An Open Letter to Mark Sanford

Ed Note: Yes I know I’m way behind on this stuff, but hopefully I’ll get caught up just in time to get behind again

Governor Sanford:

You don’t know me. I’m not a resident of your state or a member of your political party. In fact, politically we are polar opposites. This letter isn’t about politics, it’s about something far more important.

I was pleased to hear yesterday that you won’t be making any more public statements about the affair that you engaged in, and was disclosed publicly last week. This is the best decision you’ve made since the affair started.

The public has no inherent right, or need, to know anything about the character of the emotional relationship between you, your wife, and your mistress. You opened that door through your bizarro press conference of last week, and since then have continued to not only tear off the scab, but pour truckloads of salt in the wound.

I’ve been fighting the urge to come out and slam you over this time for being a hypocrite, among other things, but have resisted. Now I think it’s important that you someone tell you to stop thinking about yourself, for once since this thing started, and start thinking about your family.

You may have thought that putting the details of this personal issue on the table would clear the air. Perhaps you thought you would receive some kind of absolution. Perhaps you believed that by airing all your dirty laundry publicly you could somehow find the strength to move past your transgressions. In the end, all you’ve done is further expose yourself as a self-centered, thoughtless prick.

Did the world need to know that you consider your mistress your “soul mate”? Seriously, what outcome did you expect from making such a screwed up statement? What was your aim? Were you trying to further humiliate your wife, a woman who has faithfully stood by you for some 20 years? Were you trying to bring more shame on your children, who are the most innocent victims of your transgressions? Whether that was your aim or not, that is what you have done.

Some have said that you need to stop embarrassing yourself. Frankly, I don’t give a damn about what you do to yourself, but what you’re doing to your family is a far greater sin than just the affair.

In order for there to be any resolution to this you have to do the one thing you haven’t done since the affair started…stop putting yourself before your family.

All these confessions, all these weird ill-advised statements aren’t about reconciliation with your wife, they’re about reconciling with yourself. You obviously feel that by making these public statements some level of guilt will be lifted from your soul, in the process, you’re further damaging your relationship with your wife, and making any reconciliation that much harder.

Stop it.

Sir, you brought this on yourself. The guilt is your cross to bear. You were more than willing to enjoy the spoils of the affair, now, for any real reconciliation to occur, you MUST be willing to carry the consequences of your actions on your own. Putting them out in public only makes matters worse, and is one of the most selfish things you could possibly do.

Stop it.

I truly, and with all my heart hope that you can man up enough to put yourself aside and do what’s right, both for your wife and your children. I truly hope that both of you can find a way to trust, love and honor each other and rebuild the relationship that you obviously once had. For this to happen, you have to take the first step, and that means reaching out to your wife and your children, focusing solely on them instead of focusing on yourself.

Reconciliation is a long and difficult road, but you must find the strength within yourself to make the first step. I pray you find that strength and do what’s right by your family, who have stood by you and sacrificed so much to make you successful in your public life. It’s time for you to return the favor and become the husband and father that you never should have stopped being.

Good luck and Godspeed.


Stephen Ross

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