Let Him Go, If It Eases All His Pain?

I blasted Mark Sanford over at my other blogging home for going on to the media about how Maria Belen Chapur is his “soulmate,” and that he will “try to fall back in love” with his wife, etc., etc., ad nauseum. My sympathy is with Jenny Sanford, not her cheating husband — and even more so because he seems to be going out of his way to deepen the emotional damage his affair has surely caused his family.

Having said this, it seems unlikely (in the extreme) that Sanford can “make himself” love his wife as he (presumably) once did. Even if he could, I’m betting that Jenny Sanford’s response to a line like “Maria’s my soulmate, but I’ll try to fall in love with you again” would be “Thanks but no thanks.”

So… although I will admit that my first reaction to Josh Marshall’s “Just Go Be With Her!” post was anger, my second thought was that Josh may be on to something here. Gov. Sanford is like a guy who hates his job but doesn’t want to quit, and so does everything he can to get fired:

I know there are a lot of people who are genuinely questioning Sanford’s sanity at this point — when you put together the furtive trips and the endless new revelations. But am I the only one who thinks that he appears to be deeply in love with this woman and should just go be with her?

The marriage seems clearly to be over. And if it wasn’t on his first day back from Argentina, it’s hard to conceive how it isn’t now.

That isn’t to understate all the damage and hurt he’s caused to his family, his children and his supporters; let alone the breach of faith with his constituents, not over the affair but over the dereliction of duty. But notwithstanding his claims that he wants to stay in office and repair his marriage, Sanford’s every action suggests overwhelmingly that he is desperate not only to get kicked out of office but to get kicked out of his marriage as well.

Everything he’s said seems geared to reach back out to his mistress in Argentina (to perhaps re-cement the possibility of continuing the relationship?) and force a final breach with his wife. It is almost as if his upbringing, culture, religion and simply familial obligation require one thing but he’s doing everything he can to make those requirements beyond his capacity to fulfill. Put simply, it’s like he wants his wife to cut the cord for him.

Obviously, that is a private decision that only the Sanford family can make, but it does seem as though it might turn out to be the least hurtful option for all concerned.

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