Elizabeth Edwards says husband John Edwards "made a terrible mistake" by having an affair with Rielle Hunter, but coping with the revelation was "oddly made somewhat easier" by her battle with an incurable form of cancer.
"None of these (problems) has been easy," she wrote on the political blog Daily Kos. "But we have stood with one another through them all. Although John believes he should stand alone and take the consequences of his action now, when the door closes behind him, he has his family waiting for him."
Elizabeth, 59, says her husband, 55, told her about the affair with Rielle Hunter two years ago – months before her breast cancer returned.
"John made a terrible mistake in 2006. The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done. But he did tell me. And we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my diagnosis in March 2007."
She says she wanted to keep it a "private matter" because it would be even more difficult to deal with on a public stage.
But, Elizabeth Edwards adds, "Because of a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private."