Updated: Jan 24, 2019
BIBLICAL POINT OF REFERENCE:
"You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
I don’t remember if I’ve told you all before, but I’m currently taking a class called “The Dark Side of Communication”. It’s super fascinating, but also kind of depressing because of the topics we discuss. I have to applaud my professor, though, because she really knows how to keep the energy up despite the sad and unfortunate topics surrounding the class.
Today’s topic was infidelity. Geez, the word itself even sounds heavy. Anyway, we had the wonderful opportunity to participate in an in-class activity sectioning off which behaviors from a long list we thought were cheating or not cheating. Some behaviors listed were things like, “kissing someone who is not your partner” or “spending time with specific individuals who are not your partner”, whereas others were more severe, like “having sexual relations with someone who isn’t your partner”, and “watching pornography without your partner”. Then, we had to work with a partner and decide which actions we thought were cheating, not cheating, or part of a gray area.
All of this got me thinking on what my standards are and how aligned they are with the Catholic Church. More importantly, what does the Catholic Church think about infidelity?
From a basic Catholic perspective, infidelity is completely wrong; whether you’ve been wronged or think you have a good reason for cheating, infidelity is always wrong because you are breaking a covenant and a commitment with God, not to mention your partner as well.
This doesn’t just mean physical actions either—this could mean emotional infidelity. Check out what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about this:
"You shall not commit adultery. You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (For those interested, here is more information.)
Yeah, that’s right—if you even think about someone or look at someone with lust you’ve already committed adultery and infidelity against your partner.
Many people would say this is harsh and an unreasonable thing to ask of humans. But is it really? Is staying faithful to one’s partner really that much to ask? The way I see it, you should be the only person on your significant other’s mind, especially if you’re married. In fact, I’m guessing that a big reason infidelity and cheating even happens is because people don’t know how to commit to his or her partner in the first place.
Here’s what the point is: cheating is cheating, no matter how small you think the behavior or thought about another person is. The Church stands by its position that infidelity is wrong on all accounts, in that you are hurting God just as much, if not more, as your significant other. Just because it happens increasingly in today’s society, and just because people attempt to say they had a legitimate reason to cheat, doesn’t make it right. Just something for you all to think about today.
Your Laughing Sister,