As an infidelity expert frequently called on by the media to comment on high profile infidelity and popular infidelity issues in the news, I’d like to comment on a few points from Jenny Sanford’s interview in Vogue magazine about her husband, Mark Sanford’s infidelity.
My comments and observations are based on my 16 years of ongoing infidelity research, which include thousands of consultations and interviews with male and female victims of infidelity, cheaters of both sexes, as well as other professionals in the field.
Below are excerpts from my comments and observations on Jenny Sanford’s Vogue interview. For my complete analysis of Jenny Sanford’s interview in the September 2009 issue of Vogue magazine, click here, or visit my NY Infidelity Examiner column at
VOGUE: For the record, Jenny Sanford and most of her friends were as shocked as the rest of America when they learned about the governor’s affair with an Argentinean divorcée. Finding evidence of the affair last January in a stack of papers was, she says, a shock. “It never occurred to me that he would do something like that.
Never underestimate a man’s susceptibility to infidelity. Like many wives, Jenny didn’t think her husband was capable of having an extramarital affair. In fact, in one interview she even commented that she didn’t think he had it in him.
Good marriages are not immune to infidelity, and even happy husbands cheat too.
Three separate infidelity studies published last year in prestigious medical journals confirmed that no marriage is immune to infidelity if the right (or wrong) circumstances come into play. See my Examiner articles entitled Happy Husbands Cheat Too and Why the Wife is Still the Last to Know.
JENNY SANFORD: “Over the course of both pastoral and marriage counseling, it became clear to me that he was just obsessed with going to see this woman. I have learned that these affairs are almost like an addiction to alcohol or pornography. They just can’t break away from them.”
The Sanford affair started out as an innocent friendship, and took 8 years to developed into an emotional affair, which quickly progressed to sexual infidelity. Emotional infidelity just like a drug or alcohol addiction. Once a cheating husband develops a dual emotional/sexual bond with his mistress, like Sanford’s bond to Maria Belen Chapur, he does indeed become obsessed. These are the most difficult affairs to overcome. See my Examiner article entitled What the Sanford Affair can Teach Us about Emotional Infidelity
Jenny Sanford has far more insight into the dynamics of her husband’s affair than their counselors and advisors, who failed to prepare Sanford for the withdrawal symptoms, and the onslaught of emotions he would experience after ending his affair.
VOGUE: Even so, like the rest of America, she and a friend couldn’t resist Googling the woman at the center of the firestorm. “What woman wouldn’t want to know what her husband’s mistress looks like?” asks the friend. (Sanford’s reported verdict: “She’s pretty.”)
Most women have a natural curiosity about the person their husband or boyfriend is cheating with. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as the curiosity doesn’t turn into a morbid obsession.
Another question that lurks in the background of every betrayed wife’s mind is “Will he leave me for her?” For more on this, see the article entitled Will He Leave You for Her?
I also feel that it vitally important for a wife to know certain things about her husband’s mistress, in order to insure the safety and well-being of her family.
Is the mistress violent, or aggressive like Joey Buttafuco’s teenage mistress, Amy Fisher, who shot Joey’s wife, Mary Jo Buttafuoco in the head?
Is she mentally unstable or emotionally fragile like Steve McNair’s mistress Sahel Kazemi, who shot and killed Steve, then turned the gun on herself?
Is she seeking fame or fortune? Does she have ulterior motives? John Edwards’ mistress, Rielle Hunter comes to mind.
Some mistresses will threaten or harass their lover and his family, long after he ends the affair. Will the wife and children need to get an order of protection? This is just a small sample of what a wife needs to know. For more information about this, see the Examiner article entitled What You Need to Know About Your Husband’s Mistress and Why.
To read my complete analysis of Jenny Sanford’s Vogue interview, click here, or visit my NY Infidelity Examiner column at http://www.examiner.com/x-17416-NY-Infidelity-Examiner
Other articles related to Jenny Sanford’s Vogue interview and the Sanford Affair include:
Jenny Sanford Shows Betrayed Wives How to Take a Firm Stand
What Ordinary Women Do When their Husbands Cheat,
Why Women Stay with Men Who Cheat
Go or Stay? – How to Decide Whether to Give a Cheater a Second Chance (free tip sheet)
*** © copyright 2009 Ruth Houston
Ruth Houston is a New York-based infidelity expert who is frequently called on by the media to comment on infidelity issues in the news. She is the author of Is He Cheating on You? - 829 Telltale Signs, the founder of InfidelityAdvice.com and blogs at Infidelity News and Views.