what she just did. She didn’t. I said you hooked me because you basically just said that you don’t need chemistry, you need qualities in a man. I told her that almost instantly I projected ahead and figured that if she breaks up and is again single, then she’d be with me due to my good qualities, which she always says that I have – and I am not overweight and balding! She didn’t know she had just done that and didn’t mean to. The day after talking to her I also realized that she told me that when she first met her husband, she didn’t have any chemistry for him so now I know that it doesn’t matter to her. The end result of talking to my friend is that I decided that I need time and space – this is not her fault, it is mine. The relationship is unhealthy for me at this time.

    My payoff in Drama with my friend is that I get compared to her husband and I am the good guy, the nice guy, the understanding insightful guy, the good dad, and the good friend. I also get to be the rescuer – the guy who gets to explain my theories of what is wrong with their relationship, how her husband is wrong for her etc. I think the other payoff, which is what is really wrong here, is that I get the hope of the ultimate romance – you know, the perfect girl for me. The payoff for her is that she gets told she is beautiful, she is kind, and she is a good mom and good wife. I guess we both get good ego boosts from each other. This may not be harmful, but since I desire more, it is harmful to me. Also, she is a married woman, so I should not be so close in my opinion. It is also now my opinion that her relationship with her husband suffers because she channels her emotional energy elsewhere, although he once said he can’t give her that and so he didn’t mind me talking to her that way. I can’t see how they will make it work though, that just doesn’t seem right to me (based on experience!).

    I thought that I could just snap the Drama fantasy about my soulmate, but I believe this is going to take time – I have literally been playing this game for 8 years now with her. I think my feelings for her are still strong and I don’t think they will go away for a while. There are a lot of good compatible things between us and if all the Drama is taken away, we are still good friends and have helped each other through tough times. My soul is telling me that given a different circumstance, we’d be a great couple and that she would easily fall for me. So my soul is either right, or confused by Drama. Time will help me work on this.

    I have set myself up to be lonely in terms of a mate – I do crave that in my life – I want to be mutually in love with the right person and haven’t been for years, possibly 21 years (girlfriend, wife). By love I don’t mean just physical, I mean friends first but with a good chemistry on top. However, I believe it is better to be real and I am certain that I will be fine. I am looking forward to growing a lot more, doing lots of reading and reflection, enjoying my kids, and enjoying some single time. I already have more energy at my work!

    Elaine, I feel that you have helped me to call my own bluff. I wanted this unhealthy situation to end, now I seem to have opened a pathway to understanding my Drama and I can now work on healing it. I think that if I am an empath, then my soul really is just awakening and I am just starting to discover who I am and where I might want to go in life.

    What else can I say but THANKS Elaine! This is a huge step for me. I feel like I have a decent understanding of who I am, why my marriage ended, and why I was close to another woman even though I felt that was wrong. You have become one of the most important people in my life.

    Now I can move forward and continue to grow (but I still wonder if she loves me…………….we would be so good together……..sigh).


  11. Administrator says:

    Congratulations, NeoInsight! You have discovered that you are the creator of your own world, and you are taking responsibility for it. Hurray for you!

    It’s quite a process, becoming conscious of the motivations behind our behavior, and behind other people’s behaviors. Getting that perspective can be so liberating, even though the Drama continues to unfold around you.

    Yes, it will take a while to get out of Drama completely. Think of yourself as conscious but incompetent. Pretty soon you’ll be conscious and competent at avoiding such situations, and mastery comes when you are unconscious and competent—you no longer have to watch your step, because you’ve shed the bad habits and beliefs that led you into these painful situations in the first place.

    Drama is an archetypal phenomenon, which means that all people get ensnared at somepoint. You are right, it’s much better to watch soap operas and good slasher movies to get the Drama out of our systems, or Opera, which my mentor recommends. Drama played out in real life is painful and wasteful. Freedom comes when we aren’t run by archetypal forces, our family structures, our cultural belief systems, but by our own hearts and souls. You’re well on your way.

    Empaths tend to give the emotions too much importance. They are important, but they aren’t reality, and they shouldn’t be the sole basis of a relationship’s importance. The emotional cord you have made to your girlfriend can be cut with shamanic work, which will give you a little bit of space to get free and adjust. I highly recommend it!

    But most importantly, you have to do your own personal work. I think when you do, your girlfriend won’t be very interesting to you any longer. Besides, I hear you loud and clear—your mate is someone who is not only a friend, but you both have chemistry. So, do your work, and I bet that woman, if a mate is what you want in your life, will appear shortly, if you let go of all hope of your girlfriend being the one.

    All the best, Neo! It was great working with you through my blog.

  12. Vidya says:

    Wow, Elaine. I learnt a lot from the above exchange. Calling myself out is the hardest thing to do in life. But I’m glad I have the integrity and courage to do it. And the information you provide with your writings help me do it. I bow to your life’s work. Now how do I find my life’s work now that I am ready to get out of the Drama triangle and do fulfilling work and make a living on my own ?

