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. mort

    Does anyone really care! Seems there are a lot more important issues that should be discussed! MRC

    July 2, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Lisa

    Having not walked a single BLOCK in Jenny Sanford's shoes; let alone a mile, I cannot even begin to imagine the pain she and the boys are going through. How DARE you criticize, "diss" or even attempt to judge what she, her husband and their family should do...... SHAME on you!

    July 2, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. MJM

    Hey Linda: I have a feeling you don't even know what the true meaning of separtion of church and state is. Look it up before you put it in one of your comments. I am so tired of people going around trying to talking about something when they have no idea what it means.

    July 2, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. DX in TX

    Jenny Standford thank you for approaching this issue with such dignity, but as a man I am here to tell you. you really need to break something of his, may I suggest his legs......

    July 2, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. JLB

    Hey, I'm no expert on understanding women, but it seems to me if you're trying to reconcile with your wife after cheating on her, you wouldn't call your mistress your "soul mate." If this were most any other state, Mark Sanford would have been out of a job yesterday. I guess South Carolinians will allow their pols to get away with most anything.

    July 2, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Oh No!

    What an amazing coincidence! Desmond Tutu had the very same comment about my marriage.... Alas, it was a no go.

    July 2, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Average Guy in Kansas

    I'm at a loss to understand why Ms. Sanford just doesn't say, "OK, chump. You may as well make it permanent with your "soul mate" because this wife is movin' on."

    Just goes to show that not only is class exeedingly rare in a politician, it's almost as hard to come by in the women who marry them, then "stand by their man" when he's led astray by his Y chromosome.

    July 2, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Lynn

    Jenny doesn't have to give up her husband. He is her man and behind her she still has 4 kids with him. However, his job as a governor is a differnt story.

    July 2, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Allan

    I'd throw the idiot out on his butt. I don't understand these "Christian" people who allow themselves to be used as doormats, and I grew up in South Carolina. Given Lt. Gov. Bauer's record, the state of SC is between a rock and a hard place. I hope they make it through the next 18 months!

    July 2, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Bobby

    I worship Mr. Sanford. He has good test going after Latin women with tans and nice hips. Mr. Sanford was just broadening his options, he has the power to do that. I bet she was much better in bed.

    July 2, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Cruzan Obama Mama

    She is crazy!!!! He is saying that he fell & is in love with his mistress, but needs to fall back in love with her. Not to mention the "cross the line" with other women statement. What other clue does she need? Repubs need to stop using the bible/religion as a crutch for all of their misdeeds. Was he thinking about the good book on the way to Argentina? There is no place in the Bible that says you should let yourself be constantly disrespected & endure it. His heart & mind is in Argentina, not with her. As a wife I feel for her, but why stay in a love less marriage?

    As much as I relish the hypocrisy of this whole situation, it is a horrible tragedy for the family. He obviously put his needs above all else and for some reason is being very graphic about it. It is humiliating and insulting to his wife. She needs to cut her losses and just move on.

    July 2, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Olivia Post

    I live in South Carolina, I find both of the Sanford's more than a little embarassing. The Governor has made an absolute fool of himself, but Mrs Sanford cannot seem to stay out of the spotlight either. Why does she have to issue statements about the boy's, forgiveness, quoting the Bible and Desmond Tutu. Southern "ladies" do not air their dirty laundry in public. They keep a siff upper lip and say as little as possible, that is a class act.

    OGP

    July 2, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. AGAIN

    The governor stated he found his soulmate in Maria – – – and he will TRY and fall in love with his wife again – – – PLUS he had other women in his life – – unfortunately, he needs to grow up!!!!! He is worse than a love stricken teenager!!!! You have 4 sons, Governor!!!!! No way would I want a person who has stronger feelings for some one else!!!!

    July 2, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. Arlene, From Illinois

    Jenny comes from a very, very wealthy family, what does she
    need this bum for?

    July 2, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Adam

    wow, she went from being an empowered advocate for all those who partners commit indiscretions to a "jesus"-backed doormat.

    July 2, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. johnnie

    so what, big deal he is still finished, who really cares, cnn is so hoping he wont step down for your gop party,every day ,more democrats. when he is in the news,it does not get any better than this a senator and a gov. stimulus going down in flames.the wife is stark raving mad.

    July 2, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Edward Ayres

    Everyone is speculating and too involved in a marriage they really know nothing about. You don't really know the inner workings of their marriage and where blame should be placed so why not let this story wither away and let them work it out themselves. Concentrate on your own personal failings and the country will be better off.

    July 2, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. CD in FL

    I hope the majority of the women don't follow her example. This second statement doesn't do her any good. It just shows that she slowly is losing her dignity. There is nothing left to forgive.... This guy admitted that he found his ' soul mate'!!!!

    July 2, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. John in Austin

    If she so readily, and this quickly, willing to forgive and forget, then she deserves it!! WHAT IN IDIOT!! you don't let your spouse cheat on you, quote the bible, and then say it's ok i should have been a better wife!! Truly disgusting.

    July 2, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Judy

    Look how far women go to keep their pompous, corrupt husbands, supposedly in the name of God or for the sake of the children. The underlying reason is normally the fear of becoming a divorced woman thereby losing the social status.

    Sober up, Mrs. Sanford. He'll never love you again. Find for yourself a worthy man - or live life to its fullest as a proud, complete human being.

    From a happily divorced woman

    July 2, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. Andrew B.

    So, if you were forced to choose, would the sanctimony of marriage be better served by a monogamous homosexual couple with a loving, caring relationship, or guys like Governor Sanford?

    July 2, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. keekers

    Jenny,
    Leave the bible crap out of it and think for yourself (and your 4 boys).
    How about they see real women don't put up with pathetic men no matter what. They will be much better off seeing you with a good man or even alone. He cheats on you cause he knows he can.

    July 2, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. fmh

    If he really was trying to work it out, he would not have gone to be with his mistress for a week PERIOD.

    Life is too short, move on so you can start enjoying it again.

    July 2, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. Eric O

    These people with their God obsession! Start acting like adults and maybe this crap won't happen to you.

    July 2, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Terry - California

    With all due respect to all of the parties involved, who really cares. Other than his wife and children, no one else was harmed by this weak hitter that the Republican Party felt was a major standard bearer. Once we accept that powerful politicians have been pulling this stuff for hundreds of years, we quickly realize that when he goes, the next guy may pull the same stunt, or maybe the next guy has already pulled the same stunt.

    July 2, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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