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. Kornelia

    Mr. Sandord is a grown up man. His actions may not have been right in that he should have told his wife that he loves somebody else and go through the necessary steps to resolve the marriage. To quote the bible in trying to make things right, patronizing her own husband with these statements, putting him down and making him look like a fool is wrong. Basically what she does is making herself look great. What do we know what happened in this marriage all along that made her husband go astray.

    July 2, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. I laugh at Limbaugh daily

    Lets face it,its all about the money,love doesnt have a thing to do with it.

    July 2, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. Bev - NYC

    Both of you shut up already. As the kid's say we're over it. Spend some time talking to each other not the press. Mrs. Sanford why do you want a man who readily admits his mistress is his "soul mate", is beyond me. How much clearer does he have to be, that you are second best? He is staying with you, if he stays, out of duty, NOT LOVE. Your boys can survive divorce better than a loveless marriage where the parents are at each other's throats, or walking on eggshells until the next Maria comes along.

    To Maria, just beware, the man who marries his mistress leave a job opening !

    July 2, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Deb

    For the life of me, I can't understand how she could think so little of herself, as to "leave the door open" for a man that clearly does not love her. She has been humiliated. How could she go ANYWHERE with him, without crude, funny, or hurtful remarks coming out? My only concern is for their 4 boys~~it's difficult when you find out that your dad loves another woman. It would be the same if the roles were reversed. However, children are resilient!! Jenny, neither YOU or Mark, are good role models right now. This is just my 50 cents worth. And who am I to judge??? Observations from one that is tired of all the hoopla on Mark Sandfor and Michael Jackson!!!

    July 2, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. Kevin

    She was doing well, until this statement. I find it hollow and pretentious, given that she bears *some* responsibility in this mess...she is, after all, 1/2 of this relationship and one assumes that somewhere along the way she might not have been holding up her end of the bargain.

    July 2, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  6. Mike

    Stay married that way you two only screw up one family!!

    July 2, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. Kath

    I'm so sick and tired of hearing about philandering politicians/businesspeople/celebrities and their families.....STOP ISSUING STATEMENTS AND GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 2, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. Craig Simpson

    I really feel for Mrs. Sanford. Having said that she needs to divorce this idiot and take him for every dime!

    I see a movie and it will not be PG!

    July 3, 2009 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  9. MIke

    I wonder which member of his staff wrote this and asked her to agree to put her name on it.

    July 3, 2009 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  10. Deb

    He's been unfaithful more than once. He's teaching your sons that it is OK to use women for selfish purposes, and that vows are meaningless. The Lord has given you an out - take it to keep you and your boys safe and healthy. My prayers are with all of you.

    July 3, 2009 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  11. Stillwitty

    Let's keep this real: Jenny already gave him a chance – and a longer leash than most women I know – when she sent him to NYC with his "spirital advisor" to end the affair. Extremely mature and forgiving behavior. The stipulation was that he was never to see this woman again. Sanford then lied to both his wife and his friend/spiritua advisor by continuing the affair and going to Argentina – on FATHER'S DAY no less – to be with this woman. This man is a phony Christian, an adultor, liar, manipulator, ineffective father, inexcusable excuse for a husband and not worthy of being anyone's "soulmate"-except perhaps someone low enough to have an affair with a married man. I guess, as a nation, we should just be glad this didn't cause some international incident....

    July 3, 2009 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  12. KC

    Forgiving him is a big step for Mrs. Sanford to move on BUT the key word is MOVE ON. YIKES to take him back after he has told the world that "he is trying to fall back in love with her" Give me a break He also said his lover was his "soul mate" ... Come on Mrs Sanford be a true role model and kick this loser out, you can do so much better.

