Her husband, meanwhile, recalls being mildly surprised when Millet revealed how distraught she was about his affairs—“considering what she herself was doing,” he says wryly. Far more stunning to him was Millet’s assumption that he had remained faithful. “She knew I had a lot of female friends and that I was going out with them in the evenings,” says Henric, a small, white-haired 71-year-old. He wonders if his wife may sometimes see him as a father figure. Millet acknowledges she had a tendency to idealize Henric, which may have contributed to her state of denial.
Today you won’t find Millet cruising the Bois de Boulogne; she says she’s currently monogamous and satisfied. “Frankly, I’ve gotten older, and I’m not searching as much for new sensations,” she says. Asked what she misses about promiscuous sex, she laughs and says, “Oh là là, I don’t really think about it, so if you ask me to, it’s going to be unsettling!” Since her book was published in France last year, Millet has often been approached by strangers asking for advice about their own struggles with jealousy. She tells them about a realization that came to her toward the end of her ordeal.
“In a sense, I’ve come back around to what I used to think,” she says. “Sexual liberty can be handled with discretion—each partner has to respect the private life of the other. If I suffered, it’s because I went looking [for the truth]. I could have just closed my eyes.”
While Millet is ruminating on married life, Henric passes through the room. He smiles, says hello, puts on a jacket and walks out the door. He doesn’t mention where he’s going, and Millet doesn’t ask.