June 24th, 2009
09:07 PM ET
5 years ago

Sanford's wife: He's earned a second chance

(CNN) - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's wife Jenny released a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Full text:

Statement from First Lady Jenny Sanford

I would like to start by saying I love my husband and I believe I have put forth every effort possible to be the best wife I can be during our almost twenty years of marriage. As well, for the last fifteen years my husband has been fully engaged in public service to the citizens and taxpayers of this state and I have faithfully supported him in those efforts to the best of my ability. I have been and remain proud of his accomplishments and his service to this state.

I personally believe that the greatest legacy I will leave behind in this world is not the job I held on Wall Street, or the campaigns I managed for Mark, or the work I have done as First Lady or even the philanthropic activities in which I have been routinely engaged. Instead, the greatest legacy I will leave in this world is the character of the children I, or we, leave behind. It is for that reason that I deeply regret the recent actions of my husband Mark, and their potential damage to our children.

I believe wholeheartedly in the sanctity, dignity and importance of the institution of marriage. I believe that has been consistently reflected in my actions. When I found out about my husband's infidelity I worked immediately to first seek reconciliation through forgiveness, and then to work diligently to repair our marriage. We reached a point where I felt it was important to look my sons in the eyes and maintain my dignity, self-respect, and my basic sense of right and wrong. I therefore asked my husband to leave two weeks ago.

This trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage. During this short separation it was agreed that Mark would not contact us. I kept this separation quiet out of respect of his public office and reputation, and in hopes of keeping our children from just this type of public exposure. Because of this separation, I did not know where he was in the past week.

I believe enduring love is primarily a commitment and an act of will, and for a marriage to be successful, that commitment must be reciprocal. I believe Mark has earned a chance to resurrect our marriage.

Psalm 127 states that sons are a gift from the Lord and children a reward from Him. I will continue to pour my energy into raising our sons to be honorable young men. I remain willing to forgive Mark completely for his indiscretions and to welcome him back, in time, if he continues to work toward reconciliation with a true spirit of humility and repentance.

This is a very painful time for us and I would humbly request now that members of the media respect the privacy of my boys and me as we struggle together to continue on with our lives and as I seek the wisdom of Solomon, the strength and patience of Job and the grace of God in helping to heal my family.


Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Michele

    Why on earth do we have to know every detail of someone's indiscretions? Do their children have to see their father's name spewed across newspapers and the internet? My God – give the family some dignity and let them heal in private.

    June 24, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. toni

    Oh I see come out with a tell all book and appear on Oprah. I see,

    June 24, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. ArielB

    When did cheating on your spouse become an accepted practice?

    Really ladies...cheating is a deal breaker.

    She was on the right track with asking him to leave. But now she's a doormat.

    June 24, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Sue

    Excuse me, but when your husband takes part of the time you asked him to use to 'think about his marriage' with his girl friend in South America - you have your answer about the condition of your marriage. Is that the message you want your sons to have about what a marriage is?

    June 24, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Shannon

    It's her marriage, and for her to decide what to do, it's none of our business. I don't care if you're a democrat or a republican, your marriage is your business, not mine.

    June 24, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Jack

    If his wife (Jenny) can find it in her heart to forgive her husband and grant him another chance, in time, then "let he who is without sin throw the first stone."

    If not merely opinionated and self-righteous bigots, then who are all we to utter biased opinions of our own?

    Nothing more happened in the State of SC during his absence than what happens to your latchkey children when you leave them at home unsupervised. In fact, such neglect is far more dangerous for in fact, the law enforcement forces and other various services that protect us did continue to operate over the last week and business continued as normal.

    Why make a mountain out of a molehill?

    His actions have not impacted you personally, neither have they failed to protect you.

    I do not condone his actions, but we have no place to judge.
    His wife and family certainly do.

    Get over yourselves and get back to the normal redundancy and complacency of your daily lives or get busy on something that will enhance our economy and make a difference.

    June 24, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. Lori

    wow–the governors wife is a bigger woman than I. I'd be done with him and allow the public and media to disgrace him as they like.

    June 24, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. Pat

    I commend her for forgiving him and trying to repair her marriage. Unfortunately men cheat. As women, some of us can get over it and continue the marriage. Most of the time, they cheat again. Good luck Ms. Sanford.

    June 24, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. Bev - NYC

    WOW, being first Lady of South Carolina must be better than we think.
    "I believe Mark has earned a chance to resurrect our marriage". Lady are you serious? There is a difference between forgiveness and being a doormat and Welcome is written all over your forehead. You came second even in his forgiveness remarks he said he hurt her and you. For your own sake ,and your children, resurrect your self RESPECT, you will be walking on egg shells until he steps out again, and he will. It's not worth it to put your children through this. I speak as a child of divorce.

