How can I help my boyfriend understand?


We’ve been together almost 3 months now and everything is wonderful except…

He’s catholic too, but doesn’t embrace the faith like I do. Most of our arguments are because he wont listen to me on moral issues, and I’m not good at arguing so I never push it.

It really bothers me because he watches porn and wont go to mass on sundays. I try to ignore it because i don’t know what else to do. But I really care about him, and i want him to have a close relationship to God.

He’s even said things that don’t make sense to me. Like he doesn’t think abortion is murder when it clearly is, and he has no problem with premarital sex. We haven’t done anything, and he would never push me to, but I want him to see the truth.

How can I show him he is wrong without pushing him away?


Set a good example and be patient.

Unfortunately it may take time, and pray that his heart will change.
There is no quick fix to this.

Sorry to paint such a bleak picture.

You can’t make people change only they can change themselves.


That’s alot of exceptions.

If he keeps up the porn, I’d end it. That can mess up the way guys think. It probably does already.


I think you need a new boyfriend. Not going to mass is a huge red flag. Do you want the father of your children to set an example that you don’t have to go to mass if you don’t feel like it?

Sounds like this guy doesn’t want to change and no one can force him.

Pray. Hard.


That is a lot of major points to dissent on. He may be “nice”, but he doesn’t sound very “good”. He doesn’t sound like someone worth being in a long-term relationship or marriage with. I would get out now and move on.


You can’t. Any statement you make about moral issues wil push him away.

My first thought - What are you doing with this man?
My advice - Leave.

He has to find his own close relationship with God. You can’t do it for him. You can only demonstrate a relationship. But right now you are only demonstrating compromise. You have to stand up for yourself and what you believe.

Be careful and Good luck.


You can’t. If he rejects the Church, and what She teaches, there isn’t any amount of arguing or cajoling you can do to change him. Only he can change himself.

What you need to do is determine what is important to you-- which it sounds as if you have-- and then use that as your criteria when dating.

This man does NOT meet the criteria you have set-- the first and foremost of which is sharing your values, beliefs, and practice of religion.

That means, it’s time to move on and find someone who does-- not beat your head against the wall figuring out how you can change him or how you can ignore it and try to “make” it work.

Save yourself a lot of time and trouble and realize that you have a right to discriminate in your dating-- that’s the purpose of dating-- and weed out those who do not share your values. Dating is not about changing the other, it’s about evaluating compatibility.

Move on.


I’m not going to leave him. He is a wonderful person, but he wasn’t raised in a religious home. I wrote all the bad stuff; there is a whole lot more good stuff that I don’t have space to get into.

Also I feel like God put me in this relationship for a reason, and I want to help him. I just don’t know how.

I still have hope, but i would never marry him unless he came back to the church


You will know you have found the right man when the phrase “He’s a really wonderful guy” is followed by a period, not a comma.

He’s a really great guy, except…<insert list of objectionable behaviors> (sign he is *not *the one)

He’s a really great guy. (sign he could be the one)


That’s your choice.

That is unfortunate. However, again, a man is not a fix-it-up project. You cannot make him change.

I’m sure he does have some perfectly nice qualities. Those do not negate the dealbreakers you listed.

If you want to be his friend and try to teach him about God, great. But, he has to want to receive that message.

It is very unwise to date someone so incompatible under the guise of “helping him”. You will only set yourself up for heartbreak.


I think that the question you should be asking yourself is why do you want to continue a relationship with a so-called “Catholic” who -

*]doesn’t go to Mass

*]watches porn

*]doesn’t think abortion is murder

*]has no problem with premarital sex

Obviously, “everything” is not “wonderful.”

Consider the future… Would you want to be married to a man who won’t go to Mass with you and the kids? Who watches porn? Who may want you to abort one of your children because the pregnancy is inconvenient? And if he has no problem with premarital sex - trust me, he’ll have no problem with extramarital sex either.

Is he the type of man you would want to be a father to your children? Is he the type of man you would want your daughter to date?

It’s admirable that you want him to see the truth. Ask him to go with you to Mass. (Make sure he doesn’t receive Holy Communion until he goes to Confession!) See if he will at least do that for you. Become stronger and more knowledgeable in your faith so you will be able to defend it. And pray for him.

Just keep in mind that he may never change, or at least not anytime soon. With these problems between you, is he the kind of man you would want to spend your life with?


Thank you all for your advice. I have thought about everything ya’ll are telling me and I have prayed hard about it.

Maybe I should leave him, but I really don’t want to. I don’t think I’m ready for that. He’s my first boyfriend, and we bring a lot joy to each others lives. I am not in this relationship expecting a marrage. I know dating is for marrage, but I am not a perfect person either; I am happy, and I have a lot time to find the one. I am young and in college, and for now, i just want to enjoy the life God has given me without too much worry for the future. Everything will work out.

