'Staying True' revelations

February 7, 2010 

Revelations in first lady Jenny Sanford's book

Their's was a "steady" love, not a fiery, passionate one. Said Jenny Sanford: "Perhaps developing a friendship with Mark before the sparks began to fly was part of his appeal."

A picture is worth ... Jenny Sanford says in the book that twice Mark Sanford gave her a picture of a bike on her birthday and on Christmas before finally delivering her present - a used $25 bike.

A Great Depression sensibility. Jenny Sanford said Mark Sanford had to be the man of the House when his father contracted a terminal illness when Mark Sanford was in high school. She traces his frugality to his effort to try to save the family farm when his dad got sick.

A restless spirit . . . led Mark Sanford to run for Congress. He made the decision to seek the Charleston-based 1st Congressional District seat after the birth of the couple's fourth son. Jenny Sanford writes: "Jenny, with the exception of that little man, I'm bored with life. I want to be stretched and pushed to the point of exhaustion. I want to be consumed. I don't want to just exist."

A fear of dying . . . "Mark's zest for living life to the fullest comes, I think, from his fear of dying, and of dying young in particular. I think this feeling overcame him as a young man when he quite literally put his father in the ground," she writes.

He begged to see Maria. Jenny Sanford writes her husband begged to see his lover. "I explained that I thought the decision before him was if he could commit wholly to me in a way he hadn't done before. Give it a year. Give it two years. And it if doesn't work out between us, then go see her, I said. She's not going anywhere."

Seeking a heart connection ... the first lady writes the governor was fearful his lover was his true love. "Do you want to wake up when you are 80 and know you never had a heart-connection?," Jenny Sanford said Mark Sanford asked of her. She said she was speechless. "Of course, I believed I'd had a 'heart connection' with him!,' Jenny Sanford wrote.

A trial separation. Jenny Sanford said she told the governor to leave in June 2009 and not contact the family for 30 days. She hoped he would get a sense of what he'd be missing if the family split. Her one condition on the separation was that Mark Sanford not see his lover.

"I will not see her," he said. He had always prided himself on his honesty, Jenny Sanford wrote.

Apparently, within a few hours, he bought his ticket to Argentina, she wrote.

Breaking the news to the boys. Jenny Sanford told the boys their father was having an affair.

"Did they have sex?" asked Bolton.

"Yes, that's what an affair is about," Jenny Sanford wrote.

She told the boys her husband had promised not to see his lover during their trial separation.

"Mom, that would be a pretty big lie if he sees her," Blake said.

"Yes," I agreed, "it would be a very big lie."

SOURCE: "Staying True"

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