Grownup Congressman Mark Sanford Announces Breakup on Facebook

The former South Carolina governor pens a 2,346-word Facebook post to complain about his ex-wife and announce he has broken off his engagement with his Argentinean girlfriend of six years.

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Mark Sanford is over-sharing again.

The former South Carolina governor who nearly had to resign after disappearing for a romantic getaway with his Argentinian girlfriend has deigned to update the public on his latest personal foibles with a 2,346-word Facebook post.

Sanford (R), who won election to the House again in 2013 after defeating Stephen Colbert's sister, buries the lede a bit, but the gist is that his ex-wife, Jenny, is taking him to court again, and he also has decided to break off his engagement to the Argentinian woman, Maria Belén Chapur.

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. Maybe there will be another chapter when waters calm with Jenny, but at this point the environment is not conducive to building anything given no one would want to be caught in the middle of what’s now happening. 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 writes that after years of battling his ex-wife largely on his own, he has decided to hire a lawyer for the first time because her demands – that he undergo psychiatric evaluations and forego consuming alcohol or "illegal drugs" in front of his son – are so ridiculous.

'Consuming or being under the influence of illegal drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol in the presence, or while responsible for, the care of the minor child.' This really is crazy. Why would one throw out the need for restraint if it were not a problem - or if one did not want to raise the specter of a problem? On this one all I can ask is that you talk to anyone who has seen or known me over my entire 54 years in the Low Country. I have never taken any illegal drug in my life. I did not drink in high school or college and though I do drink now, my consumption is so limited that my friends give me a hard time about it. I will have but one beer or two when out at a social occasion."

The rest of Sanford's post is written in a similar vein, and his desire to bare his soul so publicly recalls the extraordinary 2009 press conference that made him a household name, when he revealed that he was not "hiking the Appalachian Trail" as his staff had claimed, but had jetted off to Argentina to be with a woman that he candidly said he was in love with.

Sanford is clearly pained by the ongoing, public struggle with his wife, but in actuality, most people long ago lost interest in his personal life. In Washington, the man once mentioned as a vice presidential running mate for John McCain is a back-bencher all over again, and when he walks through the reporter-packed halls of the Capitol, he is almost always ignored.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.