Prager University recently made a video exposing the many ugly consequences of adultery as a sin against the Ten Commandments.
This is an easy selling point for Christians--God says adultery is wrong, and therefore you have sufficient motive to avoid adultery. However, even if you think Christianity is just an elaborate fairytale, adultery has very real consequences that have nothing to do with eternal fire and damnation.
Here are my four simple (and non-religious) observations on adultery:
1. It’s Expensive
I guarantee you that adultery will be equally (if not more) stressful than your current nine-to-five.
First, because it’s expensive.
Now that you’ve added on a new love-interest, you must pay for two partners: your original spouse, along with his or her dates, dinners, gifts, and maybe even kids, plus your new partner, and his or her own dates, dinners, gifts, and kids.
Oh, and if you’re cheating with a prostitute, you may as well just light your money on fire. Seriously, quality escorts are insanely expensive (and a classy specimen such as yourself deserves the best).
2. It’s Stressful
But adultery is not only stressful to your bank account.
Unsurprisingly, it’s also seriously harmful to your mental health. The stress of balancing two separate lives—two completely alienated relationships—can create real anxiety. Constant doubts and worries will haunt your every waking moment as you enjoy your new exciting partner.
What if my wife finds out?
Even worse, our kids?
My Mom and Dad!
If she finds out I’m married, what will she do?
These thoughts will buzz through your mind as you race home, late again, desperately spraining your brain for a valid alibi as to why you are three hours late getting home from work on a Tuesday and appear freshly showered.
Besides, the relief and comfort you receive from your new partner will wear off (just as it did from your original spouse), and then what?
You can’t break up with your spouse without them suspecting, and you can’t break up with your paramour without them burning your reputation. Good job, you’ve landed yourself in the ninth circular layer of hell.
3. Someone Might Literally Kill You
I used to watch an unhealthy amount of Forensic Files, a crime show that retraces grisly murder cases. One day it occurred to me that a healthy majority of domestic murders involved an adulterous relationship.
You see, once you’ve been outed on your scandalous activities, both people on whom you’ve been cheating automatically have very little to lose, and much to gain, in seeking their revenge.
In fact, a whopping three people now have a motive to harm you: your spouse, your paramour, and his or her spouse (if they have one).
Perhaps they are generous and will simply blackmail you. On the other hand, your original spouse has a motive to kill you for vengeance--or perhaps your second partner will do the honors in order to obliterate evidence of their own scandalous relationship.
Just ask the young girl from Forensic Files season 5, episode 4 (not for the faint of heart).
She was found decomposing in a storage barrel—thirty years after her untimely death. After finally outing the adulterous activities of her partner to his family, she was beaten to death by that man and sealed away in a storage bin (still pregnant with his child).
Excuse me while I go throw up.
The slogan on Ashley Madison’s website is “Life is short. Have an affair.” Yeah, your life is likelier to be quite short if you take part in an affair.
4. It’s Objectively Wrong
I’m still keeping my promise—I’m not going to mention God.
But consider this: society functions properly under one basic principle: people tell the truth. No business transactions can be made, no diplomacy can be discussed, and no products can be manufactured until people have assumed that the other people they are transacting with are being truthful.
All human connection and negotiation comes to a grinding halt if, on a basic level, people mistrust one other.
This societal mistrust will only grow if you continue to grant yourself special dispensations to commit adultery whilst naively believing that you are the only one doing it.
Cheating on your spouse, and in doing so lying to them and countless other people, slowly chips away at the foundations of American society as more and more people do it.
No, I’m not being dramatic.
This philosophy actually has a name. It is called Kant’s Theory, or the Categorical Imperative. The basic premise of this theory is that you can’t, while maintaining your moral dignity, commit a wrong you would not like to have done universally (and therefore have done to you). For instance, it is never morally just to lie, because you would hate for everyone to lie to you. Just so, it is never morally just to commit adultery because you would not like to have your spouse commit adultery against you.
When people ignore Kant’s Theory, society suffers from an injustice.
Finally, studies show that your chances of returning home to find a bunny boiling in your kitchen increase exponentially if you cheat.
Okay, I made that last one up. But trust me: Adultery is bad for your mental health, risks your own life, and is damaging to American society as we know it.
Whatever your marital affairs may be, having anything to do with adultery–cheating–is not in your best interest.