Friday, June 26, 2009

Can infidelity plus love equal pity?

Mark Sanford's e-mails to his Argentinian mistress drip with emotion, with detail, with passion.

They read like they were written by a man who longs to express his feelings in poetry. They read like they were written by a man in love.

It's surprising: I've heard pity for South Carolina's governor from an array of avid followers of the story -- from married to single, man and woman.

How tragic, those followers say, to be 49, a public figure, and so obviously in love.

How horrifying, they say, to have such private thoughts and feelings trotted out for public display.

How stupid, they conclude, for Sanford to have made such a classic misstep by a man in a position of power.

No one can win in such a situation -- not Sanford, not his mistress, and, most importantly, not his wife and kids. (We'll have to see how the residents of South Carolina fare.)

It's not that finding love excuses infidelity. Before entering into a relationship with Maria Belen Chapur, perhaps Sanford should have settled things with his wife. He should have repaired a marriage that wasn't quite right in his heart. And if he felt he couldn't honor that union -- obviously, he didn't -- he should have tried to be as honorable as he could in the situation and ended the marriage.

But he did neither of those things, and now his tragedy -- and the tragedy of his family -- is a drama for the nation.

And his love, most certainly, is lost.


Anonymous said...

Well, the socialite wife keeps harping that her most important accomplishment is her kids. Maybe she should have focused first on her husband, and not her offspring.

SeaShark said...

Mark Sanford is so much more than an adulterer and a pathetic liar.

Sanford is also a sleazy hypocrite. The June 26 USA TODAY editorial titled "Sex and Politicians" notes: "There is the hypocrisy, of course, for which Sanford might deserve a special chutzpah award. In voting for President Clinton's impeachment in 1998 after the Monica Lewinsky affair, Sanford cited the need for 'moral legitimacy'" and the editorial concludes by condemning Sanford for the pain this so-called Christian man has caused his wife and four sons. "Sanford didn't just sentence his wife and sons to humiliation; he forced them to bear that suffering in front of a gossip-hungry public. How selfish. How thoughtless. How cruel." Mark Sanford's refusal to resign the governor's office demonstrates that he has the same utter lack of respect for the office and the people of South Carolina as he does for his family.

Jenny Sanford is an intelligent, forthright person who willingly surrendered a brilliant Wall Street career to raise her sons and help manage her husband's political career. She is the betrayed spouse here and doesn't deserve any criticism. Mark is the phony Faith & Values cheater and deserves all the scorn and ridicule that's dumped on him.

Anonymous said...

Do not attempt to blame this on the wife. If you are unhappy in your marriage.....fine....that's what divorce is for. What this man did was attempt to "have it all" just like other powerful "people".....he is a POS...plain and simple.

Maybe his wife wasn't perfect....tell me...who is....but to blame this on have some issues.