    July 3, 2009 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  13. Dominic

    that marriage is over. I have NO respect for her if she takes him back. He said on national TV he loved his girlfriend and would TRY to love his wife again. That is NO example to set for her kids to see her stand by her man after what he has done to them and her. She needs to be a real woman and continue leaving like it appeared she was doing. She CLEARLY does not love him any more and is only doing this for some sick reason that she thinks its best for her kids. REALLY? a loveless marriage where he cheats?? NOT

    July 3, 2009 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  14. JW

    Pathetic – hypocritical republicans

    July 3, 2009 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  15. valerie

    Governor Sanford fell in love with another person.

    Haven't we all seen this movie and read this story before???
    Have not many of us personally experienced this ???

    What amazes me is how shocked so many people seem to be at hearing this "news".

    Considering his job and accountability to the people of S.C., I believe that he should have been honest to his staff regarding his whereabouts.
    His moral obligations and responsibilities to his wife are a different and private matter. We ought not to judge in this area.

    How is his track record as governor? Isn't that what we should care about?

    With whom he is intimate is none of our business.

    July 3, 2009 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  16. Joseph Truskot

    The man was absent from his job and should be fired. Using religion to justify or glance over bad judgment is just further evidence of the inappropriateness of continuing. Get him to a nunnery!

    July 3, 2009 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  17. eana1

    She needs to step up and say, "This marriage is OVER. I'm leaving him to his "soulmate". And then she needs to kick him to the curb, telling her boys, "Your father did a stupid, irresponsible thing. And not just once-he did it over and over again, and then told the world about it. So now, he has to suffer the consequences."

    For her to be put in the position of him announcing to the world that he's TRYING to "fall back in love with her", but he can die a happy man because he met his soulmate (his mistress) is... Sheesh! THERE ISN'T EVEN A WORD FOR WHAT THAT IS!

    Lastly-the people of SC are stuuuupid if they don't boot him out of office ASAP. Because just in case they haven't noticed, his job is the LAST thing on his...."mind".

    Good luck, Mrs. Sanford. You and your sons are going to need it more than ever if you keep "settling" for the manure your husband is so aptly spreading about.

    July 3, 2009 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  18. CZ

    He is a jerk. Any woman deserves better. If his mistress is his soul mate, he should go and be with her and spare us all this drama.

    July 3, 2009 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  19. SC

    She seems to be using the statement to urge others (especially those elected one) in SC to forgive her husband after all.

    July 3, 2009 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  20. Dee

    Kevin, you are unbelievably insensitive to say that his wife is part of the problem of Sanford choosing infidelity. It is such an ignorant statement, it is hard to believe you would put it in print. Whatever deficiencies may exist in a marriage, no one is ever justified in commiting adultery. If one doesn't like their marriage, whatever the reason, leave first, then look for someone else.

    July 3, 2009 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  21. Don

    Is it possible that if she had been more of a wife, that he would not have had emotional and physical needs elsewhere. Is it possible?

    July 3, 2009 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  22. Sherrol in Canada

    Let's not be fooled folks, this woman is strong and yes, spiteful. She is sticking it to her husband in a well planned, calm, 'killing him with kindness' sort of way.

    I can just picture Sanford squirming every time he reads one of her press releases.

    Is it doing her boys any good though?…………….

    This woman is no slouch!!!!

    July 3, 2009 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  23. cincdeuce

    Good grief !! Neither one of them "gets it." The only thing that the people of South Carolina want to hear from either on these nits at this point is: "SANFORD RESIGNS!!"

    Bob Ross
    Beaufort, SC

    July 3, 2009 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  24. Brenda

    Doesn't this woman get it...her husband loves another woman...his "soul mate"! ! This man will never be happy with his wife.
    So typical of these politicians and their ever forgiving wives!!!

    July 3, 2009 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  25. Sherrol in Canada

    Is it possible that Mark Sanford didn't have very much control over his wife, home, or family life, and due to this became this 'defiant' rebel rowser in his professional life?

    His wife's statements, in my opinion, points to someone who is almost always in control, as if she didn't give her husband alot of chances to 'wear the pants' at home.

    She speaks of and to him as one would a child.

    July 3, 2009 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
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