He says he came forward about the affairs because he didn't want things hanging over his head and he didn't want to be compromised.
"Both of us committed acts of infidelity," said Paterson.
In an unusaully candid press conference, Paterson answered questions about the couple's extramarital affairs.
"I was angry, I was jealous and I exercised poor judgment."
The disclosure comes in the wake of Eliot Spitzer's resignation. Spitzer stepped down as governor following accusations he's taken part in a high end prostitution ring.
Paterson says in light of recent events, he wanted to start with a clean slate. He admitted he had several affairs, including one with a woman on the state payroll. His wife also admits straying from the marriage. Paterson said the couple turned to a counselor to make the marriage work, and avoid divorce.
"We both realized that I have a step-daughter who I watched go through a divorce years ago and I have a son that I would not want to watch go through this and I wanted our relationship to work.
Political analysts say the disclosure won't end his career.
"It's inoculation. Better to get it over with in day one than have to deal with it and worry about it. That it will come out and somehow torpedo your administration."
Paterson says he now wants to move on to more relevant affairs - like the state's budget.
"My conscious is clear I feel a lot better ."