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. tom

    I have no use for your sleeze ball hubby but I feel sorry for you. When you are part of the spot light sometimes you get burned. She shouldn't have to say a thing. The mortification is more than she deserves. Take a cruise with the kids and clear your head.Tell him to take another hike.

    June 24, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. JR

    Just get out of politics and get your hypocritical lives together for the sake of your children.

    June 24, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Good for her. Even if he didn't respect his vows, she apparently did...maybe she can help him redeem himself. Fact is, we're ALL human. If GOPers weren't running around pretending to be quasi-divine all the time, none of this would play a role in the business of running our country and could be left for people to deal with in their private lives.

    June 24, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Raisa

    She is what Christianity is about forgiveness, with common sense....

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

    a second chance from you and your sons perhaps. that is up to you and yours.
    however, his lack of responsibility to his constituents and his flagrant hypocrisy is the issue to the rest of the people of SC.
    you can give him all the chances you want, the people of SC may not be as forgiving.

    June 24, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. windfall

    Those political wives are really idiotic. And those neo-cons...what a bunch of lying pervs.

    June 24, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. phil

    This whole thing just sounds FISHY!!!!!!! Sounds like she was put up to doing this. He spent time in Argentina to do what???? I'm sure he was still having his affair over there!!

    June 24, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. WhoCares?

    Why can't we ONCE have a strong woman who actually does the right thing and kick their unfaihful husband to the curb.


    June 24, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. Jack

    This BS – so they separate for two weeks and this guy goes to Buenos Aires to bang is girlfriend for 6 days and now all is well!!

    What a Joke!! 🙂

    June 24, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. howie

    what a classy lady. I wonder how he "earned the second chance."

    June 24, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. lovable liberal

    A very dignified statement...

    June 24, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Sandra


    The conservative GOP only admits any wrongdoing when they get caught in scandals, otherwise they sit on their high horse and judge everyone else on family values and religion. What a bunch of hypocrites!

    June 24, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. Jon

    I have no desire to heap pain on what I'm sure is an agonizing personal situation. I found that statement to be very self-serving in spite of this, as I do every time another "family values" Republican gets caught cheating, as Ensign did earlier in the week. It's a little like Sarah Palin complaining about the press bothering her kids, when she is the one who trotted them into the limelight in the first place. I think people who experience these misfortunes would do the greatest good if they would just learn from them and stop acting sanctimonious about others.

    June 24, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Michael, Pensacola, FL

    Instead of spending all your time doing all those things that you think are so great, how about spending some quality time with your husband and giving him some loving so he doesnt have to creep!

    June 24, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. Theresa_in_Canada

    Perfect, beautiful, brilliant statement.

    June 24, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. George the Democrat Obama fanatic.

    Have you ever heard of a person coppin to a lessor charge. Well thats what the Governor just did. It was more than an affair he was into some crazy mess in Argentina. Admitting to a alleged affair is essentially coppin to a lessor charge. I want to see the woman he had an affair with. My two bucks to your dollar that he was involved with something really freaky and ashamed of that he doesnt want to come to light.

    June 24, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  17. friend of SC

    My prayers go out to the Sanford Family and to the first lady during this difficult time. This is not a case of Dem or Rep but strictly a family matter. I pray that all will pray for the Sanford family first and then for the state of SC and all leaders in government.

    June 24, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  18. rand

    Am I not getting something here??? They are on a trial separation and he goes off to Argentina to rendezvous with his Latin lover and she is saying he has earned a chance to resurrect the marriage.

    She sounds a bit "Thumperish" too. Always a red flag to me.

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

    She deserves the right to either stay with her husband or leave him. That is not for me or any other outside person to decide.

    End of story

    June 24, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  20. proud woman

    This is a remarkable woman.

    June 24, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  21. Neilz

    It's a good play. Make the fool twist. He's going to pay, if he's lucky, through the nose. But I don't think he's too lucky. It's obvious he's not too bright.

    June 24, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  22. Debbie Kohut

    What a strong woman. Her comments are excellent and heart-felt.
    May God be with her and her sons.

    June 24, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. Roy

    She seems to be a person of dignity. At least she was not standing by her husband, looking like a fool, while he was talking about his extra-marital adventures to the whole world on national TV. We have seen that scene repeated so many times that it is refreshing to see that there are still a wife of a political bigwig who does not compromise her personal integrity to keep her husband's political career afloat. Kudos to you ma'am.

    June 24, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Matt

    How has he "earned the chance to resurrect our marriage" when he just spent the last week in Argentina with his girlfriend. Oh wait, let me guess, he was "ending his relationship with her."

    June 24, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. Abby

    Mrs. Sanford, our compassion is with you and we hope you heal but trying to salvage your husband’s political aspirations is pretty much impossible. Thanks for the obligatory letter, you poor dear.

    June 24, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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