Did French President François Hollande really “cheat” on his partner?

Posted on January 23, 2014


A huge scandal has broken out in France. A celebrity magazine caught the President, François Hollande, secretly meeting with an actress. The President’s partner, Valerie Trierweiler, was hospitalized with, as friends told journalists, a “severe bout of the blues.”

Personally, I’m very content to leave the French to their own scandals. But something in the reporting of this story here in the U. S. caught my attention.

The Washington Post headlined the story this way: “A stakeout allegedly catches President François Hollande cheating on his partner.”

Here’s my question: how does a man cheat on his “partner”?

François Hollande and Valerie Trierweiler are not married. Since the whole point of marriage is that each spouse pledges exclusive commitment to the other, being “partners” instead of spouses means that the two individuals have deliberately chosen to not make that kind of commitment to one another.

The accountability of commitment comes only with marriage, and people who want to be “partners” but are unwilling to marry one another are explicitly stating that there is no commitment in the relationship.

So, did President François Hollande cheat on his partner by having a relationship with another woman? If there is no commitment, how can there be any cheating?

I don’t mean to be harsh, but if you want a committed spouse, get married. If you’re willing to settle for a partner, don’t complain about “cheating.”