COLUMBIA — First lady Jenny Sanford said Thursday that her husband's behavior is inexcusable but forgivable.
Gov. Mark Sanford on Tuesday revealed more details about his extramarital affair with his Argentine mistress Maria Belen Chapur and he disclosed encounters with other women during his 20-year marriage with Jenny Sanford.
"There is no question that Mark's behavior is inexcusable," the first lady said in a statement. "Actions have consequences and he will be dealing with those consequences for a long while. Trust has been broken and will need to be rebuilt. Mark will need to earn back that trust, first and foremost with his family, and also with the people of South Carolina.
"The real issue now is one of forgiveness. I am willing to forgive Mark for his actions. We have been deeply disappointed in and even angry at Mark. The Bible says, 'In your anger do not sin.' (Psalm 4:4)
"In this situation, this speaks to the essence of forgiveness and the critical need to channel one's energy into positive steps that uphold the dignity of marriage and the family, and lead to reconciliation over time. My forgiveness is essential for us both to move on with our lives, with peace, in whatever direction that may take us."
The family will spend the Fourth of July weekend in Florida, where the governor expects to arrive tomorrow. The family is planning to take a longer family vacation toward the end of July.
Jenny Sanford acknowledged her deep pain and thanked the public for its support.
She added, "Mark showed a lack of judgment in his recent actions as governor. However, his far more egregious offenses were committed against God, the institutions of marriage and family, our boys and me.
"Mark has stated that his intent and determination is to save our marriage, and to make amends to the people of South Carolina. I hope he can make good on those intentions, and for the sake of our boys I leave the door open to it.
"In that spirit of forgiveness, it is up to the people and elected officials of South Carolina to decide whether they will give Mark another chance as well."