General Question

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

A single woman has an affair with a married man. Are they both adulterer's or just the one who is married?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30774points) July 16th, 2009

First I’d like to know your opinions about adultery in general.

Then, in context of one of the Ten Commandments…
“Thou shalt not commit adultery”...

A pretty vague rule incapable of answering my original question. Is it only adultery for those who cheat on their spouse? The mistress is single… has she committed adultery too?

Let’s say the mistress does have a boyfriend… Maybe even a fiance’. Is that adultery if she cheats on a boyfriend or fiance’?

A few thousand years passes and Jesus comes along in support of the Ten Commandments… but Jesus provides some details telling us that adultery is committed even if we lust after someone, married or not.

So what guidelines do you personally use for adultery. If you were the single mistress or the single john, have you committed adultery by sleeping with a married person?

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32 Answers

casheroo's avatar

If she knows the guy is married, then it is adultery. If she doesn’t, then I view her more as a victim as well.

Aethelwine's avatar

It takes two. Both are guilty.

Jayne's avatar

I thought that adultery, in the Biblical context at least, referred to any sex out of wedlock, regardless of whether the person is in wedlock with someone else or not. I assumed that was why you’re not supposed to do it until your wedding night. So, in all of these cases, eternal damnation it is.

cyndyh's avatar

Nope. The mistress is committing fornication. The married one is committing adultery. Both are guilty, but she’s guilty of a lesser sin.

Facade's avatar

all sins are equal
And I agree with @Jayne. except for the “eternal damnation” part

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Adultery is cheating on the commitment or vows of a relationship.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@casheroo pretty much sums it up if you ask me.

How can a woman/man be to blame if they have no idea their partner is in a relationship aside from theirs?

If they know, yeah, it’s a no no, but if they don’t how is that not completely out of their control?

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

sex out of wedlock… that whole sin seems a little outdated if you ask me…

“but Spencer, God is never outdated!”

Bri_L's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 – but Spencer, God is nev….. oh wait….. never mind. ~

cwilbur's avatar

It’s adultery only for the married partner, but that’s a matter of definition. They’re both doing something reprehensible.

@ABoyNamedBoobs03: Sex with a married person out of wedlock is a violation of the wedding vows, and a broken promise.

fireinthepriory's avatar

I’m probably going to be the only one who thinks this, but I think that only the man is committing adultery and the woman has done nothing wrong. The man’s wife is HIS responsibility, not this other woman’s.

If the other woman has some sort of relationship with his wife, whether it be friendship or that she hates her, then she becomes responsible as well and has done something wrong (e.g. betrayed her friend, seduced a husband for revenge, etc). But if she doesn’t know the other woman? It shouldn’t be her job to stop the man from cheating on his wife. (HOWEVER, she would be an idiot to look for a lasting relationship with the man – he’s clearly a cheater and we all know that when you start out as the “other woman” you can expect it to happen to you later.)

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@fireinthepriory, are you saying it’s morally acceptable for a single woman to be a married man’s f#ck buddy?

fireinthepriory's avatar

@PandoraBoxx For the woman? Yes. Taking care not to imply that it’s to do with gender – same goes for a married woman who’s sleeping with a man, she takes all the blame because she’s the one in a relationship, not the man she’s sleeping with on the side. If he were in a relationship as well, then he would also be doing something immoral. And yeah, I know this isn’t the socially acceptable answer. :)

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Hmmm…interesting…based upon personal experience, I think I would equate the single person’s involvement to the same moral corruptness as taking something that does not belong to you.

fireinthepriory's avatar

I don’t think people can own other people. They can be committed to other people, however. Relationships are something that concern only the two in the relationship, therefore I think it is their duty to protect it if it’s something they care about. If you’re the single person on the side, I don’t think it should be your responsibility to stop someone else from cheating, it is their responsibility to stop themselves (and hopefully because they love their partner and value their relationship, not a sense of moral fortitude or whatever!).

