Cheating wives in Union

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South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford talks to Larry King about the sex scandal that ended her marriage.

Cheating wives in Union

Her husband cheated on her and lied about it. Now she's moving on.

Cheating wives in Union

CNN -- In front of cameras and on the s of widely promoted books, the wives of a few high-profile cheating husbands have been finding and broadcasting their own voices, a pronounced shift that has some who study infidelity applauding. Mark Sanford, whose affair with an Argentine woman was exposed by reporters after he disappeared for several days last summer.

Cheating wives in Union

Staffers said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. He later admitted he was actually in Argentina with his mistress. Sanford's published perspective is the latest addition to a small library of books written by wives betrayed by their prominent husbands. And the book arrives with perhaps the shortest time between marital shock and print. James McGreevey, as he stepped up to a microphone, quit the office, and came out as a "gay American. Elizabeth Edwards provided a glimpse into her journey with "Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities," published last May and months before she and her husband, former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, eventually separated.

And these women have grown up in an entirely different age which gives them more choices about how to deal with an unfaithful husband, said Crowley, who now hosts CNN's "State of the Union. Wives can now publicly opt to let their husbands clean up their own messes. And that is one reason why former investment banker Jenny Sanford wrote her book, says publisher Ballantine Books on its Web site.

Cheating wives in Union

Gayle Haggard, wife of former mega-church pastor and evangelical leader Ted Haggard, recently published "Why I Stayed," in which she explained how her marriage has grown stronger since her husband's infidelity was revealed. Though each woman's story is unique and their current marital statuses vary, what they seem to have in common is that they are not, like so many under-the-spotlight wives before them, staying silent. When Houston found out more than 16 years ago that her first husband was cheating on her, she said, she wished she'd had touchstones like these women and their books to turn to.

Instead, she said, she found herself grasping for answers in bookstores where the selection was slim and the references hard to come by. How could it happen to me? How do I handle it," Houston, who's been remarried for 10 years now, remembers asking herself over and over again.

Cheating wives in Union

The key to avoiding problems, said Houston, is not assuming your marriage will be safe from infidelity and being aware of clues that there might be trouble. The earlier that problems, including infidelity, are caught and discussed, "the better the chances are for survival in your relationship.

She didn't dare say a word about the feared affairs, though -- not to him or her friends. Instead, she did what she thought wives were supposed to do. She kept her worries to herself and allowed the not knowing to gnaw at and, in fact, torture her. Simply put, she said, "That's how it was back then. But when the truth came out inand after they fought through their feelings and emerged stronger, she and her psychologist husband, James, did something that was unheard of at the time. They wrote a book in about their experiences and agreed to talk publicly about their painful journey.

Their book "Beyond Affairs," which publishers initially wouldn't touch, sent them off on the TV circuit.

Cheating wives in Union

Phil Donahue dedicated a full hour to their story. And talking about it, she said, made her feel empowered and her marriage work. This, however, doesn't mean that the public -- so quick to condemn affairs and yet eager for details -- needs to be privy to every salacious twist and turn, Vaughan said.

She said she disapproves of books such as Andrew Young's recent tell-all, "The Politician," calling some of the claims he makes about John and Elizabeth Edwards "beyond the pale. Taking back the story may be especially important for the famous. In a time when tabloids, Internet chatter and even mainstream media will speculate wildly about famous couples, some, like authors Elizabeth Edwards and Jenny Sanford, choose to be part of the conversation and not just the topic of it.

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Cheating wives in Union

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Cheating wives in Union

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