French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says his love for his wife is greater than his desire to become a father

By Nina Steele 

I may not agree with him politically, but the private life of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is worthy of interest. He and his wife first met when she was his teacher. He was 15, she 39. They became a couple when he turned 18, and have been together ever since. The relationship didn’t start smoothly at first. For, not only was his now wife already married with three children, his parents, understandably, did not approve. To prove it, they sent him away, hoping it would lead to the couple breaking up. Instead, the distance had the opposite effect and the now Mrs Macron left her then husband to join Emmanuel Macron in Paris where he was studying. They tied the knot in 2007.

As expected, the 24 year age gap has attracted a lot of attention, particularly the fact that the couple have no children together, and are unlikely to do so now. Recently, on a visit to Germany, a journalist is said to have asked Mr Macron about this very issue, and he is quoted as saying: “My love for Brigitte (she goes by the name Brigitte Trogneux) is stronger than my desire to become a father”. He went on to decry the fact that often, in cases like this, there is pressure from the man’s family for him to leave his wife, as if a woman’s worth is only through her ability to procreate. I could not have put it any better myself. Just a few days ago, someone told me on social media that being childless by choice was selfish and that the childfree wouldn’t be here if their parents had chosen to be as selfish as they are. Where is the logic in that? I never bothered to reply, of course.

At 39, Emmanuel Macron has shown a level of maturity and wisdom that is rare in a world obsessed with babies, particularly when it comes to politics where having children is often seen as an advantage to be used at every opportunity. By being so open about his decision to prioritise his relationship with his wife over having children, he is proving once again that ultimately, it is up to us as individuals to decide what’s best for us, not society. Yes the pressure can be great at times, but with a bit of courage, we can withstand it.

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