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30 J. Fam. L. 45 (1991-1992)
For Better or For Worse: Adultery, Crime & the Constitution

handle is hein.journals/branlaj30 and id is 55 raw text is: FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE': ADULTERY,
Martin J. Siegel*
Betrayal. From tender youth we are told by father and teacher that betrayal
is the most heinous offense imaginable. But what is betrayal? Betrayal
means breaking ranks. Betrayal means breaking ranks and going off into the
unknown. Sabina knew of nothing more magnificent than going off into the
For Sabina, living in truth, lying neither to ourselves nor to others, was
possible only away from the public: the moment someone keeps an eye on
what we do, we involuntarily make allowances for that eye, and nothing we
do is truthful. .  A man who loses his privacy loses everything, Sabina
thought. And a man who gives it up of his own free will is a monster.'
Most American marriages today are touched by adultery.3 Yet
adultery is a criminal act in most of the United States.' We live with
this dissonance, and do not consider ourselves criminals, for the obvious
reason that laws banning extramarital sex are not enforced.5 If these
laws were regularly brought to bear, though, we might expect most
Americans to reflect more deeply on the relationship between their gov-
ernment and their families, their lovers and themselves. At that point,
the state, now a sort of guest too busy or unwilling to visit, would enter
deep into recesses of life most people consider off limits to outsiders.
This much seems beyond debate, whether we applaud the invitation to
the state or deplore it.
* Law Clerk to Judge Irving R. Kaufman, United States Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit. B.A. 1988, University of Texas; J.D. 1991, Harvard University.
I Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to
the degree of being sacred. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 486 .(1965).
' See infra notes 68-73 and accompanying text.
4 See infra note 36.
' See infra notes 54-57 and accompanying text.

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