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lpc1998 - 11:04am Nov 13, 2000 SGT (79.)
Adultery does not break marriages

Adultery to the believers of some religions is a sin against their God or gods and so punishable by God or gods in this life or next or both. Some countries may consider adultery a crime and so punishable by law. Fortunately, in Singapore, adultery is not a crime and is seen as a cause of a domestic dispute between married couples. Married couples usually have many disputes with each having its own cause and why should the law make one cause of domestic disputes criminal and not the rest. If the law makes all causes of domestic disputes criminal, what would become of Singapore and her people? We must be wary of those who are too obsessed with the grand seats in heaven they believe their God or gods promise them life hereafter if they do the things they believe would please their God or gods. And not what is in the best interests of Singapore and her people in this life. They are more concerned with what would happen next life.

Adultery does not break marriages. It is the reaction to adultery by the spouse (the “aggrieved” party) that may break a marriage. Some of the reactions (which are not mutually exclusive) to adultery by the “aggrieved” party are as follows:

  1. Assaults or retaliates against the third party with or without serious injuries. This may be criminal, but, by itself, it does not break the marriage;
  2. Kills the third party. This is criminal, but, by itself, it does not break the marriage. It wrecks the family;
  3. Assaults the spouse with or without serious injuries. This is criminal, but, by itself, it does not break the marriage, unless the spouse uses it as a ground for divorce. The “aggrieved” party may of cause counter-petition for divorce on ground of adultery;
  4. Nags, curses or heaps other forms of verbal abuse with or without tears at every opportunity day and night and depriving him/her of sleep. This does not break the marriage, unless the spouse uses it as a ground for divorce. The “aggrieved” party may of cause counter-petition for divorce on ground of adultery;
  5. Kills the spouse. This is criminal, but it does not break the marriage. It wrecks the family;
  6. The “aggrieved” party kills himself/herself. This is suicide and criminal, but it does not break the marriage. It wrecks the family;
  7. Kills the spouse and himself/herself with or without the children. This is criminal, but it does not break the marriage. It wrecks or annihilates the family;
  8. Petitions for divorce. This breaks the marriage;
  9. Feigns ignorance and takes appropriate steps for revenge to make the spouse pay dearly for it;
  10. Gets even with the spouse. Commits adultery himself/herself;
  11. Preserves the family for the benefits of the children with each living his/her own life separately, privately and quietly with or without another partner;
  12. Feigns ignorance and takes appropriate steps to win back the spouse or to prevent further occurrence of adultery; and
  13. Feigns ignorance and business as usual.
As it can be seen from above, only Reaction 8 breaks the marriage. All these reactions are not exclusive to adultery. Some other causes of domestic disputes may trigger off one or more of them.

How an “aggrieved” party will react to adultery depends on many factors including the “counselling” he/she receives. If the “counsellor” is not independent, but someone with his own agenda, then the ”counselling” received may trigger off a particular reaction which may or may not be in the best interests of the “aggrieved” party.

An anti-adultery law would have denied the “aggrieved” party from opting for Reactions 1, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13, wrecks the family and hurts the very children the law is supposed to protect.

Best Regards.

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