Will Having An Affair Land You In The Big Joint?

I recently saw this article about a rather unbelievable law in New Hampshire that lawmakers are looking to overturn.

Is it one of those goofy state laws like it being illegal to slurp soup on Sundays?


It has to do with adultery. Turns out that in the state of New Hampshire, it’s still illegal to cheat on your spouse.

While over the two centuries since the Puritan-style law was established, the punishment may have lightened up a bit. A man from the 19th Century would face being placed in the gallows for an hour to the more contemporary punishment of a $1200 fine, but it’s still illegal.

This immediately perked my interest. If New Hampshire still has this on the books, then what other states consider adultery a crime?

It turns out that about half of them actually do, according to this report from 1996.

Of course, each state will vary the punishment for committing adultery. Michigan, for example, dishes out a life sentence, which is a just a bit extreme. While Maryland is content with a minuet $10 fine.

However, if you happen to have an affair, I wouldn’t by sweating. The chances of serious legal ramifications are low since most states rarely prosecute a person for cheating on their spouse, probably because lawmakers are infamous for fooling around themselves. The worst that could happen would be that it would by used for grounds for divorce.

But, believe it or not, it still happens. In 2004, John Bushey, Jr., the town attorney in Luray, VA, was sentenced to 20 hours of community service for cheating on his wife. Which I would assume, was to make an example out of him.

So, where did this ridiculous law come from?

It has it’s  roots from 13th Century England, which had church-based morality laws called “bawdy courts”. When the Puritans landed in the States, they didn’t have the church-based laws of England, but still had their own version of bawdy courts, which most states enforced.

If you were caught in the days of our founding fathers, you either faced execution (there are only 3 cases known, however), having an “A” branded to your forehead, or if you were a woman, being stripped naked from the waist down and publicly whipped. There was also the chance of heavy fines, a shaming punishment, or some gold old fashioned capital punishment, such as a whipping.

As stated earlier, you’re not going to face the harsh punishments of old, but jail time, fines, or community service are all real possibilities.

If an ex-lover goes to the police, and from there, goes to an overzealous prosecutor, who is not defending the law, but simply morality, you could be in hot water.

To avoid getting busted for these outdated laws for something that occurs behind closed doors, here’s some helpful tips.

Don’t Get Married.

Let’s start with the probability of finding just one person to spend our entire lives with. We live in a time where the world is at our fingertips. We can travel freely, or have a conversation with, anyone, anywhere in the world. Do you really think that you’re going to lock down just one person with all the millions of options that could be the “one”?

OK, let’s say that you do find that special person, what are the reasons for getting hitched? If it’s to have kids, then that’s just selfish, since Earth is just a tad overpopulated and all. Besides, kids are germ infested, and they’ll suck out every dime and minute that you have.

Of course you could argue for “love”, which is sappy, or not being alone, which is pathetic, but I’ll give you the main reason why you shouldn’t get married. Humans are not monogamous. In fact, only 3%-5% of mammals form such a bond. We’re not wired to be monogamous. So, why deny our genetic rights to have multiple partners?

Now, let’s say that you do tie the knot. Here’s what you can do to avoid Johnny Law if you have an affair.

Cheat with another married person.

This way you’ll both be in trouble. The chances of one of you running to the cops will be unlikely, since most affairs end when a scorned lover rats the other one out.

Have an open relationship.

It’s the same logic as having an affair with another married person – you’re both guilty, so the law shouldn’t be a factor. Also, having an open relationship allows you, and your mate, to fulfill that genetic code of screwing, while having the comforts of a typical marriage.

Pay for it.

You’re already committing a crime, so why not go down in a blaze of glory? Although, If you’re worried about prostitution being illegal, then just plan a trip to Vegas, and problem solved. The biggest benefit of paying for sex is that prostitutes and/or escorts don’t kiss and tell, unless you’re rich or famous.

Don’t Get Caught.

May sound difficult, but it’s totally feasible. Make sure you cover your tracks, like having another cell phone, or e-mail account, for booty calls that your spouse doesn’t know about. Don’t ever chat to your mistress on a line of communication that the wife is aware of.  Case in point, Tiger Woods. And, please don’t have them as a friend on Facebook, or another social network. That’s just plan stupid.

Also, always have an alibi. The “working late” excuse is cliche and will instantly send up a red flag. Make up an excuse that is original, but realistic.

It has to be something that your wife would believe. For example, let’s say your friend Tim and his wife are on the fritz. Tell your wife that you’ll be home late, because you want to take Tim out to get his mind off things. Make sure that Tim knows what you’re doing, and that you both have the story straight.  Hell, get him some tail while you’re at it. Finally, make sure your wife and his wife aren’t friends, cause she may think Tim’s a dick and you shouldn’t be hanging out with him.

Lastly, go somewhere else besides your place or hers, a hotel for example, but don’t use your credit card. Just remember you’ll never know when your wife, or your date’s  husband, will walk through the door. You may even have to answer some questions if a nosey neighbor sees you come home with someone either than your spouse.

Time to go break some hearts and break some laws!

Leave a Comment

  1. IrishKeven says:

    Well if it isnt illegal thats like saying its alright to cheat on someone, which its not. Unless your a fucken asshole douchebag. But jailtime is a little bit too much i admit. You should just be kicked in the nuts, assigned to community service, and divorced with a fine lol.

  2. Victoria says:

    An hour in the GALLOWS? Surely you mean an hour in the STOCKS? Gallows are used to hang people. An hour in the gallows and a person would be well and truly dead, assuming your neck didn't break straight away anyway. Stocks (and pillorys) are those wooden things that you get fastened into by neck, arms and/or feet, and left there in public view to be humiliated.

    And to IrishKeven – saying something isn't illegal isn't saying it's ok. Things can be morally wrong but not technically illegal. It's not illegal to get totally and utterly wasted and verbally abuse your family, but it's still wrong. Do people really need the law to tell them everything that's right and wrong? Can't they use a bit of common sense and basic decency occasionally? Adultery is not illegal in plenty of countries… doesn't mean that everyone goes around doing it.