Can adultery strengthen a marriage?

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Sex and marriage - the debate continues. The topic: Can adultery actually lead to stronger marriages?

It's issue number seven of the 10 commandments. On the web site the slogan is, "Life is Short," so "Have an Affair."

"If you're married to a person, and you love that person, that's who you should be with," said Roosevelt Garnes.

"If you want your life to be shorter, have an affair," laughed Bobbie Burks.

It was issue number one at Grapevine's Fellowship Church. Fellowship Pastor Ed Young is well-known for challenging his married couples to a week of sex. Noel Biderman founded ABC News invited the two to debate the subject, last night. Infidelity is Biderman's business, offering married men and women the freedom to have secret affairs through his web site. He says affairs can sometimes re energize a marriage.

"They have an affair because their relationship doesn't work for them," said Biderman. "Sometimes infidelity can be a boost to them becoming a better partner [and a] better parent."

"You have to ask if it's helpful, or hurtful, and it's just not...recommended," said Counselor Laurie Ann Frank.

She says adultery is an "unorthodox" alternative, but not a healthy one.

"You are putting your energy in someone else and not toward your spouse," said Frank. "You have to look at, what is the motivation?"

"Have there been marriages that have been strengthened after one of the other parties has committed adultery, sure," said Dr. Stuart Baskin, pastor of First Presbyterian in Tyler.

But, Pastor Baskin says adultery should not be the catalyst for marital growth.

"Adultery is a symptom of a disease, and, like a lot of diseases, the disease can be healed," said Baskin.

"Sit down and compromise and talk and work out the problem," said Garnes.

If all else fails, some say hit 'em where it hurts.

"Divorce him and take everything he had," said Burks. "Don't get mad, get everything."

More than 4 million users have joined since it began in 2001.

We're sure many more of you would like to weigh in on this topic. Can adultery, strengthen a marriage? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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