The cheating frenchman and violence in Marseille

Well, as the title suggests, events took an ugly turn this week. Since I had a couple of days free, I texted The Frenchman. We made plans for me to take the trip to Marseille, not far from where I am, and I’d get to see the sights I hadn’t seen yet, crash on his sofa and then head back the next morning.

I woke up at the crack of dawn and made my way there. We had a great day, too. After wandering around the port, we took a boat out to Le Pointe Rouge, a tiny beach, and had lunch before sunbathing and taking a dip in the sea. It was nice. Not at all awkward, just two mates hanging out. It was almost to easy, I thought. Since the boat back only ran once an hour, and was full, we decided to take the bus instead after stopping for some ice-cream. As we got near to his apartment, my phone rang, one of my French friends from London calling to see how I was.

As we approached the apartment building, some woman comes up to The Frenchman and starts going off on one. I turned by back for a minute and walked away, to tell my friend I’d call him back later. The next thing I knew, I got hit over the head, my head banged into the concrete wall and blood started pouring from my nose. It was the first time I’d ever been hit and I was so shocked, I didn’t know what to do. I don’t even know what happened, but all I could see was The Frenchman getting whacked over the head as he tried to restrain this crazy woman. One of his neighbours had come down and asked if I was ok, and then I just burst into tears. He hadn’t told me he had a new girlfriend, and I couldn’t understand why she was laying into me. What happened next was a good 10 minutes of her trying to get at me, telling me to ‘take my plane and leave’ while I’m trying to avoid her coming at me again. She’s been with him since last July, she said. I said I didn’t know anything about her, to which she replied she knew everything about me. She even started reciting some of the stuff me and The Frenchman had said via email. What the actual fuck?? She asked if I was there in November and February, and I said yes. And then she hit the Frenchman again. She shouted that I needed to leave because I was only there to have sex with him. Erm, no. When she asked why not, I said ‘I ended it, so why would I want to have sex with him now?’ She then went wild again, in French, and what I got from that was that he’d told her that he was the one to end it, not me, and this was supposed to have happened in January. Then she asked if I’d sent him an email confirming when we’d split up. I said no, and she hit him again – and said she knew the email she’d seen wasn’t from me. She eventually left and when The Frenchman came over to see if I was alright, I told him to leave me alone. Fair enough, he’d tried to restrain her and calm down, but the fact was that I’d just got attacked in the middle of the street with cars slowing down to take a look and people staring out of their windows and over their balconies. After staying downstairs for a while, crying my eyes out on the phone, I went up to his apartment (where my stuff was) and cleaned myself up before demanding he pour out some rum. I was shaking like a leaf with the adrenaline.

‘What the fuck was that?’ I asked, and demanded he be honest. So, he told me. She’s his new girlfriend and they’ve been together since April this year, but he’s been sleeping with her since last July. He doesn’t love her, he said, and so obviously this is more serious for her than it is for him. He’s been sleeping with her roughly every 2 weeks. His reason? 

‘Because I’m an arsehole and a liar.’

‘Not acceptable,’ I said.

He said he found it difficult to be away from me, and needed someone near him for sex. He found the distance hard. I told him that was absolute bullshit, I’d have seen him as often as he wanted. The reason we saw each other so rarely was down to him – he knew how I felt about him and yet he still let it go on after we’d established we were in a relationship. He said he was afraid to tell me because he didn’t want to lose me and he thought for a long time we could have really been together. I just shook my head and reminded him that at the start, when I met Mr Grey, I was honest with him. There was no reason for him to keep it from me, and moreover, if he’d have been honest about sleeping with her from the start, I’d not have let myself get so attached to him, if I’d have met up with him at all. At least I’d have known it was only a casual thing. Apparently, she’d found our Whatsapp message trail in June and demanded he have no more contact with me, which he apparently agreed to. She hasn’t trusted him since then and because he didn’t answer the phone when she rang earlier in the day, she must have been suspicious enough to come round to his apartment.

I asked about the fake email and he told me he’d created a fake account, and emailed it, asking me to confirm when we’d split up. He apparently didn’t save the email so I couldn’t read it, but he ‘wasn’t proud’ of what he’d done. I told him that if he’d have just emailed me, asking me to confirm when we’d split up so he could reassure his new girlfriend, I’d have done it, because we were friends. He said he couldn’t ask me because he’d told her we’d split up in January (bearing in mind he came to London at the end of January) and he didn’t want me to get mixed up in their relationship. I just laughed. I was bloody well involved now. Things started to make sense in my head. He was never around at the weekend, for one, and that message on the fridge I’d blogged about for two. I asked if that message was for her (the one which said, ‘I’m at the post office, my beauty’) and he confirmed that it was. 

