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. jimmy choo

    Waiting to see if the 'soul mate' will break her silence and add some spice.

    Its a slow summer folks let this go on. It has not even been done full justice by Leno, Conan and Letterman yet.

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

    Stop feeding the beast AKA media

    democrats must be loving his "i am staying" governor and her almost daily 'cheated-wife" statements!

    But I am getting tire of this carnaval. So, I say that he has to step down and she has to drop the "for the kids' sake" statements. Moreover, why not hiding under a rock and don't come out until have solved their problems (divorce or stay). End of story.

    July 2, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Bill

    As an atheist, my beliefs in forgiveness are different from most Christians. If I ever cheated on my wife, I would expect her to never trust me again, and rightly so. Forgiveness is something that has to be earned, and it takes a very long time to earn it for a transgression this serious. The fact that infidelity is so easily forgiven only increases the likelihood of more infidelity.

    Trust, on the other hand, can never be fully mended. It is something you will carry with you for the rest of your life, because the memories of a violation will always be there.

    Marriage is a vow between two people. If you cannot understand and accept the responsibilities of that vow, don't get married.

    July 2, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. ch

    Great Point Rachel!

    July 2, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. Carrie

    Look, let's give the parties involved privacy to work through this situation. I've always hated the way the Clintons were treated by others seeking to score political points and we now know were involved in affairs themselves. The cruelty to Mrs. Clinton even after all these years. The cruelty to the other wives and families that have come after.

    I pray for all of them, it doesn't matter Republican or Democrat. I know politicians don't get it, the media doesn't get it but in these situations there are families involved to need to be allowed to keep their dignity even while they are seeking to heal and move forward.

    July 2, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. Tony from Michigan

    I hope these two talk about their problems every day from now on.....let me grab my popcorn!!! entertainment provided by the moral majority

    July 2, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. larry

    Jenny...he loves someone else...don't you get it?

    July 2, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. Zareen

    Mrs Sanford, what a BEAUTIFUL statement, you are very gracious and poised. I truly pray to God that he may grant you courage and strength to deal with this trial.

    July 2, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. Joe in Austin

    Strength and weakness in this situation look much the same.

    July 2, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Eliot

    I am humbled and amazed by the grace Jenny Sanford is showing her husband. Her eloquence and the intelligent balance she has found in both extending unmerited favor toward Mark and at the same time candidly declaring the formidable work and time that will be required to achieve reconciliation speak to her maturity and character both as a Christian and as a wife. Whatever her faults may be– for she surely has them– Mark Sanford would do well to recognize the precious jewel he has been given in Jenny. I pray that he has the wisdom to turn away once and for all from Ms. Chapur, and to walk unswervingly toward the light that beams through the door Jenny has opened for him.

    July 2, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Former Republican firmly supporting Obama

    I support Jenny Sanford and if she is willing to forgive Gov. Sanford, then this is her right and she should never be criticize for it. However, her forgiving her husband does not mean that Gov. Sanford should not resign. Gov. Sanford is a hypocrite, liar, and has violated his own high morals and principles. He should go!

    July 2, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Dennis, Millbrae, CA

    Why would any self-respecting person keep the door open to a person as immoral, insensitve and dishonest as Mark Sanford? He has already said his Argentinian paramour is his "soul mate". What chance does Jenny Sanford have, and more importantly, why would she even want the chance? By taking him back, what message is she sending to her four boys? That it's ok to act immorally and irresponsibly? Close this chapter of your life and move on.

    July 2, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. Kevin -- Evansville, Indiana

    She's interpreting her own life and shortcomings on a cosmic scale. Like God really cares about Mark's marriage? Not even Mark cares about it. Probably no one does, if they are honest. Not even Jenny.
    I suppose that's to be expected, but really the more I hear her speak, the more cold and calculated she sounds.

    Personally I hope he ends up with the other woman he loves (not his wife).

    Raising kids is another matter. I doubt being stuck with someone you can't stand, and enduring cold stares across the breakfast table for the rest of his life will make him a better father. It will just make him bitter.

    July 2, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. frombelair

    don`t take him back , what`s with these spouses that take their cheating other halves back ? if he/she cheated, let him/her go...you are not that important, ...sir , soulmate?.....ppffff

    July 2, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. leq

    This is the same obscene business that the Republicans pulled on the Clintons. I say just shut up about the whole thing and let him work it out with his family. Everyone knows what happened. Now we can let it go, and if you're in SC vote the jerk out next time.

    July 2, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Randolph Carter

    Don't cave in, Jenny. Kick his sorry butt out on the street. Have a nice day!

    July 2, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. Charlie

    I hope Jenny is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame - which she seems intent on extending for 15 weeks or 15 months. I suppose we can expect another press release every few days from the poor woman until she is able to sign a seven-figure contract for a book or a TV movie. Milk it for all it's worth, girl!

    July 2, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. Jim in San Mateo

    I think she should throw the book at him and protect her children from the crap he is selling to the public. It will only be after he resigns that anything will be done.

    July 2, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. RealityKing

    CNN's best team in politics is little more than tabloid paparazzi..

    Sad really, because America could really use some honest reporting from Washington these days.

    July 2, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. Randy

    Why the venom aimed at Ms. Sanford. What I see is a Christian lady trying to put her faith into action. Regardless of ones personal beliefs that is something to respect and not vilify because in this case forgiveness must be incredibly difficult for her. She's made no commitment to take him back, but she hasn't and shouldn't shut the door mindlessly in anger. Can a poor piece of work like Mark Sanford earn his way back, I doubt it. Still, that's for them to work out and she should be applauded for upholding the highest principle of the Christian faith, forgiveness.

    July 2, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    She's trying to save his political career. Tough luck!

    July 2, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    Can't imagine tryiing to make up ==== at my in-law's house.

    Ouch.

    July 2, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. IAB

    I do not condone adultery but it seems Mrs. Sanford is not looking at herself and asking herself how and why did this happen. I am sure she loves her boys but could she have gone with him most of the time? There is no one person to blame for this behavior. Men need attention too. Some women throw themselves at men and some are easily tempted. Some men are stronger and with the HELP of a higher power can avoid temptation. She looks and acts like a goody two shoe, so self righteous. Ask your husband what did she have to offer? Why don't you go visit the lady, interview her. You might learn what's missing in your marriage. WE CAN ALL LEARN. You look good, are you sensual? Possession is 9/10th of the law u r still married to him. It's your business just KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT, just talk with your man find out why.

    July 2, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. an84u

    Well, everyone to his or her own opinion....like Thackery, I prefer the gentle Hagar to bitter old virtuous Sarah. Surely Jenny Sanford, steeped as she seems in religious dogma, realizes genuine forgiveness is without condition or price. Before she finishes putting Mark through the hoops, making him pay for the consequences of his sinfulness, she'll likely find he opts for Argentina, or somewhere else, because he can't endure her prescribed regimen. Yes, you guessed correctly....of me, personally...BEEN THERE; DONE THAT!!!

    July 2, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Allison

    What is it with these stupid political wives? Obviously the prestige of being a governor's wife is more important than her self esteem-self worth, and unfortunately, the court of public opinion decreases that prestige 100%. Take the kids and run. He will definitely do it again. But then again, you don't care do you? How are you ok with your husband disappearing for a week without telling you where he was going? You have so much that you need counseling on....that you would allow so much of this behavior to continue and that you would enable it....I really pity you, Mrs. Sanford.

    July 2, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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