Every once in a while you come across something that really ‘takes the biscuit’. Over the weekend I stumbled across a mention of the following site:


It is an on-line dating site for married people who wish to find a partner to commit adultery with.

Right! Whatever next?!

I am not the first person to wonder about an etymological connection between the words ‘adult’ and ‘adultery’. Is adultery what adults do?! Surely not!

I did some research and it turns out that the two words do not come from the same root stem after all:

“Adult” comes from the Latin word ‘adolescere’ meaning ‘to grow up, to mature’ – so here we see that the worlds adult and adolescent ARE related!

However, the world adultery comes from a French word ‘avoutre’ and this word evolved from an older Latin word: ‘adulterare’, meaning ‘to corrupt, to make impure’, (in my words) ‘to add something impure or toxic to the mix’. Our word ‘adulterate’ stems from the same root word.

So here is a definition of the world ‘adultery’ from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/adultery



n, pl -teries

1. (Law) voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man or woman and a partner other than the legal spouse
 No confusion there.

Today’s question then is: would an ADULT (meaning a mature individual who acts as a grown up in all areas of his/her life) commit adultery?

And answer is: NO!

My personal view is that adultery is a great ”game of chasing shadows and illusions’. It has everything to do with unresolved personal issues and it is not about ‘love’ at all. Why would anyone betray the person they love, endanger their family life, by sleeping around?

To add spice and excitement to our lives – but we could choose to add innovation and a surprise element to our married life.

To feel young again (the classical scenario of ‘men of a certain age hunting for a younger blonder model’). Why? Because it brings the illusion of ‘feeling younger than our true age’  but ‘death waits for no one’ and old age is one of those ‘great levelers’: both happen to all of us – if we are lucky enough not to die young. And frankly, there are more important tasks older people need to perform, both for their immediate circle and for our world at large. Being role model or mentor/teacher for younger people being one of those tasks.

It is my belief that any crushes or infatuations we develop are expressions of ‘our own shadow material’. They are about a yearning to experience ‘true blissful love’ (unity consciousness) that reality cannot sustain but that a committed spiritual path can bring.  They are often about “the shadowy figures that inhabit our own psyche”: we project onto other people our ‘un-lived dreams and desires, our unclaimed skills, the parts of ourselves we are not ready to own’.

And while we get sucked into that slipstream – we can easily end up betraying the one special person who has committed to us, who is often the father or mother of our children, the person who is there for us at the end of the day and in moments when no one else is.

And the damage isn’t limited to that: our children are greatly wounded by the stress, suspicion and trust failures this brings into family life.

What does an ADULT do?

A true adult is aware of the responsibility to model for our children ways of coping with crisis and challenge, ways of keeping our marriage alive and fresh – so they can grow up and trust that they too will find ‘true love’ one day. And they will realise that ‘true love’ requires hard work and sacrifices, not thrill seeking and ‘risking it all’. But they will know that true love exists and have an internalized template of this.

An ‘ADULT’ chooses to do their inner work and face up to the shadowy characters …. the ‘shady drug dealers that live on the street corners of our own mind.

If I can admit that I have an Inner Drug Dealer who tries to push me into thrill-seeking behaviour – that particular shadow looses its power over me.

If I can admit that, at times, I too would love to be young again and feel ‘wild attraction to someone, go on mad adventure’, I can express this in conversations with a close friend or an occasional joke – but I don’t need to live the script and endanger my children’s well being and their need for me to be an ADULT while they are CHILDREN and DEPEND ON ME.

So I suppose you could say that my opinion on this is pretty ‘hard line’. But as a shamanic practitioner who does healing work with young children affected by parents ‘not acting as adults’, I shall stick out my Dutch head and speak up. Dutch people are an outspoken breed…

I have little sympathy for people who commit adultery – but my heart DOES go out to marriages or partnerships where one person ‘runs wild’ and the other person can DO absolutely nothing to stop it. My heart breaks every time I hear such a story.

Usually the ‘other (dependable) person’ then is forced into the role of “Superhuman Adult” because they need to provide a safe haven for children WHILE working through their own sense of betrayal and their world crashing around their ears.

So what do I think about an on-line dating agency for married people?

I am glad that they have been banned from advertising in the UK on a number of occasions. However, ultimately that does not solve the larger problem in our society and worldview.  They are only a symptom of the times we live in and of how we lost we are, in our culture, when it comes to doing our inner work and resolving such issues within our own psyche – without acting them out and passing the burden of betrayal on to our children and our children’s children.

I have written blogs about ancestral healing work before: whatever issue or pattern is not resolved passed to the next generation at death. This is why issues, themes and patterns ‘run in families’ – quite literally.



Let’s put some attention on what it means to be an ADULT as opposed to an ADULTERER. Here two letters can truly make a world of difference.

Imelda Almqvist



Imelda Almqvist is a shamanic practitioner, teacher and painter based in London, UK