holy bible what is different about infidelity and adultery

Have you ever pondered the disparity between infidelity and adultery? There are various terms used to describe marital unfaithfulness, some of which are best left unmentioned.

The most frequently asked questions revolve around the terms ‘infidelity’ and ‘adultery’:

  • Is there a distinction between the two?
  • Can they be used interchangeably?
  • Is one considered "worse" than the other?

With nearly seven years of experience assisting marriages plagued by infidelity, we have gained valuable insights into this topic. Therefore, we aim to address these questions and provide clarity.

Let's delve into the matter.

To start, let's consult for the official definitions of each word:


  • Marital disloyalty; adultery.
  • Unfaithfulness; disloyalty.
  • Lack of religious faith, particularly Christian faith.
  • A breach of trust or disloyal act; transgression.


  • Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than their lawful spouse.

From this perspective, infidelity encompasses more nuances than adultery. Adultery, as defined, involves engaging in sexual acts outside the context of a married couple.

Considering our Christian perspective, let's consult the Easton Bible Dictionary as well.


  • conjugal infidelity.

An adulterer refers to a man involved in illicit intercourse with a married or betrothed woman, and an adulteress refers to a woman engaged in such conduct. Fornication refers to intercourse between a married man and an unmarried woman. Adultery is considered a significant social wrong and a grave sin.

In a spiritual context, idolatry, covetousness, and apostasy are metaphorically referred to as adultery (Jeremiah 3:6, 3:8, 3:9; Ezekiel 16:32; Hosea 1:2:3; Revelation 2:22). An apostate church is likened to an adulteress (Isaiah 1:21; Ezek. Isaiah 23:4, 23:7, 23:37), and the Jews are described as "an adulterous generation" (Matthew 12:39). (See Revelation 12 for comparison.)

This definition of adultery emphasizes sexual intercourse between a married individual and someone other than their spouse. Furthermore, within the Bible, the term 'adultery' is used to encompass other forms of unfaithfulness to God. 'Infidelity' is not explicitly listed in the Easton Bible Dictionary, but the word is employed to define 'adultery.'

We perceive 'infidelity' as the broader concept that encompasses adultery and other related transgressions. Adultery represents a specific form of infidelity, namely engaging in sexual acts outside the bounds of marriage. While some sources consider these terms synonymous, we believe that infidelity encompasses a wider spectrum. In our view, infidelity primarily stems from matters of the heart. It manifests when individuals turn away from God and prioritize their selfish desires.

Various verses emphasize the importance of keeping our hearts devoted to God:

  1. Proverbs 4:23 advises us to guard our hearts diligently, as they are the source of life's springs.
  2. Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, not relying solely on our own understanding, but acknowledging Him in all our ways.
  3. Matthew 6:21 reminds us that our heart follows our treasure, highlighting the need to prioritize God in our lives.

When our hearts remain faithful to God, we are less susceptible to the disloyalty and unfaithfulness associated with infidelity.

The Connection Between Infidelity and Adultery

Infidelity, rooted in a lack of faith in God, inevitably leads to unfaithful acts such as adultery. Proverbs 6:32 emphasizes the lack of wisdom in committing adultery and the self-destructive nature of such behavior. Additionally, Hebrews 13:4 underscores the importance of honoring marriage, keeping the marriage bed undefiled, and acknowledging God's judgment upon the sexually immoral and adulterous.

Addressing Common Questions

Let's address some common questions based on the insights we have gathered:

  1. What distinguishes "infidelity" from "adultery"? Infidelity encompasses any form of unfaithfulness to God or another person, while adultery specifically refers to engaging in sexual acts with someone other than one's spouse.
  2. Can these terms be used interchangeably? Although they are often used interchangeably, we maintain that infidelity serves as the broader term, encompassing various forms of unfaithfulness. Adultery, on the other hand, specifically refers to sexual unfaithfulness.
  3. Is one considered "worse" than the other? In the eyes of God, any sin is viewed as sinful. While some may perceive adultery as a more severe transgression, Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5:28 that even lusting after someone in our hearts constitutes adultery. This verse demonstrates that infidelity originates within the heart, as our lack of faith and reverence for God leads us to prioritize our own desires.

The Bottom Line

In essence, we all possess the capacity for infidelity, and by extension, adultery. No individual, regardless of their level of faith, is exempt from sin. Moreover, there is no sin that is inherently "greater" than another.

"I don't agree with this as much as a psychology coach who has worked with people for years. In some situations, the difference between cheating and adultery is clear. However, I think that focusing only on the act misses the real problems. Emotional or physical cheating is caused by deeper problems in relationships and in people's own lives. Getting to the bottom of these problems is important for any relationship that wants to heal and rebuild trust. Putting it down to a simple act ignores the complicated emotions and actions that go along with it.", Wilda Harrison says.

Both infidelity and adultery are regrettable and should be avoided. And the roots of betrayal run deeper than the physical act itself – the problem is the importance of trust and the devastating impact of doubt in relationships. That's why we’re here to help you establish trust and remove any lingering doubts about your partner's intentions. With our advanced algorithms and comprehensive search capabilities, we provide you with the evidence you need to make informed decisions about your relationship and get a relief you deserve. Don't let uncertainty eat away at the core of your connection -- take control and restore honesty with iFindCheaters for free.

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