Photos taken by Maddingly Cotton
Why do men cheat? This topic is hotter than ever as multiple celebrities who built their brands around ‘loving their wives’ have been caught cheating.
If you were to use the term wife guy just a few years ago, it would have elicited a generally positive response. However, recently, this distinction is viewed with much more scrutiny. The classic wife guy is goofy, a feminist and above all very vocal about his wife. So why has this seemingly positive term changed into something to be suspicious of?
Take this quote from John Mulaney: “I married my wife. I love saying ‘my wife.’ It sounds so adult. ‘That’s my wife.’ It’s great, you sound like a person.”
That sounds like a man who respects his partner, and enjoys talking about her, right?
Mulaney made his wife an integral part of his personality. So, it came as a shock when Mulaney announced his and his wife’s separation after six years of marriage in 2021.
It was a further surprise when in the same month, reports surfaced of actress Olivia Munn being pregnant with his child, who was born in 2021 (and is absolutely adorable btw).
Based on this timeline, it is possible that Munn’s and Mulaney’s relationship began while he was still married to Anna Marie. To fans, this was crazy! How could a man who spoke so highly of his partner do this to us? I mean, her.
This scandal attracted both fans and people who had never heard of Mulaney resulting in more eyes on him than ever. People came out to assert, ‘they always knew something was wrong with Mulaney,’ or that those who cared about his personal life were ‘weird’ and ‘too involved.’
Personally, I was shocked and followed the story closely, wondering how this would affect his comedy that I so love. Mulaney had made his identity so intertwined with his wife that those who were fans of him had every right to wonder how this would affect his work. In this sense, I do not believe it was weird to follow this news, however that is not to say some did not take it too far.
People flooded social media at this news, many aligning themselves as ‘team Anna,’ in reference to his ex, and attacked Olivia Munn, assigning her the role of ‘temptress,’ and often overlooking Mulaney’s own involvement in the possible affair.
People began viewing his content involving his ex more critically, myself included. There was more criticism of Mulaney’s casual Jewish stereotyping and how he characterized his wife, with many finding fault in his statement, “My wife is a bitch.” which was followed by “and I love her some much!” Which- personally I do not find problematic in context (the latter, not the former), but the points brought up by many certainly made me reevaluate my views on the wife guy, and many of my contemporaries seemed to as well.
Then in 2022, came Ned Fulmer. Fulmer was a member of the Try Guys, a wildly popular YouTube series.
Fulmer was so known for loving his wife that fan compilations of him saying “my wife” can reach lengths of over three minutes.
So again it was a surprise when pictures and videos surfaced of him kissing a Try Guys assistant producer, Alex Herring.
This man, who had spoken so lovingly about his wife and the mother of his children, was a cheater!
The Try Guys swiftly took action and removed Fulmer from the company as well as released multiple statements. These events took the internet by storm and entire FYPs were flooded with theories, breakdowns and jokes.
I had never watched more than one or two Try Guys videos, but I casually knew who Fulmer was and, despite not being a fan, was consumed by the drama myself. Whether this is due to shock or even morbid curiosity for what would leak next, I can’t say, but I believe this is the instance that completely shattered the mirage of the wife guy.
Why would these men, who “had it all,” who adored their partners, throw it all away?
Although every situation is unique, University of Tennessee students have some general theories about the phenomenon of why wife guys tend to cheat.
“It’s a gateway to escape a current relationship so they find ease in doing it this way in order to promote a cycle of pleasure for themselves,” Brooke Gallagher said.
I also believe that these men have made having a wife a part of their brand and were able to compartmentalize sections of their life, possibly viewing their wives as accessories or a business asset, rather than partners. This way, they are able to separate the husband from the man and justify any action they desire.
Grace Kays says it is more simple than we make it out to be. “They get too greedy and bored,” Kays said.
While these answers provide somewhat different ways to get there, I think the conclusion can come down to one word: selfishness. Of course, this is a generalization, but cheating is a selfish act performed to bring satisfaction to oneself.
There is no real call to action I can provide to attempt to stop cheating from occurring, but if there is one thing I can offer is that for the love of God, Keith Urban, do not cheat on Nicole Kidman -ever.