My boyfriend is quick to fight and argue with people, how to deal with this from a Catholic standpoint?

I know this is a strange question for this site, but i don’t know where else to go and Yahoo Answers sucks XD and I’m Catholic so it might be relevant.
So, he technically isn’t my boyfriend, but let’s just call him that because I do love him and he really likes me, we just aren’t dating. Okay, so my boyfriend is very protective of me and his younger sister. If anyone messes/is rude or does something weird to either of us and he doesn’t like them, he will punch him or tell him that he will punch them. I hate violence, but I like a man who can protect me and fend for himself, but not go looking for a fight. I know he would never hurt me or his sister, but people keep telling me he will if I date him (which I want to) and that I should leave him. But because I’m in love with him, I can’t leave him because I care about him too much and I want to continue to see him even if there is a chance of me being hurt (which there really isn’t). I also want to help him get through this, if i was married to him and this happened, I would’t just pack up and leave. I would stay and be there for him to help him through it. It’s also not like he kills who ever he punches (like beats them to death) either…What should I do? Should I talk to his family about it? I’m not sure if they know or not. He’s also a younger guy (14) and i’m older (17) so he is still learning and going through the perils of adolescents. Though I know most guys aren’t fighting each other at this age. PLEASE NO HATE AND DON’T BE MEAN I JUST NEED HELP ON HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS. ALSO REMEMBER PLEASE THAT THIS ISN’T A LITTLE CRUSH, I LOVE HIM. THANK YOU

This is not the guy for you; he is way too young and immature. We do not solve our problems in the real world by punching or threaten to punch anyone who does or says something we don’t like. He is not protecting you or his sister, but he is giving himself permission to fight someone over something that does not concern him. Seventeen is a little young to be in love with anyone, you have your whole ahead of you to find someone who will protect you, but not start a fight every time someone is rude or messes with you. Remain friends, but do not start dating this guy; you cannot and will not change him; he has to do that himself and he is a long way from doing it.

Greetings,
Firstly here is something from the bible–“Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” This is from Mark 7:15.
Secondly there is a huge difference in maturity between a 14 and 17 year old. Sounds like he needs anger management counseling and should learn to let go of his egotism.
Thirdly you mentioned you would stay even if it meant getting hurt(physically)-Wake up! This is the mindset of someone who ends up dead or killing the abuser because of feeling they have no other alternative.
Lastly you are catholic so as I’ve read many times on caf you can go talk to a priest. Talk to a priest, get his take on the situation, don’t just ask for advice from strangers on the web. Blessings to you and yours.

Here’s something from a common sense standpoint:

People generally don’t change much. Stay away. Sounds like bad news to me.

Hi and Welcome! I’m glad you’re here asking questions, and I hope there’s more questions coming!

You are at a wonderful age to really dig into the catechism of the Catholic Church. There is so much wisdom and guidance there, and by putting these things into practice, it will help you navigate the coming years with the least amount of train wrecks, if you don’t mind me putting it like that. lol You can think of it as learning how to drive a car. There’s plenty to learn in the driver’s manual first, plenty! before you even put your hands on the wheel. The reason this is required is because you are sharing the road with a million other people and although accidents happen, there is a lot that all of us on the road must follow for things to go as smoothly as possible.

The catechism is a great place to read, really ponder on, and then put into practice. It might be a great idea if you read a bit first, then share with your friend what you read. Challenge each other to put this into practice during the week, and at the end of the week, discuss how you did or didn’t do. This is a wonderful practice to follow, especially with boyfriends.

Here’s a bit on the virtues. I hope you find this interesting and something you would like to pursue further. These will be ‘like a lamp unto your feet’ over the next few years. We have to share this planet with a lot of other people, and learning the virtues will really guide you well in life. When falling short (all of us would do well to do an examination of conscience at the end of the day) we can go to confession to a priest and really make God’s graces available and working in our lives. Being a Catholic is a wonderful gift. I hope you make it your own. God loves you so very much, you would cry if you could know how very much he does! May he continue to guide and help you on your journey.

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a7.htm

Welcome! :wave: You can always come here to ask questions, no matter the topic. We are here to help each other.

