Elizabeth Edwards
Tom Mihalek  /  AP
Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Sen. John Edwards, speaks to the audience at the National Constitution Center, Sept. 16, 2008, in Philadelphia.
updated 9/19/2008 7:57:00 AM ET 2008-09-19T11:57:00

The wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says her husband's extramarital affair has allowed her to focus on the importance of her children and health reform as she goes through "an ongoing process of finding your feet again."

"There's a lot of adjustment to make," Elizabeth Edwards told the Detroit Free Press for a story published Thursday. "When you mention trust, that's probably the most difficult hurdle."

The interview came more than a month after her husband acknowledged that he repeatedly lied about having an affair in 2006.

Elizabeth Edwards, 59, had been quiet about the affair, only discussing it in a brief statement last month in which she pleaded for privacy and said her husband confessed the affair to her in 2006.

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Coping with setbacks
Edwards, who is being treated for breast cancer, spoke to the newspaper ahead of a visit to Detroit next month to talk about coping with life's setbacks, including the loss of her teenage son in an auto accident and her 2004 cancer diagnosis.

She also said she wants her children — Cate, 26, Emma Claire, 10, and Jack, 8 — to have an image of their father as "an advocate for poverty, not for this current picture of him to be the only one they carry with them, as young people and as adults."

"I have to prepare for the possibility if I die before they are grown," she said, of helping them "function without an involved, engaged and admiring parent. So I need to create the picture for them that I want them to have."

Audience members asked no questions about her private life, and Edwards did not mention the affair. She did not return a message left Thursday by The Associated Press.

John Edwards has canceled all of his public events until after the election, saying in a statement through his publicist he doesn't want to be a distraction to his party's ticket.

He said in early August that he had an affair with a woman hired to produce videos of him doing advocacy work as he laid the groundwork for a presidential campaign.

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Video: She speaks out


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