I was so, so upset. Not because he’d cheated necessarily, because we haven’t been together for around 6-7 months now, but because he’d lied, over and over again. When he’d told me I was the only woman in his life, when he told me he’d always tried to be honest with me and not to give my trust to someone who doesn’t deserve it, it was all bullshit. I was broken at the fact that this man, who I held in the highest esteem and trusted implicitly turned out to be a complete and utter wanker. And I told him that. I told him he wasn’t the man I thought he was – that I thought he had integrity and he’d made me look a fool all those times people asked how I dealt with the trust issues that come with a long distance relationship because I’d always said I trusted him without a shadow of a doubt. After all, why shouldn’t I have?

I’d told him how difficult it was usually for me to open up about certain things, and  he’d told me how honoured he was that I found it easy to do with him. It took a lot of effort on my end and all he did was abuse it. He didn’t even try not to sleep with someone else. I reminded him that he’d told me he didn’t want a relationship after we split up, and he said he still doesn’t, but she was there and it just ‘happened.’

He apologised (push the boat out why don’t you), saying that I didn’t deserve any of what had happened, it was all his fault and he hated himself for seeing me so upset. Bullshit. He hated the fact he got caught or he wouldn’t have done it, end of. The amount of money I’d spent going to see him etc, he took me for a total mug. I didn’t hide my feelings. Sure, I could have screamed and shouted, and smashed his apartment, but I didn’t. For one thing, thats’ just not me. And for two, I didn’t want to be calm and emotionless. I wanted him to see that he’d hurt me, and know he’d lost someone who would have been a friend for life. 

He apologised again for making me ‘lose time’, to which I replied ‘he should be sorry about lying, cheating and hurting me, not losing time’. Sophie (his girlfriend) had won – she got what she wanted. He disagreed and I pointed out that she’d known about me since June. The only thing that had changed for her was finding out that I was the one to end our relationship, not him, and that we had still been in contact up to that point. For me, everything had changed. The memories I had of him and Marseille, the way I thought of him as a person and the friendship we had was now shattered.

I ended up staying in a hotel (he paid, I demanded he did) and the next morning, I woke up and thought I had black eyes from being hit, I’d been crying so much. Thankfully that wasn’t the case, it was nothing my sunglasses couldn’t hide, apart from the lump which is still there on the side of my head.

He was at the train station, and apologised again, saying I’m a good person and he’s so, so sorry for hurting me, because he knows this was the last time he’d ever see me and he’d lost me.  And he’d never lied to me about how he felt about me. I just nodded, otherwise I’d have cried again, and stiffened when he tried to hug me goodbye. I walked away from him and I didn’t look back.

I needed a couple of days to pass before I wrote this (this happened on Tuesday) because I was just too upset. I hate feeling like I’ve been duped. I hate feeling like every time I dare to trust another human being, they turn out to be totally unworthy. I made things as stress-free as possible, it couldn’t have been any easier for him…and yet…

So, I’m back in Languedoc now, and my hosts know what happened. And they’ve been so lovely. We had a huge barbecue last night and blasted French men – apparently they have a saying that they have less value than a nail you’d hammer into wood because they cannot be trusted.

And now, I feel fine. I’ve blocked him on Facebook and deleted our messages. He can go be a cheating bastard somewhere else, I’m not going to let him ruin my holiday.

Love in all its forms…

French is apparently a ‘romance’ language. Which doesn’t actually mean much to do with romance in that context but it’s fitting for this post.


I got an email from The Frenchman earlier this evening, in which he signed off “bisous de ton petit Francais qui t’adore’ which means, ‘kisses from your little Frenchman who loves you.”

The ‘little’ made me laugh because he’s definitely not that and when I read the sentence, I did a happy dance. But then…

I’m sure 99% of people have heard of the phrase “Je t’aime” at least because of some song that was practically pornographic back in the day. Usually, in films and the like, “Je t’aime” is the way to say ‘I love you.’ As in, ‘I’m in love with you.’ So what the hell does “je t’adore” mean? The results I’ve found are pretty inconclusive. Even amongst French natives. Some think “je t’aime” is stronger than “je t’adore” regardless of the fact that ‘aimer’ means to like and ‘adore’ means to love.

