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Adultery

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Adultery (aticariyā) is having sexual relations with another person while married or with a person married to another. In the Tipiṭaka, a male adulterer is called a paradārika and a female equivalent is called aticārinī (S.II,259). An adulteress might also be dubbed ‘an owl-like one’ (kosiyāyayanī) because she was Thought to sneak around at night (Ja.I,496). Adultery is probably the most common breach of the third Precept. Most marriage ceremonies include a solemn promise by both parties that they will be faithful to each other. Committing adultery breaks this promise and usually involves other negative behaviours such as lying, deceit and pretence. The negative results of adultery on others can include destruction of Trust, humiliation, heartbreak and a weakening of family cohesion. For these reasons, The Buddha said: ‘Being dissatisfied with his wife, if one is seen with prostitutes or the wives of others, this is a cause of one’s decline.’ (Sn.108). See Faithfulness and Sexual Behaviour.

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