French dating norms

Omitting them from the guest list would have been unthinkable.

After all, most of them had been friends of my husband's since his school days and, until I came on the scene, some had been drifting in and out of his bed for years.

Dotted about the church were my husband's ex-girlfriends.

Elegant, exquisitely dressed and immaculately groomed, they radiated a mixture of hauteur and sexual confidence.

But it was nothing compared with what I was about to experience. Our social life revolved around his wide group of gifted and beautiful friends, most of whom he had known since school, and many of whom he had slept with.

We'd been married two years and had our first child, Jack, when we went to a dinner party being held by one of Laurent's former girlfriends, Aurelie.

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I'd been vaguely aware that these women were going to be at my wedding.

Everyone carries on being friends, just as my husband did with the women in that church. I'd had a sheltered middle-class upbringing in London, where my father was a PR consultant and my mother a housewife. My oldest sister (I'm one of five children) was living in Paris.

Two of my friends were setting off on a trip around Europe and, on the spur of the moment, I decided to go with them as far as Paris. Instead her flatmate, Laurent, answered the phone and offered to pick me up.

The first time I realised just how differently the French view sex was at my wedding.

I married Laurent Lemoine at his parents' beautiful house in Normandy.

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