I can tell you one thing. After 5 months of learning French, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that even they don’t really understand their language! Things are just the way they are – having one word with a gazillion different meanings is just one example. Regardless, I’m going to revel in this. It looks like things are moving in the right direction, regardless of what the EXACT translation is.

The end result is that I’m smiling. Which is definitely a good thing 😀

 

Et maintenant… (And now…)

What a weekend! It sucks to be back home! After a month I finally saw The Frenchman again and it was bloody fantastic.

He was there to meet me at the airport and straight away, the chemistry was there. We grabbed a quick coffee before he drove us to his apartment which was very french. Plenty of stairs (and he lives on the top, 5th floor), hard floors, shutters on the window, balcony, the lot. And, I met his cat, my new best friend. Since we were both tired we stayed in. He cooked dinner to go with the flowers he bought me and we worked our way through a bottle of wine. And had lots of sex. Of course! It was so nice to be with him in his own environment.

When we woke up the next morning, with his cat balanced precariously on my arm (!) we heard the unmistakable sound of rain. It seemed I’d brought the English weather with me because according to him, it’s rare to have rain in Marseille that lasts more than hour. It rained all day. We had planned to wander around town but neither of us wanted to venture out, so we spent the day lounging around, listening to music, having more sex and eating. Not a bad substitute methinks! When the rain finally stopped we went out and my french skills were put into practice with real people! I was nervous, of course, but I actually did ok. I was understood, anyway, and we had a lovely dinner before heading to a cocktail bar to sink mojitos and dance. By the time we got home we were both shattered but still found the energy to make use of his bed (again). Afterwards, we fell asleep. While he was still on top of and, um, inside me. That was a first! But a nice one 🙂

And on Sunday, I woke up at stupid o’clock. I don’t know why but I’m always up at about 8.30am on a Sunday so I left him to sleep a bit before waking him up in my own special way! The sun was shining through the shutters and the sky was perfectly blue. Finally, I was experiencing the sun! After breakfast we headed to Cassis, a gorgeous town on the coast. This isn’t a picture I took – I have photos on various social networking platforms and I’m trying to preserve my anonymity, but this is Cassis.

20121113-142900.jpg

20121113-142909.jpg

I have to say, being on a beach with the sun blazing in my skin in the middle of November was a nice touch. As we sat outside a restaurant with a glass of wine, we had ‘a conversation’.

He really likes me. He feels comfortable and natural with me (rare for him) and I understand him. It’s hard for him to see me only once a month and until now, he hasn’t wanted to ask himself whether he’s ready for a serious relationship. This is his way of protecting himself and he’s told me before that he tends to put barriers up whereas I’m the opposite. And in a perfect world, I’d be with him in Marseille. Everything he said echoed what I was thinking, and I told him that I have to keep reminding myself that he’s ‘him’. I’m not sure if its because he’s French or because he’s him but things he says and does aren’t what is expect a guy to say or do. I’m used to the idea that attempting to have a ‘serious where is this going’ conversation could spell the end of a potential relationship but he’s the opposite to what I’ve grown used to. He’s incredibly affectionate, declaring his family ‘complete’ when we were snuggled with Icar on the sofa. So, the upshot is that he has to ask himself if he’s ready to take a risk with me or not.

He’s worried it would be difficult with our different cultures. I told him it would be. I did a relationship like that for nearly 10 years and it isn’t easy, but then good things generally take work. He agreed with that sentiment.

I’m going back for four days in 3 weeks and then he wants to come here mid December. After that, the plan is that February-ish, I’ll go for a bit longer so we can spend some proper time together.

So, are we ‘exclusive’? I didn’t ask. Strangely, I don’t feel like I have to. I trust him and I’m sure he feels the same way I do. Add to that the fact he says sex with me is the best he’s ever had and, well, I’m not worrying too much about him straying.

Of course, the weekend went far too quickly. And yes, I cried at the airport when it was time to come home. I’m a total sap. But it’s not long to go now until I’m back out there…

Exciting stuff!

A High Flying Bird

So, it’s been some time since my last post. Last weekend I took myself off to France to meet The Frenchman.

