After a decade of marriage, Shania Twain and husband Frédéric Thiébaud are still very much in love with each other. As victims of cruel choices of their ex-partners, the two found strength with one another. Though their love story may have taken an unusual route, it was a ‘beautifully-twisted’ one. And according to the Grammy award-winning country music singer, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
In celebration of 10 years of their soul-healing love, let us walk down memory lane and see where everything started and how Shania and Frédéric healed through all the pain of the past.
The First Chapter: The Pain of the Past
It was 1992 when Shania Twain signed a record deal with Mercury Records Nashville and launched her self-titled debut studio album. Although it was a commercial failure, it attracted the attention of Grammy-winning record producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange. From musical collaborators, the two artists also became real-life partners tying the knot on December 28, 1993.
She and Lange crafted together what would be called ‘monster-selling’ albums, including her iconic 1997 album “Come on Over,” which soon became the best-selling album of the ‘90s. Lange also co-wrote a lot of other Shania Twain songs that became hits. Their partnership definitely propelled Twain’s career to fame and also earned her numerous awards. They were living their best lives both as a couple and as music artists. Then in 2000, they moved to Switzerland in an ultra-private lifestyle inside their 46-room chateau on a 61,000-acre land. And on August 12, 2001, they welcomed their son Eja Lange (pronounced as Asia). It was also there that she met Marie Anne Thiébaud, who became her personal assistant and best friend as well. Their friendship has become one of the staples in Twain’s Swiss life.
Then came the pain and the heartbreak.
In 2003, Twain contracted Lyme disease after getting bit by a tick which caused vocal paralysis and forced her to take a 15-year break from music. Her husband Lange and their son Eja became her support system, and they were enough to keep her going.
But then came another heartbreak.
In 2008, after 14 years of marriage, the couple announced that they were splitting up, which took fans by surprise. According to an initial interview with People, Lange denied rumors of his extramarital affair with Twain’s best friend, Marie-Anne. He simply said that he and Twain were just literally growing apart.
But soon enough, the truth behind the split surfaced (as revealed by Twain) that Lange had apparently told Twain that their marriage was over, but he did not offer any real explanation. Later on, Twain found out through Frédéric Thiébaud, then-husband of Marie-Anne, that her husband and his wife had been having an affair. And he had all the evidence – phone bills, hotel information, and other receipts – to prove it.
This became a public media mess considering how the power music couple were ultra-private with their life. At first, Twain kept quiet as she was in absolute shock. The infidelity was ‘a multiple betrayal’ because it involved the people she had deeply shared her life with. And what made it even more painful was that she had confided in her best friend Marie-Anne, telling her about her marital troubles and even her suspicions that he was having an affair. Marie-Anne misled her and even made her feel like a fool for having suspicions, but it turned out that she was right.
Twain gave Marie-Anne the chance to explain herself without her accusing her, but she denied it. She even said that she did not understand why Twain would think that she would ever hide anything from her. After that, Marie-Anne cut off her communication with Twain, so she resorted to emailing her. She wrote asking her to leave them in peace, and if she could just see her crying and suffering, maybe she would have pity. Twain also begged her to find love somewhere else and from someone else. But nothing.
Twain and Lange finalized their divorce in June 2010.
Second Chapter: Healing and Loving Through the Pain
In her 2011 book “From This Moment On,” Twain finally opened up her feelings about the heartbreak that brought her 14-year marriage with Lange to an end. She admitted that after discovering the affair, she was ready to die or hurt someone. It was the most shocking and painful truth of her life since her parents’ death 20 years before. She was ready to do something desperate, but the reality was there was nothing to do. She just had to suffer through it.
She also felt disgusted that another woman’s lust had cost her her marriage and her family. But despite everything, she still loved her husband and her friend. Putting herself in their shoes and understanding that people can make mistakes gave her the peace to accept that her marriage has ended.
But that wasn’t the only thing that she had to accept.
The stress of the divorce had also caused additional tension around her larynx, forcing her to undergo multiple throat surgeries. She feared that she would lose the vocal cords that built her career. It was very devastating to the point that she felt she had no other choice but to accept it. The surgery did affect her vocal cords but gave her a new sexy ‘gravel’ tone that she totally loved. She was okay that she was never going to have her old voice again.
She worked on her trauma head-on but at her own pace. But what really helped her heal through the pain was the support and love she received from the people around her. And of course, her main source of strength was young Eja. As a mom, the responsibility of caring for her child kept her going. It was a commitment and a healthy preoccupation that she loved, enjoyed, and brought pleasure into her life.
But of course, there were still days that Twain didn’t really care if tomorrow came. And one of the people she had also turned to for strength was Marie-Anne’s husband, Frédéric. Before everything happened, the two were acquainted through Marie-Ann. And according to Twain, they did not have a one-on-one relationship; rather, it was just a formal one.
The two bonded over the same heartbreak, holding each other up emotionally, which built a strong foundation for their friendship. She admired his calm composure – how he handled his anger, grief, and desperation. According to Twain, he did it so beautifully, and at the same time, he was able to give her support.
The pair soon started dating and made their relationship official on Twain’s 44th birthday while Shania Twain’s ex-husband lived with Marie-Anne in Switzerland. It was like a soap opera worthy life swap concept. Although at first, Twain expressed that she worried how people were going to take it, after all, he was her best friend’s ex-husband. It was just twisted but ‘beautifully twisted.’
On December 20, 2010, after the finalization of Twain’s divorce, Twain and Thiébaud got engaged with a three-karat solitaire diamond ring. And then shortly after, on January 1, 2011, the couple exchanged their vows in an intimate ceremony in Rincón, Puerto Rico.
And in the end, Shania was a survivor. In an interview with CNN, she said that sometimes she would get overwhelmed coping with things, but experience taught her how to manage. She also added that people are not going to stop falling, but they will get better at getting up and brushing it off.
She lived it, so she believed it.
Who is Shania Twain’s husband Frédéric Thiébaud?
Frédéric Nicolas Thiébaud was born on August 1, 1970 to a middle-class family in Switzerland. He is five years younger than Shania Twain, who was born in 1965.
Interestingly, he initially dreamed of being a singer, but he left his dream behind and started his career as a management expert. Now, he is a Nestle business executive, and he is in charge of all their offices in Switzerland. His current net worth is estimated at $3.5 million.
He had one child with his ex-wife Marie Anne Thiébaud named Johanna.
Third Chapter: Living Their Best Life Together
The couple now lives in the Swiss town of Corseaux in their lavish mansion overlooking Lake Geneva with their kids from former marriages, Eja and Johanna. And just like any other couple, they love kissing, talking, and playing tennis. They also love to call each other cheesy nicknames like ‘Sunshy’ (short for Sunshine) for Shania and ‘Beauty Man’ for Fred because according to Twain, he is just so darn beautiful.
According to Twain, Thiébaud has been a true gift to her – a compassionate and understanding friend who helped her through the rough times. And more than that, he gave her ‘a new lease on love.’ Twain expressed that she was really glad that her life turned around for her.
How they got to where they are now may not be a fairy-tale-like story, but it was no less beautiful or magical. Now, Shania Twain and husband Frédéric Thiébaud are living their best life together.
Frédéric Thiébaud, Shania Twain