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Elizabeth Edwards on Rielle Hunter, Sandra Bullock and Co-Parenting

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In her first television interview since separating from husband John Edwards, Elizabeth Edwards addressed his affair and relationship with Rielle Hunter on "Today."

Here are some of the highlights:

  • On John and her kids:"I have three living children for whom this is a father whom I want them to love, on whom they're going to have to rely, perhaps, if my disease takes a bad turn. It's really important to me that they see him in a positive light."
  • On rediscovering herself:"I'm not just a cuckolded wife. I think about Sandra Bullock -- who I don't know at all -- what an incredible year she's had. And yet, the stories you hear are not about all those great successes, but about the failure of her marriage. I thought, 'That's not who she is.' I don't know her, but I assume she wants to reclaim who she is in the same way I want to reclaim who I am."
  • On the possibility of not seeing her children grow up:"I don't let my head go to that place. You just have to keep what you want in view always. If I start thinking about, 'Well, what if it's not?' I think there might be a panic, because you think you're getting close to the end. I want to live at a normal cadence with my children."
  • On separating from John:"I've been married to John for nearly 33 years, been with him longer than that, and every time something monumental has happened in my life, and particularly the bad things, I've had him to lean on -- and that was no longer going to be the case. I can't go back to leaning on my parents. My father has died, my mother is not in a position to be leaned upon, and so I was going to be on my own in a way that I maybe haven't ever really been. And that was pretty terrifying, particularly faced with a disease, young children and a fairly uncertain future."
  • On the changes in John:"I think I did marry a marvelous man. I think he changed over time. I think it was sort of hard for me to see it or admit it for a very long time. But he changed. Maybe we all change over time. And he's no longer the person who I married. I still admire an enormous number of things about him. The things he cares about are things I think are important."
  • On their marriage:"[I thought], 'Did I waste my time in these years? Have I thrown this part of my life away, in a sense?' And I decided that I didn't, that maybe I didn't get the same things out of it I expected to, or that I thought I was at the time. But when I look back, there's really lots of blessings that I had. I've had the opportunity to have these great children. I've had wonderful friends. I've had experiences that really couldn't be replaced, and opportunities to talk about things that matter to me."
  • On Rielle Hunter's "Oprah" interview:"I didn't watch the whole thing. But I did watch some of it.At first, I didn't watch it. And then I thought, 'Well, that's silly.' I still think this person is so completely unlike me that it's hard to imagine the same person could marry me and be attracted to that woman as well."

12 Lessons We Learned from Rielle Hunter on "Oprah."

  • On co-parenting:"I think it's going pretty well. He was the assistant coach of an all-star softball team, and I'd go to the games and cheer and then he comes and asks me some question about substituting, so we're still working pretty evenly with respect to the children."

next: 7 Tips for Traveling With Tweens and Teens
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