To read my comments on Jenny Sanford’s interview in the September 2009 issue of Vogue magazine about her husband's affair, click here
or visit my page at Examiner.com
Why Sanford Thinks Maria is His Soul Mate
Commenting on the Sanford affair from the standpoint of someone who has been researching infidelity for the past 15 years, ( and as an infidelity expert who is frequently called on by the media to comment infidelity issues in the news), I would like point out the reason South Carolina Gov Mark Sanford thinks his Argentinean mistress, Maria Belen Chapur, is his “soul mate.”
Sanford is convinced that his Argentinean mistress is his “soul mate” because he is in the throes of an extramarital affair in which there is a dual emotional/sexual bond.
Sanford’s behavior, embarrassing as it may be, is typical behavior for a cheating husband who has formed a strong emotional attachment to the person with whom he is having an affair.
Sanford has stated that his affair began as an innocent e-mail exchange between friends. It took 8 years for this friendship to become an emotional affair, then progress to a sexual affair. Sanford is dealing with the mental anguish associated with trying to break an extremely strong emotional bond that took 8 years to form.
(For more information about Emotional Infidelity, click here)
Withdrawal Symptoms will Occur
A cheating husband who has become emotionally bonded to his mistress will experience withdrawal symptoms upon ending the affair.
His heart will ache for his mistress.
He will miss her, yearn for her, long to see her.
He will go through a period of depression.
He will be convinced (in his mind) that the mistress was his soul mate, the love of his life.
He will experience misgivings about trying to reconcile with his wife.
He Should Have Been Told What to Expect After Ending His Affair
Sanford's advisors were remiss in not telling him what to expect.
If the cheater is not told beforehand what to expect, he may (like Sanford) exhibit erratic behavior or act in unpredictable ways. This explains Sanford’s secret trip to Argentina, the press conference in which he confessed his affair, and the interview in which he spoke of his mistress as being his soul mate.
The proper way to terminate an extramarital affair is for the cheating husband to immediately sever all ties and have no further contact with the Other Woman. If the cheater is not told beforehand what to expect after he does this ( as apparently Sanford was not), he will give in to the urge to communicate with his mistress, or to see her “just one more time.”
He is also likely to misinterpret his feelings to mean that perhaps he has made a mistake in trying to reconcile with his wife and get his marriage back on track.
A cheating husband should be warned in advance of what to expect. He needs to understand that the intense feelings he is about to experience are a normal part of the grieving process for the loss of an affair. Thus informed, he will be more likely to “tough it out” until his feelings subside. He will be better able to resist the urge to see his mistress again, or his desire to resurrect the affair because he will realize that this is just a phase he is going through.
If Sanford can successfully get past the grieving process, he will realize that the 8- year bond he had with his mistress can in no way surpass the bond he has with his wife of 20 years and the mother of his four sons.
Jenny Sanford Understands
The position Jenny Sanford has taken shows that unlike Sanford, or his advisors, she has remarkable insight into what is happening to her husband as a result of his affair.
She seems to understand that once his feelings subside, as they most certainly will with time, Sanford will be able to devote himself wholeheartedly to the business of regaining her trust and rebuilding their marriage.
Despite the hurt, humiliation and heartbreak Jenny Sanford has undoubtedly experienced as a result of her husband’s behavior, she is willing to forgive him when he comes to his senses and allow him to make amends and begin the hard work of getting his marriage back on track.
Jenny Sanford is to be commended for serving as a role model to betrayed wives everywhere. She has shown the world how a wife with a cheating husband can lay the groundwork for saving her marriage without sacrificing her dignity and self respect. (NOTE: For details see the article entitled, If He’s Cheating, Take a Firm Stand. )
More information related to the Sanford Affair
For more information about Emotional infidelity, click here for the article entitled
Emotional Infidelity Can Lead to Sexual Infidelity
For more observations on the Sanford affair from an infidelity experts point of view, click here for the article entitled
The Sanford Affair – An Infidelity Expert’s Observations
For insight into why Sanford secretly flew to Argentina to see Maria Belen Chapur, click here for the press release entitled
Why Sanford Kept Sneaking Off to See His Mistress – An Infidelity Expert Reveals the Truth
For an in depth look at the steps Jenny Sanford is taking to pave the way for saving her marriage, click here to see the article entitled
If He’s Cheating, Take a Firm Stand.