    Warm regards,


  13. Elaine says:

    Hi Vidya,

    I am so glad the above blog post was so helpful and that you are doing the hard work to stay off the Drama Triangle. Congratulations! It is a practice, so don’t be discouraged if you find yourself taking a step backwards right back onto the Triangle. I am sure you have discovered by now that staying off the Triangle frees up LOTS of energy for others things, including fulfilling work. Sometimes when we get stuck back in Drama we unconsciously do so to avoid something wonderfully creative and fulfilling, and therefore a little scary coming our way. If this happens, take it as a sign that you were about to be on the right track but got cold feet. Then, go revisit the opportunity again. It is a process, this self-discovery, and a lot of times it doesn’t feel comfortable, but it always leads to better, more creative, more expansive things for us, including work and relationships.

    lots of love and encouragement,

  14. casey says:


    nice article. ive been emotionally disconnected for quite some time now. many years of my life have been spent over eating, masturbating, playing music, exercising, working, anything to stop feeling. how can i reconnect myself? now that im disconnected i not only dont feel my own emotions, i feel other peoples. can you offer any advice?


  15. Elaine says:

    Hi Casey,

    It sounds like you’ve been disconnected for a long time. Do you remember what caused you to dissociate from your emotions? Did you suffer a trauma or abuse? Remember, in most cases, dissociating from emotions is a defensive mechanism. You are doing it for what you believe to be a good reason. It could be that it kept you functional, even though for you the side effects are over doing other things. If you are ready to reconnect to your emotional body, just be aware that you are probably going to experience a lot of unpleasant emotions, sensations, and even memories.

    I work as a shaman, so I always recommend getting Soul Retrieval and Underworld work done to help ease you through this process. Please browse my website under energy healings and examples so you can learn more. Soul Retrieval can help you heal on the Energetic and Mythic planes while you deal with the changes to the Symbolic (emotional and mental) and Physical bodies Please do check out this material–it can save you years of therapy.

    In getting started, you want to be able to fully inhabit your body. That means feeling how your body feels, what your body senses, tasting your food, taking the time to really use and observe all your senses. So many times when we dissociate we also leave or half leave our bodies. Try coming back into close contact with yours, and see if you can tell where the trauma is holed up.

    Emotionally you want to look at what you are trying to avoid. Pain, loss, trauma? Do you know? Can you allow yourself to feel whatever it is that you’ve avoided feeling? It might over whelm and flood you, so give yourself a lot of privacy and space to notice what comes up. Some people like to journal. Some people do better collaging what they think is underneath the surface.

    I’d recommend doing some random drawing and painting and seeing what comes up for you. Also, you can try doing a sandpainting outside and seeing what comes up for you later, too. But as you get started with this, take it a tiny step at a time. Baby steps. There’s good reason you’ve defended yourself. You want to make sure everything in your life in the present is supportive of your healing.

    let me know how it goes
    much love,

  16. Sandy says:

    This conversation with neoinsight reminded me so much about myself and my current relationship.
    I ve been married for 9months now (and total relatioship period is 3 years). I was never attracted to my husband physically but i liked the way he sees the future and i was pretty comfortable with him and around him. I liked how he opened up to me and share his deepest fears or worst memories, but never realized that it had such an effect on him.
    Before the marriage, as he was very transparent with me, i knew he had some addictions: hash, alcohol, porn.. and i thought that with my presence in his life i can reacue him abd change these habits.. which i somehow did… but the process affected me more than i thought it would: seeing his weaknesses changed the image i had of him before.
    We had our ups and downs, and we broke up cause as you kight have explained it before, my soul was never fully convinced of him, i would feel attracted to people who share the same energy and who are more similar to me personality wise (i tend to yhink of myself as a positive person)
    And 3 months before the wedding, i met a friend who i felt a strong connection with on an emotional/physical level.. and i couldn’t stop thinking about him and about the possibilities that i am ending by getting married (i felt i was kind of stuck in that relationship witg all the breakups and getting back together), and i had thoughts of canceling everything just to have more time and more chances to explore the relationship with my friend. But he was very subtle in his actions since he was a common friend: i was engaged and planning my wedding and he is respectful.. so except for few comments as you re perfect, he is lucky or eye contect (the kind of eye contact/stare that penetrates your soul and expose it.. not some cheesy eye contact), he didn’t do i decided to forget about these emotions that i qualified of infatuation and carried on with my marriage.

    After marriage, i started seeing more things in my husband that i dislike and don’t understand: self-esteem issues, personal issues related to his relationship with his mom when he was a child, the way he perceives himself and conpare himself to everyone, negativity since he was bullied as a kid, and it was more than i could take to be honest.. it started affecting my attraction to him, our sex life went down from there and that would make things worse between us (he would feel that i am not attracted to him) and he is right , i cannot really fake orgasms or body language!! And i think that both deserve better: i deserve to feel attracted to my partner and ge deserves to feel attractive to his partner… it is unfair for both of us… but what bothers me is that my relationship with my friend or my feelings for my friend didn not disappear; it increased with time : the more i know him the more i find things in common, the more he encourages me to be a better version of myself.. he is almost everything i want in a man (except the player part, but he is single.. so he can do whatever he wants while looking for a serious relationship) meanwhile he was always present for me during my problems with my husband, we would ralk about everything and anything and he never advised me anything that pushes me to leave my husband… up to last week where he just said: you are in the best days of your life, dont waste them and be happy .. there is also a flirting game between us where there is some said/unsaid things.. like you are special to me, i am always here for you and he was! And same for me.. so there is this connection with a strong man versus what i have at home (personal issues self esteem problems and almost no common interests)
    I an the strong person at home, i am more rational, whenever we have a problem i make my husband sit and talk about it and he would be emotional abd even cry.. versus my friend who would motivate me and push me to be a better version of myself…