You both are still very young. That he still engages in physical altercations like that shows a lack of maturity. Not that that makes him much different from most 14 year old boys. :stuck_out_tongue: :o We do a lot of growing up in those teenage years (and even well into our mid-twenties).

I know this is not what you want to hear, but I would recommend not indulging romantic feelings towards him at this point in time. I hate to say it (because I know how much I hated to hear it when I was a teenager), but the intense feelings of love that we have as teenagers are often illusory. Every single “couple” from my high school years broke up within a year of high school graduation. Every. Single. One.

If you were both 17 and he seemed to be a more mature 17 year old boy, then your chances of success would increase. But as that is not the case, the outlook is not so good.

And, yes, when a couple is married, they do not throw in the towel at the first sign of conflict. But the big difference is that they are married. Our marriage vows make a difference. If not, then why bother making them? I knew a guy in high school who said the same thing on multiple occasions. He and his girlfriend were either passionately making out or screaming at each other. And they eventually broke up.

If you don’t want to listen to anything I’ve said (and you are certainly entitled to ignore me ;)), then at least bring it to prayer. Talk to God about it. But then also talk to God about more than this. Develop your spiritual life. Read Scripture. Read about the saints. Go to Confession. Receive Communion.

God bless. I will say a prayer for you.

Stay away from him and be thankful he doesn’t love you. He sounds like he many not be capable of loving anyone. If you don’t get out of this situation soon, you may very well regret it someday and possible kids will to. You’ll NEVER change him. He has to truly want to change himself and that’s not easy. God Bless, Memaw

With all due respect, I don’t think you love him. I think you are liking the idea that he will fight to defend you, and you are pushing yourself towards him because no-one else approves (like a Romeo and Juliet situation). However, what I can see is a person with anger issues who doesn’t have the maturity to think before he acts, and who doesn’t listen to you. You cannot say that there is no chance he will hit you, because you don’t know that - and why would you put yourself in that situation at all? Other people are saying this because they are concerned for your own safety. Also, it doesn’t matter how badly he hits people, the only thing is: he hits people. He is violent. He is taking matters into his own hands that are, quite frankly, none of his business. Why would you want to date a boy who, by your own admission, is going through the “perils of adolescence”? At fourteen, he’s more than capable of knowing that hitting people isn’t the way to deal with things.

One other thing - you say “if we were married”. You aren’t married. If I were you, I would stop dreaming of marrying him. You aren’t married, and you have no obligation to “stay with him” - although you aren’t even dating him. He is violent, and he is a potential danger to you. You say that you would help him - does he give any indication of wanting help? Does he want to have control over his anger? Or does he like the fact that you swoon over him when he hits people “for” you, and will continue to do so? Honestly, he sounds very controlling. If I were you, I would walk away from him, and stop seeing him. You should not trust him, and you should not trust he will keep you safe with him - he hits people to “keep you safe”, when he is really ensuring you are indebted to him. Like I say: Stay away from him.

Lou

He’s 14. I actually think this is quite common for that age, albeit not a good trait. I had a boyfriend just like this (same age for him) and I too was a few years older. Now it took a great number of years, but he grew out of it, and as far as I know he works for the police now… Don’t know if he’s outgrown those tenancies, but I would think if he’s a cop, then he has. So, first, be calm that this is a phase for him and keep praying that he will overcome this and channel that anger into something good and useful. Passion is not so bad a thing when it is directed in a civil good and godly way.

I’m not sure what else you could do honestly. … But I will say this, you said that its not like he beats them to death or that he kills them. I’m not sure what you mean by him punching, (does he punch faces, arms, stomachs, etc?) but one should know that a person can kill a another with just one punch. All it takes is the right circumstances and placement to kill someone by punching, and perhaps that is a little bit of information that you need to get across to your boyfriend. It sounds like he is meaning just to hurt, but what would happen to his life if and when he actually punched someone and they ended up maimed or dead by it? He probably does not think about that circumstance. If he were to kill someone by just his raging punch, then his life would be severely messed up for many many many years after. Perhaps you can remind him and warn him of the consequence he might have to pay if severe harm was done to another by his violent action.

