June 24th, 2009
09:07 PM ET
13 years ago

Sanford's wife: He's earned a second chance

(CNN) - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's wife Jenny released a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Full text:

Statement from First Lady Jenny Sanford

I would like to start by saying I love my husband and I believe I have put forth every effort possible to be the best wife I can be during our almost twenty years of marriage. As well, for the last fifteen years my husband has been fully engaged in public service to the citizens and taxpayers of this state and I have faithfully supported him in those efforts to the best of my ability. I have been and remain proud of his accomplishments and his service to this state.

I personally believe that the greatest legacy I will leave behind in this world is not the job I held on Wall Street, or the campaigns I managed for Mark, or the work I have done as First Lady or even the philanthropic activities in which I have been routinely engaged. Instead, the greatest legacy I will leave in this world is the character of the children I, or we, leave behind. It is for that reason that I deeply regret the recent actions of my husband Mark, and their potential damage to our children.

I believe wholeheartedly in the sanctity, dignity and importance of the institution of marriage. I believe that has been consistently reflected in my actions. When I found out about my husband's infidelity I worked immediately to first seek reconciliation through forgiveness, and then to work diligently to repair our marriage. We reached a point where I felt it was important to look my sons in the eyes and maintain my dignity, self-respect, and my basic sense of right and wrong. I therefore asked my husband to leave two weeks ago.

This trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage. During this short separation it was agreed that Mark would not contact us. I kept this separation quiet out of respect of his public office and reputation, and in hopes of keeping our children from just this type of public exposure. Because of this separation, I did not know where he was in the past week.

I believe enduring love is primarily a commitment and an act of will, and for a marriage to be successful, that commitment must be reciprocal. I believe Mark has earned a chance to resurrect our marriage.

Psalm 127 states that sons are a gift from the Lord and children a reward from Him. I will continue to pour my energy into raising our sons to be honorable young men. I remain willing to forgive Mark completely for his indiscretions and to welcome him back, in time, if he continues to work toward reconciliation with a true spirit of humility and repentance.

This is a very painful time for us and I would humbly request now that members of the media respect the privacy of my boys and me as we struggle together to continue on with our lives and as I seek the wisdom of Solomon, the strength and patience of Job and the grace of God in helping to heal my family.

Filed under: Mark Sanford
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. WhoCares?

    "WhoCares?………….she is showing strength you only wish you had."

    I admit..I'm a bit more Old Testament than New.

    I see nothing strong about her actions.

    Saying that herself and her kids deserve better than him would make her a stronger woman in my eyes.

    June 24, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. Jeff Van

    These things would happen less frequently if women would give their husbands the type of good time that they gave them before they were married. It seems after the kids, house, careers, etc. they forget about erotica, fellacio, and such and start wearing the flannel pajamas to bed and hair curlers. Sex then becomes boring and the man loses interest. All the way to Argentina though....wow!
    The wife is dignified and has done her family proud!

    June 24, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Leslie B.

    For all of you making cracks about hypocritical Republicans, does that mean that Hillary standing by Bill was okay, because that's what Democrats believe in? "Free love," as they called it back in the day?

    Personally, I think forgiveness and compassion are very important in a marriage, but if my husband stepped out on me, I'm not sure there would be any second chances. Running off to Argentina during a separation hardly sounds like someone who deserves being considered for a "second" chance.

    June 24, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. Al from Florida

    Wait – he cheats on her and SHE'S the one apologizing? Go figure!

    And if she asked him to leave so they could work on repairing their marriage...why then did he go back to Argentina to be with his mistress? Get it thru your head honey – he was cheating on you even as you were "forgiving" him!!

    June 24, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Luke Brown

    I feel sorry for Mrs. Sanford. She has been a trooper, though I don't like their right-wing politics (which she has encouraged).

    At least she had enough integrity NOT to show up at his news conference and pretend all is fine and forgiven.

    What I don't get is what he was doing in Argentina. He said he intended to stay there until Thursday but came back early because of the media attention. It doesn't sound like he is working of "reconciling" with the First Lady. Just the opposite.

    Is he still seeing this senorita or what? I noticed that he didn't answer that question at his news conference.

    June 24, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Ron

    People may not care about his "dirty laundry" (yeah, right) but they should care that a state governor thinks he can just disappear from his public service job for days and not have it matter. Idiot.

