U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford Splits with Fiancée Maria Belen Chapur


Mark Sanford and Maria Belen Chapur

Bruce Smith/AP

09/13/2014 AT 01:30 PM EDT

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford has ended his engagement to Argentinian Maria Belen Chapur, he announced in a 2,300-word Facebook post on Friday.

"No relationship can stand forever this tension of being forced to pick between the one you love and your own son or daughter," the Republican from South Carolina wrote, "and for this reason Belen and I have decided to call off the engagement."

Sanford, 54, was having an affair Belen while still married to Jenny Sanford, 42.

"Maybe there will be another chapter when waters calm with Jenny," he continued in the post, "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."

The relationship became public in 2009 after the then-South Carolina governor covered up a trip to Argentina with Belen by telling his staff he'd be hiking the Appalachian trail and unreachable for five days.

Jenny filed for divorce in December 2009, which he says he did not contest.

"At the time of the divorce I did not get a lawyer because I could not imagine standing in a court room with one in some adversarial form against the mother of our boys," he wrote.

Though the divorce became final in 2010, it hasn't stopped the battling between he and his ex-wife, he says.

Since then "unfortunately there has been either the threat of lawsuit or actual lawsuit about every six months," he says in the post.

In her latest legal complaint filed earlier this month, Jenny asks the court to prevent her ex-husband and an unnamed member of the opposite sex from using alcohol and unprescribed prescription drugs while caring for their son and wants him to take anger management and parenting classes, according to a Charleston, South Carolina, TV station.

"This really is crazy," Mark Sanford wrote. "I have never taken an 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."

He says he is now hiring a lawyer to defend himself against this latest attack by his ex-wife.

"I will instruct them not to fight back," he wrote, "to work to de-escalate and defuse and to look for measured justice and an end to controversy."

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