If you have not been living under a rock, you would have mostly likely heard of the news of the cheating scandals of high profile men, like celebrity Adam Levine and internet star Ned Fulmer (ex Try Guys). Their unfaithfulness and lack of self-control to keep it in their pants has been taking the internet by storm. While adulterous partners are (unfortunately) not uncommon to hear, especially within the entertainment industry, what has intrigued me is that many attached men are often seen publicly declaring their love for their significant other, be it through words or actions. In other words they hide behind the facade of being the most loving partners or as the internet has termed it “The Wife Guy”.
“The Wife Guy” , at least in the age of social media, is a phrase that describes men who use their wives as pawns to increase their social status or public image. They post content about their wives, usually to convey the message about how much they love their wives and how devoted they are to their wives and their families. The most pertinent and recent example would be Ned Fulmer whose online personality was built around how much he adores his wife. Whenever Fulmer makes an appearance on the Try Guys’ Youtube videos he can always be heard tenderly referring to his partner, Ariel Fulmer, as “my wife”. There is even a Youtube compilation documenting the number of times he says “my wife”. Moreover when his wife makes an appearance with him he is seen cuddling up to her. Subsequently, from the outside looking in, one would think that Fulmer is a dedicated husband and family man. That “family should have always been [his] priority” and he would never “lo[ose] focus and ha[ve] a consensual workplace relationship”. Though as the world has seen and much to the chagrin of his wife and children, who are probably still too young to comprehend the magnitude of the situation, he now belongs to the long list of guys who have emotionally and/or physically cheated on their wives.
Furthermore the explosive reactions from fans, or should I say ex-fans, of Fulmer who saw him as a sort of role model for his dedication towards his wife highlights how we put men on the pedestal for simply loving their wives – which should be the bare minimum. Perhaps it is high time that we as a society stop idolizing men just for being family oriented when it should be the most basic and fundamental characteristic of husbands and fathers given that it takes two to tango for a healthy and functioning marriage and family. It is at this juncture that I wish to point out that there is nothing wrong with a husband publicly showing his affections towards his wife. According to Katherine Hertlein who is a couple therapist, reasonable levels of public displays of affection between couples can strengthen relationships and intimacy levels. In her own words, it can “help strengthen your physical connection and increase libido levels [,] help you to express reassurance and support for your significant other in social situations [as well as] improve intimacy levels [due to] a chemical called oxytocin”. However the problem with “The Wife Guy” is that such displays are not for and targeted towards his wife but rather to boost his own image. Especially in the case of Fulmer, he has used such an image to create a public persona and profit off it as seen from the cookbook that he released with his wife detailing recipes for date nights. As such public displays of affections are nothing more than theatrics for these men where they are the puppet masters and their wives are nothing more than dolls for them to play with.
With that being said, if you are someone who hopes to find a significant other and perhaps start a family with them, do not let such news deter or even taint your views on romance and marriage. For the amount of unfaithful spouses there are out there, there is sure to be as many or even more loyal and loving potential partners out there. Take your time to understand what values you wish your better half should embody and never settle or change yourself for someone to accept you. Most importantly as long as you know your worth, regardless of what happens, you will be able to pick yourself up over time and emerge even stronger!