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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