    We are doing marriage therapy and then counselor doesn’t see a future for us.. he said its a 50/50 or less … these things might never get fixed in your husband.. but what i am asking myself is shall i be selfish and sacrifice my happiness and help my husband to overcome his issues or shall i continue a solo life (independently of my friend) and improve myself as a person and create my happiness..
    I am not happy right now i go home and we have different energy levels, different expectations.. he never had this kind of way to seduce me.. and it’s just getting worse and worse.. and when i do not react the way he expects me to, he gets frustrated and it impacts his self esteem.. shall i prentend? I cannot really fake it, i will be extremely unhappy about it!!!!

    • Elaine says:

      Dear Sandy,

      Thank you for sharing some of your story with me.

      I can understand how you are confused as what to do next. I think it’s great that you are in counseling with your husband. Have you considered counseling for just yourself so you can sort this all out?

      It is one of those things that Empath’s tend to learn the hard way–that we cannot fix anyone but ourselves. When we try to fix others, including a partner, the relationship is out of balance, and we wind up in the Rescuer Role with our spouse in the Victim Role. This doesn’t work well for an equal partnership. Also, eventually we will travel around the Drama Triangle to Bully, and that’s hurtful for everyone involved.

      Then, when another potential partner enters our lives that is not in Victim, and we experience not having to be in Rescuer, we feel freedom from being burdened. It can be quite shocking, as you’ve discovered. However, it’s really important to deal with your marriage instead of focusing on this other person. He’s just there to show you a mirror of what you’d really like in a relationship if you could give up Rescuer for good.

      For yourself, I’d look at why you thought it was your role to fix him and his problems. Where did that come from? Was it training from childhood? Is there a parental wound that needs healing on your end so you don’t attract in the same kind of person? I’d focus on why Rescuer is a choice for you, and then go from there. If you aren’t familiar with the Archetypal roles of Victim, Rescuer, and Bully, then please download my book on the Archetypal Drama Triangle. It’s free on my website, or on amazon kindle books.

      much love,

  17. sandy says:

    Dear Elaine,

    Your answer was very helpful, I thank you for that. But it triggered many more other questions. the first is about my marriage and its chances of success, the second one which is more important is what triggers me being in the rescuer position all the time. (I think if i can understand that part more, I would be able to avoid the drama and be happier)

    I just finished reading your book Archetypal Drama Triangle to understand more the dynamic I have in my marriage, And I can say that it is way more complicated than I thought:
    I recognized myself well in many profiles mainly the classic Empaths, the person who attracts the confidence of other and feel the need to fix them and help them, but I have sometimes the tendency to expect praise in return (which to be honest I don’t know if it’s healthy or not. I clearly don’t do that with everyone, only the people I like and care about, and getting validation that they appreciate what I did is a good feeling)
    now if you combine this profile with a rightful bully (the profile I recognize in my husband: extremely successful when it comes to his job, but has old wounds from his childhood relationship with his mother, who never praised him, never expressed love to him, but was very strict and severe, and always made him feel that he is not good enough, he is not handsome enough, he is not smart enough…) he has his moments of vulnerability where he would share his deepest fears and insecurities about his past, and he would actually cry, he would express is lack of confidence, lack of self esteem, lack of self love, and then the next morning, he would act as if nothing happened…
    and It confuses me a lot, cause clearly, I would go from Empath to rescuer, trying to help him and support him, and when i feel frustrated of not seeing any changes, I would become a bully, expressing my frustration in order for him to react: I would qualify for example him going back to smoking as WEAKNESS, i would translate his tears instead of actions when he feels down as Extra sensitivity … and it drives him crazy, that i perceive him this way.. He would go to complete denial about his personality and about the fact that he got to this point of success in his life with no ones help, and that I need to accept him for who he is …
    From my side, when i married him, I knew he has flaws, like any human being, but after the marriage, i realized a whole other dimension…different energy levels, different moods… I never thought of this whole Empath rescuer/bully dynamic. I always thought that I have been through a lot in my life and that this what gives me the ability to feel and understand people, and try to make them benefit from my experience so they don’t go through the same process of hurt …
    I know that I like a stronger man to motivate me, probably with less wounds from the past, with less insecurities…and this is probably what I found in my friend who seem to represent everything I am looking for.
    knowing that there are men like this outside makes me admire less my husband and his ‘weaknesses’ and would impact tremendously my physical attraction to him, which affect the couple sexually and cause more frustration to him, which makes him either express his frustrations with tears, or by going back to old bad habits as smoking and drinking, which makes me more unattracted it is a never ending process.. and I don”t know if he would be able to change/ and if I can accept that as well…He is also deeply in love, and I am 100% convinced that most of the time, he is not being true to himself and true to me, he would compromise so much even about the tiniest things he likes and doesnt just to please me, which I find unfair for him… I care about him and I wish he could find his true happiness (whether with me or without me) he tells me all i need to be loved, and to feel wanted… but I think it comes from the old wounds from his relationship with his mom… and I don’t know if it is the healthy way to fix it just by loving him??? the other day, he was looking for his clothes and he couldnt find them, so I said if it’s not here in the room, it is in the laundry room.. and he couldnt find it… so without saying anything i went and looked for it (but my body language was clearly upset:like you re not able to find it by your own) and he exploded, saying that i disrespected him and why am I reacting this way.. then after a while he explained that this is how he was treated his whole life and that is why he over reacted…i understand that as an Empath but do I have to pay for this ???
    i am etremely lost, i feel disconnected emotionally, a voice within me (probably the Being) is telling me to leave, everything behind; but it is hard: it means divorce, maybe giving up on everything too soon??

