Jenny Sanford: Family First; Job Is Close Second

Mark Sanford split Jenny Sanford affair mistress Maria Belen Chapur
Heartbreak, Self

Mark Sanford's split continues to wreck his family, but his wife's commitment is impressive.

Jenny Sanford, wife of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, moved out of the couple’s home last Friday with at least three of their four sons according to Huffington Post. The couple apparently failed to reconcile following Gov. Sanford’s earth-shattering revelation in June of a longtime affair with Maria Belen Chapur, an Argentine mistress. Celebrity Love: Mark Sanford: Mistress Is My "Soul Mate"

Apart from the fact that this all-American family is now destroyed, the saddest aspect of the split may be that Mrs. Sanford was actually a really solid First Lady and the ideal partner for a politician. According to the South Carolina Governor’s Web site, Jenny holds a degree in finance from Georgetown University (smart girls are hot, by the way) and managed Mark’s hugely successful first campaign for Congress in 1994. The site says, “Mrs. Sanford also managed his winning gubernatorial campaign in 2002, assisted him daily at the Statehouse during his first term as governor, and co-managed his successful reelection in 2006.” She's reportedly also a former vice prez on Wall Street. Wow.

Jenny Sanford gave Mark four sons and helped cement his career: who would cheat on this woman? In the last seven years she has made a massive presence for herself among the residents of South Carolina, leading health and fitness initiatives and leading charitable efforts. That’s not even mentioning the superwoman chin-up spirit she’s maintained since the affair hit the public. Since the affair bomb dropped, she’s spoken self-assuredly to reporters, noting that her number one priority as her marriage deteriorates is the wellbeing of her kids. YourTango: How Snooping Helped Me Survive Divorce

But another duty she’s not giving up is that of First Lady. She issued a statement last week that included the following: “From [the family residence on Sullivans Island, a reported 120 miles from their home], we will work to continue the process of healing our family. While we will be leaving Columbia, we will return often, and I will remain engaged in activities in my role as First Lady, acknowledging that my responsibilities to my family come first." Her assistant was not available for comment this afternoon on exactly what the First Lady role will entail moving forward, but it sounds like she'll continue her fundraising, charity and historical preservation efforts.

Press coverage of Jenny Sanford over the last month and a half doesn't paint the portrait of a likely reconciliation, but it sounds like she's not closing the door on the marriage forever. While affairs in the world of politics are never pleasant, YourTango's Celebrity Love will keep you posted on the developments.

Photo via Bauer-Griffin.