I’m not sure if I would talk with his family. Chances are they already know… at least that would be what I suspect. OR perhaps he is just trying to impress you. Guys can be like that. The said boyfriend I had that I spoke about above once told me he was going to beat up some guys that were giving me trouble at school… I know now he was just trying to impress me, be protective of me. In hindsight I don’t think he had any inclination to actually do it. Sometimes people are just talk when it comes to violence. (Not that it should be taken lightly).

I hope this helps. Be careful! And do stay out of trouble if it brews, ok? At this age, take care of yourself not to follow and friends into bad situations, even if you love them. You are too young to understand things yet… .I don’t mean this to sound condescending, but just that I was also young once and now that I’m older I know what it is like. It just not worth it- even if it sounds romantic. Try to keep a safe distance and stay away from troublemakers- its most likely you’ll get pulled in even if you are well meaning. (I know by experience.)

^^Thank you for your insight. I feel as if this reply spoke to me the most. I will most certainly pray that he gets better and uses his passion for good. Maybe this is his cross?? Idk…I will continue to hang out with him though, but I will be cautious as well. I feel like this is something he could work through though. Thank you so much.^^

Watch the TV news: it’s filled with people who punched someone else (or just “looked at someone wrong”) and got a gun pulled on them in response and wound up dead. Cemeteries are filled with people who took offense too quickly; who threw the first punch; or who lacked the wisdom to walk away from a fight.

Welcome.
**listen to everyone here. **
Don’t make excuses for him, and don’t think you will change him.
God bless.

I know you don’t want to hear this, but people don’t magically change. If your boyfriend has an anger problem, it will eventually be directed to you. There are plenty of women out there who stayed with someone because they thought they could change the guy. His anger is a big red flag. It’s not ok to threaten someone or punch them just because he doesn’t like what they say. Plus, there is a big maturity gap between a 14 year old boy and a 17 year old girl.

I disagree. Going around punching people makes him very different from most 14 year old boys.

It is more than just a mere sign of immaturity.

LostForWords, you need to tell this boy that he must stop being aggressive and violent or you cannot be friends with him.

As for dating - I do not suggest dating someone who sees violence as an option for dealing with disagreements (other than in the most dire circumstances). Men who use violence are also likely to see violence as a suitable way to resolve relationship conflicts. Many victims of domestic violence entered the relationship with the attitude you have: “I know he would never hurt me…”.

There’s lots of good advice in this thread that I agree with, so I’ll just add to this point.

As an attorney, I pay more attention to legal developments than most. The scenario of Guy A punches Guy B --> Guy B falls and hits head on payment --> Guy B dies or is crippled --> Guy A is going to jail for a long time, happens far more often than people realize. Don’t discount punching someone as a small thing. It can easily send the puncher to prison for many years.

Even if he never does this to you, it’s a huge red flag that he’s doing this to anybody on a regular basis. If it was just situational (like once or twice in the teenage years), then it might be chalked up to normal adolescence. But doing this regularly is likely to end badly for him and possibly you if you’re around. Be very cautious if he you don’t see him growing out of this in the next few years.

Good luck!

Wampa, I agree, but let’s change “next few years” to “next few weeks”. This behaviour needs to end now, not merely something to passively grow out of.

You are welcome, but please do not take lightly that just because someone I know worked through it, that your friend will… He has to decide for himself, **by himself. **

I’d also need to point out that someone’s ‘cross’ is when they follow Christ and the hardships because of it that follow. I don’t believe your friend’s problems fit that description because it sounds as though he does not know Christ at all if he is punching people. So, no, I would not say that this is ‘his cross’. A cross is like when someone intervenes for someone out of love and mercy and gets in return anything less than charity. Example… Mother Teresa is going around asking people for money for the poor and when she does a man spits in her face instead of just politely declining or giving money. That is “the cross”. Its true that we all face hardships daily and that is part of the cross. But some hardships are but an opportunity for repentance and transformation because its our personal sin that is causing it.

