South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford repeatedly asked his wife's permission to visit his lover, Maria Belen Chapur, in the months after she discovered his affair.
"I said absolutely not. It's one thing to forgive adultery; it's another thing to condone it," Jenny Sanford said in her first comments on the affair.
Jenny said that when Mark Sanford, inexplicably went off the grid last week, she hoped he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail, as his staff claimed at first.
That he had dared go to Argentina to see his mistress left her stunned.
"He was told in no uncertain terms not to see her," she said. "I was hoping he was on the Appalachian Trail. But I was not worried about his safety."
"I was hoping he was doing some real soul searching somewhere and devastated to find out it was Argentina [with Maria Belen Chapur]. It's tragic."
The Sanfords had separated about two weeks ago. Mark Sanford told the family that he wanted some time away to work on writing a book and "clear his head."
The S.C. First Lady said, "I had every hope he was not going to see her."
"You would think that a father who didn't have contact with his children, if he wanted those children, he would toe the line a little bit," she said.
Mark Sanford returned Wednesday to end nearly four days of speculation over his whereabouts, publicly confess his cheating and emotionally apologize.
Jenny Sanford, a Georgetown-educated, former Wall Street vice president, did not stand next to her husband Wednesday during his public confession.
She said she discovered her husband's affair with Maria Belen Chapur early this year after coming across a copy of a letter to her in one of his files.
Jenny felt "shocked and obviously deeply hurt. I didn't think he had it in him," she said. "It's hard to find out your husband is not who you thought he was."
The first lady said she confronted Mark Sanford immediately, and he agreed to end the affair. She said she wasn't sure Friday whether he had done so.
"I guess that's what we will have to see. I believe he has," she said.
"But he was down there for five days. I saw him yesterday and he is not staying here. We'll just see what kind of spirit of reconciliation he has himself."
The governor declined to discuss details of the letter.
"This goes into the personal zone," he said. "I'd simply say that Jenny has been magnanimous and gracious as a wonderful Christian woman in this process."
Jenny Sanford, crying, said the couple have been to counseling.
"When I found out in January, we both indicated a willingness to continue working on the marriage, but there's not room for three people in a marriage," she said.
"I've done everything in my power possibly to keep him from going to see her and to really make sure she was off the table, including asking him to leave."
About an hour after Jenny Sanford talked of her pain and feelings of betrayal, her husband brushed aside any suggestion he might immediately resign.
"What I find interesting is the story of David, and the way in which he fell mightily - fell in very, very significant ways, but then picked up the pieces and built from there," Mark Sanford told members of his cabinet.
Meanwhile, questions grew about a trip to Argentina he took last summer.
While he agreed to reimburse the state for part of a more-than $8,000 tab that enabled him to see the mistress, state officials indicated they never intended a South American economic development trip to hold meetings in Argentina.
That was only done at the governor's behest, said Kara Borie, a spokeswoman for the state Commerce Department. A Sanford spokesman did not know if Sanford's request for meetings would have allowed taxpayers to cover the Argentina visit.
Some leaders have called for Sanford to resign and some watchdog groups are pressing for investigations into whether he improperly used state money.
For Jenny Sanford, the focus is the couple's four sons.
During her interview, Sanford wept as she displayed the stellar report cards earned by her eldest two sons at an exclusive private school in Columbia.
On the table was a collection of devotional books, including a book on the Bible's Book of Job, the story of a man whose faith God tests to the extreme.
"Parenting is the most important job there is and what Mark has done has added a serious weight to that job," she said.