Huffpost Politics

Ex-Congressman Mark Souder: 'I Prayed Multiple Times A Day, Sang Hymns' Yet STILL Had Affair With Staffer

Posted: Updated:

Former congressman Mark Souder (R-Ind.), who resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives last month after admitting to having an affair with a married member of his staff, is back in the media spotlight discussing how he's coping with the fallout from the scandal.

Here's what Souder had to say on his struggle to stay faithful to his wife in an interview with World Magazine, a Christian publication:

Souder and his inamorata, a part-time staffer, are both Christians who felt guilty and repeatedly talked about ending the affair as it dragged on over several years. Souder wrote in an email, "I prayed multiple times a day, sang hymns with emotion and tears, felt each time that it wouldn't happen again, read the Bible every morning. . . . So how in the world did I have a 'torrid' (which is an accurate word) many-year affair? How could I compartmentalize it so much?"

In the magazine's cover story, titled "Lessons from a broken man," Souder also identified what he called "the bottom line" in succumbing to the temptation of infidelity. "The problem is sin," the former Republican "family values" congressman said. "The problem is getting the will subordinated to the Holy Spirit early enough that the Spirit is not squelched."

Last month, Souder admitted in an interview that his extramarital affair has led him to "wonder whether life's worth living," but added that he's not "a suicidal guy."

Souder also said at the time that the surfacing of a pro-abstinence video he made with his mistress may actually be a silver lining in the larger controversy surrounding his sexual indiscretions:

"If some people see this abstinence video, I'm living proof of what we're saying in it. If they actually listen to the words, maybe it's worth it.

"Just because a Christian says something and fails does not mean their words are wrong. If you took that principle, you should never advocate something where you're doing less than you think you should be doing. But it hurts the cause."

Souder told Wold Magazine that he still hopes to salvage his 35-year marriage and that others can "learn" from the "pain and agony" caused by his infidelity.