Mark Sanford's Emails Detail His Argentine Affair

Mark Sanford coyly sang the praises of his mistress's body and agonized over their "hopelessly impossible situation of love" in emails to the woman that emerged today, just hours after the teary-eyed South Carolina governor admitted that he had an affair.

The governor, who caused a stir when he dropped out of sight for nearly a week, admitted in a press conference earlier today that he has been "unfaithful" to his wife and that his affair was with a "dear, dear friend from Argentina."

The State, South Carolina's largest daily newspaper, which broke the news about Sanford's trip to Buenos Aires after speaking to him at the Atlanta airport upon his arrival this morning, obtained private email exchanges between the governor and the woman, who they only identify as "Maria."

When contacted by ABC News, Sanford's office did not dispute the authenticity of the emails.

In an email dated July 10, 2008, Sanford writes that the two are in a "hopelessly impossible situation of love," and that he feels "a little vulnerable because this is ground I have never certainly never covered before."

"You have a particular grace and calm that I adore. You have a level of sophistication that so fitting with your beauty. I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night's light - but hey, that would be going into sexual details," Sanford writes.

"In the meantime please sleep soundly knowing that despite the best efforts of my head my heart cries out for you, your voice, your body, the touch of your lips, the touch of your finger tips and an even deeper connection to your soul," the email reads.

Maria, described as the mother of two sons, wrote in an email on June 9, 2008: "You are my love ... Something hard to believe even for myself as it's also a kind of impossible love, not only because of distance but situation. Sometimes you don't choose things, they just happen ... I can't redirect my feelings and I am very happy with mine towards you."

Sanford: Friendship Turns Into Love

The affair, Sanford said at his press conference today, began "casually," but over the "last year developed into something much more."

"We developed a remarkable friendship over those eight years and then ... about a year ago it sparked into something more than that," Sanford said. "I have seen her three times since then, during that whole sparking thing. ... And it was discovered ... five months ago. And at that point, we went into serious overdrive in trying to say, 'Where do you go from here.'" Sanford also resigned from his position as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, saying he would need time to seek forgiveness from friends and family and to focus on what he called a "very long process."

Sanford said in the press conference that his wife of nearly 20 years was aware of his affair before he left for Argentina, and that the family had been trying to work through the situation for "about the last five months."

In a written statement, his wife, Jenny Sanford, said " I deeply regret the recent actions of my husband Mark, and their potential damage to our children."

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