Why an affair could be the key to a healthy marriage
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You would expect a leading female psychologist to advise women against cheating husbands.
But best-selling French author Maryse Vaillant says that on the contrary adultery is the sign of a healthy marriage.
In a new book she aims to 'rehabilitate infidelity' and has caused a storm by saying French men should not be punished for keeping mistresses and women may find infidelity 'liberating'.
According to figures in her book 'Men, Love, Fidelity' four in ten French men cheat on their wives and therefore she claims infidelity is 'unavoidable'.
She writes: 'Most don't do it [cheat] because they
no longer love their wives. On the contrary they simply need breathing
'For such men, who are in fact profoundly monogamous, infidelity is almost unavoidable.'
Vaillant claims cheating is down to the 'psychic functioning' of
certain men who are still very much in love with their spouse.
And the divorcee who split with her husband 20 years ago after a 'faithful' relationship suggests that men who dot not cheat may lack strength of character.
She says of monogamous husbands: 'These are often men whose father was physically or morally absent. These men have a completely idealised view of their father and the parternal function. They lack suppleness and are prisoners to an idealised image of a man of duty.'
This may be welcome news to many French politicians who have been reported to have indulged in extramarital affairs.
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The later President Francois Mitterand had a regular mistress Anne Pingeot with whom he had a love child. While his successor Jacques Chirac recently wrote in a book: 'There have been women I have loved a lot, as discreetly as possible.'
It comes just after Sylvie Brunel, 49 the former wife of a French minister published a bombshell book about his alleged infidelity with a much younger woman.
In her 'Guerilla Handbook for Women', Miss Brunel said her husband Eric Besson, France's minister for Immigration and National Identity said her husband had 'interchangeable mistresses' throughout their 30-year marriage.
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