In the age of resurgent cuckold panic, the phrase “my girlfriend’s husband” has become a recurring in-joke on social media. Your eyes first pass over the string of words as though they convey nothing out of the ordinary; there follows a double-take as you realize they suggest adultery or, at the very least, non-traditional romance. Then you have to tangle with the power dynamic implied — it sounds as if the speaker is the so-called side piece, yet isn’t the man who sleeps with another man’s wife the true alpha here? Or is the husband still, in a sense, on top?
These contradictions are only heightened by the news that Brad Pitt is “dating” Nicole Poturalski, the 27-year-old model wife of 68-year-old German restaurateur Roland Mary. While some tabloids have it that Mary has been “jilted,” most outlets report that he and Poturalski have an open marriage and have not split. Mary, for his part, has not responded to the snickering headlines; by most indications, he and Pitt have been friendly since 2009, with the American actor frequenting Borchardt, Mary’s famous Berlin restaurant — where he met Poturalski last year. As far as anyone can tell, everyone involved is cool with this arrangement. Which means that Pitt, of all people, can now earnestly use the phrase “my girlfriend’s husband.”
If it’s true that Mary is fine with Pitt — widely considered one of the hottest men on the planet — taking his wife on a vacation to the South of France, it would instantly rank him as the bravest Wife Guy of our time. Imagine that farewell: “Sure, babe, have fun. Send pics.”
In fact, although the commentary has focused on Pitt’s outsize virility and the purported embarrassment of having him cuck you, there is significant valor, and even masculine heroism, in Mary’s seemingly blasé attitude toward the whole affair. Yeah, so my wife bangs Brad Pitt — a legendary sex icon covets my partner. Meanwhile, since she’s now slept with the guy on everyone’s celebrity “free pass” list, she can never complain about anyone I might sleep with. Who knows what this wily old fox is up to when his young bride is off with her Hollywood hunk.
Mary is pushing 70 and has been married a bunch of times. I believe he’s learned a few valuable lessons in that life, and has recognized the status that comes with essentially saying: “I don’t give a fuck.” Here, this unruffled pose telegraphs an otherworldly confidence that is alluring in itself. How could he not be jealous? Isn’t he afraid she’ll leave him? Nah. He’s a rich, connected man in Berlin with a model wife 40 years his junior and, probably, as many girlfriends as he can handle. He’s already won. He has transcended. The cuckold has become the master.
Go ahead, Pitt — do your worst. You’re just a millionaire famous for being handsome, clearly eager to date someone who can’t lock you down in another marriage. You’ll have your fun, while Mary enjoys similar (though more private) perks of a libertine life, his playboy reputation only enhanced by a love triangle involving this true American Adonis.
Kudos to a courageous man.