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Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).

(R) I read your philosophy and I just want to take issue with some of the things you said especially in regard to why a spouse would find another partner.
(MB) Thanks for reading and taking the time to reply to my essay. Let's hear what you have to say!

(R) You say that the spouse does it because he is not finding his needs met at home. While in some relationshps this may be the case, but not in all. Adultery is about the adulterer and no one else.
(MB) That's not the impression I was attempting to make. The main focus of my essay was to take issue with adultery being a crime or that it should be anything other than a pure issue of religious or societal morality. My point in saying that one might do it because they are not finding their needs met at home was not to suggest that it is the only reason, but that there's more to the subject than a simple issue of "cheating" (as most laws seem to suggest).

(R) The reasons may vary for the wandering, for example low self esteem, impulsivity, sexual addiction, loose morals, latent homosexuality, no upbringing, etc., but the adulterer almost always has a need to justify his actions afterward. This alleviates some of his guilt in the matter.
(MB) This assumes that there's any guilt involved. If one doesn't believe that he's doing anything "wrong", there's no guilt and little need for justification (other than to defend himself against a legal action).

(R) All marriages have issues of discontent to some degree, but as soon as an adulterer makes the decision to stray, these issues become magnified and give him/her a feeling of being justified. If those issues were a problem in the first place, why were they not confronted and worked on? And if that was impossible, why not a divorce or separation?
(MB) If only it was that easy. There are numerous reasons why terminating the marriage may not be either possible or desirable. There are also numerous differences between married couples that are extremely difficult (or even impossible) to work out successfully. Too many marriages should never have happened in the first place, but happen anyway due to various factors. Some of these include "forced" marriages (due to pregnancy or custom/law), immature infatuation, convenience, religious pressures (e.g., "living in sin"), etc. Such marriages are almost always doomed to failure.

(R) The truth of the matter is that this person who wishes to stray wants his cake and eat it too.
(MB) In the case of those who do nothing more than what society calls "philandering", I would agree with you. In most other cases, however, it's not quite so cut-and-dried.

(R) He wants all the comforts of marriage, but wants to "date" for whatever his reason, as stated above (and I am sure there are more reasons than those I touched on), but he does not want to take responsibility for his actions and lays it on the other partner because he cannot handle his shame.
(MB) Again, this assumes that there is any shame involved in the situation or that there's really only one reason for it.

(R) Life is a long time (even in marriage) and of course there are going to be moments of attraction, but if a person values the vows he made and protects his marriage by not being in places, situations, and relationships which have a potential to escalate, the marriage bond can remain intact.
(MB) This makes another assumption that the "situation" caused the marriage bond to weaken rather than a breaking of the bond making that same situation acceptable. I doubt that many truly happily-married people would indulge (or have any need to indulge) in any extra-marital affair.
    Also, you speak of valuing one's marriage vows. What if the marriage was not a religious one and there were no vows?

(R) If a person considers the marriage bond outdated, a religious fluke, impossible to keep, or unimportant, then why get married? Stay single and screw around until you drop dead!
(MB) There are many advantages to marriage in our society besides monogamous sex. What do you think of my idea about marriages being renewed every five years? The prospect of the impending end of a marriage might just make those involved work a little harder to maintain it. Or, if they no longer wanted to maintain it, they could just wait a little while until the time was up and then be free to seek other partners.

(R) But to make a promise to someone to forsake all others and then to go back on the promise is always hurtful to yes, the victim.
(MB) It is my contention that one spouse can also be "forsaken" by the other and that this should be considered just as much of a "crime" as adultery. After all, wouldn't this also break most marriage vows? This is not a one-sided issue as to who the "victim" is.

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