Do you know that committing adultery was a crime up until a few years ago in South Korea?
This law was overturned in 2015 by South Korea’s Constitutional Court.
The court ruled that one’s sex life was private and it was the right of an individual ‘to pursue happiness’.
Before that, anyone who cheated on their spouse could be charged and if convicted, could spend up to two years in prison.
In Korean drama-land, having the main characters as cheaters or being cheated on is a juicy, salacious plot idea.
And viewers actually enjoy these blood-boiling dramas circling around adultery.
So here are KajoMag’s favourite Korean dramas about adultery that you should watch:
1.World of the Married (2020)
This list of dramas about adultery can never be complete without World of the Married (2020).
It created so much hype and invoked so much hatred that the actress who played as the mistress in the drama received hateful comments on her Instagram.
Some viewers could not even differentiate between reality and fantasy in this drama because that is how good the acting was.
Based on BBC One’s drama series Doctor Foster, it tells the story of a married couple whose betrayal leads to a back-and-forth revenge.
To date, it is the highest-rated drama in Korean cable television history.
The story focuses on Ji Sun-woo (Kim Hee-ae), a respected doctor and the associate director of a hospital.
She has been married to Lee Tae-oh (Park Hae-joon) for more than a decade.
Tae-oh works as a struggling film director who is feeling insecure and inferior for having a successful wife.
So what does an insecure man do? They got into affairs with much younger women who think highly of them.
Tae-oh’s mistress Han So-hee (Yeo Da-kyung) is the only child of rich parents and used to getting what she wants.
And of all the things she could have, she wants another woman’s husband.
While most viewers are drawn to the juicy revenge and scandalous plots of this drama, the story’s actual message the impact of divorce on children.
2.Secret Affair (2014)
Oh yes, you can tell this drama is about adultery and infidelity based on the title itself.
While Kim Hee-ae gets cheated on in World of the Married (2020), here is Secret Affair (2014) where she does all the cheating as Oh Hye-won.
At the age 40, she seems like a woman who is living a fulfilling life. She carries herself elegantly and full of sophistication as the director of planning for the Seohan Arts Foundation.
One day, she comes across Lee Sun-jae (Yoo Ah-in). A genius pianist, Sun-jae is 20 years Hye-won’s junior.
They begin a scandalous, passionate affair together which they have to keep as a secret no matter what.
Jung-sun (Jang Na-ra) comes from an affluent family and graduated from a prestigious university. She lands a high-level job at Sung Un Department Store without much difficulty.
Her work as the department store’s VIP management team is to serve their top one percent of customers who are special VIPs and VVIPs.
Her husband Park Seong-joon (Lee Sang-yoon) is her team leader at work.
One day, she receives an anonymous text telling her about Seong-joon’s adultery.
Jeong-soon begins to dig up the truth about her husband and ends up finding out more than she can bargained for.
4.Temptation of Wife (2008)
In this revenge thriller drama, the husband Jung Kyo-bin (Byeon Woo-min) is a world-class jackass.
He cheats on his wife Goo Eun-jae (Jang Seo-hee), divorces her, forces her to abort their baby and leaves her to die.
Eun-jae then suddenly makes a surprise comeback from the dead showing up with a complete different attitude, a mole and brand new identity as So-hee.
Due to this, the drama gained much criticism when nobody seemed to recognise Eun-jae just by virtue of a single mole on her cheek.
Ridiculous? Maybe. The drama, however, remains one of the most viewed dramas of all time. It even had two remakes in China and the Philippines.
5.I Have a Lover (2015)
Speaking of two people who look alike, I Have a Lover (2015) is about a pair of twins Hae-kang and Yong-ki (Kim Hyun-joo) who were separated 30 years ago.
Hae-kang is living her life as an ambitious and successful lawyer with her husband Choi Jin-eon (Ji Jin-hee).
After they lose their daughter, their marriage is pretty much loveless and dysfunctional.
Jin-eon goes on to start an affair with a younger girl Seol-ri (Park Han-byul). Later on, the couple divorces.
Hae-kang gets into a mysterious car accident and loses her memory. Baek-seok (Lee Kyu-han) mistaking Hae-kang as Yong-gi and saves her life.