After a mildly nervous flight (it was the first time I’d ever flown by myself), I got off the plane, collected my luggage and made my way to the arrivals hall, with a flicker of nerves. The Frenchman and I have been in constant comms since June, but a little part of me was worried that I’d distorted the memory of him in my head. What if I didn’t actually fancy him in the sober, cold light of day four months on? What if it was awkward when we saw each other? What if we had nothing to talk about? Luckily, as soon as I walked through the arrivals door he was there, and all those questions were answered. Yes, I did still fancy him. He’s taller than I remember, tip-toe kissing tall, and his eyes are this strange colour somewhere between amber and hazel. In his converse, low slung jeans, t-shirt and baseball cap, I was immediately hit with the feeling I had when I first saw him in Ireland. I’d distorted nothing. Any worries I had about that those first few seconds of seeing each other being awkward were gone when he kissed me in the middle of the crowd waiting for their friends, family and business contacts, and I quite literally melted. Well, only half melted. When he spoke to me I might as well have fallen in a heap on the floor. It sounds weird to say it, but our comms have always been by email, so it was the first time since Ireland I’d actually heard his voice. A lot deeper than I remembered, and that accent…

He’d bought me a white chocolate Twix, because I’d told him once it was one of my favourite chocolate bars and the white chocolate was a new one on me! We headed to the car park, kissing and smiling and hugging along the way. He couldn’t remember which car park he’d parked in, and his attitude was remarkably laid back about it. It was something I saw a lot of over the weekend. Nothing seemed to faze him. When we got lost driving around, looking for a place to eat after the concert, both of us hungry and way past midnight, he just said ‘de rien’ – ‘it’s nothing.’ Which was handy since it was partially my fault we’d got lost as he’d put me in charge of directing him with his satnav…talk about a baptism of fire in terms of utilising my newly acquired French speaking skills!

Since we got to the hotel too early to check in, we parked up and went to a cafe for a couple of hours, talking, catching up and joking. Miss America had warned me before I left that my sense of humour might not translate. She said ‘sarcasm can kiss your (my) ass.’ I’m pleased to say there was no awkwardness when it came to swapping jokes! He’s just as sarcastic and cheeky as I am, so a lot of the time was spent taking the piss out of each other! And when we finally got to the hotel room after stopping for a bite to eat…sparks flew. It was Ireland all over again, but this time totally sober. I don’t think I’ve ever had a prolonged period in bed with a guy who was solely focused on me. Like, ever. It was all so romantic, so intense, so French…so amazing. I could quite happily have not moved from the hotel room at all. I said before he was the best sex I’ve ever had…that statement was definitely true and most definitely still stands. If I could think of one word to describe it, it would just be…delicious 🙂

And so it was for two days. Eating a ridiculous amount of food, drinking, walking, kissing, laughing, hugging, dancing, joking, lounging around in bed, holding hands, massaging – you name it, it happened, and I loved every last minute of it. Maybe it’s a French thing, but he was super affectionate. He felt no way in leaning over the table at dinner or stopping me in the middle of the street for a kiss. And all I could think was, wow. He exudes this confidence, this self assurance that I haven’t seen before. He’s 33, so the same age as most of the guys I’ve come across this year, but his temperament is so different. He has a genuine ‘I don’t give a shit’ air about him that manages not to come across as arrogant. He seems genuinely comfortable in his own skin and I cannot stress enough how much of a turn on that was. He took care of me from the moment I landed to the moment I left. He wouldn’t let me spend any money and when I did, it was only after stressing that I wanted to pay for something. Our hotel room was 157 euros a night and we were there for two. He had an 8 hour round trip, which meant petrol. He bought drinks, dinner and snacks. In the end, I managed to spend a hefty 60 Euros all weekend. He was super patient with me when I tried to speak French, encouraging me along the way and took the time to explain things when I didn’t understand them. It really did feel like I’d spent masses of time with him beforehand – I could hardly believe it was only the second time we’d seen each other.

I’m literally overwhelmed by romance. I feel like I’m walking around in this hazy glow. And it’s not because I’ve been treated like a princess all weekend either. It’s because spending some time with him has confirmed to me that he’s exactly what I thought he’d be when I first saw him and from what I’ve learned over the last 4 months. Everything from his taste in music, to his political and philosophical beliefs were bang on point to what I thought they’d be. I can honestly say that there was no flicker of disappointment over that weekend and I was scared that there might be. It’s so easy to make yourself believe that you really like someone in an ‘online’ setting and I was worried the reality would be lacking. But it wasn’t. I felt ridiculously comfortable with him. I’m not second guessing anything. So far he’s been surprisingly honest about his feelings, he doesn’t mess around when I ask him something. He seems to have this aura that relaxes me and instead of doing the analytical will he like this/wont he, if I ask him this will he think this or that, I feel remarkably secure.

