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To acquire wisdom, one must observe

The downfall of Ned Fulmer and the myth of the wife guy

If you have been on Youtube for a while, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Try Guys. Started in 2014, this group of four guys. Eugene Lee Yang, Keith Habersberger, Ned Fulmer, and Zach Kornfeld, met at Buzzfeed and went on to start their own wildly successful channel. They have almost 8 million subscribers and over 2 billion total views on their channel. They now have their own podcasts, their own book, they’ve been on tour, and they just released a television show on the Food Network. To sum it up, they have been thriving. What made the Try Guys fun to watch was their unique personalities and their authenticity. At least, it appeared to be authenticity. However, after this week, it seems that appearances can be deceiving. Blurry pictures were released on the Try Guys subreddit earlier this week that appeared to be Ned Fulmer and one of the Try Guys’ producers, Alexandria Herring. People also noticed that he had been edited out of some videos recently and some staff at his company unfollowed him on Instagram. The combination of all these factors lead fans to believe that something was up. And they were right.

On Sept. 27, The Try Guys posted on their Instagram and Twitter that Fulmer would no longer be working for the company. Shortly after, Fulmer posted on his own Instagram that he was involved in a “consensual workplace relationship” and he apologized to whoever he may have hurt. As I am writing this, Herring has yet to comment on the matter. This whole matter has brought the Try Guys in a spotlight they have never seen before. On the day of the announcement, they were a number one trending topic on Twitter and have been written up in Variety, The New York Times, CNN, and more. Normally, the group would have loved all of this attention, but not in this situation. The Try Guys weren’t just business partners. They were best friends, and this has really shook their dynamic. If any of the other guys were caught cheating, it would have also been a big deal, but it was a huge deal specifically when Fulmer was the one caught cheating. Why is that? Because Fulmer was a wife guy.

Ned Fulmer and his wife, Ariel Fulmer, have been married for a little over ten years. They met in their early twenties, got married fairly quickly, moved across the country together, and have always seemed like the perfect couple. They have had two sons together, Wes and Finn, and they own an adorable dog, Bean. While all of the other Try Guys are in relationships, Fulmer really made his brand about being married. If you asked someone who casually watched the Try guys to say what they know about Fulmer, they would probably say, “Isn’t he the married one?” Fan compilations have been made on youtube about everytime Fulmer mentions his wife. Similar to Borat, his unofficial catchphrase was “My wife.” And whenever Ariel was in videos, the two would be very lovey-dovey, basically the heart eyes emoji personified. They seemed like a dream team, the mom and dad of youtube. All of this made Fulmer a wife guy. That made this all the more shocking. Or maybe, that made it more expected.

The title of wife guy is fairly self explanatory, it is a man who just really loves his wife and wants everyone to know it. When you see a lot of comedians from decades ago making constant jokes about their wife being a ball and chain, it can feel refreshing to see a guy who always wants to talk about his wife’s quirks in a positive manner. These are men that when you hear them talk about their wife, it is almost as if you can hear the smile in their voice. These are famous men that when their fans look at them, they think “I want what they have.” However, that persona has proven to not always be accurate. This is shown in the case of Fulmer for sure, but he certainly is not the first case of inaccuracy. A while ago, John Mulaney went through a similar situation. Mulaney is a stand up comedian who would mention his wife, Annamarie Tendler, a lot in his routine. His fans really admired the couple. However, right after a stint in rehab, it was announced in the spring of 2020 that Mulaney was getting divorced from his wife. Less than a week after that announcement, it was announced that he was in a new relationship with actress Olivia Munn and then it was soon announced that they were having a child. Did Mulaney cheat? It has yet to be confirmed or denied. In more recent news, it was revealed that Adam Levine was cheating on his wife. He seemed to constantly praise his wife on social media and seemed to really be in love. Evidently, that was not the case. Levine’s mistress went on TikTok to explain everything this past week, and expose his unfaithfulness. This list of these fake wife guys goes on and on. 

It is honestly much less suspicious these days to be just another married dude. Let’s compare Fulmer to the other married Try Guy, Keith Habersberger. Even though Habersberger was also married, people did not associate being married as a part of his personality. Habersberger and his wife, Becky, were seen as having a fairly normal relationship. We would see them bicker a little in youtube videos, jokingly criticize each other, and just act like two buds who also happened to be in love. The Fulmers tried to be too pristine. With Fulmer keeping up a whole identity of loving his wife and showering her with praise, it can make people think that he is compensating for something. He might feel the need to love bomb to prove a point. After everything that has happened, it seems that everything we knew about Fulmer was just an act.

These men put up personas that they are in these perfect loving relationships, and they are gone the next day. Fans cry that they can’t believe in love anymore and they never thought something like this would ever happen. However, it is not so crazy to believe when there is a pattern. One lying wife guy is a coincidence, twice is stranger, but when it keeps happening, it shows that being a wife guy is not always something worthy of praise. If they feel the need to constantly say how in love they are, then maybe that is not how they actually feel. They might just think the world needs to hear these words to cover up their problems and their betrayals. Fulmer was probably the most extreme case out of the group, and that just shows there is such a thing as seeming too perfect.

Obviously, I’m not saying men shouldn’t love their wives. We should live in a society where husbands are proud of the women they are married to and uplift them. However, we should retire the bit of the wife guy. We can leave that up to sitcoms, like Ben Wyatt from “Parks and Recreation” and Jake Peralta from “Brooklyn Nine Nine.” When it comes to real life, being overly expressive about your wife to the point that it becomes a big part of people’s perception can be a bad thing. As Jane Austen once said in her acclaimed novel “Emma,” “If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” Even though this was written centuries ago, before the internet was even a concept, it still rings true today. It has not been announced if the Fulmers are getting divorced, but Ned Fulmer’s reputation is still tarnished and no one can trust him anymore. In conclusion, you should be a guy that loves his wife, but you shouldn’t be a wife guy.

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