Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford made the headlines in 2009 when he disappeared abruptly from public view for several days. His press people explained his sudden absence by saying he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail”, when in truth, he was trysting with his mistress down South America way — Argentina, to be exact. Jenny Sanford, the mother of his four sons (who were all minors at the time) divorced him the following year.
Sanford subsequently became engaged to Maria Belen Chapur, but has been dragging his feet regarding tying the knot for several years. The former Mrs. Sanford seems to be using Blake, the still-a-minor youngest Sanford child, as a weapon to bludgeon her ex-husband into breaking off with the woman for whom he left her. Sanford is mainly focused on furthering his re-emergent political career. Ms. Chapur has been hanging on for dear life, hoping for a career as the wife of an American politician, but that dream died recently when Sanford broke off the engagement.
Mix all these elements together and what do you have? Two manipulative narcissists bent on winning their divorce war and a pathetic paramour hoping against hope for a happy ending.The saddest thing and the real losers in this mess? The children. There seems to be no thought on the part of both Sanfords as to how this is affecting their four sons, who have seen their family break apart in the most ugly and public way. Jenny Sanford claims she is looking out for Blake’s welfare, but it seems that she is more interested in exacting revenge on her ex-husband. Mark Sanford is focused solely on furthering his political career, so much so that he has discarded the woman whom he once called his “soul mate” because she is now a liability. Neither one of them is really concerned about the welfare of their children. And left out in the cold? Ms. Chapur, who thought a man who would desert his family for her was actually worth waiting for.
Photo credit John C. Bullas