Adultery in Catholic Marriage

Adultery in Catholic marriage. Adultery is the act of consummating a loving covenant with a person who appears as an outsider or third party to a marriage. One of the two members of the sacred covenant decides to enter into, anonymously, a relationship with a person outside the marriage.

Adultery in Catholic Marriage
Adultery in Catholic Marriage

In Catholic marriage, adultery is considered a disobedient act before God, which is a mockery in their eyes and, consequently, a lack of commitment signed before the witnesses and the church. Committing adultery in a Catholic marriage is, in that sense, part of erratic behavior.

How is adultery conceived in the Catholic Church? In this article, we will review the conception of adultery in Catholic marriage, understanding the consequences that this entails.

The first thing we must investigate are the effects of adultery on marriage, this being one of the most common questions in this scenario.

Does adultery annul a Catholic marriage?

Adultery in Catholic marriage. There is no ruling or clause that annuls Catholic marriage when one of the two partners is accused of committing adultery. While these acts usually lead to a divorce, there is nothing that automatically triggers a separation.

Some people consider that a failure to commit should mean, immediately, a separation from marriage. However, these are nothing more than personal appreciations. It is in this way that we find that there is no element or article that repeals marriage in the face of evidence of adultery itself.

Consequences of adultery

When it is clear that one of the two partners has committed adultery in the marriage, some situations usually arise in the couple:

  1. Body separation: The couple experiences one of the first shocks after infidelity, body separation. While they may still live in the same home, it is very common to observe that they do not share a bedroom, as well as other activities typical of their old routine as a couple.
  2. Difficulties in living together: It is very likely that the couple will experience certain increasingly difficult disagreements regarding their tolerance and ability to reach mutual treatment. Coexistence will become increasingly complicated, compromising more and more their future as a relationship.
  3. Divorce: Most cases of adultery in Catholic marriages usually end in divorce proceedings. The couple dedicates that it is not possible to contemplate a future together, and for this, they initiate a divorce process in which they will have to discuss multiple aspects such as the custody of their children and the division of assets acquired during the marriage respectively.

These effects must characterize the most common cases in which a case of adultery arises. However, they should not be considered as a determinant, because some couples manage to find a meeting point for their relationship, being able to solve their differences and move towards a new stage in their family project.

But, in either case, adultery is a practice frowned upon by Catholics – and in many religions. For this reason, and, in addition, for the emotional chaos that those involved will go through, these processes are usually accompanied by professionals.

In this way, the couple will be able to find the right tools to move forward in their case, whether they project a divorce or a reconciliation for the correct treatment of their differences.

A violation of God’s commandments

For the Catholic Church, adultery represents a direct breach of the commandments of God’s law. We can review how this is visualized in the case of each violated mandate:

‘You shall love God above all things’

Loving God above all things involves accepting His law and keeping it. A person who has committed adultery, we might say, has failed in his commitment to God’s desire, acting irreverently and selfishly before his own oath of office.

‘Thou shalt not commit impure acts’

A commandment that subscribes in a more direct way to the subject we discuss, is the 6th, which categorically rejects all acts that go against the morality of God. Adultery is, in essence, an impure act, considered one of the most aberrant to God’s law in any marriage.

‘Thou shalt not tell false testimonies or lies’

A person who has committed adultery is a person who has acted dishonestly before his family. A consideration that we can contrast with this, the 8th commandment of God’s law. Adultery is one of the greatest examples of false testimonies or lies, so its practice is a direct disrespect for both God and our marriage.

‘Do not indulge impure thoughts’

The ninth commandment of God’s law proposes a direct clause for adultery. To consent to an impure thought that also proliferates in the action of adultery is an act repudiated by God, and in this sense, an error before the Catholic Church.

Adultery is an impure act

A person who commits adultery may respond to different reasons. Sometimes, this may be due to problems or disagreements in the marriage. However, some cases may show some psychological problems such as depression, sociopathy, etc.

Whatever the scenario, adultery is an impure act in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Its practice is a sin that must be rebuked immediately, because the commitment of marriage is for the whole life of those who subscribe to it.


Adultery is an act that repudiates Catholic marriage, and its action carries serious consequences both for marriage and for those who exercise it. A commitment is one of the most important and solemn acts for the Catholic Church, and attacking it consequently generates a wrong path, outside the footsteps of God.

All people who dedicate themselves to marry under the eyes of God must commit themselves throughout life to love each other both in good times and bad, in health and in sickness.


Read also: What is committing adultery?; What does the Bible say about marriage? Adultery in the Catholic Church ; Adultery in the mind

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