October 26th, 2009
06:58 PM ET
11 years ago

Elizabeth Edwards: Marriage is a 'great love story'

John and Elizabeth Edwards during the 2008 presidential campaign.

John and Elizabeth Edwards during the 2008 presidential campaign.

(CNN) - Despite John Edwards' extramarital affair that rocked his marriage, his wife described their union as a "love story," albeit an unconventional one.

Elizabeth Edwards told WJLA-TV in Washington late last week that she wants her marriage to work, and that her husband has been supportive as she continues to battle breast cancer.

"John said, 'Perhaps not the great love story that we hoped, but maybe a great love story nonetheless," she said.

Edwards added: "'Til death do you part, because that's what I want."

Though Elizabeth promised to soldier on, she acknowledged the grim reality of trying to overcome terminal cancer.

"Cancer will probably win," she said. "Why would I give it any more days than it may already take? That's the choice I make."

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soundoff (296 Responses)
  1. Amazing

    Great love story?? What a crock of crap that is. What romance novel has the spouse cheating and fathering a baby with another woman and then lying, lying and lying some more about it. Sounds like she is trying to convince herself.

    October 26, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Cancer will probably win," she said. "Why would I give it anymore days than it may already take? That's the choice I make."

    I hear that Elizabeth!! My mom died of breast cancer. Not a pretty way to go by any means. I agree with you: take happiness where you can find it, and to heck with the naysayers. When your time comes, you'll leave the same way you came in: by yourself. If your husband can still offer you comfort and companionship during your lonely battle, go for it. Seriously.

    October 26, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. Cheryl

    There are those that denounce her because of her standing by Edwards, but she is living her "vows"–better or worse, sickness and health, etc. I admire that. I think that he is a zero.

    October 26, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. JC

    I truely adore this woman. I wish her the best.

    October 26, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Laverne

    Elizabeth is a courageous woman and I sympathize with her and what she is going thru, unfortunately there is still a reality in your marriage and that is her husband is a cheater and if she can find it in her heart to forgive John and stay with him, she ought to do the same with regard to Rielle. After all, it was her husband who invited another person into their union. It is certainly her right to stay with her husband to the end, I just don't like when women are in denial about the situation. This is what hurt out daughters as they become young women, they are very confused by dad's behavior and even more hurt by mom's reaction to the situation. I hope Elizabeth's remaining time is happy times, she sure deserves it.

    October 26, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. do we really need this?

    another jilted politician's wife

    it really seems to come with the job

    October 26, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. Independent_me

    God bless you, Elizabeth. You are in my prayers. It has been said:

    "To err is human, to forgive is Divine".

    October 26, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. Terry from West Texas

    Sen. Edwards would have been a capable leader. He was my first choice in the Democratic primaries. However, I think he is finished in public life. No candidate can overcome the frothing hatred of American women for an unfaithful man. Too bad.

    Unfaithful leaders have included Franklin Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Johnson, and Clinton. Faithful leaders have included Calvin Coolidge and George W Bush.

    A faithful husband and a good leader are not often found in the same body.

    (To be fair, faithful presidents also included Washington, Adams, Lincoln, Truman, and Carter – a very respectable list.)

    October 26, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  9. Terry from West Texas

    Oh, and I forgot Jefferson. We all know which list he's on.

    October 26, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. Dennis

    I admire Elizabeth for her bravery and her stong "will" to fight on. Having had cancer I empathze with her efforts to put everything that she has into the battle for everyday with the help of God.

    October 26, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. kgeukes Michigan

    This woman is a fool! I don't care if she has cancer...any man that will cheat on you needs to get kicked to the curb...It means that he's only thinking of himself and he never really loved you. She knew when he was seeing her and stayed probably because she could use it against him later...or maybe because she doesn't know how to live alone...I'd rather be alone than look like the fool!!! And put up with a liar!!!!

    October 26, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. themoi

    Elizabeth has shown herself to be a better lady in the face of her cancer than her husband showed as a man faced with owning up to his mistake!

    October 26, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. Bob Dog

    I like Elizabeth Edwards.

    October 26, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. Gale

    She is truly a good Christian woman, he is a jerk!!

    October 26, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. Chipster

    Elizabeth and Hillary are both better Christians than I am. I admire their strength and determination to keep their family together and I wish them well.

    There are so many mean, hateful and hurtful people who enjoy judging the personal choices that others make but they don't walk in their shoes. Despite public humiliation and cruel comments, these two women carry on and continue to fight for children, families, and their country. They focus on their goals to make a better world. God bless them.

    October 26, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. Chanel

    Elizabeth is a strong woman to be dealing with what she is dealing with, but I lost a lot of respect for her after she went on TV and continued to blame Edwards' mistress for the affair. And my stomach turned every time she referred to Reille's baby as "It"

    October 26, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. Enough

    This is so sad that she has to pretend like everything is wonderful with this lousy cheater. If she wasn't dying she would kick him to the curb.

    October 26, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Elizabeth is a courageous woman and she deserves to have her husband stand by her side despite his behavior. She cannot go this alone especially with the children involved, John needs to be there for them also. God Bless please give her a special blessing.

    October 26, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. Jackie in Dallas

    No, Elizabeth, cancer will not win. It may shorten your life, but the courage and determination you've put into the fight, not to mention the fight for your marriage, makes YOU the winner.

    No, John Edwards affair was not right, but love forgives, love moves on, love accepts that our partners are human and make mistakes. It is not the right of the people of this country to make the decision for you about whether or not you forgive your husband - unfortunately, people in this country are less likely to forgive a roving husband than they are people like CEOs who rip off millions of people's money. John will show his mettle by how he deals with life from now on - whether he learns from his mistakes or just continues to make them. I'm inclined to believe that he has learned from his mistake and will stay by Elizabeth's side and be her partner in this fight.

    October 26, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. Susie

    God Bless this great lady of strength. I pray that her cancer goes away and that she is able to find some peace in what is a sordid and sad betrayal.

    Wish you well

    October 26, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. julie in atlanta

    God loves Elizabeth Edwards...and so do I. Sending many blessings and positive thoughts of support to this courageous woman who continues to inspire. STAY STRONG, dear Elizabeth, and always remember to ring the bells that still can ring...
    Much love and respect,
    Julie in Atlanta

    October 26, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. Mamanomia

    Beautiful lady...our prayers are with you.

    October 26, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. LaDonna Wilson

    I only hope he loves and adores her half as much as she worships him. He should remain honorable and loyal to her in all her remaining days. She deserves that from him for their family honor which he has tarnished with his self absorption.

    October 26, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. Fools and their freedoms are soon parted

    Wow Elizabeth, you are nearly as sad and sorry as your husband....this scumbag you married has already broken any vows he made to you and still you support and love him? it is quite obvious what he thinks of you...you have a twisted reality if you think this is a love story

    October 26, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. Jennifer G

    Anyone who has ever 'survived' an affair ADORES Elizabeth Edwards. Her grace is amazing. I totally relate to the 'love story' comment. There can be a deep love after the wounds begin healing. Sometimes we don't get what we expected, but both people can find redemption and love with one another again.

    October 26, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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