Rep. Mark Sanford Splits With Argentine 'Soul Mate'
Rep. Mark Sanford has decided to "call off" his engagement to the Argentine "soul mate" he had a intercontinental, extra-marital affair with as governor in 2009.
The announcement of the split with Maria Belen Chapur was buried in a 2,349-word Friday Facebook post responding to the complaint filed by the South Carolina Republican's ex-wife, Jenny, in Charleston County Family Court Sept. 2.
"No relationship can stand forever this tension of being forced to pick between the one you love and your own son or daughter, and for this reason Belen and I have decided to call off the engagement," Sanford, 54, wrote in the post. "Maybe there will be another chapter when waters calm with Jenny, but at this point the environment is not conducive to building anything."
In the complaint, Jenny Sanford demanded the congressman complete anger management and parenting courses, undergo psychiatric testing and limit his visitation with his youngest son, according to Charleston's WCSC-TV.
The complaint also sought to restrain both Sanford and his ex-wife from exposing the 16-year-old son to "a member of the opposite sex not related to the Plaintiff or Defendant through blood or marriage who could reasonably be construed as a paramour," according to WCSC-TV.
Sanford responded with an official statement calling the complaint "crazy and wrong," but reacted again on Facebook, calling them "destructive plain and simple."
Sanford also said in the post that he would hire a lawyer for his Sept. 15 court date.
The former two-term governor proposed to Chapur, who he had seen in secret for more than a year, in Argentina in 2012.
"Belen is a remarkably wonderful woman who I have always loved and I will be forever grateful for not only the many years we have known and loved each other, but the last six very tough ones wherein she has encouraged me and silently borne its tribulations with her ever warm and kind spirit," Sanford wrote Friday.
Sanford's congressional office declined to respond to the letter, while Jenny Sanford did not immediately respond to ABC's requests for comment.
In 2009, then-Governor Sanford went AWOL from South Carolina, claiming he was hiking, then admitting that he'd been away having an affair with Chapur. Sanford returned to politics in a successful bid for South Carolina's First Congressional District in 2012. He had served in the Congress from 1995-2001.
ABC's John Parkinson and Shushannah Walshe contributed to this story.