Is It Ever Okay For A Man To Defend His Wife?

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I received the following from a TCF reader:

Really love your thoughts, blogs, website! I was wondering if you could give us your thoughts on what is right and wrong this to do when standing up for your wife. For example, what is a man supposed to act if another man smacks her butt while walking down the street or insults her?
The questions come from Will Smith’s reaction and I was wondering, what is the actual appropriate thing to do, stand up and denounce, walk away, wait and see if the wife will defend herself?
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Yes, a man should absolutely stand up for his wife.
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It is part of his duty to PROTECT.

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However, it must be done for the right reasons, in the right context and the punishment should fit the crime.

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Slapping someone who smacks your wife’s butt may be more acceptable than slapping someone who made a joke about your wife.
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Will Smith did not stand up for his wife for the right reasons – ie to protect and defend her honour.
It was very obvious that he had initially laughed at the joke and then when he saw his wife’s reaction, then he decided to do something.
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His attempt to stand up for her was an overreaction – which suggests that he was not being genuine – he was subtly coerced into it by his wife.
He should not have hit the man.
He could have responded in a similar manner to the attack ie going up on stage, telling Chris publicly that his joke was not acceptable, and then demanding a public apology right there and then.
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That would have been an appropriate response.
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Now, if the wife is being physically assaulted and the husband is near, it is his duty to restrain the attacker, even physically.
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If the wife’s life is in danger or is under threat of death from someone else, it is the husband’s job to defend and protect her, using reasonable force or any weapons that are legal to use.
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If the wife is being verbally assaulted or insulted, then the response should be verbal ie demanding a public apology, filing a libel or defamation suit, if that is necessary.
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Physical violence should only ever be used as a last resort.
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Here is a video example of an appropriate response from a man in response to assault.
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In all cases, the punishment should appropriately fit the crime and this was not what happened in Will Smith’s case – he reacted out of fear of repercussions from his wife, not out of a desire to protect her or defend her honour.
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St Joseph, Light Among Patriarchs, pray for us.
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Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

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