AP Newsbreak: SC gov ‘crossed lines’ with women
The Associated Press
June 30, 2009
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford declared his Argentine mistress his soul mate Tuesday but said he is committed to reconciling with his wife in hopes of saving his family and what is left of his political career. Sanford, who also admitted meeting his lover more times than he had previously claimed, told The Associated Press in emotional interviews that he "crossed lines" with a handful of other women during 20 years of marriage. But he said he never went as far as he did with Maria Belen Chapur, the woman at the center of the scandal that has derailed his once-promising political future.
Even with the latest revelations, Sanford maintains he is fit to govern and has no plans to resign. And he insisted his relationship with Chapur, whom he met at an open air dance spot in Uruguay eight years ago, was more than just sex. "This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story," Sanford said. "A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day." During more than three hours of interviews over two days at his Statehouse office, Sanford said he is trying to fall back in love with his wife even as he grapples with his deep feelings for Chapur.
Sanford detailed more encounters with his mistress than he had disclosed during a rambling, emotional press conference last week. The new revelations Tuesday led the state attorney general to launch an investigation of his travels, and some are calling for him to step down. Among the encounters was what he described as a farewell meeting in New York this past winter, chaperoned by a spiritual adviser and sanctioned by his wife soon after she found out about the affair…In early 2009, after Jenny Sanford discovered the affair, the couple went into counseling. She has told AP that he asked her for permission several times to visit the mistress and she refused. But the governor claims he wanted to end the affair in person and, with his wife’s permission, went to New York with a "trusted spiritual adviser" serving as chaperone. The three went to church and dinner together and parted ways the same night. But he visited Chapur again in Argentina on June 18, the trip that brought the affair to light…
He acknowledged that he had casual encounters with other women while he was married but before he met Chapur, on trips outside the country to "blow off steam" with male friends. "What I would say is that I’ve never had sex with another woman. Have I done stupid? I have. You know you meet someone. You dance with them. You go to a place where you probably shouldn’t have gone," Sanford said, declining to discuss details. But he said those encounters were nothing like his relationship with Chapur."If you’re a married guy at the end of the day you shouldn’t be dancing with somebody else. So anyway, without wandering into that field we’ll just say that I let my guard down in all senses of the word without ever crossing the line that I crossed with this situation."
Maybe you’ve already figured this out for yourself, but in case you haven’t, your husband, Mark Sanford, is a jerk. Leave him to his heart-sick, sophomoric pinings and get on with your life. When he says things like, "…he is trying to fall back in love with his wife even as he grapples with his deep feelings for Chapur," say, "Don’t do me any favors, Mark. I’ll send you the address where you can send your child support checks as soon as I get settled." If you have to send a "trusted spiritual adviser" with him to New York to keep him faithful, you’re in deep trouble. But if he then sneaks off after that to see his soul/mate in Argentina, buying his ticket on the day you separate, you’re not in trouble any more because your relationship has gone from husband/wife to mother/child. Forget that part about "working out your relationship," you don’t have one anymore. And, by the way, the things he’s saying are so insulting, if you live with him again, you might find yourself struggling with homicidal impulses [which we all completely understand]. Find yourself a good therapist and figure out why you married such a