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Francois Hollande, French president

This book written by Valerie Trierweiler about her 18-month affair with French president Hollande isn’t making my life any easier. No later than this afternoon, another mum asked me at the school gate why French men were such players. A heated conversation with fellow mums quickly ensued, and everybody agreed that he had treated his then-girlfriend in an appalling manner. I had to take a stand, and fast. Come on, all French men are not like president Hollande, it is only a stereotype. I  explained that I had been living with the same French man for more than 18 years.
‘See, I said, there are decent French men.’

I was saved by the bell, and quickly realised that I had just lied. My husband was French when we moved to London more than ten years ago but he has a British passport by now. This means that, technically, I have a a British husband. In short, I am not sure that I can use him as an example of a decent French man.
Damn it. But I promise that there are decent French men. No, seriously.

That said, let’s face it: outside of France, everybody believes that we French have invented extra-marital affairs, that we are convinced that having as many affairs as possible is a sign of good health, and that we French women have learned to live with it. What a load of codswallop ! 

To be fair, some mums were quick to point out that ‘what goes around comes around’ and that Hollande had cheated on the mother of his four children, Segolene Royal, with Trierweiler. But two wrongs don’t make a right, I think.

The book is said to be a huge embarrassment to the already unpopular French president. Not to mention that apparently despite claiming to be a Socialist he doesn’t like poor people and call them ‘sans-dents’ (without teeth). That said, let’s not forget that being embarrassed is nothing compared to the very public humiliation Valerie Trierweiler was subject to. After all, the book is only the literary equivalent of a kiss and tell. He broke her: she clearly wanted to die when she found out about the extent of his betrayal. In my view, the book also gives a rare insight into the mind of a pathological liar. When asked whether he had an affair with the actress Julie Gayet, he first denied it. And when he had no choice, he tried to shorten the duration of his indiscretion. He was always charming, and even tried to invite her for dinner and ‘win her over again’ after all she had been through. And he clearly ignored a cardinal rule that all men would be well-advised to keep in mind: never underestimate a hurt woman.

Players can be of any nationality, and wherever you are, there are only two ways of dealing with them: crush them, or get crushed. She almost got crushed and is setting the record straight. Good for her. 

NB: today you can read another post that I wrote here…Enjoy! 

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Of course there are decent French men. Maybe it’s just our Presidents that cheat! Since Francois Mitterand, I think all of them had affairs, hidden children, divorces and so on… They certainly entertain the stereotype. Ah well, it’s just another blow for Francois Hollande… and there are still 2 more years to go. I don’t even want to think about the state of the country at that stage…

    • Neither do I. It is starting to becoming quite bad…

  • He really is an odious little c*nt (excuse my language), and I’m glad he’s getting his comeuppance from Valoche. Twitter has been going mad with #sansdents and there has been some very witty piss-taking. I’m enjoying it all immensely.

    As for French men having affairs, they are certainly not the only ones, but they are more open about it, or French society is. All the French women I have spoken too are totally against it and wouldn’t tolerate a straying husband, so it’s not a generally accepted behaviour. It’s another of those stereotypes, isn’t it?

    • What would we do without stereotypes? That said, as much as I hate to admit it, the French politicians aren’t doing anything to help. Just saying.

  • So, this is something I learned decades ago…
    The French method…
    You marry/date/live with a woman half your age plus 7….

    • There are lots of rules like these floating around. I wonder if there are some rules as to the life expectancy of such relationships?

  • Oh fidelity has nothing to do with nationality. There are people here (men and women) who cheat as much as any French president. What always surprises me is the shock when a previous adulterer cheats again. If they got together with you by cheating on a former partner, why not expect they will do the same to you one day?!

    • What goes around comes around, right? You are spot on on this one!

  • I thought the French didn’t care if their President has extramaritial affairs, I guess that’s a stereotype.

    • I don’t really care. What gets me, is the amateurism of the whole thing. Surely presidents can be a bit discreet?