July 2nd, 2009
09:23 PM ET
5 years ago

Jenny Sanford speaks out

Jenny Sanford released a statement Thursday about her husband’s affair.
Jenny Sanford released a statement Thursday about her husband’s affair.

(CNN) - Jenny Sanford, wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, is speaking out in a new statement about her husband's affair.

"Mark showed a lack of judgment in his recent actions as governor. However, his far more egregious offenses were committed against God, the institutions of marriage and family, our boys and me," Mrs. Sanford said in a statement. "Mark has stated that his intent and determination is to save our marriage, and to make amends to the people of South Carolina. I hope he can make good on those intentions, and for the sake of our boys I leave the door open to it."

Full statement after the jump

Statement from First Lady Jenny Sanford

Columbia, S.C. – July 2, 2009- The last week has been very painful for me, my family and for the people of South Carolina. However, throughout this terrible ordeal, the incredible outpouring of kindness, support, and prayer I've received from countless friends and folks I have never even met has been truly uplifting. I appreciate that more than I can say. Please know that my sons and I are doing fine, given the circumstances. We are surrounded by friends and family, and we will make it through this. I believe it is how we respond to the challenges we face in life, and what we learn from them, that is most telling about who we truly are.

There is no question that Mark's behavior is inexcusable. Actions have consequences and he will be dealing with those consequences for a long while. Trust has been broken and will need to be rebuilt. Mark will need to earn back that trust, first and foremost with his family, and also with the people of South Carolina.

The real issue now is one of forgiveness. I am willing to forgive Mark for his actions. We have been deeply disappointed in and even angry at Mark. The Bible says, "In your anger do not sin." (Psalm 4:4) In this situation, this speaks to the essence of forgiveness and the critical need to channel one's energy into positive steps that uphold the dignity of marriage and the family, and lead to reconciliation over time. My forgiveness is essential for us both to move on with our lives, with peace, in whatever direction that may take us.

Desmond Tutu said "forgiveness is the grace by which you enable the other person to get up, and get up with dignity, to begin anew." Forgiveness opens the door for Mark to begin to work privately, humbly and respectfully toward reconciliation with me. However, to achieve true reconciliation will take time, involve repentance, and will not be easy.

Mark showed a lack of judgment in his recent actions as governor. However, his far more egregious offenses were committed against God, the institutions of marriage and family, our boys and me. Mark has stated that his intent and determination is to save our marriage, and to make amends to the people of South Carolina. I hope he can make good on those intentions, and for the sake of our boys I leave the door open to it. In that spirit of forgiveness, it is up to the people and elected officials of South Carolina to decide whether they will give Mark another chance as well.


Filed under: Extra • Mark Sanford
soundoff (285 Responses)
  1. BarbraK

    you are more forgiving than I. From now on I would not trust him. He cheated once,twice,thrice times...believe me.he will cheat again. God or no God.Do what every other woman has had to do. Get a lawyer, ask him to leave. I say this as a divorced woman. You'll be much more content for you and your children. Good luck!

    July 2, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Godfrey

    It is quite evident that their children clearly understand what is going on; unless they are genetically as stupid as their father, so why does "Jenny" want to go down this path of ridiculousness!

    It is time to file for a DIVORCE-maybe that little surprise will allow residents of his state to recover from this shameless exercise in HYPOCRISY!

    July 2, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. Carolyn Crandall

    There is no sanity or logic when religion is involved. These people are the worst of the worst, using God as an out and an excuse to be weak. They deserve each other.

    July 2, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. Stormer

    TMI... No one really cares about their personal lives other than to point out the hypocrisy of him claiming to be for "Family Values" and having several mistresses.

    Put it back behind closed doors and shut up about it in the public forums.

    July 2, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. willowood

    You both should resign from the public eye. This is such a ridiculous predicament....a private matter. If you want to live with this yo-yo, be our guest, but do it in private. Grant no more intervirews and take your kids away for a while to get out of the public eye. You both like power...nothing new there. Look at what this is costing you both. What a shame. He loves her, and you want to save your what..pretend marriage. Get a life.

    July 2, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. ELB

    oh, give me a break . . . could she be any more self-righteous and smug? There are two sides to every story. While the Gov having an affair is not the best course of action, he may have been a very neglected man. And if his wife talked to him like a he was child (like in this statement), he was probably pretty immasculated.

    I'm not ready to excuse the govenor, but I'm not ready to hold Mrs. Sanford up as some sort of domestic martyr just yet either. Two sides . . .

    July 2, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Bob

    I knew it! The fool is going to take him back.

