Stay Out of Married Folks’ Business (The #BurgerKingFight Lesson!)

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Have you guys heard about the Boston Globe reporter who tweeted blow by blow details of a married couple’s fight at a Burger King? Yup, he went there. While sitting near a couple bickering at the fast food joint he proceeded to live-tweet their dialogue, complete with photos and video, kicking things off by tweeting: “I am listening to a marriage disintegrate at a table next to me in this restaurant. Aaron Sorkin couldn’t write this any better.”

He kept his 4,000+ followers entertained by sharing every single heart-wrenching detail of the couple’s marriage spat. And, trust me, this was not mild stuff. “She think it is unfair that he gets to play video games and she has to clean when his mother tells her. We agree.” Okay, so none of his business, but so far, not terribly cruel right? Well wait, there’s more. Another tweet from Boyle read: “’Why did you even marry me?’ he asks. ‘Because I loved you,’ she responds. ‘Loved me?’ We all notice the past tense.” Yikes! You can check out this storified summary to read the rest. (In case they’re deleted by now, also see a screen grab below!)

Now, clearly, this wasn’t cool. Yes, when you choose to argue in public (which you guys already know Man and I don’t ever do) you are opening yourself to the opinions and judgments of others – I get that. But when the nosy asshole sitting next to you starts live-tweeting your troubles and sharing pics and flix, a line has been crossed. Marriage can be difficult enough with two people weighing in. Encouraging thousands of others to both witness and comment on the tough times between lovers is just reckless and wrong. Sure you may have heard a wife lay into her husband over something you deem “silly” or perhaps you witnessed a husband being unusually cruel to his spouse, but unless you stood beside them at the altar and also exchanged vows, it’s quite simply, none of your damn business. The only people who have the right to broadcast marital troubles for the world to see are those who have them. Case closed!

I’d have some choice words for Boyle had a caught him posting photos of Man and I going at it. Would you feel violated in the same situation? Read and decide…

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19 Responses to Stay Out of Married Folks’ Business (The #BurgerKingFight Lesson!)

  1. I would feel SO violated if my private business was put out there like that. On Twitter? With Twitpics??? That is a hot mess. But then again, hubby and I would not be having that type of argument outside of our home.

  2. If that couple's business was so private they didn't want it blasted over the internet then they should have gone to their car or their home. I don't support nor condone Boyle's actions but let's be real: The couple has no right to bitch about their "private business" being violated when they took their spat public.

    If there were 5 or 50 people in that Burger King then all 5 or 50 of them would have heard it and several will go home and tell someone else about it. Don't want your so-called private business out there for others to gossip about later? Go home and do it where no one else can hear or see you.
    My recent post On the Road Again – Part 1

    • ManWifeDog says:

      Yes, I do agree Kim — it can happen anywhere any time. In this case, the reporter is despicable and the couple became victims of the "expected" these days. That said, sadly, what's expected can still be wrong….so wrong. Sidenote: Boyle needs to get a life and get back to those french fries. :-)

      • I wouldn't go as far as calling Boyle "despicable". As a reporter his job is to report. You've been in journalism. You know this. Sometimes the "must report this story!" instinct trumps common courtesy and common sense. Boyle overstepped his bounds, no doubt about it. But despicable? No. Just lacking a bit in the common sense department.
        My recent post On the Road Again – Part 1

        • ManWifeDog says:

          One of the first things we study in j-school is ethics. He wasn't on assignment. I can't agree that a random pair of strangers having a marriage dispute ever constitutes a "story" to cover if you're a news reporter….seems beyond crazy to me. Do you really think a marriage fight at the table next to you is a story? My instincts would tell me no.

          • I agree with you on principle since he was not on assignment. But speaking as someone who was also in journalism you tend to look at just about everything as a story, on assignment or not. Your instincts say it's a non-story and there's nothing wrong with that. Maybe he thought differently but chose to act on it in an inappropriate manner. A married couple (or any couple for that matter) is generally a non-issue since every couple argues.

            Boyle? Probably just bored and saw it as story, whether he was on assignment or not is entirely irrelevant.

            By the way…I love these discussions as well. It's a pleasure to know we can engage in a discussion without it turning into something akin to "I'm right, you're wrong and you suck! Don't make me ban you!"

