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. John

    Give us a break...i hate this crappy holier than thou attitude that Jenny. Who needs her statement...go live your life in private and leave us out of it.

    June 24, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  2. Melba

    a great statement but why is it always about running from problems into the arms of another – brag about running the state but you cant commit to your marriage ?

    easy way out – quit crying stand up and own your behavior

    June 24, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. bob in dallas

    She will stay with him now just to make his life a living HELL!!!
    And for the folks calling him a neo-con perv......John Edwards, Barney Frank....etc.

    June 24, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. Silly me

    When are we voters going to start seeing politicians – the whole lot of the – for what they really are: flawed, imperfect human beings. The perfect family is an illusion – always.

    June 24, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. Tom in Wheaton, Illinois

    These Bible-bangers are all nuts.

    June 24, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. Ben

    Is every Republican a sleazy liar? I'm starting to think yes.

    And when will these wives stop the 1950's "Stand by your Man" bull?

    June 24, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. bruce

    "the character of the children i, or we, leave behind."

    whoa. do those children even know who their daddy is?

    shorter jenny sanford: he's my meal ticket and i'm sticking with him. i also want to remind you that i was a wall street nabob once, and how philanthropic i am. finally, i am going to quote scripture at you and ask that you leave me alone.

    June 24, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. AKING

    I agree wholeheartedly with Mrs. Sanford. Forgiveness and compassion are necessity in any marriage or relationship– in
    first Corinthians it states that Love is long suffering and covers
    a multitude of sins-

    June 24, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. Post always rejected by CNN

    The republicans raised a fuss and Spitzer had to resign. WHY ARE THEY SILENT ON SANFORD....why don't they call for him to resign. Oh well you know republicans we are two faced. We want people to do as we tell them and not as WE do. OK republicans show you got balls call for Sanford to resign the way you did for Spitzer....

    June 24, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. kathy

    May God Bless Mrs. Sanford for the pain she is experiencing.
    I think it is necessary for the Media to step back and not be
    the arrogant, stupid, insensitive jerks they normally are.
    This is a diffucult time for any family but especially the ones
    that are in the public eye. Give them the utmost respect they
    deserve. Her husband should be released from his duties
    as Governor and made to work with his family to regain their
    trust or pack up and get out. Leave them be she deserves it.

    June 24, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Niel

    These women encourages me to have an affair. After all, I can tell my wife that : Look at Hillary, Edward's, Sanford's and Spitzer's wives. They forgave their husbands so you also have to forgive me.

    OK. Bar hopping from today for me.

    June 24, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. D

    He's sorry because he was caught. When his wife asked him to leave, where did he go? Right to the woman he is having the affair with...

    June 24, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Jerrold E. Fink

    A beautiful and apparently heartfelt and sincere statement, deserving of respect and the "space/understanding she requests. I hope that future developments spare her the revealations that, in situations such as these, so often demonstrate the hypocrisy, foreknowledge, and enabling that we have too often seen. There will be much well deserved twittering, snickering and punditry regarding the governor, but if the spouse is innocent/sincere, the spouse should be spared the barbs of late night comedians and self-serving commentators.

    June 24, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. david

    I never agreed with nor respected Governor Sanford. I am quite certain that Mrs. Sanford and I would not see eye to eye about many issues – political or cultural. However, I deeply respect the sentiments that she has tried to communicate here and I believe she and her sons deserve the privacy and dignity that she asks for.

    I hope things work out well for her and her sons. As for the Governor, I wish him the same thing I wish all hypocrites – insight and a just reward.

    June 24, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. Rod

    These politicians ....be it Republican or Democrats are ALL holier than thou hipocrits.....same old same old....feel sorry for the wife and children.

    June 24, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Dante in Madison, WI

    Another GOP wife scorned, and yet here she is APOLOGIZING for the stupid actions of her unfaithful husband!

    Where are his "family values"???

    June 24, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. Susan

    Give me a break...maybe...MAYBE...he deserved a second chance if he honestly was taking the seperation to reflect on the marriage...what did he do instead...go see his mistress in Argentina and hoped no one would find out....and this woman is now saying he deserves another chance?
    This is ridiculous and these hypocrites have the nerve to quote the bible?
    When are these self righteous conservatives going to realize they are not above the rest of us.

    June 24, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Jane


    June 24, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. Jim


    June 24, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Texas Pioneer

    The lesson that your sons will learn, is from the consequences of your husband loosing everything. Career, family, respect from piers, self respect.
    I am happy that the scriptures are of comfort to you. That may be all you get from them.
    Your husband and his affection has been transfered to someone else.
    Good luck with you family.

    June 24, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. lorraine

    If the husband just got back from Argentina which he says he did then the affair is still going on and he would not of told his wife or anyone except he got caught. What is wrong with these men who in fact have the world in the palm of their hand but are willing to throw it all away and to cause humilation to their families all for a romp in the hay with some dame, it is time someone called them what they are STUPID

    June 24, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. Gail Kelley

    We all make mistakes, even Republicans!! When will they learn to stop judging everyone else's actions, with their holier-than-thou attitudes. Keep your moral judgements to yourselves – you are certainly not examples of people with good morals or character.

    June 24, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. Linda in Charleston, SC

    It's a great response on what happened on her end, but they were separated after she found out about this affair and then he ran back down to the woman he had the affair with instead of being true to his marriage. I'm not so sure repeating the affair that lead up to this separation in the first place deserve the response she gave.

    June 24, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  24. Hotdog

    You can look at this guy and see that some thing is wrong wtih him.

    June 24, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. yolanda

    The only reason he is admitting his affair is because he was caught and had no other choice. If no one caught him he would still be with his mistress.

    June 24, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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