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.


Bit Broken

So there’s been email exchanges between me and The Frenchman. As has been the theme throughout, they were nice and friendly, considered and without nasty displays of emotional madness.

I think the thing that’s got to me the most, is that I had a taste of something really good. In his email, he described our relationship as something out of a film. He’s never been as happy with a woman and he didn’t think a woman would be able to do what I did for him. It was the most exciting period of his life and something he could live with for the rest of his life. But he doesn’t want a relationship and he doesn’t want to be in love. It wasn’t this that choked me. It was when he said he was when he said he was glad to have given me happiness and he was sorry for any pain he’s caused me.

What hurts is that it wasn’t enough. That there could have been this fairy tale happiness but at the end of the day, it wasn’t enough. I’m genuinely gutted still. He’s someone I want to keep in my life that’s for sure, but right now it feels very raw.

Think I’m going to lay low for a while.

The Fat Lady Sings

Or at least she’s taking a deep breath and gearing up to. The thing is, I’m thinking about putting the kibosh on things with The Frenchman. Shocker.

In my second to last post, I spoke about the gut feeling I had thanks to his lack of comms. That was alleviated momentarily when I finally heard from him and since then, our comms resumed normal activity but on Friday, when I asked how April was looking for him, the reply threw me. He’s busy every weekend. He has a friend coming to stay one weekend, the next he’s helping a friend move house. Then he’s going to Amsterdam and then he’s going skiing. Then he’s going to his parents for a week. The result? I wouldn’t see him until the end of May if I was lucky since he’s meant to be going away with his boys for a week too. What’s wrong with this picture?

Well, it’ll be what? 3 months since we last saw each other by that time. And I get the feeling that if I didn’t ask about April, he wouldn’t have told me. Just like we’ve gone the whole of March without putting any plans in place. Which isn’t normal since we’ve always, always made future arrangements. Plus, he’s already been skiing this season. Ski holidays are expensive, yet he’s worried about money because of his job. Again, I’m trying not to do the “if it were me” thing but if it were me, I’d think hang on, I’ve already been skiing. This is the only weekend I’ll have free for ages and I miss my boyfriend. So maybe I’ll leave the skiing, since I’ve only just been a few weeks ago, and I’ll see if my boyfriend’s free that weekend instead. Is that unrealistic? For all he knows, I could’ve been busy that weekend myself (my birthday weekend, incidentally) but I’d have still asked or had the thought to ask.

I’m a big believer that if you like someone, you make time for them. End of story. It feels like he doesn’t have time for a relationship, even one like ours which is frankly, minimal effort. Right now, he feels like a boyfriend by name only. Now we only communicate by email. I’m waiting for him to call me for a change, but it’s unlikely. We don’t use the instant communicator on our phones anymore either. And I can’t even remember the last time we swapped pictures. He’s a man right? And men have needs. And in a long distance relationship its bad enough knowing you’ve got to go so long without getting laid. And when you send a picture and get a thankful response and nothing else, that makes me wonder. And the fact I know none of his mates doesn’t help. I’m an abstract thing to them. If he were to pull someone on a night out, they wouldn’t remind him that he has me. Whereas my friends would. Even if I went ahead and pulled anyway, they know enough about him to intervene. Whenever I go to see him, it’s just us. His friends don’t come into the equation at all. Oh and there was a message on his fridge the last time. To say he was at the post office, with a term of endearment meant for a female (close female at that and given how the french speak, it wasn’t likely to be a friend). Since he didn’t go to the post office when I was there, it wasn’t for me. And no, I didn’t ask who it was for because nobody would be so stupid to leave it on there if they were doing something wrong, right? Either way he seemed unphased when I asked him about it. Instead of telling me who it was for he translated it (leaving out the endearing phrase). It was basic french. Could’ve understood it a mile off. So I left it.

So as usual, my self preservation instincts are kicking in big time. And I’m wondering if I should just call time on things. I emailed him back (that’s the other annoying thing,  all these bloody emails) and told him how I felt on Friday night. Bearing in mind that whenever there’s been questions about our relationship, he’s replied same day. I wasn’t surprised not to have a reply by Friday night but I still haven’t got one. Which kind of tells me all I need to know really. He never replies to me at the weekend. Ever. Never once. Miss America said he’s treating me like a mistress and in some ways she’s right. And it’s wearing thin.

