Thursday, June 25, 2009

"As The Stomach Turns"

Well, as you have probably seen by now, Governor Sanford has admitted before everyone that he was unfaithful to his wife. In fact, that is the big, huge headline across the front of The Post and Courier: "I've Been Unfaithful." Oh, yeah.

And it has gotten worse with The State printing a whole bunch of emails sent between Sanford and his paramour. Emails that they have had in their possession for FIVE MONTHS. That's kind of curious, isn't it? They claim they were trying to "authenticate" them. Amazingly, they seemed to have done that in just a few days. Huh - that's not the least bit coincidental, is it? Ahem.

Here is a good overview of the whole situation, including some of those emails:

Wow. It is astonishing how people can just implode, destroying their families, their careers, and their integrity, all in one fell swoop. Shocking.

And one of those people most affected is his wife, Jenny Sanford. The video above briefly alluded to her statement about the situation in the video above. I think given what she has gone through over the past 5 months, she deserves the space to have her version told in her own voice, "I Believe Mark Has Earned A Chance To Resurrect Our Marriage," and here it is: South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford issued the following statement Wednesday:
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 husbands 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.

The pain the First Lady is in just pours off the page. How sad, for her, and for her family, especially to have their personal issues played out across the screen and page all across the nation. Unfortunately, Jenny Sanford has joined an exclusive club, one which includes members Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Edwards. Her personal pain has been writ large. She, like the others, is handling it with grace. She, like the others, was successful in her own right, and helped her husand to be successful, as well And like the others, it seems she is willing to give her husband another chance, which is her CHOICE. As much as it might upset some of us that people stay with partners who cheat, the reality is that the women mentioned above are FAR from alone.

Bottom line, this is a sad situation insofar as this one man's selfish actions have had a rippling affect far greater than the man himself, who is only a man after all (meaning he is just a human being), for himself, his family, his position, and his party. People are people, and sometimes, okay, a lot of times, that means they do stupid, short-sighted things, and think with a different part of their anatomy than their brains. Most, though, don't have it played out on a national stage, nor do their wronged partners. THAT is the hard part, especially for those most closely affected: Jenny Sanford and her sons.

Bless your heart, First Lady Sanford, you didn't deserve this public humiliation you are having to endure, nor do your children. Whatever your choice ends up being about your marriage, you have every right to make it, even if it is to "stand by your man." Every relationship is different, and no one knows what the day-to-day nitty gritty aspects of that relationship are. So, no matter HOW it looks to us on the inside, WE are not the ones living it - you are. I hope you can discern what is truly best for you and your family without the clamoring voices influencing you too much. It is YOUR life, and your children's lives. Do what's best for y'all, and don't let all of the nosey Nellies influence you. All the best to you as you and your family work this out, whatever the end results of that work may be...

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