Edwards' wife says trust is biggest hurdle to conquer after his affair

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New York, Sept.19 : Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of Democratic Presidential hopeful John Edwards in her first interview since her husband's admitted affair, says trust and forgiveness remain elusive in her fractured 31-year marriage.

"When you mention trust, that's probably the most difficult issue," the New York Daily News quoted Elizabeth as telling the Detroit Free Press.

The 59-year-old Edwards, battling terminal breast cancer, declined to say if she had forgiven her wayward spouse: "I don't want to feed the monster, if you don't mind."

She offered an analogy as an explanation: If she suffered a leg amputation, Edwards said, people wouldn't ask, "Are you over that leg yet?"

The 45-minute telephone interview ended five weeks of near silence after Edwards' admitted last month he had a sexual relationship with a woman who'd worked for his campaign.

Elizabeth Edwards said she didn't want their three children - Cate, 26, Emma Claire, 10, and Jack, 8 - to think of their father as a philanderer.

She wants them to see her husband in a more positive light, particularly since he could become a single parent.

"I need to create the picture for them that I want them to have," she said, mentioning Edwards' work to battle poverty.

She also said her husband's confession helped her focus on the important things in life - particularly her children, "who are the center of my life."

Although wobbled when her husband's affair became front-page news, Edwards said she was bouncing back.

It is, she said, "an ongoing process of finding your feet again ... There's a lot of adjustment to make."

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