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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What is Infidelity and Adultery?

The seventh commandment states: Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery. (Exodus 20:14)

A friend asked me recently what my definition of infidelity is. The dictionary describes infidelity as any violation of the mutually agreed-upon rules or boundaries of a relationship, and is a breach of faith in an inter-personal relationship. More specifically, adultery is defined as the voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another person who is not his or her spouse. For the purpose this blog, I will write exclusively concerning married persons as I don’t want to thus write a blovel and run the risk of boring anyone.

In regards to adultery and infidelity, let me go a little further and add that infidelity and adultery in a marriage can also describe acts that are not sensual in nature—that everyday actions that put priority above one’s spouse can define an adulterous relationship. In my opinion, any habit, desire, addiction, hobby or relationship that one puts above their marriage or relationship is defined as infidelity. Some examples are compulsive shopping, gambling, excessive video game playing, consistently spending large amounts of time with friends, and alcohol or other drug addictions. Of course, infidelity can also define the act of fantasizing about being in a relationship with another person and adultery can then be defined as fantasizing about having a sexual relationship with another person. Jesus tells us, “You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:27-28).

In regards to infidelity and adultery, what are your thoughts?


Scarlet Hester said...

I'm in agreement that infidelity can be of an emotional nature. And I like that you say other desires that detract from your relationship.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments on adultery. It is what it is. And it tears a marriage into pieces. I also believe that just because one doesn't have the finicial means to file a divorce from one's spouse, that during a seperation it may be acceptable to begin a relationship with some one new as long as your current spouse understands you ARE NOT going to reconcile.

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