July 27, 2012

Built-In Fidelity Enforcement

accoutrement, Lessons No Comments

Anti-cheating ring

Afraid your spouse might cheat? Boy, have we got a solution for you! Inspired by the home-wrecking antics of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tiger Woods and other renown cheaters, The Cheeky has crafted an anti-cheating wedding band that will completely foil a cheating spouse’s plans to step out on you!

How does it work? Glad you asked! The $550 dollar titanium ring (take that DeBeers!) is negatively engraved on the inside with the words I’M MARRIED, so even if your cheating louse of a spouse takes the ring off, everyone can still tell that he or she is off the market. Fidelity ensured!!1ONE!

This totally reminds us of an article we read recently on Women’s Day giving homemakers advice about how to Facebook-proof their marriages. They list several rules — and admittedly, a few make sense. Set boundaries about what will be shared publicly, or at least communicate about it before sharing; don’t let social media replace how you communicate; establish the sort of communication where you can openly ask and answer questions about online connections; and avoid taking your spats online. Totally fine. But there were some things that seem a little excessive, if not outright counter-productive.

The first rule, according to the article, is to go Facebook official. Not doing this is the equivalent of not wearing your wedding or engagement band, the article warns. Our response is: so what if you don’t wear your wedding band? Does not wearing a band annul your marriage? Undo everything you have built in the time you’ve been together? We know too many divorce attorneys to believe this to be the case.

As far as Facebook goes, we know a lot of married people who do not list their relationship status on social media — they either want to keep their private lives private or they are in an industry where appearing single will boost their image. Likewise, we know a lot of single people who list themselves as married to avoid being romantically approached. Our editrix is one of them. She was listed as married on Facebook before she got married and remained so after her divorce. According to Facebook, she’s still married. Honestly, we’ve lost track if this is accurate or not. (But just so you know, in case you’re banking on your being Facebook-official to help your marriage stay true, she still gets plenty of messages that make it clear a lot of people just don’t give a Christmas fig either way.)

You can use Facebook to limit the sort of interactions that are imposed upon you by listing yourself as married, but if you need the label or the anti-cheating ring — or any ring — to feel secure in your marriage, you’re in trouble. Rings and official Facebook statuses are as effective in preventing infidelity as the U.S.-Mexican border is in preventing illegal immigration. They only work for those who respect the rules. And if you’re counting on rules as any sort of line of defense, you’ve already lost.

Of course, unlike a wedding band, which comes alongside a legal contract that’s useful when building a family or accumulating assets, a Facebook relationship status does nothing. Pressing for it or an anti-cheating ring that imprints your status on your finger feels more than a little desperate — and it’s not hard to see why some might take it as suggestive of a complete lack of trust in one’s partner.

Oh, it’s not you, honey, it’s everyone else. Right. Because your partner doesn’t have the capacity to understand his or her relationship boundaries and say “no”? Please.

Number two is worse: share passwords. Seriously? We have no business seeing the conversations our partners are having. Selecting a trust-worthy partner and talking about your relationship boundaries is essential. No machinations with Facebook and fidelity-enforcing rings can replace that.

“We have spoken about our boundaries and I have complete trust that he upholds them,” our editrix says about her own relationship. “I can’t hold my partner liable for other people’s actions, either, and this is what I will probably see if I drop into his Facebook message inbox. He’s a god. He can’t help it. I don’t need to see that. And I don’t need to see within-the-boundaries exchanges he might have with other women that might irrationally trigger my jealousy, either. I don’t have the bandwidth to stress about imaginary issues. I trust him. He trusts me. By allowing one another personal space, we enforce that trust, not threaten it.”

Word. But the last one is really the worst: don’t be friends with exes. Are you kidding? Unless you’ve only ever had a handful of relationships, after a certain age, rules like these just don’t work. How many of us have dated or hooked up with people we work with? People who share our hobbies or form part of our communities? How many of us co-parent with exes? How many of us have moved on to develop friendships with people who once shared our lives romantically? It’s a childish and immature rule.

Even if you’re not already friends and you go looking for someone you used to know, shouldn’t your partner trust you enough to know beyond a doubt that you will maintain the boundaries you have established for your relationship? Your faithful servants here at Sex and the 405 have reconnected with a lot of exes on Facebook, either because they sought us out or we sought them out or we saw them on a mutual friend’s wall. So what? Those of us who are in relationships know where our relationship boundaries are and will fight to uphold them. We don’t need rules or anti-cheating rings imposed on us. We live our commitment every day.

Where would it end once it started? First you’re imprinting flesh and diving through Facebook messages, next it’s, what? Branding? Shackles? Good ol’ ball and chain? Here’s a pro-tip: if you’re worried about your marriage, forget Facebook and rings, and go spend some time with your partner. Jeez.

Header collage made with ring images from The Cheeky and an ad from the ultimate cheating site, AshleyMadison.


We're your creatures, putting to words things to inform you, amuse you, educate you and move you. Be nice to us, we already have a cruel mistress in our editrix. We say that with love, of course, we do love her whip.

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