11/09/2012 at 04:00 PM EST
Citing infidelity, David Petraeus resigned as director of the Central Intelligence Agency Friday.
“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair,” the highly decorated general, 60, said in a message to staff
“Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.”
The issue is one of national security for the C.I.A. as extramarital affairs have "significant implications for an official in a highly sensitive post, because it can open an official to blackmail," the Wall Street Journal reports
Petraeus, who became director of the agency in 2011 after 37 years in the Army, had been expected to remain in his position following President Obama's re-election
"David Petraeus has provided extraordinary service to the United States for decades. ... By any measure, through his lifetime of service David Petraeus has made our country safer and stronger," the President said in a statement.
"Going forward, my thoughts and prayers are with Dave and [wife] Holly Petraeus, who has done so much to help military families through her own work. I wish them the very best at this difficult time."