    June 24, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. Paul

    Yet another woman with low self esteem married to an elected official who can't keep his pants on. I would much rather hear nothing from these wives than their line of crap which is nothing more than PR. Go get some therapy and save us from your humiliation. When you get some backbone, then come forth and say something. Otherwise, these wives are enablers.

    June 24, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. please

    Lady, please wake up and open your eyes.

    June 24, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  9. Barb

    She and her husband plan a two week trial separation to work out their marriage problem. She stays on in the govenor's mansion while HE is sneaking out of the country into the arms of his mistress. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? This man has no honor, no loyalty, no honesty, no morality. He's SO SORRY–yeah, sorry he got caught. Kick this guy to the curb. Your children deserve a better role model than Governor Sleazebag.

    June 24, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. Harry

    I am not going to comment on Sanford's affair. That is something that he and his family need to figure out and where they go from here. What I found quite surprising was during Sanford's press conference there were a couple of women standing behind him who seemed to be laughing and smiling. Is it just me or is that a little screwed up?

    June 24, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. Anne

    Don't judge her until you've walked a mile in her shoes. She's not mixing politics and religion-she's using her faith to see her through a difficult time. We all rely on something to get us through our darkest moments.

    June 24, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. steve

    How could you ever cheat on a woman like that?

    June 24, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. ThinkAboutIt

    So the recipe is this: Be as big a slimeball as you want, when you get caught, just start quoting the Bible.

    I'm a Christian, and this is exactly why I don't go around telling people that. Because the folks who've taken over the GOP and Conservative movement and make the most noise while calling themselves Christians, are only using their religion as an excuse for all their crummy behavior.

    These "Christians" don't have a CLUE what the word means!

    June 24, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  14. Ivy

    Our prayers are with her-you have to respect her for her generousity in PUBLICLY forgiving him-and for the fact that she is willing to keep her marriage and family in tact-even if the Governor chooses otherwise.

    June 24, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. Blue

    The wife is the last one to know and suffers the most. Her husband never once said that the affair was over, but that he hurt his wife, children and etc. One does not go out of the country and stay for seven days, if he is ending the affair. He just got caught. He does not plan on giving the mistress up. As soon as he is out of office, down Argentina way, he goes.

    June 24, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  16. diane

    Here we go again, another cheated on wife, standing by her man! How was a two separation going to do anything for their marriage if he has been carrying on with another woman for a year? And now he has earned the right to resurrect their marriage?

    Per info I have read about her she has wealth as a result of family money. She should get rid of him. How many men would tolerate this behavior from their wives given the same set of circumstances? Why do women put up with poor treatment?

    June 24, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. Nick

    Let us not forget that the most important thing we can do for our family is to stay a family. If his wife is willing to forgive him, and she is the one who has been hurt the most, then please let them be a family together.

    June 24, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. Alison Schlenger

    Jenny Sanford has shown herself to be a classy lady in this situation; MEDIA: Please heed her request: LEAVE both Jenny and her children alone.......they are not elected to any public office and deserve privacy at this incredibly painful time in their lives.......before taking another picture, rolling another TV camera truck near their home, posting another blog, or interviewing someone about their family life, ask yourself: "If I had committed adultery, would I want MY spouse and children dragged into this tawdry mess?"

    June 24, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. Yvonne

    I would love just one time a woman stands up in this situation when it's in the public eye, and say "hell no I don't stand by him"!!!

    June 24, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. St. Auggie

    ....smooth talk lady, but you're crazy. Cut him loose!!

    June 24, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  21. Sheryl

    God be with you and the boys!!!!!

    June 24, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Chuckjones

    I feel bad for her and their kids. I have no sympathy for him, but note that a lack of control concerning sex is human nature. Given what he did (and I'm thinking of his abandoning his office and covering it up initially to fly to Argentina) he should resign as governor. At the same time, I'm tired of phony outrage from both the right and the left when it comes to morals. If he's such a sleeze, then so to are the Kennedy's, Clinton and Barney Frank (why does he get a pass on having sex with a prostitute) to name a few. Politicians of both the right and the left should stop being so judgmental. For me, Jesus said it best when he saved the woman caught in adultery from being stoned to death: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

    June 24, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Leave his sorry rear... find a nice liberal man who will love you and accept you for who you are.

    June 24, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. Tammy

    Dump him while you still can. he doesn't deserve a 2nd chance.

    June 24, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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