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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Adultery acceptable sometimes

"To commit adultery or not?" The answer in most people's mind may seem to be very simple. No. After all, that is what our values say. But wait; hang on here. Is everything in life always so black and white? Probably not. And in some rare cases, whether to commit adultery or not may be one of those gray areas. I am going to argue that adultery may actually be acceptable in some cases.

Let us look at Rose's case. She says, "I have not cheated so far. I am married, but i have considered adultery as an option lately. The reason is I am not satisfied with our sex life. I have talked to my husband about it. The problem may sound familiar to a lot of women: bars, beer and TV. Any of these three things get his attention any time he is off from work. I believe in marriage and faithfulness. And I love him. It is very very hard to hear those "two voices" in my mind, one that reminds me to stick to my moral beliefs and another one which suggests to fulfill my body's urges with someone else."

Kay, a professional pianist, is in a very similar situation. She is approaching 40 and has been married for 14 years to, what she calls as, "an otherwise wonderful man". She tells me that he just does not seem to show any desire to sleep in separate bedrooms but she says that she loves him and so does he. She has no reason to suspect that he is committing adultery. "I can not leave him and it is also very hard with him to raise the topic of visiting a doctor to see if anything is wrong with him. I have often been tempted to commit adultery. I have a great body and men are drawn to me every time I perform a concert. While my body's needs are so strong and if I do not commit adultery, I will literally die without having any more sex. I have tried a massager which are good enough only once in a while. I need a real man."

We just picked two cases, but there are many others that I have dealt with. Dr. Andrew Atwood, the reclaimed author of the book Hopeful Solutions for Sexless Marriage, estimates that as many as 17 million married people in the United States live such hopeless lives.

My position with all my clients has been that adultery should be the last option in any relationship, but yes, it is acceptable if it meets the tesst bwlow. If answers to ALL questions below are yes, you have every right to commit adultery.

  1. You have tried everything possible with your existing partner.
  2. You have sought professional help and tried to tell your partner to seek as well.
  3. For whatever reason, you can not divorce your partner and plan to spend the rest of your life with her/him.

Having said that, I will finally like to caution you about who you commit adultery with.

  • Pick your partner carefully so that you do not destroy another relationship.
  • Do not play with someone's feelings and lay the ground rules from day one.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to pay if you have to.

And finally, there is no reason for you to feel any sort of guilt at all. You only live once and you have every right to go elsewhere if your partner is not able to complete one of the most important requirements of a marriage/relationship.

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