Elizabeth Edwards details implosion of her marriage

In a new chapter of her memoir, out in paperback, she talks about saying goodbye to 30 years of memories

Published June 29, 2010 10:10PM (EDT)

Elizabeth Edwards says it was not easy to leave her husband in the wake of the two-time presidential contender's infidelity, writing in a new chapter to her memoir that she still sees in him the memories of their 30 years together.

Edwards says in the updated version of her book released Tuesday that she spent two years trying to "reinvent" her role as a wife so that they could stay together despite the affair. But she says the "tender thread" holding the family together unraveled at the very end of 2009 -- three years after John Edwards first told his wife in private that he'd had a one-night stand with a videographer.

"One day, I did not want to try anymore," she said.

The couple has since separated and he acknowledged fathering a child with mistress Rielle Hunter during his 2008 campaign for the White House. The 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee also acknowledged a federal investigation into his campaign funds, with former campaign aide Andrew Young saying a grand jury asked questions about money used to keep Hunter in hiding during the presidential race.

Elizabeth Edwards says in her book "Resilience" that it was not easy to leave the marriage because she saw 30 years of memories in him. They were law school sweethearts who got married just days after they took the bar exam together in the summer of 1977. They had four children together, including a son who died at the age of 16.

"So when I closed the door on the John of today, I also had to say good-bye to that sweet man whom I had loved for so long," Edwards writes. "It was not as easy as it might have seemed to anyone looking in from the outside, who knew only the John of today."

Elizabeth Edwards is battling cancer and says she hopes to live another eight years -- long enough to see her youngest child graduate high school.

By Mike Baker

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Infidelity John Edwards Rielle Hunter