Please be aware that at your age its common to romanticize problems, which is not healthy. I fear you might be romanticizing this issue. I stuck my neck in with my comment because I wanted to give you hope that just because things are like this today does not mean we have to throw the baby out with the bath water. (That is, ostricize your friend, shun him, put him in the ‘human trash pile’… not worthy of our love and attention… which is also normal people reactions to such things- albeit NOT always the correct response , however in some cases its very necessary for health and safety reasons.) People do change…and its COMMON that adolescents have difficulties. However, its not good or ok that your boyfriend is acting this way so you are right to be concerned. A 14 year old boy’s body is being flooded with testosterone. Something we now know with science causes aggression. (scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/testosterone-promotes-agression-aut-12-06-09/) So, add a bit of emotional difficulties to the mix and you get what you spoke of… He could grow out of it. He does need guidance on the matter.

Please also understand OP that we do not know this young man and so we are going by what you say, which is difficult to access what is really going on. We are only hearing your take on the matter as well. I’d advise you to speak about it with someone who knows both you and the young man, who is older and whom you trust and think is wise. In the meantime, don’t let feelings of infatuation cloud your choices on this matter either. That is, don’t follow your feelings, but follow God in this matter. (Look up what the Bible has to say about people who are like your friend and what to do… psst… its in there…please do look for it!!!) Why not speak to a priest about it in confession?

It would be good to have someone to share your insights with on this matter- like a sounding board.   It just can't be someone here on C.A.... but someone you know who is older and been around for quite some time.    

May God bless you with His wisdom and guidance.

14 and 17? I don’t think this is a good place to ask this question. Perhaps you could seek a counselor to help you.

** I’d advise you to speak about it with someone who knows both you and the young man, who is older and whom you trust and think is wise. In the meantime, don’t let feelings of infatuation cloud your choices on this matter either. That is, don’t follow your feelings, but follow God in this matter. (Look up what the Bible has to say about people who are like your friend and what to do… psst… its in there…please do look for it!!!) Why not speak to a priest about it in confession?

It would be good to have someone to share your insights with on this matter- like a sounding board.   It just can't be someone here on C.A.... but someone you know who is older and been around for quite some time. ** 

**
THIS. YES.
See your priest asap. **

I was thinking of your post and I have another concern to address.

He makes you feel safe because he’s quick to argue and get into a fight, presumably to keep you safe. A young man with a temper is the last person you should feel safe around. If you had a girlfriend who described her new boyfriend in this way, what would you say to her? May God help you if the guy he punched showed up with 4 of his buddies to even the score.

There are plenty of young women who are too quick to give away their heart because someone is good looking, nice to them, gives them compliments and attention. Dating is a time to look at the other person soberly, to see what kind of life partner they would be. It’s a time of discernment. Young women have given their hearts way too soon (as if they can’t be broken and stepped on) and then they over look major character flaws because ‘I love him’. These years coming up, be smart. Look at the person and their character before you give him your heart.

A Catholic man who walks in his faith is a man who knows how to come before God and open graces upon his person, family, job, neighborhood. A Godly man knows how to bring blessing upon difficult situations.

This is what the New Testament says about love…

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Cor 13

How much do we need God to help us become like this? A lifetime. A lifetime of going to the sacraments. Both husband and wife, and also in the training of their children.

Here are the Cardinal Vices and Virtues…

Pride Humility
Greed, avarice, coveteousness Liberality, mercy
Lust Chastity, continence
Anger Patience, meekness
Gluttony Temperance, abstinence, self-control
Envy Love of God, love of neighbor, love of enemy
Sloth Fortitude, courage

Here’s what is written on anger. I hope you can read it, ponder it, and discuss this with your boyfriend.

rc.net/wcc/virtues/anger.htm

I wish for you a Catholic boyfriend and goes to Church, knows how to pray. One who honors God with how he lives his life, and honors you. This is the kind of guy that both of you can learn together, the wisdom that the Church has carried through the centuries. Someone who will hold your hand, bow his head, and say ‘let’s pray together’. He will keep your heart safe and never break it. He would rather cut off an arm than to hurt you.

God guide and keep you today.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.