From there, Hae-kang continues her life believing herself to be Yong-gi and falls in love with Bae-seok.
But what happen when her adulterous former husband shows up? Will she falls for him all over again?
6.My Wife’s Having An Affair This Week (2016)
Also known as Listen to Love, this Korean drama is based on the 2007 Japanese series by the same title.
What if you find you find out your wife is having an affair? Who do you turn to?
Hyun-woo (Lee Sun-kyun) fell in love with Soo-yeon (Song Ji-hyo) when they were in college.
After eight years of marriage, he thought he had the perfect family. His wife is beautiful and devoted to their son.
His world comes crashing down on him when he sees a hotel reservation message sent by a male stranger on Soo-yeon’s phone.
At first, he does not think much about it. However, Hyun-woo slowly start to realise that his wife is having an affair.
He starts to question everything in his life including how he is like as a husband and father. To seek advice, he begins to talk to strangers online to figure out how to save his marriage.
7.My Husband’s Woman (2007)
Before Kim Hee-ae played the dutiful wife in World of the Married (2020), she was the mistress Hwa-young in My Husband’s Woman (2007).
After graduating from college, she meets a Korean-American man whom she later marries. She then moved to the US to live with her husband.
Years of marriage, Hwa-young and her husband are unable to conceive. Later due to a failed business, her husband falls into deep depression and commits suicide.
After the loss of her husband Hwa-young returns to South Korea.
There, her best friend Ji-soo (Bae Chong-ok) helps her build a new life.
She also meets Joon-pyo (Kim Sang-joong), Ji-soo’s husband.
So how does Hwa-young repay her best-friend’s kindness after all she has done? She falls in love with Joon-pyo and starts an affair with him.
In the meantime, Ji-soo eventually finds out and the psychological warfare begins.
Twisted, intense and a very intriguing whodunnit storyline; Misty (2018) marks Kim Nam-joo’s return to the small screen after six years.
She plays the role of Go Hye-ran, an ambitious anchorwoman for the popular news show News 9.
One day, she needs to interview a famous golfer named Kevin. As it turns out, the man is her former lover.
The sexual tension between them is high and both of them have various rendezvous together. It should not been a problem if they both were not married.
Hye-ran’s husband is Kang Tae-wook (Ji Jin-hee), a public defender whom she married for his powerful family background.
Kevin is married to Hye-ran’s friend from school Eun-joo (Jeon Hye-jin). The affair turns deadly as Kevin is found dead and Hye-ran is the prime suspect.
For some unknown reason, Hye-ran’s estranged husband steps in to be her lawyer. Is it out of love and their marriage or is there something else going on?
The first four episodes are rated 19 by the Korea Communications Commission due to violence and sexual content so you know things are steamy in the beginning.
9.Woman of Dignity (2017)
What is worse than a woman who is proud of ruining someone else’s marriage? A mother who encourages her daughter to do so.
Woo Ah-jin (Kim Hee-sun) is an elegant and charismatic woman who marries into a rich family.
Thanks to her character and wisdom, she gains the favour of her father-in-law and a president of a multi-millionaire company.
Ah-jin is entrusted to find a caregiver for her father-in-law. She find Bok-ja (Kim Sun-ah) whom she thought was a simple woman from the village.
Things turn upside down in that household when Bok-ja manages to convince the president to transfer his money and company to her.
Making it worse for Ah-jin, she finds out her husband is cheating on her.
The story continues with Ah-jin trying to gain back her father-in-law’s wealth as well as making the unapologetic mistress and husband pay for their betrayals.
10.The Hymn of Death (2018)
Here is a Korean drama based on a real-life adultery.
Yun Sim-deok (1897-1926) is Korea’s first professional soprano. In 1921, she met Kim U-jin, an English literature student.
They both fell in love with each other but there are two problems, U-jin is married and divorce is out of the question.
Starring Lee Jong-suk and Shin Hye-sun, the drama is based on the real-life romance of U-jin and Sim-deok.
Since it is based on true story, viewers who know the story beforehand can already predict the ending.