    about myself and the reason why i feel the need to be a rescuer; i ve been in a toxic relationship before, where at first I was so in admiration for the guy that i didnt know why he is interested in me, and i lost confidence in myself…and for a good 6 years, where i was deeply and crazy in love, i was in a dynamic of breakup and back together… and everytime, i would say”what if… I do this differently, what if we are in the same country..etc… but 7 years later, i ‘ve used all my what if, and the guy was always cheating on me and making me feel that i am not enough… he even told me at the end: you are a treasure, but you are not my treasure…
    si even though i gained back my self esteem over time, i still have the insecurity that maybe people will not really like me, or that my partner will not be 100% convinced of me…and would look around:there is maybe someone who’s more beautiful, smarter, younger, taller, fitter… but i never felt this way with my husband… he is head over heel with me, he even thinks i am out of his league…
    but i dont feel the same security with my friend, he expressed his interest, he said he finds me attractive and he thinks that my husband is a lucky guy and that he got the jackpot… but seeing his texting other girls for instance (which is his total right being single and me being married) makes me feel somehow insecure..(it takes me back to old feelings) and this is something i am really scared of… i dont want to feel those feelings ever again…and this is maybe the reason why i got married to my husband, knowing that he would never makes me feel this way for 2 reasons: the first is that he thinks i am out of his league and that he is so lucky, the second one is I am not crazy about him, i love him and care for him, but i dont think i would be actually affected if he cheats on me, because i am not infatuated and crazy about him… does this makes sense to you Elaine???
    I am trying to think out loud in order to understand myself.. and figure out how to move on with my life….
    thanks a lot


    • Elaine says:

      Hi Sandy,

      You are right–the key is to look at your own relationship with your father to see what you missed out on, and how you are projecting that onto your relationships with men. Your husband is projecting his relationship with his mother onto you, and as an Empath, you have taken up that role and are playing it out for him, giving him the outcome of never being good enough to please her, and also being ridiculed for not being masculine enough (strong, no tears, always confident, etc.)

      This is really unfair to both you and to him, but this is what we do as human beings–we project our unhealed wounds onto others, and then we create the same unhappy outcomes over and over.

      So, the first step is to realize that you are playing his mother for him, and everything you do will get interpreted through that lens. Then look at your relationship with your father, and see how everything men who become close to you gets interpreted through that father relationship. Either it plays out, or you defend against it. I hope it gives you some insight! Let me know what you get.


  18. Tom says:

    Hi Elaine,
    I stumbled on this page in a search and found it compelling. However, I can’t find where articles reside on your website, or where the original article is that spurred the whole exchange between you and Neoinsight. I would like to read it.

    • Elaine says:

      Hi Tom,

      Thank you so much for your interest! I think the original essay was from 2007, and is called The Emotionally Dissociated Hero. Let me see if I can post a link to it here…

      • Tom says:

        Thank you, Elaine.
        It’s been a day of weird tech malfunctions.

        I realize I did find the original article and read it last night. It was random, scrolling through the older posts with the little arrow at the top left of each post. I noticed it was related to this, but I didn’t know it was where these questions originated.

        Why the term ‘Hero’? What is that referring to?

        I stumbled on this page while searching for information, if there is any, on an emotional or psychological condition similar to dissociation, but regarding a relationship or marriage. To be less vague, is there a name or explanation for a situation where one partner dissociates from the other? Maybe it’s the same as what is commonly called ‘Falling out of love’?

        My life became very complicated this year. I’m at an intersection of personal transformation, maybe awakening, maybe developing intuitive empathy, maybe meeting some form of soul mate. What I’m definitely doing is changing, my energy seems to have shifted, I’m finally connecting my head and my heart, gotten more in touch with my feelings and voice, and I’ve changed the dynamic of my marriage by airing my grievances, finally, after a period of emotional estrangement.