    July 2, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. lesley

    this woman sounds like more of a controlling, manipulative shrew everytime she opens her mouth. if he tries to resolve things with her, she will torture him for the rest of his life. if he was in love with this woman, he never would have fallen in love with another. if they are so religious, and not just organized religion sheep, then he should follow his heart. the kids, that everyone is so concerned about, deserve better than living with parents who in reality, do not have a marriage. sounds like a dictatorship to me. not a partnership. i say, don't drink the kool ade. run to the arms of the woman who actually loves you. base your choices on love, not fear. otherwise you will make the wrong choice every time.

    July 2, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. E.C.Coleman

    The Big Question: What in Governor Sanford's life 'drove him' to do what he did?
    There is a 'reason why?'

    July 2, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. TM

    Why throw stones at one man? He just happened to get caught. Wonder how many more that are calling for his resignation are guilty of the same offence?

    July 2, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. moonmaiden

    Dear Jenny and Sons,
    May God Bless you ,Love you and guide you during this painful and heartful time.
    my heart goes out to you and your family.
    Been there too.
    Forgiveness is the law of love
    To forget is very difficult.
    Hopefully trust can be reestablished and a happier life will prevail

    July 2, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. Surendra P. Singh

    I agree with those who are advising her to shut up. She is not in a forgiving mood. She is rationalizing her motives. She is not helping herself, nor her family and boys. She may think otherwise. She could use some psychological help.

    July 2, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. hayley

    The mistress said she will only speak once and she kept that promise; but the couple who really needs to speak to each other in private is not. Rather than resolving their family issues in the privacy of their home(s), every day one of the Sanords had more to tell.

    Mr. and Mrs. Sanford, do your family a favor: reach out to each other; decide on the best solution so Mrs. Sanford can have a new future with a new partner. As for Mr. Sanford he know what he wants.

    July 2, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Carol

    Why don't they just stop talking to the press and begin talking to each other, only. She speaks about him like a mother would her child. Little wonder he fell out of love with her.

    July 2, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Claudia in Houson

    Does this woman recognize this man could have given her AIDS or any other sexually transmitted disease. Millions of women have contacted diseases from their so called "lack of judgement".

    July 2, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  16. Frank Walsh

    What a wet noodle this guy is. All that giberish about meeting his soulmate was beyond laughable. Sanford needs to be put in a nice pair of pajamas, a comfy bathrobe and slippers and led away to the Republican funny farm for some rest, relaxation and re-education on the ideology. Hey Sanford....hahahahahahahahahahaha you chump!!

    July 2, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. Shirl

    Someone please send this woman a copy of "He's Just Not That Into You", so she can finally stop issuing these embarrassing statements!

    July 2, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. Augenblick

    Jenny is killing the Gov with kindness. The guy WANTS her to be outraged with him and throw him out so that he can be free of her. Classic passive aggressive.

    July 2, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  19. Hot Chick

    He does not love you deal with it..........He has called another woman his soulmate, you are not. Wake up, you will not be the only single mother raising 4 boys...

    You dissappoint me. I thought you are the woman but you are not...

    July 2, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. Looking beyond Mr. not so Right

    Every once in a while you find a person out there who's really a Christian and this woman sounds like one of these.

    Notwithstanding, she should not allow herself to be an enabling victim to someone who may not be able to change.

    She should only take him back if there is, beyond sheer commitment that will likely not last, love in his heart for her, that will be enduring.

    July 2, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. Bludgeon

    It isn't so much that he succumbed to temptation; it is the mind-numbing hypocrisy of this Bible-thumping, flag-waving, holier-than-thou phoniy that tried to impeach Clinton for much less

    July 2, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  22. Ann

    Sanford is so lucky to have such an intelligent wife. Let's see if the same can be said about Americans.

    July 2, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    I agree with one of the other postings I read. I am from North Carolina and everytime this lady makes a statement I personally feel more for Mark Sanford than I do for her. She is really working to build herself up to look like a glowing saint here rather than give her family the dignity and privacy to work through this very personal matter. Ms. Sanford, a part of me wonders why Governor Sanford does not focus his attention on himself and his sons, whom I am certain he must love, and let you go about living your own life OUT OF THE PUBLIC EYE! Though I am quite certain all of us feel sorry for the betrayal anyone would feel in such a circumstance, you are showing very little class and dignity with your public self-righteous attitude and statements.

    July 2, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. JJ- Orlando

    Why are we even worried about this idiot. I have more things to worry about like finding a job that does not exist I could run his state better than him.

    July 2, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  25. Margaret

    Why do you keep hanging on their every word?

    July 2, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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