I like him, a lot. With the exception of the distraction with Mr Grey (ha, I actually had to stop and try to remember his name then!), the way I feel has been constant. He said to me today that he felt like he was in the clouds all weekend, everything was perfect and it felt to him like we were a couple who had been together for years. He can’t take time off work to come to London until January, so I’m heading to Marseilles in a few weeks time and he’s said we’ll talk about the ‘future’ then. If I was living there or he was here, I’d know the status of our relationship. Mr Grey wouldn’t even have got a look in. So it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

It’s weird, but I don’t feel stupidly giddy about all of this. I feel ridiculously happy, annoyed that it’s taken so long (which is blatantly down to me and cancelling my trip in August) and oddly secure. I’d have thought that if I were in this situation, I’d be constantly stressing about what he’s doing, whether he’s going to be seduced by some sophisticated French woman given there’s hundreds of miles in distance between us, but I don’t. There’s something about him that makes me feel like I don’t need to worry about anything and that’s a feeling I’m liking a hell of a lot because I’m missing him. Having finally spent time together it went all too quickly and now I’ve got a good four weeks to wait until I’ll see him again. It actually feels like I’m stuck in this dream right now that I don’t really want to wake up from. Everything’s been on autopilot, I’ve done no real work today at all as my head’s just stuck in this daze.

It’s really quite a beautiful feeling…

Ooh la la avec les hommes Francais

So after an hour of feeling pissed off on Thursday after hearing Mr Double-Barrel on the radio, Miss America and I decided to go out on the piss and I was under strict orders to pull me an Irishman. I failed, dismally. And picked up a Frenchman instead. We went out for dinner and met a group of French guys who were in Ireland for a fishing trip. They were all the same age, 32/33, and all of them were lovely, compounding the stereotypical image of unfriendly French natives!

There were three of them who lived in Westport, I’m not sure what their relationship was to the guys who we were talking to but they seemed nice enough. And one of them took a shine to Miss America – never mind the fact he was there with his girlfriend. He was seriously cute and honestly, if looks could talk his would have said ‘I want to eat you now’. Intense wasn’t the word.

I’m sure you’ve already gathered, but Miss America is a great wing woman. I can be shy around guys but she thinks to ask leading questions and keep them interested. So we ended up going on for a few drinks with them and I got chatting to the one I’d had my eye on from the start. I’ll call him The Frenchman. He was very much my type – snowboarder, indie looking. He reminded me of a cuter Fred Durst and I used to love him back in the day. Over the course of some drinks we chatted and swapped English and French. When the club got ready to close, we went back to their cottage and Miss America was more than happy to keep me company.

Once there, the champagne and whiskey came out. Looking back, it could’ve been dangerous – two girls getting drunk with five French dudes, but hey, it was fun. And I fancied the pants off The Frenchman. Miss America decided she wanted to see the sunrise and suggested we go for a hike up the hill, but as time moved on, she ended up nudging me, telling me that if I wanted to pull him, I’d better get on with it before I lost the chance.

You already know I’m shy. I hadn’t even kissed the guy, though we had been flirting over the course of the evening. So I put my 50 Shades hat on, gulped down the rest of my drink, took his hand and into the bedroom we went.

Who needs an Irishman when you can have a sensual Frenchman instead! Remember my blog post where I said I couldn’t remember the best sex I ever had? Yeah. I do now. I don’t think I’ve ever slept with anyone who was do focussed on my pleasure before. Plenty of kissing, massaging, intense staring…yum. I missed out on the sunrise (it was cloudy anyway) but I didn’t really care. I remember Miss America shouting that she was going to take my hiking boots, but that’s about it. A couple of hours later they came back and after a quick hello and a drink, we all went to bed. After a few hours kip cuddled up to The Frenchman, he told me he only had one hours sleep, because I was in his bed. It was apparently a ‘great, great moment.’ And no, Miss America, I don’t think he meant my snoring!

It’s safe to say Friday was a write off, but after such a fabulous night it was an even price to pay. It took my mind off Mr Double-Barrel completely and it put a smile on my face. Not bad 🙂