        I had started feeling intuitive guidance a couple years ago. I was listening to a Judith Orloff book (just today) in which she gives examples of what intuitive empaths experience, and how different energies feel. I have some of the qualities strongly, and others much less. I have, however, come to some of the same conclusions about how others’ energy feels, noticing how I feel around them. I don’t want to get into a long story here (at least not yet….if encouraged to share, I’m happy to), but basically, my feelings have disengaged from my wife during the course of this self awakening, and while I still love and care for her, she is still completely in love with me, while my flame of desire has gone out. I can’t tell currently if it can be reignited, or if the change in us has rendered me incompatible. We are both on journeys of healing and transformation this year.

        I’ll just leave it there, since that’s plenty to read, and I feel I’ve lost my focus. Thanks for your time. I look forward to reading the free book about the drama triangle. That might help me.

        • Elaine says:

          Hi Tom,

          Thank you for sharing some of your story. It sounds like you are having quite an adventure exploring your intuitive gifts and getting to know yourself better. It’s understandable that as you’ve been more introspective, your focus on your relationships have taken a lower priority for the moment.

          Something to think on is the fact that people tend to get together because of matching wounds, rather than just matching interests. Much of emotional chemistry comes from our wounds and how they interact. If you’ve been on a personal journey of healing, and you’ve addressed some of those old wounded parts of yourself and healed them, it may have taken away the “chemistry” of your relationship.

          However, it’s hard to tell without hearing more. Let me know what you think.


  19. Tom says:

    I think I understand. I felt awkward inundating you with a mini novel of my ‘adventures’ for the past 2 years. I don’t want to take advantage or abuse your generosity. Plus, since you offer services through your site, I felt maybe it was trying to get help without fair compensation.

    If you or anyone else is okay with it, I am happy to share, since I am constantly seeking understanding.

    Thank you so much,

  20. Tom says:

    Okay, Elaine, let me give it a try. One big challenge for me is brevity.

    My backstory is that of a sensitive child from a non-abusive but emotionally repressed family, where injuries were always put on me for being ‘too sensitive’. The environment led to me living most of my life with no self worth and disconnected from my feelings, or invalidating them, and living only from an intellectual perspective. And depression. And smoking too much pot.

    I met my wife in 2001, and this summer passed our 15th anniversary. She’s a beautiful, unique, deep, funny, creative soul, an earth goddess who nurtures plants and animals. We have no children due to biology. Over time, dissatisfaction crept in through our anxieties and old wounds. I had more and more trouble finding good employment, and the financial limitations strained our ability to create a life we wanted. Our frustrations manifested in her by lashing out with harsh verbal criticisms, and I responded by withdrawing, and absorbing all the negative words, believing them to be true.

    Flash forward to almost 2 years ago. While driving for Uber and being rejected for some good jobs i was qualified for without even getting interviews, I had something of a breakdown. I felt hopeless, suicidal, and sat in a very agitated state for days, pleading with the universe for help, guidance, anything. One night I ‘heard’ a strong thought that didn’t feel like my own, that said “You need to learn to love yourself.” That became a mantra for a while. I searched and after a few months found a therapist with whom I connected with (who specialized in Spiritually Transformative Experiences and NDEs). Two summers ago, my wife and i heard an ad for a Masters of Education program with Certification as a Montessori teacher. She’s always urged me to be a teacher, and I’ve always been terrified, but I agreed to pretend I wasn’t scared and just call for info. I met friendly helpful people, and it started to sound very appealing. I went for it, and all the pieces fell into place so easily, I kept feeling like I was on the right path, and even following some invisible guidance. Teaching was so scary to me that I knew I could not do it as I was, and I decided to have faith that the program would induce the transformation I needed to accomplish it. I enjoyed the subject matter, and the feeling of belonging to something. I found a job in a warehouse that fit my current situation. I faltered in school and fell way behind last year, but am still committed to it.

    Come late winter, I met a woman at work, and we immediately became friends. During the spring, we started writing and had a great ease in sharing, and of course we fell for each other, quickly and effortlessly. We have a magnetic connection and enjoy a strong feeling of peace around each other. We never had sex, but unlike what it seems every other story I’ve read on this blog has explained, I was obviously not a respectful guy and allowed the compelling nature of this connection to draw me into an inappropriate emotional affair with her. She is also married, but wanting a divorce, as he checked out, was a serial cheater and facing jail time with an impending court date. By this point, I turned 50, I finally started to feel a sense of worth, I spent a lot of time writing, to myself and friends, and working out what I was feeling, owning it, and had enough of the verbally abusive dynamic at home. I honestly felt that the same guidance that had brought me to school (ignoring the fact that it was my wife who suggested it), had led me to this woman, with whom I felt entirely connected with and reinvigorated by. Like my wife, she is also a gorgeous, smart, deep, unique woman, yet different in many ways too. I had started taking in more astrology, and over and over I kept hearing ‘new love, possible twin flame arrival, leave what no longer is serving your higher self’, and so on.

