Is it a sin to be unfaithful? Photo Lourdes Ribas. Atrezzo Pepe von Strüdel

Is it a sin to be unfaithful?

Although I do not practise any religion, every time I have an orgasm convinces me a little more that there must be a higher power. Besides, whoever I am in bed with, and whatever their name may be, the name I loudly proclaim during my moments of ecstasy is ‘God’, as in ‘oh my GOD!’

If I had paid more attention to the catholic education that I received, my life would be very different now. I was taught that sex outside marriage was a sin. I have to admit that I am not married. But, I must say I was surprised to discover that according to a new study, more than 70% of the users of a website for people wanting to be unfaithful, actually believe in God. And 76% of the group surveyed, believed that being unfaithful was not a sin but was instead a gift from God. This caught my attention in particular because adultery is considered a very serious sin in many religions. In some it is even deserving of serious punishment.

Of course, you do not have to be a true believer to clearly understand the concept of right and wrong within marriage. I believe that it is the guilty conscience among religious people that provides a strong link to their motives for being unfaithful. This is especially true if one partner suspects that the other is doing the same illicit thing that they are. Being unfaithful can also be the end result if one partner is no longer interested in sex and the other no longer feels desired and wants to reaffirm their attractiveness.


Photo Lourdes Ribas

The latter reason has been the driving force for an unfaithful friend of mine. He has been married for over thirty years and has seen the last four of those go by without once having had sex with his wife. At first he felt guilty for the mere fact that he was looking for affairs online. But recently, he came to the conclusion that satisfying his immediate desires overcame any guilt he might feel afterwards. Now, with his lover, he says that he is enjoying sensations that he has not felt since his youth. Besides, he is convinced that there will be no really serious complications or repercussions from the affair because his lover lives in a different city and they do not meet up very often.

I remember feeling a great deal of empathy for people who were in similar situations when I started my website:  which publishes the anonymous confessions of people who maintain different types of sexual double lives. What I cannot understand, however, is the amount of guilt felt by religious people who are behaving in thoroughly indiscreet ways. Sometimes all their friends know about their behaviour and it becomes an open secret. This is an unacceptable situation not just because they are cheating on their partners but that they carry on humiliating them every time they are unfaithful.

Nor do I understand those individuals who have affairs when they have not even been with their official partners for very long. It is worse when they have every intention of marrying that oblivious partner and even having children with them. I understand the difficulty in maintaining the passion in a long-term relationship but you should at least have a little mutual spark to begin with even though you suspect that it might dwindle over time.

The unfaithful ones who really feel guilty, in my opinion, are those who see that what they are doing is inherently wrong. In the majority of cases, the only thing that makes them feel bad is the fact of getting caught.

Translation of ‘¿Es pecado ser infiel? published in El País.

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