Elizabeth Edwards: 'Not Just a Cuckolded Wife'
But, in her first TV interview since separating from two-time presidential candidate John Edwards earlier this year, she says people, perhaps everyone, change over time.
In an interview to be broadcast today on NBC's "Today" show, Edwards, 60, says she needs to "break free of the media-imposed image" of her.
"I'm not just a cuckolded wife," Edwards said, adding that she wants to "reclaim who I am."
"I hope the next time I am on television it's to talk about some policy I really care about," Edwards said, according to excerpts of the interview released beforehand.
She said on the "Today" show that she watched mistress Rielle Hunter's appearance on Oprah Winfrey's talk show.
"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 -- to that woman, as well," she said.
In an interview on "Today" a year ago, Edwards said: "Despite this big horrible thing that happened, I still look back and think I married a marvelous man."
In the interview that aired today, she gave an updated view. "I think I did marry a marvelous man," she said. "I think that ... that he changed over time."
"I think it was sort of hard for me to see it or admit it for a very long time," she said. "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."
It was 2006 when John Edwards privately told her that he had had a one-night fling with Hunter, a videographer for his presidential campaign. In the "Today" interview, Elizabeth Edwards said she believed that "for much longer than most people would have thought reasonable. But I believed it."
But Hunter gave birth to a daughter, and John Edwards eventually acknowledged he is the father of the now-2-year-old child.
Edwards, who had four children with her husband, including one who died as a teenager, says she decided she didn't throw away the later years of her nearly 33-year marriage.
"When I look back, there's really lots of blessings that I've had," she said on "Today." "I've had the opportunity, you know, to have these great children. I've had wonderful friends. I've had experiences that, you know, really couldn't be replaced. And opportunities to talk about things that mattered to me."
In the updated version of her memoir released Tuesday, Edwards said she tried to "reinvent" herself as a wife for two years so she and John could stay together after she learned of the affair, but "one day, I did not want to try anymore," she said, according to The Associated Press.
She said in "Resilience" that it was hard to leave Edwards, her law school sweetheart.
"So when I closed the door on the John of today, I also had to say goodbye to that sweet man whom I had loved for so long," Edwards wrote, according to AP. "It was not as easy as it might have seemed to anyone looking in from the outside, who knew only the John of today."
Edwards, who has cancer, wrote that she wants to live eight more years, long enough to see her youngest child's high school graduation.
She said doesn't let herself think about not being there for her kids.
"I think there might be a panic, because you think you're getting close to the end," she said on "Today." "I want to live at a normal cadence with my children."