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Les Français ou les anglais sont-ils les champions de l'infidélité?

By Berlioz Deborah




Extra-Marital Affairs
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“At the question: do you cheat on you wife? A gentleman must always answer 'no'” say the Brits. I guess French men are not always gentlemen, since 39% of them confess they have already had an affair. And some are so proud of it that they do not hesitate to shout it from the rooftops. “What louts!”   British gentlemen must think. However, are the French really more unfaithful than the Brits?

Ok, the French have a sulphurous reputation. They are well known for thinking about sex all the time - although this is also true of men in general - speaking about it frankly, hitting on women very easily and directly... Trust a French girl, this is no  cliché! But, according to Pamela Duckerman, author of “Lust in Translation: the rules of infidelity from Tokyo to Tennessee”, the French cheat less than the British on average. Surprised?

You should not be. There is a great difference between not having an affair and saying you're not having one. It is just a matter of what is taboo or not. In the UK, as in America, adultery is still seen as a capital sin. After all, it is clearly forbidden in the seventh of the Ten Commandments, and the concept of marital fidelity is present in a lot of religions. Who would be comfortable saying he has a lover in that context?
And if one is caught, the rule is simple according to Pamela Duckerman: “an affair, even a one-night stand, means a marriage is over. That’s a very American and British idea.” She spoke with a lot of people, who, discovering their husband or wife had cheated, immediately packed their bags and left.

In contrast, in France, having an affair is seen as something almost common. People consider it to be, if not essential, at least a common part of marriage. I am not saying that it is not a big deal, and that a cheated spouse or husband will find it normal and forgive straight away; but, the French are more likely to think it does not signify the end of a relationship - afterall, worse things happen in a couple’s life.

In addition, not being faithful appears so ordinary, that even when our politicians cheat on their partner, we do not really care. I’m always so amazed when I see how the British and the American deal with their leader’s affairs. In England, David Meller was forced to resign from John Major’s government because he had a mistress (Major was lucky; his infidelity was revealed after his term of office). And I'm sure there is no need to remind you of  the Monica-gate… It’s as if a man who cheated on his wife was automatically capable of all manner of depravities.

But in France, we are used to politicians with a seducer’s reputation. Valery Giscard d’Estaing and Jacques Chirac were well known for their numerous mistresses. Mitterand even had a secret love-child. But, except for the last one, these affairs never made the headlines. Moreover, it never called their ability to rule the nation into question. On the contrary, a leader without an affair would almost seem strange to some…

The Ramsays

Two countries, two different ways of looking at infidelity, but at least one common point: people cheat both in France and in the UK. In fact, as a taboo, infidelity has the taste of the forbidden fruit. On the other hand, when it becomes socially acceptable, it is easier to be unfaithful. So, in the end, does the way we tackle the subject really matter?


01/02/2012 - info a dit :

disse:Luli,Que bom que gootsu!!Sim, o da Gabi tb foi um dos meus preferidos!!! Maravilhoso e super diferente!!!Beijinhos

08/01/2009 - magnificent_moosettina a dit :

As far as I am aware the only recent known case of a British Prime Minister having an affair was the Edwina Currie/ John Major one that was only revealed after he left office.
Certainly lying to Parliament and being found out is a resignation must as Jonanthan Aitkin found out to his cost and downfall.
Many British politicians had affairswhile in office; Tim Yeo,& Steven Norris come to mind, but the last major affair resignation must be John Profumo/ Christine Keeler incident where he was defence Minister, she a call girl sharing a bed with a Russian diplomat/ attache' too! He also lied to Parliament it was claimed, but more than made up for it by his charitable works,( See the film "Scandal!")
Would thriller writers dare to dream up such scenarios ?
Morals and standards have altered a lot since 1963!

08/01/2009 - hs.martin a dit :

David Mellor resigned because he had enjoyed a free holiday as the guest of Monica Bauens of the PLO.
Politicians who have affairs tend to resign because they have initially lied about them and the British purport to prefer honest politicians.
It is true that the British tabloid press makes much of these issues, because gossip sells papers, not because they really disapprove of affairs- do you think journalists don't have affairs?- but is France really so relaxed about it or has it, rather, something to do with the far stricter privacy and defamation laws. This seems to be changing a little viz the reporting of Sarkozy and Bruni.
It is a huge mistake to equate UK religious observance with that of the USA where 43% attend church regularly as against about 7% in the UK and predicted by Christian Research to fall to 88,000 people only by 2050. The UK is a largely secular country unlike the USA. Whatever accounts for our difference of approach- if it exists- it is unlikely to be religious belief, simply cultural.

15/12/2008 - s.pollock-hill a dit :

May I just add, for what it is worth, that the expression "gentleman" comes from the French "gentilshommes", meaning men of noble birth!
Thus it is that the only industry worthy of the aristocracy in 17th century France was glassmaking "gentilshommes verriers" Before anyone pulls me about about Geoffrey Chaucer he talks about a" 'verray, parfit, gentil knight', again a reference to a well mannered noble man.
Any true English gentleman knows that it is the height of bad manners to speak or heaven forbid to boast of extra marital affairs.......where as for a Frenchman it seems someties almost a badge of honnor, and "le cinq a sept" has no Anglo Saxon equivalent.
perhaps the iconic gentleman was John Steed from the Avengers, followed by James Bond- who was not averse to having affairs with the wives and mistresses of villains!
An English gentleman should open a door ( house , hotel or car door)for a lady, allow her to pass first, give up his seat in a Tube or train, walk on the outside of the pavement, and stand up when the lady/ladies at his table gets up or sits down.
As William of Wyken said "Manners Maketh man".

As concers married men and women straying, we Brits have the saying "what is good for the goose is good for the gander" which has nothing to do whatsoever with foie gras!
An affair being common or commonplace ? Ah! teh subtleties of the English langugae!

14/12/2008 - s.rhodes a dit :

Is it as acceptable in France for a Frenchwoman to stray? Do French women have more affairs then their British counterparts?

12/12/2008 - tlflb29 a dit :

"having an affair is seen as something almost common"... Don't you think you are going too far??


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