    June 24, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. Samuel

    I cannot condone infidelity. Therefore I can only respect his wife if she leaves divorcies him..

    June 24, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. Lanry

    I commend Jenny for exrcise her spirit of forgiveness, govt Mark is human, and to err is human to forgive is divine. Divorce wont solve the problem, it is why the world is turn upside down by mass divorce. I hope Governor Mark will treasure his wife as never before and have a happy everlasting married life...

    June 24, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. Liberty

    Yet another male politician strays from the "sanctity of marriage" everyone is so quick to defend and yet another wife either stands dutifully by his side on tv or feels she has to explain herself and her accomplishments as if it's her fault. Sad.

    June 24, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. cora

    Right now she's hurt and i think she need time to herself to heal, I give her props for trying to hold her family together, but it don't sound like he is obligated.

    June 24, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Anne E.

    If this guy was my husband, what he'd have "earned himself" would be either lots of clothes, jewelry and vacations, or my turn to do what he did.
    The choice would be entirely mine - and something he'd have to live and deal with.

    June 24, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. One Woman

    There is absolutely NOTHING to admire about this woman or the others who have so lovingly forgiven their adulterous husbands. Show me a woman who has the nerve to make a stand and I'll bow down to her.

    June 24, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. Dave

    He should resign from office not just leadership of the republican gov's office! Face it the wife likes the money too and she's been married long enough to be thankful he isn't home so she can do her shopping or even meet with the pool guy.
    I'm just tired of crooked unethical polititians making more money then they are worth. Time to cut the wage of these clowns so they work more and not play.

    June 24, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  17. Peace Sake

    I appalled the Mrs. for her stance on forgiveness, she is right if he is truly repentence time will heal their wounds. What is sad is that the public thinks they really have a say to politicians life, they will prove us wrong time and time again. This is why we must not never put our trust in MAN but in the MOST HIGH GOD. Yes, Christians are suppose to forgive, however, if she keeps reading the Bible also say if a man or woman do any infidelity let them depart in a divorce. This is what makes us free to move on, not be bound into a relationship that will be plagued with guilt and shame. God Bless her and I am not judging her situtation. We do serve a forgiving God and he can heal their relationship if they are both in total agreement. All things are possible to them that truly believe not only with their mouths but believe in their hearts.

    Peace be with you.

    June 24, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. Lor Eastwood

    I seem to have a real problem with all these politician wifes whose husbands have had affairs and the wife is so forgiving because of their children...Well, what about the wife as a role model to children..The message that children are reading loud and clear is: It's ok for daddy to have an affair..

    June 24, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. MIke

    This is one very strong lady. My first thought at hearing of this story was ....'there goes another "family values" politician telling people to do what he says, and not what he does."

    However, after reading this statement, my heart goes out to this wonderful, strong, brave woman. She is putting her children first...unlike the governor who put his own interests above that of his wife and children. Some family values, huh?

    My thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Sanford and her kids.

    My pity goes to the governor. He had it all, and threw it away just for the sake of sexual gratification.

    Godspeed, Mrs. Sanford!

    June 24, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. Robert Sullivan

    Yes, we're all human and make mistakes and deserve a second chance. I also believe his personal life is his own unless he puts others at risk.
    However,as the leader of the Sate of South Carolina he deserted his Post and there are no second chances for leaving your comrades back uncovered.
    He took an oath and violated every word that he swore to. He should be removed from his position and roundly booted to the curb.
    It's a shame we have so little Honor or Integrity left in our politicial leaders. Who is to be trusted – whose interest do they really have at heart. I can't separate the small few who deserve to have our trust and the majority who should stand in front of the world and be stripped bear for all to see.
    Disgusting, the whole lot of them! Thank goodness there's some of the press that actually do investigative reporting and tell the truth so we can oust these scoundrels.

    June 24, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. Maggie

    It was obvious he was having an affair when it was discovered he was missing. Just another great "family values" Republican.

    June 24, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. lolly

    Just another example of a politician sorry he got caught!!! Sure didn't take him long to head back to his mistress in Argentina. His wife is better than I would be. Yes, we should forgive but nothing says we have to stay with an unfaithful spouse. In fact, the Bible states that adultery is a reason for divorce! I would be a goner!!!!!

    June 24, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. Jinny Lee

    Oh, Lord....give "us" a break from people using you as a scapegoat.

    June 24, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. LLM in MD

    Sorry Jenny but it seems like your hubby had no intentions on reconciliation during this "trial separation"....he definitely was enjoying being away...more time with the mistress....his actions do not match your statement...but your actions do....

    I think Mark has moved on and so should you. Unless he went there to break it off but that could have been done via email...same way it started, it could end...EMAIL!!

    Faster than a plane ride across the country!!

    I'm just sayin....

    June 24, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. Say what ?

    Don't take him back lady he will do it again....

    June 24, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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