My neighbor kissed my wife. I was pissed and wanted to punch him in his face. But I was able to suppress my anger.

If I did punch him, would that be okay? I saw people punch one another over this in movies. Kissing my wife is adultery right?

  • 2
    In a boxing ring. It is legal to punch someone in a boxing ring. Otherwise punching someone because you don't like something they did is generally always illegal. Do you remember the Will Smith/Chris Rock slap? Yeah, that's not OK... This is what they taught us on the playground in elementary school. Commented Oct 16, 2022 at 16:14

3 Answers 3


If I did punch him , would that be okay?

No, that would be Assault and Battery. If you did him serious injury you could face a charge of Grievous Bodily Harm. If you killed him, that would be murder.

If you are in the UK, Canada or Australia and you were charged with murder you could claim provocation in an attempt to have the charge reduced to Voluntary Manslaughter. If you were in the US you could attempt to argue "extreme emotional or mental distress" if you are in a state that has adopted the Model Penal Code for any of the charges; if successful your sentence would be reduced.

I saw people punch one another over this in movies.

And I saw aliens invading the Earth in the movies - what happens in the movies if not necessarily true.

Kissing my wife is adultery right?

No, extramarital sex is adultery. Notwithstanding, adultery is not illegal in common-law countries.

I'm pissed and don't know what to do?

I sympathise with you but this is not a legal question. Whatever is going on between you, your wife and your neighbour is a social situation; not a legal one.


The answer to your question depends:

  1. upon your jurisdiction; and
  2. when the punching took place.

In most jurisdictions you could use force to prevent a battery upon your wife (i.e., kissing). No jurisdiction I aware of allows you put take retribution by punching afterwards.

  • 1
    Kissing a person could be construed as battery only if the kiss was clearly not welcomed by the recipient, and done against his or her will. Even then, a punch would only be proper defense of another if it was "proportionate" to the situation, which would depend on the specific details. Commented Oct 16, 2022 at 0:07
  • 1
    Unwanted kissing is usually considered assault, not battery. That said, defense of self/others is the use of force necessary to stop the illegal action, not proportional (shooting someone in self-defense to prevent their battery of you is legal.). Battery is physical contact that results in physical harm to the victim. Assault, among other things, includes unwanted physical contact that would not be considered harmful.
    – hszmv
    Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 16:39

   Wow! I certainly commend you for your restraint. Obviously, witnesses can help. Hitting/punching the neighbor, especially if the neighbor was holding your wife with intent of restraint or forced "compliance", you would be more likely favored, especially if your wife was struggling, trying to cry out, or even herself hitting the neighbor or anyone doing such things to her. Not being a boxer, strictly punching in a legal sense, is frowned upon nearly always.
   What is difficult is if the neighbor did such things to your wife and she was unable to fend him off, then doing nothing could actually make you an accessory to whatever the neighbor was doing/kept on doing while you did nothing, etc. On the basis of trying to help your wife make this person stop, how much is enough? The very grey areas in such things stem from what one person considers excessive force, the person(s) there at the time, you, your wife: of course your definition will bend for the situation, and may very well bend back, leaving you thinking maybe you did go a bit too far. Did you need to hit the person once they stopped?
No: the person stopped, that is enough.
Yes: 1, 2 more hits were needed to ensure the offending neighbor stopped and stayed stopped.

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