    I planned that, after her husband went to jail and she would commence her divorce, I would leave my wife. I still cared for her, wanted to be honest about everything, and I grieved the end of our marriage, in my head, all summer. I believed many of her angry words, and felt she would be sad but feel some relief at being released, that I had been an anchor dragging her life down. Plus, I thought once I stood in my truth and told her I was done absorbing her angry outbursts, it would be too volatile to fix anyway. I misjudged a few things.

    Once the other woman’s husband went to jail, she found herself deeply conflicted with her unresolved feelings of love for him, and her new love with me, and stepped back, needing time to work things out in her head/heart. She’s still working on it. In the meantime, the tension at home grew, and I finally aired my feelings and grievances, which caused my wife to become deeply repentant for hurting me so badly for so long, and determined to work on it. Then she found out about the other woman and is experiencing the deepest pain she’s ever had. She still wants to fix things, we are seeing a marriage therapist, and every day is a roller coaster of emotion. She is overcompensating and smothering me with love, in between attacks of uncontrollable anger and pain and tears, while I have become distant, completely lacking in desire for her. She wants therapy so we can heal our childhood wounds that caused us to bring our separate brands of dysfunction into the marriage and grow old together, while I am trying to use it to deepen my connection to myself, heal the old wounds, and get better at following the promptings of Spirit or intuition. If that means the flame with my wife gets reignited and we can start our new marriage 2.0 as she believes we will, I am open to it. However, at present, my heart still longs for the other woman I felt led to, feel I was meant to be with, who has inspired all forms of poetry, vulnerability, inspiration, and desire to care for. She feels like my Muse. I am working on things with my wife, and find it overwhelming to have caused this level of trauma to anyone’s psyche, but she senses the ambiguity in my heart and the distance I put between us. I don’t know if my passion for her can be revived, by therapy, or by the absence of the other woman, or any other means. For a good while I was standing firm, if feeling a bit like a cold hearted bastard, in speaking my truth to my wife as I felt it. Now the drama has been causing me to feel more clouded. Also, I quit smoking pot in late summer, to find clarity, succeed in school, and because it suppresses my dreams where I hoped I might find some guidance.

    Believe it or not, that is relatively short compared to other attempts I have made to relate this to others. For now I’m trying to continue trusting that higher powers are guiding me, and just take the next step presented to me, having faith that each step is leading me where I am supposed to go. Right now, that is to bed.


    • Elaine says:

      Dear Tom,

      Thanks for sharing more of your story with me. You aren’t going to like my advice, but I highly recommend that you stop putting the focus on the women in your life, especially the one you think is your muse, and keep the focus on your own healing. The other woman is merely showing you what you are missing in your life. She is showing you how you should love Yourself, not her, and how you are not allowing yourself to be loved by your wife.

      It may be that your wife isn’t capable of loving you that way, but you have not asked for that sort of reciprocation from her because it’s only recently that you decided that you were loveable. You didn’t love yourself–how could you attract someone in that would love you the way you wanted to be loved?

      It is natural to distance yourself from your wife while you are engaging in an infatuation over someone else. It is also natural to distance yourself emotionally from someone who you’ve realized has been emotionally abusive and demanding of you. The real question is, can you live a life for yourself without any woman in it, not your wife, not your muse? If that seems like terrible loneliness for you, then you still have too much work to do on yourself to be able to have a healthy relationship with someone else. Bring yourself to emotional and spiritual health, and then the right woman will appear, because you’ll finally be attractive to a healthy woman. I hope that makes sense!

      The focus should really be on you; what was your part in creating the situation, and what actions you need to take in order to love and respect yourself. Speaking the truth does not make you a cold hearted bastard. In fact, concealing the truth from your wife makes the both of you live a lie. If you want to be able to love yourself, it’s important to be able to respect yourself. Commit to a life of integrity, which means speaking up to your wife on time, what is really going on with you, truthfully, without blame or shame. If she can’t do the same, she can’t do it. But it’s much more important for your growth that YOU live this way.

      Leave the other woman out of it. She’s a distraction. She’s a distraction to you, to your wife, and to your marriage. Let her go figure out her own part in the affair the two of you created–that is her work. Your work is to untangle the Drama by focusing on your responsibility, your feelings, owning them, speaking up on time on behalf of yourself, and then letting your wife (and others around you) take that into account and adjust or not. I hope that makes sense.

      Sending you hugs! This is hard work!

  21. Tom says:

    It will not surprise you to hear that 1 months ago an astrologer told me the same thing, that it’s about me and not either woman.

    To answer your question, I would be okay being alone for a while. Unfortunately I don’t have the resources or a place to go.

    I find it hard to agree that the other woman is nothing more than a distraction and an infatuation. If that is the case, it means I am delusional or that my gut my intuition my guiding system is completely wrong, and I don’t know how to find my way in this life feeling like I can’t trust anything I feel. It also tells me that there is nothing Magic about this connection despite everything I have witnessed. I have never felt anything like this.

