So Monsieur Normal and his ersatz wife are no longer together.
Forgive me for being surprised by that.
Modern convention dictates that the wronged parties leave their errant partners when they stray in this way, when they commit what we used to call adultery, when they ‘go over the side’ as it were, but I can’t help wondering whether we’re all a little shortsighted in our knee jerk reactions to these things. I can’t help wondering whether Valerie TrierWeiler’s reaction to Francois Hollande’s infidelity wasn’t something of an overreaction.
I wrote recently about betrayal in this blog. Ok, so it wasn’t this kind of betrayal, but a betrayal is still a betrayal, a lie is still a lie. People betray each other, people lie; these things are universal; they happen to all of us, all the time.
I also wrote this blog about relationships and about the kinds of people we choose to have relationships with, or, more particularly, the kind of man that I might choose to have a relationship with.
If Valerie Trierweiler had wanted roses around the door and the picket fence surely she wouldn’t have chosen the most powerful man in France to be her life partner.
Francois Hollande may have been dubbed Monsieur Normal, but no one becomes the leader of his country without being a powerful presence. He must be, at the very least, a clever, persuasive man, and I’d bet that he’s also charming, hardworking, ambitious and ruthless too.
Men like that... people like that, don’t go home after a day at work, pop on their slippers, eat a light supper and settle down to a good book and a little gentle lovemaking should the mood take them.
I have a preference for alpha types. I’ve never dated a man as powerful as Hollande, and nor have I ever dated a politician, but I’ve certainly dated talented, intelligent, charming men. I’ve dated men who can dominate any conversation among any group of people, who can persuade anyone of almost anything, who work hard and play hard and don’t know the limits of their appetites, and that’s how I like them.
Being a woman, and having found myself in the thrall of this brand of man on more than one occasion, it’s easy to write about them, but I know women who are like this too. I’m well enough acquainted with one young woman in particular to call her a friend. She’s at the top of her very demanding profession. She works hard and plays hard and manages a large staff of men and women. She is very much the alpha partner in her very happy relationship, and she loves her man deeply. She understands her appetites too though and, once in a while, very discreetly, she indulges them. That is her business and her partner’s, and nobody else’s. They understand each other and their relationship continues.
Powerful people have always sought outlets for their appetites. They have always sought balance in their lives, as do we all. It isn’t terribly difficult or troubling to balance a life when it consists of the nine-to-five in balance with the home and family. It might be a little more complex and a little more dangerous to find something to balance walking a political tightrope on the World stage.
I’m not excusing Francois Hollande’s behaviour. If I was Valerie Trierweiler I probably wouldn’t be hugely impressed with him either. I’m damned sure that I wouldn’t have an attack of the vapours, though. I’m damned sure I wouldn’t end up in a suite at the hospital with a case of the blues. Had I been Trierweiler, Hollande might have found the contents of a full glass of good red wine dripping down his face, or my palm landing against his cheek; there might have been a lot of fierce fighting and fiercer fucking; I might even have left him, who knows?
My contention is that Trierweiler knew what Hollande was and she had chosen to be in a relationship with him in the first place.
Francois Hollande’s relationship with Trierweiler began while he was in a longterm relationship with Segolene Royal, so longterm, in fact, that they had four children together. Trierweiler knew that Hollande was a liar because he had lied to Royal to enter into a relationship with her, and she knew that he was an adulterer because he had committed adultery with her. It was foolish of her to think that the pattern couldn’t or wouldn’t be repeated.
The pain that Valerie Trierweiler felt when Hollande’s relationship with Julie Gayet was exposed clearly represented something greater to her than the pain of losing him, and I can’t help thinking that’s almost the saddest thing of all in the end.
|Segolene Royal, Valerie Trierweiler and Julie Gayet|
Three of Francois Hollande's lovers, including the mother of his children,
his First Lady and his latest mistress