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. Anonymous

    Who. Cares.

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

    Interesting that in all of her statements, Mrs. Sanford takes no responsibility herself. Last time I checked, marriage involved two people. What has her role been? Has she been open and honest with her husband? Has she looked at her issues? She acts as though she bears no responsibility for the 'state' of their marriage.

    Many times an affair is simply one person "saying" through their actions, that the marriage isn't working. It's up to BOTH of them to work on it. If Mrs. Sanford thinks forgiving her husband is all she needs to do, she's in for more heartache.

    July 2, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. maria

    Sanford sounds like he is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. He needs to compose himself. Sounds like a spoiled tenage girl that does not understand commitment but has only personal wants. I was embarassed for him and his wife when either one speaks.

    July 2, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. PrinceMichael3

    The first lady of SC is not doing the Gov any favors, and she's not defending her "prestigious position." (Allison) She's leaving the door open for reconciliation, as every Christian spouse should do, to the best of his/her ability. (See Gayle Haggard and Hillary Clinton.) But she's also laying it on the line - this is the bar he needs to clear if we are going to be reconciled. That's fair, and it's about the strongest position she could take, and the best medicine for the Gov. Let's hope he shuts up and follows through.

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

    Maybe everyone on this list should keep quiet unless you know what it's like to go through an extra-marital affair in the public eye.

    It's really easy to sling comments around about what she should do, shouldn't do - she's said too much – or she's to be commended for what's she said.......or his own actions for that matter.

    No matter what one does or says about this situation – or any situation currently in the news – the story will be picked apart until there's nothing left or some new more exciting story takes it's place and we're off to pick apart something else.

    None of what is said by all of us matters a bit – only to those in the situation – period (yes, including myself).

    July 2, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Jenny Sanford for Governor in 2010 ! ! !

    Jenny Sanford is truly a class act unlike the political hacks who keep attacking her husband. Jenny Sanford deserves our respect and admiration. This is a private matter for Jenny and Mark to resolve privately. We should all mind our own business and if iour religious beliefs allow us to forgive others, just forgive Mark for his marital issues, instead of blaming him for making the mistake of falling in love.

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

    People, power hungry and money is where its all at. They sell their souls for it. No scruples, or decency about them and they throw God in there for the stupid little people they think exist beneath them.

    July 2, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Linda Eichblatt

    Aw, Jenny, let him have his "soul mate." You can have the 4 children and your inheritance. Two out of three ain't bad!

    July 2, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Tom

    * D. O. O. R. M. A. T.

    1. His mistress is his "soul-mate", experienced things "I've never felt before".

    2. His wife told him in no uncertain terms to never see the woman from Argentina again, while Sanford and his wife were working through their problems.

    3. Things took a turn for the worse in their "repair". She threw him out of the house. Sanford left for a 10-day trip to see his mistress in Argentina.

    July 2, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. Elizabeth C.

    Oh please. This woman is an idiot if she thinks the man who is "trying to fall back in love" with her actually deserves a second chance!

    July 2, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. Antonio

    I truly do appreciate how faith can take you from anywhere-given. Mrs.Sanford sounds Like an amazing woman to be open to that process to hopefully achieve healing. Though there are some wounds that just don't heal, its never the same. That acceptance can be even more detrimental than letting go. Can still forgive!

    July 2, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  12. Stella

    Jenny...and every other Jenny that goes through this...just wake up..How you can build this kind of marriage? Where is your dignity and your self respect? You can still be a great mother and a great person without a husband who does not respect you. Isn't this guy who said "how much he loved his mistress"?? In what base are you going to re-build this marriage? ...when love does not exist? I have a husband and a family myself and I strongly feel that the A and the Z of every marriage is LOVE...so just wake up Jenny and MOVE ON

    July 2, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. girlymen love the GOP

    Spoken like a true blue Stepford wife.It was her money that got him the job,and im sure she directs where all the Foreign car company bag money goes.

    July 2, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Jane in Windsor, CA

    If she keeps this up, I'm beginning to understand why he wandered elsewhere.

    July 2, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. Ryan

    That woman is too good for him, and so is that job.

    July 2, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. Jenny Sanford for Governor in 2010 ! ! !

    Jenny Sanford is truly a class act unlike the political hacks who keep attacking Gov. Sanford. Jenny Sanford deserves our respect and admiration. This is a private matter for Mr. and Mrs. Sanford to resolve privately. We should all mind our own business and if our religious beliefs allow us to forgive others, just forgive Mark for his marital issues, instead of blaming him for making the mistake of falling in love. He can't control how his heart feels.
    I have noticed that none of the haters asking for Sanford's resignation have asked Ensign or Vitter to resign. This is GOP hypocrisy.

    July 2, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. Jane

    If Mark Sanford has any morals left in is body resign. His wife has forgive him but not to the point where the people of South Carolina should overlook this mess. He don't love his wife, he is using her to keep his job for 18 months and then he will be with his mistress. Jenny please don't fall for this joke.

    July 2, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    Dump him!!

    July 2, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. Puzzled

    I don't understand why Mrs. Sanford keeps issuing statements. I felt for her and her boys at the beginning but now she made me wonder why she is doing this. She makes herself look good and righteous but her governor husband worse than people think. Would that help her, her boys or her husband to heal, to reconcile? I doubt it.
    Silda Spitzer had more class. You could feel the pain she was going through standing by the man she loved but betrayed her. Her silence in public spoke volume of her character.
    Mrs. Sanford, please keep all your private life private.

    July 2, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. di

    after reading the e mails between sanford and his mistress i feel he actually fell in love with her. if its love he can resign then marry her.

    July 2, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. Ross

    His wife is taking the right approach here. I know....believe me, I know. I cheated on my wife some years back. Tried to hide it and and it came out anyways. At first it was for the kids, but then we realized that we were in it for ourselves. My wife hated me at first, but through counseling, therapy, prayer and a new determination to find the love that brought us together in the first place, our marriage is rock solid again.

    HOWEVER....its their problem, not the media's or anyone else.

    July 2, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. deb

    Blah, blah, blah! It's all sad and everything that this man screwed around on his wife but, people, is this really "news" that needs to be rehashed over and over again? Between this, the Michael Jackson circus and all of the other over the top "reporting" that goes on these days it just gets more and more ridiculous and pathetic. It seems that all anyone is interested in any longer is "Enquirer" type "news". What has happened to intelligent reporting?

    July 2, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  23. Claudia in Houson

    All I can say is good luck Mrs. Sanford but personally for me, if a man doesn't love me, I surely don't want him children or no children. When her husband exposed himself, to me it's like Mrs. Sanford has been sleeping with a stranger and if she doesn't know him by now, she never will. Good luck lady.

    July 2, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. Nancy

    This whole thing is disturbing. What about the sleeze in Argentina who would become involved with a married man with 4 children. The lack of commitment to marriage and the marriage vows is disgusting. It looks like the gay community has placed a value on marriage that possibly the poloticans of this country would benefit by taking a look at how important it is to them.

    July 2, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. John

    Governor, Set yourself free and follow your heart. Life is too short, Argentina and it's women are beutiful and they can't come after you for child support there.

    July 2, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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