            We may agree to disagree and debate accordingly and that is perfectly fine by me. =)
            My recent post On the Road Again – Part 1

          • ManWifeDog says:

            Ha! Me too Kim! I love my readers dearly, and you are certainly one of my favorites! Yes, he was totes bored!! ;-)

        • ManWifeDog says:

          Sidebar: Love our heated "discussions" — thanks for always weighing in! :-)

  3. nylse says:

    That's the danger of the world we live in. I'm sure no one plans to have a heated discussion in public, but if you do manners dictate that others should stay out of it unless physical harm is involved. To blatantly put others on blast is just wrong but you reap what you sow.
    The other thing is, many are quick to make judgments only on what they see for a moment – so again if you're having a heated discussion in public, then you're marriage is filled with problems. the only people involved in a marriage are the 2 people in it, unless they choose to let others in.
    To answer your question – violated, humiliated and angry; that's how i would feel.
    My recent post Experience and Expertise

  4. @DeeTwoCents says:

    Unless you go on reality TV and ask for cameras in your face this is a blatant invasion of privacy. Are we all to assume there could be cameras on us wherever we go now?

  5. Lisa says:

    I agree with you Dee Two Cents – everything we do can be easily recorded with cell phones and technology today as well as anything you post online – its wide open and out there.
    My recent post Did You Take Your Pez To Work Today?

  6. Emilia says:

    Haha, sorry, I am all cracked up now. It would be so nice to read it, but I have no idea where to look within this guy's Twitter feed. Any hint? The date? :) I think that this guy haven't done anything wrong, the married couple should have considered fighting at home instead of doing this in public.
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  7. Speak Of Marriage says:

    I heard about this "blow by blow" at another site and I didn't think much of it – it just sounded so NYish, you know, something NYers become unsuspecting victims of once in a while. But your article was so empassioned and the comments are so engaging, I figured you guys wouldn't mind me adding my 2 cents – and stirring the pot a little bit more. :-).

    As a NYer I just shake my head. How often have I heard these type of conversations at a street corner, in a bus, at the front of a corner store, or at a fast food joint? In full disclosure, it always disturbs when couples think the rest of the public want to hear a private conversation, especially a heated one. As a NYer I just feel like saying, "Hey, guys, I'm eating." As an avid fan of marriage though I would say, "Guys, you both should really talk about this at home in private or with a counselor."

    I can't speak for Boyle, but I think maybe he was "reporting" or, at least, relaying this public fight as a way of alleviating the discomfort of being a hostaged "eavesdropper". If anyone's privacy was being invaded, it was Boyle's. He didn't go to BK to be subjected to that conversation. He wasn't lurking at this couple's window as they argued by their kitchen table. He went there to eat and maybe enjoy some down time. The couple were in a public space and bullied those that were there to hear a private debate about problems that everyone has but no one wants to helplessly listen to.

    Whether or not Boyle's action was unethical (I'll leave that argument to better suited folks – I wouldn't have done a blow by blow), we are now in the viral age; everything you do has the possibility of going public. My frustration's not with Boyle (his action is a product of current times and trends), it is with couples that discuss their marital issues publicly. And I'm not just talking about BK, I'm even talking about fighting in front of friends or family. We all have issues with being shamed or blasted by someone to somebody else and with all the issues and challenges that arise in marriage, protecting our spouse from public disapproval should be foremost in the minds of every husband or wife.
    My recent post Believers Wanted

    • Add: I agree with nylse, if I'm caught arguing publicly with my wife, I've lost control and there are greater problems in my marriage than unwashed dishes. And if this happened to me, I'd say I deserved it. Next time, I'll keep my mouth shut so that my private life won't be a spectacle to the public.
      My recent post Believers Wanted

  8. Lossidele says:

    Initially, after reading your post, I had a completely different idea of what went down. I thought he may have been tweeting sarcastic and mean things about them. I thought he had taken pictures of the "combatants". None of that was the case. And I, in turn, don't have an issue with how he handled it.

    When a couple, married or not, chooses to argue in a public setting, they have violated their own privacy and I would not expect anyone else in the King's Castle at that time to respect it either. It doesn't seem as though anyone interfered or interjected themselves into the disagreement. They were just bystanders and the couple let them be witnesses to their dysfunction.

    • ManWifeDog says:

      I totally get that Lossidele, girl, but just can't help but feel like I would be pissed that despite my bad judgement on where to have a "talk" that it's just plain wrong for someone to post our photos and video clips online….if it were for TV they'd still need a release form to exploit us in that way….Twitter is allowing for rule bending that's very dangerous. What if a mom lost it for a moment and yelled at her kid in public and the next thing she knew it was ALL over Twitter with photos and videos…I doubt she'd be like, "Ah well, that's what i get I guess." Ya know?

  9. Cassie Ladd says:

    A) This couple should have saved it for someplace private. But B) this reporter IS an A-hole with a capital A.

  10. Allen says:

    Mark Rotstein – Mark Rotstein offers personal service to high net worth families in the form of Family office, household staff management, philanthropy coordination, investment and estate planning education, property management, succession planning, multi-generational education, and education for children.

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