Meaning of Adultery
The origin of the word adultery comes from the Latin expression ” ad alterum torum ” which means ” in another’s bed “.
The term adultery can be used both to define infidelity in a relationship between two individuals and, in its verbal or adjective form, to refer to something or someone who has been “defrauded” or “falsified” (adulterate / adulterate).
In this article we will limit ourselves to dealing with the term in its original sense, that of marital infidelity .
The act of adultery has always been viewed in different ways by different societies. Being treated with the greatest rigor by some and considered by others as a totally acceptable act.
In ancient Babylon, for example, the wife was deprived of one eye so that she could only see her master and lord.
Consequences of Adultery in the Bible
For the Hebrews, the husband was allowed to sacrifice his wife who did not bleed in their first intercourse after marriage.
We can also find examples from society where adultery was accepted as a common practice. This is the case of women in Savoy, a region of France.
Where husbands allowed their wives to get together once a year and go to taverns for the purpose of associating with other men; or even the Spartans, who were recommended adultery to treat cases of “ chronic ” jealousy.
However, we must emphasize that these cultural antagonisms are not restricted to the past. Even today we can find examples of both extremes.
Muslim-majority countries that adopt “ Sharia ”, the Islamic law according to which adultery is a crime punishable by the death penalty.
In contrast, we see in Western culture in particular that adultery has been increasingly tolerated by society.
It is not that the act of adultery ceases to be seen as a serious offense, but as society becomes less “ dogmatic ” and more “ liberal ”.
Consequently, we tend to accept certain behaviors that we previously considered intolerable.
Infidelity and Adultery
Theoretically, the difference between infidelity and adultery is negligible. Legally, however, adultery is considered the extramarital relationship in which “coitus” has occurred.
There is no adultery without physical contact between the parties, and even then, adultery is considered a ” necessary competitive crime ,” meaning it can only be committed by two people.
The need to clarify these two fundamental characteristics of adultery is due to the fact that infidelity is often confused with adultery .
The first is more directly related to the breach of trust or certain implicit rules in marriage, or with a stable relationship, than with the sexual relationship of a spouse with a third party.
This understanding is necessary as we observe and analyze certain contemporary social behaviors, such as, for example, the “ virtual ” relationship between two individuals.
Socially, the distinction between a “real” relationship, where there is physical contact between the parties, and a “virtual” relationship has been losing force. Although the fact does not characterize adultery in itself, it constitutes sufficient cause for a divorce action.
As can be seen from this article, adultery is morally and religiously disapproved of , and is consistently punished by society throughout history.
But despite this fact, cases of adultery have always existed and continue to exist, some say that this phenomenon is due to our origins.
Due to the fact that this behavior is something very recurrent for primates. However, whatever the motivation that leads the individual to commit adultery. It is that it is already part of the universal culture, going against any religious or social imposition.