August 6, 2010

He Said, She Said

Or maybe it should be, "She said, he said."

I know I just posted yesterday about being too busy to blog right now, but there is an aspect to this story that is so irritating, I just had to stay up and write about it.

Tuesday morning, the Today show featured an interview with Lynn France, who says she discovered pictures from her husband's wedding on Facebook....while she was still married to him. Lynn and John France were married in 2005 in an extravagant destination wedding which took place in Italy. By 2008, she was beginning to suspect that John was having an affair. She tracked John down and discovered him with Amanda, who told Lynn that she and John planned to be married. John left Lynn soon after that. According to Lynn, John took the couples' two young sons without her knowledge from their home in Ohio to Florida, where he now lives with his new wife, Amanda. John claims that his marriage to Lynn was not valid due to a clerical error, and he has filed in Florida courts for custody of the children. Although Lynn discovered hundreds of pictures of John's wedding to Amanda at Disney World - apparently Amanda was dressed as Sleeping Beauty and John was dressed as Prince Charming - she told Meredith Vieira that the most painful part was finding pictures of her children on Amanda's Facebook page, leading her to feel taunted by Amanda.

Thursday morning, John and Amanda showed up on the Today show's couch for their own interview with Matt Lauer. John's version of the story is that Lynn knew that their marriage wasn't valid and that he was leaving her to marry Amanda. While saying he would not speak negatively about the mother of his children on national television, he strongly implied that she was either delusional or lying outright.

I have to tell you, I think Lynn and John are probably both playing a little loose with the facts to strengthen their own case. In all likelihood, the truth lies somewhere in between their two stories. I'm not sure either parent is prepared to put their feelings about the other aside long enough to do the best thing for the boys. Having said that, I lean towards Lynn's side since John and Amanda were about as sympathetic as the Salahis, particularly when Matt and Amanda had the following exchange:

MattAmanda , it seems that one of the things that bothers Lynn the most is when she looks on Facebook and she says postings of photos with you and the boys, and, 'I'm putting my little angels to bed,' that sort of thing. That you refer to them almost as your boys. Do you understand that at all?
Amanda: Yeah, I understand that perfectly. But, you know what, I love them more than life. And they're not my kids. But when they're with me, you know, I treat them like they are mine. You know, they're not mistreated. I don't know why there's a problem. It should not be a problem. I'm not taunting her. In my mind, taunting, the definition is going on national TV and making false accusations .

Obviously Amanda is clueless, and I'm sure she and John are no more interested in what I think than in what Lynn thinks, but nevertheless, here's my advice:

If you love those children more than life, you will not treat them like possessions.

If you love those children more than life, you will not use them to mark your territory on Facebook.
If you love those children more than life, you will not come between them and their mother.

If you love those children more than life, you will honor their mother.

If you love those children more than life, you will be sensitive to their mother's feelings.

If you love those children more than life, you will treat their mother with respect.

If you love those children more than life, you will not build yourself up by causing their mother pain.

"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you...
~ Matthew 7:12

Until next time,


  1. Wow. I guess I need to tune in to t.v. news more often. What a horrible thing! And what a jerk Prince Charming is, if he can be so "meh" about a relationship with Lynn - and act as if his children are just mere possessions to be hauled here and there. I think all three of them have a screw loose. I really feel sorry for the kids, though. And thank you for posting Thou Shalt Nots, because it's really really really sad when parents start using kids as a means to mark territory (etc).

  2. I read about this story yesterday! I agree that I think both sides are exaggerating a bit to get more sympathy, but I have to say, I TOTALLY agree about how the kids should be treated. I didn't know that this Amanda person had "claimed" them like that - I don't doubt that she loves them, but it does seem a bit superficial if you have to flaunt it on Facebook of all places.

  3. I actually talked about this yesterday with friends of mine.

    Here is my take...

    1)The truth is somewhere in the middle.

    2)I find if odd that the mom called her local news station about the Facebook thing. She new her kids were in Florida with her Ex and that he was in a relationship with another women, but if you watch the interview she gave to her local station she makes it seem like they were still a happily married family and the marriage thing blind sided her. No matter how you look at this they were clearly no longer a happily married family. They aren't even living in the same state!

    3)As for the step-mother Facebook taunting thing, I will just say from personal experiance that there is a reason why I'm not on Facebook. A lot of it has to do with stuff my daughter's step-mother posted on her wall refering the fictional close relationship they share. It upset me. I closed my facebook account.

    4)I think the dad is weird and handling the whole thing wrong and what kind of women would be involved with a man who treated his Ex wife, the mother of his children, with such callouse disregard?

    In the end they are all wackados.

  4. not sure exactly what happened, but they all sound pretty crazy!

    regardless of what the mother has or hasn't done, I don't think it's ever cool to make it look like someone else's kids are actually yours. Posting pictures with them is one thing, but she went too far too soon.

    Hope those kids get all the love they need and deserve.

  5. I heard about this on the radio this week. What a modern day Jerry Springer moment !

  6. You all are making some great points.

    All of the parental units are involved in a PR war that is unseemly and difficult on the kids. Most of it is a typical custody battle, but for me, the stepmom's posting of pictures and comments on Facebook really is where the line was crossed. As Katy points out, it's not uncommon, but it is inexcusable.

    "I love them," is not an excuse, particular when it's followed by "but". Loving children is a reason to be more sensitive, not just to the children's feelings, but to the other parent's feelings as well.

    The bottom line is that if you love children, you will honor their mom and their dad.

  7. Wow, your advice hit the nail on the head!

  8. good grief. this reminded me of the acrimony of jon and kate.

    i was a bit convicted about calling our children, "my children"
    frequently. they are clearly OUR children.

    this story is pathetic and sad.

  9. It's amazing how a couple can go from a wedding in Italy just 5 years ago to publicly fighting over two children.

    Lea, You're not alone. I've noticed a lot of people use "my" in place of "our". Clearly, it takes two. ;-)

  10. What an interesting post. Thank you for sharing this information. What I find the most interesting out of this story is that the adults are using Facebook as leverage.

    Ten years ago this would not be the case. Even five years ago, this would not be happening.

    Thanks for the food for thought.


  11. And why is this being covered on national television????

  12. Prince Charming my behind.

    Crap in = crap out. Nothing good can come out of that relationship, Disney wedding or not.

  13. This is crazy. People can be so ridiculous. And I have to agree with Florida Girl. "Prince Charming my behind" indeed.

    Found you through the Lady Bloggers Tea Party :)

  14. This is crazy... neither are putting the children first! And posting pictures on Facebook?? Very tacky!!

  15. When I first heard about this story, all I could think was what a cad John is. Would I want to be in Amanda's place? No. She will have her turn next.

    A cad is a cad is a cad...

    I feel really sorry for the children.

  16. Single and Sane, you are INDEED sane! And right on with your insightful comments at the end of this piece. This people need to be hit up the side of the head with a good iron skillet. As my mom would say, knock some sense into them! Just sayin'. I don't really think a concussion would help these folks.

  17. Self-centered adults seem to be at the heart of this. I f there's any heart, at all. Jo's right - it is just a matter of time before John gives Amanda her turn.