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. Ron Hartvikson

    Mrs. Sanford is yet another victim of the phoney right wing 'born again' republican politician.The republican party is slowly dying-vote Libertarian in 2012.

    June 24, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  2. Jack

    Bravo Jenny!

    Take note folks, if ever a woman should evince elegance and grace in light of dark times, even Jackie O would envy this example.

    June 24, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. ThinkAboutIt

    Why is she regretting his actions? She's not responsible! And I'm also guessing this isn't his first affair.

    These poor wives – having to publically display their betrayal. If I were in her place, I'd use my podium to tell him to jump in a lake and announce my filing for divorce!

    June 24, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    She can give him a second chance, but the S.C. people won't!

    June 24, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. loyal

    Being a wife to such senior government employee, yep, employee, is definitely not an easy thing. I empatized for the first lady, because of her being a first lady she has to write a statement to justify her action – all because of stupidity of an unfaithful husband. He is an iresponsible husband and father. Period. You would think a republican with that 'wholesome family' face, yeah, he is a hypocrite. First lady, you deserve happiness but not with him. Kick him out of your life!

    June 24, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. Angi's mom

    Sanford chose his mistress over his sons on Father's Day. Very sad.

    June 24, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. CM

    She could have just started at the beginning of the bible and named everyone. Oh, wait, she did. I think I remember hearing something about seperation of church and state... hmmm.

    June 24, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Sarah

    To Jonathan...her statement has nothing to do with politics...she's not the politician...she just happened to marry one. This is that statement of a woman who's hurting and is therefore turning to her God to help her through this time.

    June 24, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. ThinkAboutIt

    Forgiveness, for-schmiveness! This isn't Christianity – this is foolish. I don't see how she'll ever be able to trust her husband again.

    I sure as hell wouldn't.

    June 24, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. DSW

    If the relationship was over then why did he fly all the way to Argentina to end it.
    None of this makes sense.
    If he was supposed to be attempting to fix his marriage he was in the wrong country, doing the wrong thing!!
    I also find that the Republican's with their high, lofty "Christian" family values complete & utter hypocrites – and I don't get how they can stand in the way of same-sex marraige – when it seems alot of them aren't practising what they preach!

    June 24, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Sandy Underpants

    First Jon and Kate, and now this? Will the Republican Party survive the hypocrisy that defines their party? Or are they already dead and just don't know it yet?

    June 24, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. Tim

    While I feel Sandford should step down and hope he is embarrased into doing so, this is not an impeachable offense. The difference between him and Clinton is that Clinton also lied under oath, which is an impeachable offense that he should have been found guilty of because he was guilty of it. So as I see it, Sandford is kicking Clinton in the head each time he decends a ring on the latter to you know where.

    June 24, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. gloria- louisiana

    Someone has to tell this poor woman that its ok 2blurt out her anger-she came out too polished...as 4her husband....i respect the fact that he was honest, candid at times nd frankly he was smart 2choose another country 2 'ride dirty' in. But it was poor judgement or perharps wanting to see the woman again that led him 2dissapear 2Argentina-Oh wait, i thot he said the affair wus over 5months ago-What wus he doin back in Argentina???........neways, the story is freaky nd i dont wanna kno the half of it, I FEEL FOR THE WIFE AND THE CHILDREN HE DIDNT THINK OF WHEN HE ENGAGED IN THE OTHER WOMAN-LITTERALLY!

    June 24, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  14. pam Eugene OR

    I hope the media will give this woman and her sons the privacy they are owed and deserve. They are innocent and should not be hounded by relentless reporters.
    Sanford is a whole different issue. This entire "affair" needs to be looked at. The people of SC have a right to know who paid for his trip/trips.
    I am sure this will continue to unfold.

    June 24, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. A wife

    Leave her and the kids alone, but hold his feet to the fire. He wanted to strengthen the morals of America. No thanks. There is no recovery from this...he needs to resign immediately. If he works things out with his wife and sons, that's fine, but not from the Gov's office. Out!!

    June 24, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. Leigh

    Until you walk in her shoes, no criticism. I applaud her for showing the courage to work thru the situation. She's doing what she needs to do.

    June 24, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. ThinkAboutIt

    I hope the good people of SC don't fall for this, "Oooh, I'm a Christian, please forgive me, I'll never do it again" crap.

    My guess is this isn't his first affair. Just the first time he was so publically caught.

    June 24, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. Pinkie

    I love Republicans. They always remind me of Hawthorne's true intent behind The Scarlet Letter.

    June 24, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. Karen

    I'm sure that he feels really bad, because he got caught. The public apology along with the wife's forgivness is standard procedure for all of these politicians that have affairs. I am not sure how he earned a second chance. The first thing he did after he got kicked out of the house was to hook up with the other girlfriend. What was he thinking?

    June 24, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Terry Miller

    She is trying to be a good Christian. Christian beliefs do not jibe with the idea of kicking him out immediately. Trying to repair the marriage is the right thing to do.

    It's none of our business, furthermore. He should resign as governor, because what moral credibility could he possibly have on any issue now? I pray for this family and for those who are throwing stones at HER, for heaven/s sake.

    June 24, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. Trish

    Given her husband jetted off to be with the other woman during their separation, I'm sure she left out a word in the fifth paragraph, second sentence. I hope she meant to write "I believe Mark has NOT earned a chance to resurrect our marriage."

    June 24, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. Shannon G

    These women are just pathetic. Since he got caught, now he wants to confess, and just like the dutiful wife she stands by him. Once the trust is broken you cannot fix it.

    June 24, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. L. McCain

    More often than not, separations do not "strengthen" a marriage; they, unfortunately, just provide opportunities to grow further apart. As demonstrated in this case, the wife went one direction to vacation, and the husband went in another!

    June 24, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  24. lightning

    As a teenager I use to believe that once a person cheats they should just separate, but I when I became a woman with marriage under my belt I realize it's not that easy. Things becomes complicated it's just easier to become a better person. Why throw all the hard work away? If possible, It's just better to fight for your marriage, it's worth the energy and the effort no matter what people may say. Marriage isn't supposed to be easy, that's why you end up loving eachother more when you forgive eachother's fault.

    My husband isn't perfect and I'm not either, but it's worth forgiving and trying when we both fall.

    June 24, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. Amy

    Who cares who he sleeps with other than maybe his wife! It is none of our business!

    Why is this news, isn't there anything more important going on in the world, say maybe in Iran, Iraq, or with our own countries economy. If you stopped reporting the trash it wouldn't be news anymore!

    June 24, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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