    We had another explosion today. I don’t know what to do to keep moving forward. The drama and my wife’s emotions seem to have clouded any direction or sureness that I felt. Taking a break would probably be a good thing, but like I said I don’t have the resources to move out. While my wife has refrained from being angry for the last two weeks, and even felt good and hopeful, when she’s not angry she’s needy. She has never been a needy or insecure person before, in my eyes. Everything I say becomes a weapon against me later. She expects me to come around almost at once, and becomes impatient or hurt if I step back. I’m not sure how to get back to this healing path, or to this intuitive guidance that has apparently led me astray, but maybe I’ll find answers somewhere else.

    I can’t thank you enough for your interest and insight. I don’t want to continue usurping your time, but I’m fine exploring this further. There’s just nothing else to add right now.

    In light, Tom

    • Elaine says:

      Dear Tom,

      Ah, I’m not surprised that you are confused about your intuition. The thing is, your intuition is going to be off when you have a wound of low self-worth. The most important thing is to trust that your guidance, which told you to love YOURSELF, was correct! Because, whenever we fall in love, or into an infatuation, we aren’t seeing the other person, we are seeing our unowned selves reflected in the other person. We are seeing our Positive Shadow. It’s very easy to confuse those intense feelings for love. It is love, but it’s a wounded type of love, when you are still wounded. You can trust that you are still wounded, so you can assume that the feelings of love for this other person will dissipate once the wound is healed, or once the infatuation wears off and you finally see the other person more clearly. It is a trap to focus on the magic, on the intensity, and on the feelings. Those always fade. Then regular life takes over.

      I’ve actually written a short mythic story about this called The Girl and Her Being, if you care to check it out. It’s common human behavior to get stuck in all the intense feelings and to follow the feeling instead of also follow reason and impact on others as well. It leads to unhappy outcomes, and if you are not careful in your own situation you can wind up falling in love with love instead of with an actual human being, who is not magical and is always flawed, soul mate or not.

      As for your relationship with your wife–since you are stuck in that living situation for a while, I encourage you to make the most of it for your own healing and observe how you react, what thoughts you fall into, etc. Map out your behavior–see if you can pinpoint your belief system regarding yourself and your low self-worth. (Does this look like the relationship with one of your parents?) See if you can suss out hers as well. After you’ve read the Drama Triangle book, see your relationship and the behaviors and make sure you aren’t playing any of the three roles. Feeling trapped automatically puts you in Victim. So, don’t take on that vibration. You are choosing to stay for now, and you are going to use it to your best growth.

      Although, I have to wonder, if you were planning on leaving your wife all summer, surely you were going to go somewhere. Are you saying you were immediately going to move in with the other love interest? If so, I think you’ve dodged a lot of complications.

      sending love and hugs to you. I know that this is very confusing, but good for you for wanting to make sense of it.


  22. Tom says:

    well, yes, one point you caught was that amid a lot of pondering on both sides what our futures together could look like, and if it would work, there were thoughts of moving right in with her. Obviously this was a fantasy that, once the time was at hand, she knew it was a bad idea.

    Regarding my wife, there are aspects that resemble my father. She is more verbally outspoken, but he was very judgemental and dismissive of things outside his limited view of the world and people. If he lived, he would be very right wing, how extreme is the only question. Would he be a Trumpster? Ironically, he opposed dating my future wife, since she’s black and I’m white.

    I haven’t read the book yet, but victim already sounds like a role I’ve held much of my life.

    Your explanation of the role of the other woman is a little above my comprehension just now. I follow some of what you say about intuition, and maybe if I reread it a few times it will become clearer. Or not. It’s pretty off-putting to find something that feels the way it does, with it’s nearly psychic connection (we know each other’s thoughts and feelings a great deal of the time, or have the same feelings simultaneously, together or at a distance), is not real. I see a lot of people, and women, and I had a vibe from her before we met, which compelled me to meet her. Very few people give me that ‘ping’ that makes me curious about them. I am drawn. (An old therapist said “It’s just lust.”) Meanwhile, at home, I felt constantly out of sync with my wife. We would very often misunderstand each other, say one thing and hear another, everything was an effort and felt like gears slipping. After seeing the other woman, I would feel invigorated; being home with my wife, I felt fatigued all the time. I could get a good night’s sleep, we’d eat breakfast, and I would fall into a nap afterwards. I slept so much that she find it supremely irritating (especially since she has trouble sleeping.) I started thinking recently that maybe she was sapping my energy and that’s why i slept so much. It was taxing.

    I have no delusions that anybody is without flaws, and that life with my muse would be free from conflicts and bumps. I guess I was willing to trade the new conflicts for the ones I was tired of revisiting every few months, particularly since the feelings I had with the new one were so much more intense than what I felt with anyone prior, including my wife.

    I didn’t mean to write so much. I intended a brief reply to a couple points. Much of what you have said throughout our exchange can stand repeated readings. Just tonight, I noticed things I hadn’t before.


    • Elaine says:

      Hi Tom,

      Yes, I can imagine that it’s very confusing sorting out whether to follow your feelings and the magical, psychic connection, versus stay in a relationship with your wife. This is a really common issue for people–you aren’t the only one trying to figure out romance, infatuation, deep connection versus the call to love yourself.

