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. Corey

    Wait a second.

    The only concern I have about Sanford is his PUBLIC life: that as the ELECTED government official. Therefore, the crime he committed against the people of S.C., by using public money for his private affair in Argentina, is the MOST relevant and GREATEST crime he committed.

    Those against his family and God are of no concern of mine.

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

    Jenny is back tracking because what she really is saying "I don't want you to leave me for the other woman". Good grief lady, stop pleading with this man, he admitted to the entire world he was in love with Maria and said she is his soul mate, how could you ever forget those words, how?

    July 2, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Mike Sk

    He does not love his wife. When you have to ask your wife for permission to see your mistress you have good down a road you cannot come back from. Leave the wife and the kids and make a new life in Argentina. wow you can call your mistress your soulmate and the wife still leaves a door open for you.

    July 2, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. John Billings Mt

    The wise words of a woman with class. I'm curious why most of the posts are not sourced in an attitude of forgiveness. She seems willing to consider the process.....john

    July 2, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. theresa thompson

    I think they both need to shut up. Most people don't want the details in their marriage or with this incident. They should not be airing their dirty laundry in public. She is talking too much. I would have more respect for her if she said a simple"no comment".

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

    Kick him loose, he's not worth it. I know from experience.

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

    Jenny Sanford is making Silda Spitzer look more dignified every minute. Had Mrs. Sanford simply left her statement to not showing up at her husband's press conference, she would have come out a lot better. Instead, she chooses to release statements that give us a glimpse as to why her husband may have cheated (overbearing, mommying, etc.). Not to excuse her husbands actions...particularly abandoning his post for five days...but she has played a role in the demise of her marriage as well. It takes two to screw it up.

    While Silda Spitzer made a mistake by showing up at her husband's press conference (although I am convinced she did what she felt was right), she made up for it by shutting up afterwards.

    July 2, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. Brian - Trinidad

    This woman is an angel,like that other famous wife that also stayed with her husband.I hope she isn't subject to the same ridicule that the other woman still endures to this day for her decision.

    July 2, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. Clogged Cleats

    It may well be that Gov. Sanford has sinned more against God, the boys, his wife and so on. I leave that for God, Mrs. Sanford and boys and so on to judge and act as they feel appropriate. But that's not the issue for those who elect their political leaders. The issue here is whether the governor is fit to remain as governor. I would say not, not because he had a lust affair, but because he is fundamentally untrustworthy. He shows himself to be a serial deceiver, seriously emotionally disturbed, and, with his agreement then refusal to disclose financial statements relevant to whether the State subsidized his trip(s) to Argentina, likely a financial cheat. Mrs. Stanford, take him back if you think it's best for "the boys", but – please – take him away if you care for the well being of the electorate of South Carolina.

    July 2, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. Rod Stiffington

    Is she saying that her family and her children are more important than all of the other citizens of the state of South Carolina?

    July 2, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Angela

    Forgiveness? I think not lady! Mrs. Sanford, you will NEVER be able to trust him again. Do what is right and show your boys what a strong woman can do......and get them away from that adulteruos monster. By staying with him, you show your approval of his actions.
    Yet another example of how adultery is now become acceptable and all too commonplace in our culture.

    July 2, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. Joe in CA

    Why hasn't she left him yet?

    July 2, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. RCasson

    OMG do these people NOT know what TMI means????

    July 2, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. SMM

    She is a wise woman...a builder of her...not one to pluck it down.

    He that is without sin ...cast the first stone. Let's pray for this family and learn from their error willingly revealed.

    July 2, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. betty j poole

    How can you even think about taking him back into your home?
    What does that teach your children? that is is alright to abuse your wife?
    And make no mistake this was abuse, maybe not physical but abuse never the less. It teaches them that its ok to reject your vows, humiliate you family and it's just fine. A few weepy tears, I,m sorry and it all goes away? It NEVER goes away. He's proved he is not to be trusted. Send him packing

    July 2, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. Dave

    I don't know how she'll be able to forgive him when he's been gushing that the woman he was having the affair with is his "soul-mate" and stuff. He's really disrespected his wife, completely... not only did he cheat on her, but then he denegrates her in things he says afterward. This man is a real lowlife. I admire his wife's compassion for her kids by wanting to work it out, but I really question her good sense and self-respect. But, it's up to her, though... I hope things work out for the best for her and the kids. I don't care how they work out for him.

    July 2, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. Joe

    She deserves the man she has

    July 2, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Jenny could forgive, and dump the bum. She should dump him for her sons' sake. Mark Sanford is a terrible role model for sons.

    July 2, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. Tony in Maine

    Classy lady.

    He doesn't deserve her.

    July 2, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. Henry

    It is time for the Sanfords to shut up and treat this as a private matter.

    July 2, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. thalassa70

    I don't understand how she could want him back. Regardless of what kind of marriage they used to have before this came up (and we don't know what was going on and what kind of relationship they truly had behind closed doors), how could she accept to remain the wife of someone who is declaring to the whole world that he is in love with another woman; someone who has to make an effort to "re-fall" in love with his wife?! Bible aside, what kind of message does that send to daughters (which she does not have) everywhere? That its OK to respect yourself so little and live with someone who is with you just because he has to be? A healthy divorce is better than an unhealthy marriage for children as well as their parents in the long run.

    July 2, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. Carmela, Longwood, Florida

    So, Mrs. Sanford is coming to her husband's rescue after all? It sure sounds like it, because she is asking South Carolinians to "forgive" his trespasses, just like as a wife, she is willing to forgive him. At least Silda Spitzer kept her mouth shut.

    July 2, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. Nea

    Memo to Jenny: Get rid of him. He's just not that into you.

    July 2, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. Shays

    She could act like Hillary and completely ignore it like good liberals do and let their husbands walk all over them.

    July 2, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. Laura

    I do feel badly for the Sanford family but all you Southern Christians need to face the facts of life. People DO fall in love with others even if they are married with wonderful children and careers. You can't explain LOVE and you certainly don't ask for it. I personally think there were problems in their marriage many years ago and they shoved them under the carpet. I say our personal happiness is the key and not living a LIE! Jenny you seem like a wonderful person but your husband is no longer in love with you. It happens to so many of us and is part of being human. I say Gov Sanford needs to be true to his heart and stay with Maria. It doesn't mean he has less love for his boys or his people in S.C. It simply means he needs to feel the true love of this woman. It reminds me of Englands King Edward who stepped down for Mrs Simpson. Nothing mattered but his love for her...I don't believe he regretted his decision.

    July 2, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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