And just a note, I’ve never been the “other woman” and yes, I have been cheated on so I’m not an adulteress vigilante or anything. :)

Bluefreedom's avatar

They’re both guilty as sin. If you’re going to judge someone, don’t do it half-assed and don’t make excuses. They both know what they’re doing is wrong and no one is making them do it. They are adulterers and evil fornicators that must be set on the right path through divine intervention. Before that happens, though, they must be punished accordingly and flogged in a public square.

Ivan's avatar

Hey, in the Bible, it says that if you screw an animal, both you and the animal should be killed, so perhaps that is precedent.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@cwilbur no I mean two people having sex before they’re married, sorry for the confusion.

augustlan's avatar

In the biblical sense, I’m pretty sure that @ABoyNamedBoobs03 is correct – all sex outside of marriage (including before marriage) is considered adultery. From my perspective though, I’d consider both the married half and the single half (assuming knowledge of the other’s marriage) guilty of something, but I’m not sure I’d call it adultery. The married partner is cheating, the single partner isn’t – but that doesn’t make it ok.

SirBailey's avatar

On one side, I don’t think you have to actually have sex with the person to be committing adultery. Obsessive thinking about doing it would be enough for me.

On the other side, however, I know there are people who are married but don’t have a marriage (in the eyes of either the husband or the wife). I DON’T look at cheating as adultery in this case.

Bri_L's avatar

@SirBailey – I have to disagree with you on the Obsessive thinking about it. It may be the only thing keeping you from committing adultery.

SirBailey's avatar

I wouldn’t be happy if I found out my wife had obsessive thoughts of having sex with another man. Act on it or no.

Likewise, I wouldn’t be happy if my wife had obsessive thoughts of shooting me. Act on it or no.

Bri_L's avatar

@SirBailey – I should clarify, I wouldn’t say obsessive thoughts about having sex at all. Recurring thoughts. Not with just random people or anything.

For instance my wife and I are having trouble with that right now. Due to her unwillingness to participate in any physical contact let alone sex, I, more often than not, have had to mentally look elsewhere for enough stimulation for satisfaction.

Am I happy? No. But I have not cheated even though we have had sex only 4 times in 7 years. We keep trying to work through what it is. I am not going to pressure her. Some of it had to do with her becoming a mother. I told her that made her even more sexy to me, because it did. Some of it had to do with some serious unforgiving flaws in her character. Those she wont discuss. But until we can I need to do what I do.

SirBailey's avatar

But what you are doing, which I presume involves porn on the internet (have you checked out is FANTASIZING. That’s different that thinking about your sister-in-law every time you have an orgasm, and then some.

PS…Chris Rock says something like “With a man, faithfulness is inversely related to opportunity”.

LexWordsmith's avatar

Just the one who is married, by definition, except according to the definitions in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as we remember from the case of (i think) Kelly Flynn.

LexWordsmith's avatar

i wonder whether there’s an etymological relationship to the word “adulterate”—perhaps our English translations mean to imply that the husband’s (OldTestament-style) property rights in his wife and her progeny are being adulterated by the possibility that the children are biologically those of some other man. So i’d be interested in what the Hebrew of the Masoretic text really means—does it really mean that any sexual relationship outside marriage is counted by the OT as adultery?

Definitely doesn’t seem related etymologically to “adult.”

CMaz's avatar

” but she’s guilty of a lesser sin.”

There is no lesser sin.

Bri_L's avatar

@SirBailey – Yes and yes. Then I misunderstood your meaning. Sorry about that.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Once the single person knowingly takes up with the married one then they are both committing adultery.

justme1's avatar

@casheroo is correct. She is the victim also if she doesn’t know, if she does then she committed adultery also and shame on her

4sonshaw's avatar

God has brilliantly put another commandment directly following Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery – His commandment of “Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbors Wife(Husband)” So I would have to say that both participants are breaking one of the 10 Commandments!

godisgood67's avatar

Just a thought here….Bible times when the 10 Commandments were written, men were allowed to have more then one wife and concubines. The sin came in when a man took another man’s wife. Not when he took a single woman, a virgin… if we are talking about a married man and a single woman, is it really adultery? I know over time the laws of the land has changed…...just a thought here.

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