Friends: S.C. First Lady Jenny Sanford Focused on Family, Faith

When Mark Sanford finally revealed where he had been during his six-day absence, Jenny Sanford was noticeably absent at the hastily scheduled press conference.

Unlike other scorned political spouses before her, Jenny Sanford didn't stand alongside her cheating husband as he admitted his affair to the media.

Jenny Sanford Handles the Publicity

Lalla Lee Campsen said she doesn't know if Jenny Sanford made the decision not to attend.

"I don't know if she was asked to go or not, but knowing what I know of Jenny, I don't believe she would have been there had she been given the choice," she said.

"She would not, in my opinion — if given that choice — because she's strong, and she's not going to stand by and condone that behavior or appear that she's doing so," Chip Campsen said.

The Campsens were with Jenny Sanford as she watched her husband admit the details of his deception.

"It was a very painful time for her, even though she was aware — as the public became aware of where he'd been," Lalla Lee Campsen said. "It truly was a day filled with sadness and grief, but it was also a day filled with love and support and hope.

"Jenny has held onto hope and she has four huge reasons to hold onto hope and her four sons -- and she realizes, if at all possible, reconciliation would be the best for her and for the future generations of her family," she said.

The Possibility of Reconciliation for the Sanfords

While Jenny Sanford has stated her desire to try and revive her broken marriage, her husband has also been vocal about his feelings.

Gov. Sanford said his mistress was his soul mate, but that he would try to fall in love again with his wife of 20 years.

The philandering politician's statements haven't won him any bonus points with South Carolina residents, some of whom are calling for his resignation.

The Campsens didn't say how Jenny Sanford felt about the revelation, but did have view on it themselves.

"My reaction is that I was very disappointed in that and that certainly did not help matters," Chip Campsen said. "I often use the analogy that a marriage is like a boat. And either you're pumping water into the boat or you're pumping water out of the boat. He needed to be pumping water out of the boat and not in it."

What's Next for the Sanfords?

The governor's statement wasn't a game changer for the Sanfords' marriage, but it did put additional strain on the tense situation, Chip Campsen said.

The Campsens said for the marriage to be saved, there must be forgiveness and reconciliation.

"I think actually she said she's willing to forgive Mark and work toward reconciliation," Lalla Lee Campsen said. "But reconciliation really takes humility on the part of Mark and of others and a desire — as we know, it takes two to tango. And she's willing to put forth effort. She married Mark for better or worse and this is the worst. And she took that commitment very seriously."

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