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South Carolina’s first lady Jenny Sanford’s new memoir, Staying True, hits the shelves Friday and her pages reveal painful details about her husband (and governor of South Carolina) Mark Sanford's affair with his Argentine mistress Maria Belen Chapur. The disclosures could seriously depress anyone who’s taken wedding vows. According to the Associated Press, which obtained an advance copy of the 214-page book, Jenny, 47, writes that her husband, 49, actually used her as a sounding board, wondering aloud whether he should follow his heart to Argentina and if he'd live a life of regret if he didn't. "Clearly those are thoughts I wish he had kept to himself," she writes, adding, "Here he was again asking for my advice instead of first considering how the news might make me feel."
Even more distressing was the response of her three sons to their dad’s indiscretions, played out in a very public forum. Jenny said that her children read their father's e-mails to Chapur, published last year in the Columbia, S.C., newspaper The State, and were devastated. "It just ripped me up, to see them reading these e-mails, to see them have to grow up so fast," she writes. (One e-mail from Sanford read: "I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips... but hey, that would be going into sexual details.")
The former first lady has clearly reclaimed her life, and those of her sons. She moved out of the governor's mansion with her children last summer and in December, filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery (a final hearing is scheduled for later this month).
For more revelations about the unraveling of the Sanfords’ marriage, tune into 20/20 on ABC this Friday, when Barbara Walters interviews Jenny Sanford.
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