It's a sad day for love, folks. Mark Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina and current congressman who notoriously *airquotes*went on a hiking trip in the Appalachians*end airquotes* only to find himself in Argentina carrying on an extramarital affair, has announced that he is ending his engagement to his Argentinian mistress-turned-fiancée, the woman he firmly stated was his soul mate.
In a rather personal 2,346-word Facebook post, Sanford describes (to his roughly 8,300 followers) the various legal measures his ex-wife Jenny Sanford has taken against him since they split four years ago recently (including psychiatric and psychological evaluations and the requirement that he not be under the influence of "illegal drugs of excessive amount of alcohol"). He also outlines his plan to fight back, and of course he informed us all that he has called it quits with Mari Belen Chapur, his Argentinian soul mate. And some stuff about Jesus. Some highlights (because the whole read is exhausting):
Since [the divorce], and almost as clock work over the last four and one half years since the divorce, unfortunately there has been either the threat of lawsuit or actual lawsuit about every six months.
On frugality or: why he hadn't hired a lawyer before:
Spending money getting lawyers to resolve differences, when I believed any two people sitting down could do the same, also broke with my belief on stewardship…or what some would call my frugal ways.
Jenny's attorney's newest summons asks that the visitation schedule be changed to limit my visitation with our youngest son Blake. The question is how do you change what does not exist? There is no visitation schedule. She has full custody.
On him living in fear of his ex-wife's wrath:
I was also motivated by fear because there was very frequently a consequence in not being allowed to see the boys if I did something my former wife disliked.
No relationship can stand forever this tension of being forced to pick between the one you love and your own son or daughter, and for this reason Belen and I have decided to call off the engagement. Maybe there will be another chapter when waters calm with Jenny, but at this point the environment is not conducive to building anything given no one would want to be caught in the middle of what's now happening. Belen is a remarkably wonderful woman who I have always loved and I will be forever grateful for not only the many years we have known and loved each other, but the last six very tough ones wherein she has encouraged me and silently borne its tribulations with her ever warm and kind spirit.
Clearly this situation is one helluva mess (since, what, 2009?) It's not like a divorce (when there's a custody battle) has brought out the best in anyone. Ever. Jenny Sanford (or, rather, her lawyer) has already hit back. Via Washington Post:
Marie-Louise Ramsdale, an attorney for Jenny Sanford, said in an e-mail Friday that her client "has always put their children first and will always stand up for the boys' best interests and safety." The congressman's Facebook posting "directly contradicts" his court filings requesting a gag order, she said.
"Apparently, he only wants a gag order after he has publicly laid out his position and disparaged my client - what he claimed she would do to him," Ramsdale added.
Daaaaa-RAMAAAA. Listen people, Sanford may have cheated on his wife while governor of South Carolina. He may have used public funds to travel to Argentina (though he did reimburse the tax payers) and hang out with his mistress. But for most of us, he's just another dude on Facebook airing out dirty laundry about his ex. Join the club, Sanford. Next time, I suggest you use more emojis.
Image via AP.