Project in Health
Patrick James Narvasa
Marital infidelity is a violation or breach of good faith and confidence by one or both spouses to the matrimonial vows. It is also a major spousal pressure that eventually causes the breakdown of marriage as a foundation of the family. Our present laws on adultery and concubinage under the Revised Penal Code both constitute marital infidelity, but these are deemed as discriminatory and nebulous. While both aim to punish marital infidelity of the spouses, there is higher burden put on wives than on husbands. This disparity in the treatment of the law is seen in the evidentiary requirement for the two crimes and there is a huge underlying difference if the infidelity was committed by the male or female spouse. For the wife, adultery means one act of sexual intercourse provable through circumstantial evidence while for the husband, evidentiary requirement for concubinage is higher by proving that the sexual intercourse with a woman who is not his wife is under scandalous circumstances; that he is keeping another woman in the conjugal home; or that he is cohabiting with her in another dwelling. Our present law also imposes higher penalty to married women who commit infidelity as compared to married men1 . The usual reasoning for the distinction is that the infidelity of the wife can result in introducing alien blood into the family; that an illegitimate child could be passed off as the husband’s and he will end up supporting and giving his name to the said child. It is also claimed that this probability does not arise if it is the husband who commits concubinage. It should be noted that as private crimes, our present law on adultery and concubinage regards the privacy of the offended party as more important than the disturbance to the order of society, as it gives the offended party the preference whether or not to sue. The moment the offended party has initiated the criminal complaint, the public prosecutor will take over and continue with prosecution of the offender. The moment the prosecution starts, the crime has already become public and it is beyond the offended party to pardon the offender. But the RPC provision on adultery has been used or mostly abused by many husbands against their wives to threaten, torture, harass or compel the latter to yield to his demands. On the other hand, the law on concubinage renders it extremely difficult for the wives to prove the three elements in the Courts of law which results to more dismissals of cases filed.
Boredom in a static, familiar relationship can lead a man or woman to cheat on his spouse or partner. Shine explains that relationships often begin on a high note with much excitement, but that over time, the thrill diminishes when real life sets in. A bored partner might then meet someone new and experience the longed-for rush of adrenaline. Hungry for more, she becomes caught up in feelings of passion and exhilaration and then engages in an affair. Ego Issues
Boosting a bruised or shaky ego inspires people to cheat. Over time, men and women might become insecure about their ability to still be attractive to the opposite sex, particularly as aging sets in. If someone displays interest in a married man or woman, it might make the married person feel better about himself and trigger a desire for more attention and ego stroking. Such a rush leads people to cheat on their partners, whose compliments they might not value. A Need for Revenge
Cheating on a partner can lead to a vicious cycle of infidelity where both halves of the couple engage in affairs. A woman might cheat to even the score if her man steps out on her, in an attempt to inflict the same pain and suffering that her partner caused her. The Urban Daily reports that a woman might feel the relationship rules she follows are no longer valid if she is...
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