When I dropped the L-bomb, it happened so spontaneously that it must have been true, even if only for that moment. I know he makes me feel special, content, appreciated and adored when I’m with him. But let’s face it, that’s only once a month on average. That can’t be sustained forever. It’s not enough. Bogs commented on my second to last post saying that most long distance relationships end because of a lack of direction or common goal. We don’t have that. Whenever we’ve spoken about staying anything longer than a weekend, he’s got all scared about it and has now disappeared into the ether. Which doesn’t make me feel special, content, appreciated or adored. Neither does him forgetting I exist every weekend. He’s a great guy but right now, it’s not enough for me.

I actually went out last night with a guy friend of a friend I met at a party last week. It was all above board, I told him straight away I had a boyfriend but we chatted, talking about music and gigs and things. I felt bad because I spoke to him more than I had with The Frenchman in weeks (not for lack of trying). But last night, I agreed to meet up with him and we had some drinks, rode on bumper cars and laughed a lot. And it felt great. And I don’t know what that says about me to be honest. Or my current situation.

So, I’ve got some real thinking to do. There’s nothing I can do about bad timing but I feel like I should maybe quit while I’m ahead and before I get hurt. Or before I do something silly.

Big, fat, enormous sigh. 

Panic Over

So after my last entry, I replied to The Frenchman. I did tell him I was only joking about the apartment, but then I got serious. I outlined what I thought the purpose of our week together was and added that our unknown relationship status was now making me confused. I wasn’t pressuring, I wasn’t whiny, but I was honest. And I asked for him to be honest with me. The reply I got was as follows (summarised):

  • An apology
  • He has a busy month in February and early March with work and will find out his fate regarding his job around early March. He said he didn’t want me to spend the week there when all of this would be going on.
  • A weekend was fine in February, and for a week, he preferred the end of March, after his workload would even out and he’d be more certain about his job.
  • Regarding our relationship status, his viewpoint had changed. He was now of the opinion that he thinks he wants a relationship. Or rather, he was counting on me to make him want to continue the relationship we’re in. Winky face. In my reply, I told him this was cheeky and not to start slacking because HE also had to convince ME that this was a relationship worth being in. Between me and you, this is complete balls, we both know that. But he doesn’t.
  • Another apology for confusing me, and making me open myself up more than I was comfortable with. I’d told him before it’s hard for me to say what I’m thinking in situations like these.

So, I feel a bit better. We said we’d talk about it properly next week since it would be a lot easier to do in person but on the whole, I’m not stressing now. It seems there’s been some traction on his part but I’m not about to let him off the hook quite that easily. There’s still talking to be done. I have to say though, I feel very proud of myself. Before, I’d have sat stewing about this. What to do? Should I say anything? I don’t want to rock the boat. I quite like how instead of doing that, I’ve just asked the question. It’s saved a lot of analysis and stress and, I hope, cleared things up instead of becoming something bigger than it needed to be. As he said, we had a problem in communication. And I feel quite proud of pressing to get that problem ironed out in a relatively quick manner.

I read another blog tonight from Cotswold Girl: In Which I out-Bridget Bridget Jones. The end of post says “Get a grip. And chill the fuck out’. Apt advice. 

Seven Days…

This time next week I’ll be at the airport getting ready to fly out to Marseille. Talk about excited. Talk about nervous.

The reasons for being excited are obvious, but the nerves? Maybe it’s because I know we’ll be having ‘the conversation’. About ‘what this is’. I feel 99% sure that he feels the same way I do, but that could be because of the distance. What if he decides he likes me, but not enough to want to try and have a ‘normal’ relationship? And what would that mean anyway? Moving? Who knows. It doesn’t help that I’ve not heard from him since Tuesday. That’s not a great deal of time and usually, I don’t stress about our comms. We have a rhythm that works for us and I trust him, but this is the first time that I’ve not heard from him for three days straight.

I think it’s because it’s making me wonder what’s happening over there. When I started seeing Mr Grey, I eased the comms with The Frenchman a bit and naturally, I’m now thinking ‘what if he’s met the love of his life?’. It could happen.

I’m trying not to stress. I’m sure I’ll hear from him soon enough, it just feels a bit…I dunno. Weird, I guess, knowing that with him being a guy and all, he might be about to do that ‘guy thing’ of going a bit weird when they know a ‘conversation’ is going to happen.

Our last comms was normal, he told me he missed me (my kisses specifically) and he was excited about me going to Marseille to see him, his house and his city. Sigh. Not much I can do except wait it out.

Keep it together, Freechick!