Distinguishing Infidelity & Adultery

Infidelity vs Adultery

Human relationships can be delicate, particularly in the realm of romantic relationships where various issues can arise. Adultery and infidelity are two such issues that are often used interchangeably, as both words are employed in similar contexts. However, it is crucial to understand the true difference between them in order to use them properly in certain contexts.

What is Adultery?

Adultery is defined as extramarital sex that is highly frowned upon based on social, religious, moral, or legal grounds. The concept of adultery is present in nearly all societies, but the definitions and consequences vary between communities. Historically, adultery was sometimes considered a crime punishable by death, but it is no longer a criminal offense in western countries. Nonetheless, adultery can have legal consequences, particularly in divorce cases with fault-based family law. In these instances, adultery is considered grounds for divorce. When considering alimony, property settlement, or child custody, adultery may be a deciding factor.

Adultery is criminalized in some countries, primarily where the dominant religion is Islam. In some ultra-conservative countries with Islamic Sharia Law in place, stoning may even be used as punishment for adultery.

What is Infidelity?

Infidelity, also known as having an affair or cheating, occurs when one partner in a relationship violates a set of norms or rules pertaining to the relationship, resulting in sexual rivalry and jealousy. Infidelity can be either physical or emotional, but it usually refers to sexual relations outside of committed relationships. According to the National Health and Social Life Survey, 16% of cohabiting men, 4% of married men, and 37% of dating men engage in sexual infidelity, while 8% of cohabiting women, 1% of married women, and 17% of women in dating relationships were found to be infidel.

Causes for infidelity include sexual dissatisfaction, emotional dissatisfaction, and it is common among individuals with sexually permissive attitudes. Factors that contribute to infidelity include being well educated, less religious, living in an urban center, having more opportunities to meet potential partners, holding liberal ideologies and values, and being older.

Key Takeaways

– Adultery involves at least one of the sexual partners being married to someone else, while infidelity can occur in both married individuals and committed relationships.
– Adultery specifically refers to engaging in physical sexual activity, whereas infidelity can involve either emotional or physical engagement.
– Adultery is considered a criminal offense and grounds for divorce in certain jurisdictions, while infidelity is not considered a criminal offense and is not grounds for divorce.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles