Difference between Adultery and Bigamy

Adultery vs. Bigamy

What is Difference between Adultery and Bigamy? For a long time and even today, for many people marriage becomes the purest way of consolidating a romantic relationship and is also the basis of the family. Below this post is all about the difference between adultery and bigamy.

Difference between Adultery and Bigamy

In most societies, marriage is an element of great importance, not only because of the meaning it has for the couple in love; but also by the legal issues involved. Especially for people with strong religious beliefs, marriage is something sacred, instituted by God and can only be dissolved by death. For this reason, it should not be surprising that those who break their marriage promise of loyalty and fidelity, are commonly misunderstood in society.

Two of the things that generate greater problems between couples are bigamy and adultery. These terms designate two totally different realities, hence the importance of us to understand the difference between one and the other.


The word adultery comes from the Latin “adulterium”, although it is also said that it could derive from the French word “avouterie” and is used to talk about the fact of having sexual relations with a person who is not the couple.

In most societies, adultery is considered a crime that can be penalized even with jail if it is proven. Adultery is also one of the leading causes of divorce for most of the world.

Adultery is only considered as such, when the person gets to have sex with the other person who is not his partner; in case you do not have sexual intercourse by means, you cannot legally speak of adultery. In some countries, the penalty for adultery ranges from 3 months to 1 year in prison or community service.


Like adultery, bigamy is another valid reason for divorce. Bigamy refers to the practice of contracting a new marriage, without being legally divorced from the first couple, that is, to marry even if the previous marriage is still valid.

The term bigamy comes from the Greek bis that means “twice” and gamier or gamos meaning “woman” or “marriage.” Generally this is also often considered illegal and therefore can be penalized with jail.

Bigamy should not be confused with polygamy, because polygamy is only referred to as marriage between more than two individuals at the same time.

The Key difference between bigamy and adultery is: – Adultery refers to the sexual relations that a married person maintains with someone who is not their partner or spouse. Bigamy refers to the act of entering into new nuptials when the first legal marriage bond has not yet been broken.