Turns out that Mark Sanford's midlife crisis was more extensive than just the lovely Maria
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford says he "crossed lines" with a handful of women other than his mistress — but never had sex with them.
The governor said he "never crossed the ultimate line" with anyone but Maria Belen Chapur, the Argentine at the center of a scandal that has derailed his once-promising political career.
"This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story," Sanford said. "A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day."
Oh, horsepuckey. This guy fucked this woman a few times and exchanged e-mails, and it's true love? It's easy to keep up that hormone high for a long time when you're not dealing with day to day life. Doesn't mean it's love, it means it's hormones. So can we please stop this horseshit that Mark Sanford is, as MoDo so accurately described him the other day, "Marco", the great romantic
who just happened to meet his true soulmate while married to another? Can we please stop this ridiculous narrative?
There isn't a married couple in the country that didn't feel this same thing in the beginning. It's why they decided to commit to each other. But just because you aren't on a hormone high all your life doesn't mean you've fallen out of love.
Look, Mr. Brilliant and I have been married for 23 years this September. And those hormone high days are long behind us. But I'm sitting here in a hotel in Cologne, Germany, and I can't WAIT to get home to the guy who's learned how to zone out when faced with my incessant yammering instead of yelling "Can you possibly shut the fuck up for ten seconds?"; the guy who knows exactly where the spot is on my back that always itches before I even ask him to scratch; the guy who after 23 years still makes me laugh -- and I can still make him laugh. Would I trade that for the heady high of some bad romance novel notion of Intense Tortured Forbidden Love?
Not on your life, bub.
But just when the death of Michael Jackson had driven Mark Sanford from the front pages, along he comes with boasts of his other conquests, but because it didn't involve the old in-out, in-out, it wasn't cheating.I say bullshit.
During an emotional interview at his Statehouse office with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Sanford said Chapur is his soul mate but he's trying to fall back in love with his wife.
'Didn't cross the sex line'
He said that during the encounters with other women he "let his guard down" with some physical contact but "didn't cross the sex line." He wouldn't go into detail.
Sanford said the casual encounters happened outside the U.S. while he was married but before he met Chapur, on trips to "blow off steam" with male friends.
Sanford also admitted he saw Chapur more times than previously disclosed, including what was to be a farewell meeting in New York chaperoned by a spiritual adviser soon after his wife found out about the affair.
He described five meetings with Chapur over the past year, including two romantic, multi-night stays with her in New York before they met there again intending to break up.
He said he saw her two other times, including their first meeting in 2001 at an open-air dance spot in Uruguay.
"There was some kind of connection from the very beginning," he told The Associated Press, though he said neither that meeting nor a 2004 coffee date in New York during the Republican National Convention were romantic.
First of all, I wish the media would stop buying into this narrative that a woman Mark Sanford fucked seven times and then had thousands of miles between them is his true soulmate. I know our culture is saturated with this notion that the hormone high of a new encounter is true love, but it's not. Period. In fact, I'd say that you don't know someone is your soul mate until you've been with them a few years and smelled the farts and listened to the yammering and heard them snip their toenails and eaten the dish that didn't quite work out but took all day to make -- and you still love the person anyway. Fucking in a hotel in Argentina and e-mail does not soulmates make.
As for the "connection", well, Sanford is a married man. That "connection" should have been a giant red alarm clock screaming "DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!" And it should have been a signal that either a) Sanford was unhappy in his marriage and hadn't realized it and maybe he should examine why and work with his wife to improve things; b) he knew he was unhappy and used this as his excuse to cut his ties and make a new life; or c) he was an asshole and a narcissist and there's no reason he shouldn't have the wife to wash the skid marks out of his underwear and the girlfriend in Argentina.
I'm not saying that if you're married you will never find anyone else attractive. We're not dead, after all. But there's "I like the way that looks" and "I must have that", and if you are feeling the second one, you'd better think about whether trading what you have for "that" is a good trade. Becuase a real man would weigh alternatives and make a choice. And live with the consequences.
But Mark Sanford is clearly c): An asshole. This is a guy who set himself as moral arbiter for Bill Clinton and every Democrat he regarded as less moral and holy than himself. And while he was doing so, he was groping everything in sight, justifying it all by saying he never "crossed the sex line."
I don't fault Jenny Sanford for trying to patch up a marriage in which she has many years invested, though I think the so-called "counselor" who has been working with the couple has made clear in the press that his reaction to Mark Sanford's escapades are "Atta boy" more than anything else. Perhaps she thinks this is a wake-up call, and they might come out of this with a new closeness and ability to communicate. But somehow I don't think so. Because the fact is that she is married to a narcissistic, sociopathic creep whose sense of grandiosity has him comparing himself to a Shakespearean protagonist and a Biblical king. No matter how many heroes to whom Mark Sanford may compare himself, the bottom line is that he's just an asshole.
Labels: assholes, hypocrisy, marriage, Republicans