      I notice that you are trying to escape dealing with your wife by going to sleep. Sure, she could be draining you–constant conflict IS draining. But going to sleep isn’t the answer. Taking constructive action is. Falling in love with someone else is only constructive in that it shows you how things could be different. It is terribly unconstructive to run away from your marriage and its problems without dealing with what is causing the problem from your end, using the new romance instead of sleep as the place to escape.

      Of COURSE it is going to feel even more magical if you are using it as a rescue from your unhappy life. It actually has to be that way (even if it is a real connection) Because You Are Stuck in the Victim Role. You don’t believe you can leave your wife and take care of yourself under your own power. When you are in Victim, the people around you are either Rescuers or Bullies. Right now your wife is a Bully, the muse would have Rescued you (but backed out). Your wife feels Victimized by the emotional affair, and round and round the Drama Triangle you go.

      The way out of it is to give up the Victim Role and its vibration. This is where you need to focus on yourself, on loving yourself, on taking right action with integrity on behalf of yourself. It’s really hard work, but you can do it. Once you are out of Victim, you can come back and revisit all those feelings, etc., and see if they are as real as you believe, and if the muse is really as attractive as she seems to be right now.

      I know this is very confusing, and I know that it’s normal to feel resistance to looking at your experience this way. But give it a go, and tell me what you get once you’ve read the Drama Triangle Book and mapped out your life/relationships that way.

      sending hugs!!

  23. Tom says:

    Hi Elaine,
    I’m at the beginning of the book. At present, I’m not sure if I qualify as an empath. If I am, I am one who is unable to recognize others’ emotions that I am feeling. I feel my wife would be a good example, since I spend more time with her than anybody else. She has rhuematoid arthritis, and I often have unexplained aches and pains. I have also presented more of her bad side that triggers me than her good side that nurtures me and others. She is an extraordinary person, and the angry verbal abusive language I characterized does not always emerge in a bubble, but triggered by my interactions or contributions at times. To that point, people almost always see her as a positive, smiling, fun loving, humorous person who lights up any occasion. I have become focused on the difficult parts in recent years, while she has undoubtedly tried her best to bring joy to my life. I have suffered with a dysthymic depression on and off for most of my life, and it can be a very selfish and self absorbed disorder. But I guess my point is, she can be very angry or quick to judgement, often based on her quick mind and intuitive faculties, but I don’t feel those feelings, I think. Or maybe those are what makes me angry with her in my own way.

    The new moon in Scorpio this past week triggered an emotional meltdown for me, and much of what I wrote previously about the journey I’ve been on, the intuition, the purpose, the confidence, the connection between head and heart….has drained away and left me in a fog. I don’t know what to attribute this to exactly. It was triggered by some hardships in grad school, but I also felt weakened by the intense emotions and fights at home in the past few weeks. Is it possible to be compatible with a mate and simultaneously have them be wrong for you, energetically speaking? When I was determined to leave, I felt centered. Now that it is hard to imagine leaving, I feel like my old depressed self. I am constantly reminded why my wife is so special and tries so hard to lift me up, and showers me with love. Am I just an ingrate? This is no longer involving a third party as she is off the table and unavailable, so to speak. I feel like a pop star when they cancel concerts due to ‘exhaustion’. Sleep a lot, unable to focus. I can’t face continuing to seek escape, as it is devastating to her, to her entire life. We are both trying to work it out and stop triggering each other, and this involves starting some inner child work with a friend who applies this with clients.

    Sorry if this seems unfocused, but that is how I’ve now been for days.

    Also, are you familiar with ‘Highly Sensitive People’, coined by Elaine Aron? There is a film called Sensitive: The Untold Story about it. Similar to empaths, but no doubt different in important ways I can’t define.


    • Elaine says:

      Dear Tom,

      Yes, I’m familiar with Elaine Aron’s work. Many Empaths are highly sensitive, for sure. Whether you are an Empath or not doesn’t really matter–please keep reading the Drama Triangle book, and concentrate on the roles of the Drama. See how that is playing out in the relationship with your wife.

      Really, the focus should be on you and your healing, not on her and how she’s a wonderful person and an abusive person, and you might be an ingrate. That’s all a distraction. What is clear from your comment above is that you are unhappy with YOURSELF. So unhappy that you are exhausted. Focus on YOU, and not how your wife is trying to Rescue you by showering you with love. The only person that can Rescue you is YOU. If she has taken it on as her job to Rescue you, then of course she’s going to Bully you when it doesn’t work, and it can never work, because it’s not her job to make you happy. It is YOUR job to get out of Victim and take charge of your own happiness.

      This is what the first book is all about. Stop berating yourself for being unappreciative. Bullying yourself only adds to your depression. Instead, treat yourself gently and start looking at the pattern behind all of this–when did this start? Something from childhood? A family pattern? Have you seen it in other relatives? Go explore objectively–try to locate the trauma that set this all in motion for you.

      Take some concrete actions on your own behalf–in other words, get out of Victim mode and into creative mode. It’s hard when you are depressed, but it’s the first baby step.

      sending hugs! This is hard work.

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