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In France, most people cheat on their spouse — but no one really cares

Dennis Green
French Love

(Flickr / Pedro Ribeiro Simões) "Don't forget your mistress!" is apparently an advertising slogan used by French flower shops.

Infidelity is common in France, but no one in the country seems to mind.

In Aziz Ansari's new book on romance in the digital age, "Modern Love," the comedian/actor points to a 2014 study by the French Institute of Public Opinion, which found that 55% of French men and 32% of French women have admitted to cheating on their spouse or significant other.

Fortunately for the men, only 47% of the French see infidelity as "morally unacceptable," according to a Pew Research study Ansari cites.

To better understand the country's unique relationship with infidelity, Ansari traveled to France and interviewed young Frenchman about their thoughts on the matter.

Respondents said that cheating is often seen as "natural" or "inevitable" to seek novel sexual experiences. Said one young man: "In the subconscious of French people is an idea that everyone cheats." 

In Paris, a woman told Ansari that she didn't think it was possible to be faithful to one person forever, while a Parisian man said that "you can be a good guy and still have affairs."   

Affairs are so common in France that one person even told Ansari that French flower shops advertise with "don't forget your mistress!"

What Ansari found in his visit wasn't that French people don't care if their spouses cheat, but that they aren't as shattered by the betrayal. Because of their cultural attitude, the French are also the most likely to forgive a cheater.

In fact, 63% of French people "believe they can love someone even if he or she has cheated," according to the French Institute of Public Opinion, and the French were the most forgiving of the 39 countries surveyed by a Pew Research study noted by the Telegraph.

C'est la vie.

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