I know I can’t change him, but I can’t help but want better things for him and his life. He knows my views and respects them, but he is not ready to accept them for his own. I guess I’m asking if there is anything I can do to help him to want to change.


Okay, he is Catholic. You say he was not raised in a religious home. Did he attend CCD, Confirmation Class?

Does he give you real reasons why he does not believe what the Church teaches? Would he be willing to do some study with you?


I am curious. You say you are not sexually active with him. You say you are not in this to see an end result of marriage. You say you would never marry a man with these behaviors anyways… so what makes him a boyfriend by definition instead of just a friend?


There’s a difference between respecting and agreeing. He knows I’m against porn, so he would never ask me to watch it or put me in situation where i would have to be around it.

He is my boyfriend because of our connection. Also, we wont date anyone else, and I didn’t say marriage wasn’t possible (it’s not an option now, but it might be one day). We’re still pretty new, and marriage hasn’t really come up yet.

Okay, he is Catholic. You say he was not raised in a religious home. Did he attend CCD, Confirmation Class?

He was raised “catholic” by a non religious family. If that makes sense… I know he got his first communion but not confirmation.

Does he give you real reasons why he does not believe what the Church teaches? Would he be willing to do some study with you?

He believes that he is close to God already, and does not need to go to mass, and he doesn’t understand why I have a huge problem with the porn. He thinks all guys watch it and it’s no big deal, and it drives me crazy!

I’ve gotten him to go to mass with me once, but he keeps telling me that he wants to want to go. Which i think is total bs. He’s really sensitive about some things. Especially when I mention his flaws, and he gets really defensive and completely shuts off to me. It makes it really difficult to talk to him.


**I completely agree w/ you, Stratus. :wink:

There are ‘other fish in the sea’.:shrug: **



We all want a better life for everyone… It’s a shame more don’t understand what they are missing.

This is one big “fixer-upper.” And it’s not like it’s impossible, but really, your time investment would be huge…and maybe not successful. First, lets make some assumptions.

  1. He doesn’t go to Mass and does not think it important.
  2. Porn, abortion, premarital sex are all rights or privilages in this country. Many people don’t have a clue why they shouldn’t be. He’s following what’s he’s heard.
  3. He has no real incentive to change… There is you, but how much do you really mean to him? Would he die for you? What would he give up for you? And would he be willing to change for himself? For his soul? These are questions only he can answer. And yes, it IS that serious. I ought to know. BTDT.

Then lets say he does change. How will you know it’s not just an act? How long must he be changed before one can consider him a proper father and husband? 1 yr? 2 yrs? 5 yrs?
The effects of these issues are very long term. Porn, especially.

This young man needs a proper education. If he’s not even considering Mass, then I’m not sure what his motivation would be. He likely does not care about being Catholic from what I’ve read here… That would of course be the first step. After all, what use would it be to introduce him to TOB if he has no desire or incentive to understand or live that way? This would be a very long and calculated path you would have to navigate. While I don’t believe any ignorant young man should be written off, I do recognize the difficulty and effort required for a “conversion project.” Maybe the best thing FOR him is for you to leave him over this. Maybe someday, it’ll sink in.

OK, enough thinking out loud… well with my fingers anyway. Here is a good book for YOU. Real Love: Your Questions on Dating, Marriage and the Real Meaning of Sex. by Mary Beth Bonacci. It answers all sorts of questions and will provide you with the reinforcement you may need to keep your faith strong. It’s a bit long, but worth the read. It will at least give you some information to provide to him about how women (all of them, not just his girlfriend) should be treated and why regardless of how the culture portrays them, today.

Peace and good luck. You sound like a very intelligent, caring and faithful young woman. :thumbsup:


The porn issue would cause me a lot of concern. I would probably end things if he couldn’t give that up. Porn devalues women in the minds of men and causes us to become objectified in their view and warps their outlook. I would laydown the law but give him a chance to change on that.

As to not going to mass well that maybe something that will take more time but again give him a chance and then if things don’t change maybe let things go. As an example my dad who is very religious converted when he married my mother but disdained any involvement in mass or the church then through the grace of GOD when I was young something happened in my family and there was a quick resolution for which my dad credited the church and he became one of the most devote people I know and even attends daily mass. I’m just saying you never know and GOD may have brought you into his life to help him back to the church put have patience, talk to a priest and overall be realistic. :thumbsup:


When you find a decent man–emphasis on the word “man”–it will put this relationship into better perspective. A porn-watching ex-Catholic (come on–what else is he?) who would, if you gave him the green light, be more than happy to compromise your moral integrity, is not someone you want to spend time with. I have no doubt that he has lots of good qualities that you love. After all, the vast majority of people fall into that large area between saint and sinner. However, the lines are pretty clearly drawn here. In my experience, it’s easier to fall than to become holy, and given enough time, human nature being what it is, he’s probably more likely to influence YOU than you will influence HIM.

Just my two cents, but I’ve been there…

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