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. Mike

    I'm not quite sure I understand. During their "trial separation" to "strengthen their marriage" he goes to Argentina to do what? To see his lover clearly. Um, I'm pretty sure that means he wasn't working on your marriage Mrs. Sanford. I agree with some of the other comments, stop preaching to people about what is right and wrong and get your own lives in order first.

    June 24, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Tim, Seattle

    @ Raisa

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

    Another tenent of Christianity...Thou Shalt not commit Adultery

    June 24, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. j johnson

    Why do we all need to see this? Why did he need to cry in front of everyone and humiliate his wife by even bringing this up? Who cares about his sexual escapades? I couldn't care less about their "Christian" household, or the character of their sons, or about how their going to eventually patch things up. Is he doing his job in South Carolina, or isn't he? That's what the people should care about, not his personal dirty laundry. News flash for the Bible Belt: There's a lot of illicit sex going on right under your provincial noses. Get over it. Finally, note to mistress in Argentina: Really?

    June 24, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. WK

    And this guy was considered a star in the Republican party? Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for them!

    June 24, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. Ryan

    I don't know y'all, I'm as anti-GOP as there is out there. This statement seems pretty much from the heart.

    June 24, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. mickey

    Oh, please! You ask you husband to leave two weeks ago in the hopes of strengthening your marriage and what is the first thing he does but runs off to Argentina in a teen-age hormonal rage. Some committment to you and your marriage. Get a grip.

    June 24, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. toni

    God bless her..

    June 24, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. BJ

    What is it with these women?
    If nothing else maybe they could just not saying anything...at least for a while?
    I have just heard too many of these wives trying to sell us their forgiveness...sure...crap on me honey..I'll forgive you and then go write a nice book.
    Where the heck is the reality in this?
    I so hope that at least behind the scenes that these women aren't so easilly sold out and have some boundaries in their lives...good grief.

    June 24, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. silly rabbit

    I don't know but for some reason I feel like singing "Stand by your Man"!

    June 24, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Kim

    How, exactly, did he "earn" a second chance? By running off to Argentina to continue his affair when he and his wife, according to her, separated to "strengthen"their marriage? she forgives him? He's not even done with the affair yet!

    June 24, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. connie

    She stated that she would welcome him back "if he CONTINUES to work towards reconciliation ...". Did I miss something? I thought he was MIA in Argentia with his girlfriend.

    Unfortunately, it's easier and less painful for her to stay with him then it is to leave him.

    June 24, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. T

    She is a perfect example of a classy lady. The people of South Carolina are quite lucky to have a first lady of her caliber.

    June 24, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. Jonathan

    There is no reason to mix religion and politics–it's like oil and water. Save the Solomon, Job, and God rhetoric for the brainwashed minions at Sunday School.

    June 24, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. Darin

    She should be the one running SC not Mark Sanford. He doesn't deserve her.

    June 24, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. zeepzorp

    I think she says "I" about 30 times in the piece of....work. I think everything will be cleared up in the book she is bound to write. Or maybe a shamed public servant spot on Oprah.

    June 24, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Carlos Nobueno

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

    Where was this "Christian" mindset from the religious right when things started blowing up over Clinton's affair and testimony???

    This should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law, it does sound "FISHY"...

    June 24, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. DawnL,CA

    Ms. Sanford-Ditch the jerk. If they cheated one they will cheat again. Your boys need you to stand up for yourself and not worry about Sanfords political career. He is done.

    June 24, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. Mark Clark

    Just leave this family alone to work this out by themselves. No one else has the right to judge any one of them. This is a private and very serious family matter. The public has no right to hear about it, whether he is the Governor or not. And to the media of all types, get a life and do your job: report on the news that matters; not on private lives. When will you ever get the message?

    June 24, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. Jon

    I applaud her for displaying her christian values and humility during this time. Hopefully Gov. Sanford will clean up his act and rebuild his marriage. Otherwise, I'm not certain how this is newsworthy while Obamacare is being shoved down our throats.

    June 24, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. Helen

    Another husband doing what they do best – lie and have an affair.
    You will never learn to trust him again even though you will try.
    Move on – you deserve more than this man. You will ALWAYS wonder where he is when he isn't beside you, believe me !!

    June 24, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. James


    Really is there anything else that one needs to say about this situation other than just that?


    June 24, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. Rugo M.

    It become really scary with GOP, you work with wife they will have affair with her and if you go to the bathroom some one will follow what wrong with these people.

    June 24, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. GOP is Dun

    Looks like the Good Senator is not getting the Love he deserves from home.. guess what people!! like all of you! he will find it some place else,, even if its in Argentina!

    June 24, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. Miffed in Missouri

    a strong woman

    June 24, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. Melissa

    What an idiot.

    June 24, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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