I am glad that you can see that letter for what it is: emotionally manipulative, deluded rubbish.
It is full of inconsistencies and reversals of logic, but it unwittingly illustrates how twisted her thought processes are, which should serve as a warning.
Many of the statements invalidate themselves. For example, you say:
She then went into deeply explicit, almost forensic, detail about the degree to which I was her best lover, etc etc, ever. While a) I don’t care and b) it no longer matters, I will give her credit for the level of detail she provided about what I did for her in that regard—and, as compared against AP and all previous lovers. It was both weird and touching.
So what she wants you to believe is that even though you were the greatest man she had ever been with, and she was all set to marry you, she still decided to have sex with her AP.
I mean no disrespect to you by this, but if she truly thought you were so incredible, why was she still looking around for a tawdry affair with the husband of a ‘good friend’? If she can be all set to marry a man she thinks is so fantastic, and still cheat, how much does being fantastic count for?
In Your first post, you wrote:
My fiancée…was insistent on having set places at the table for everyone. She sat between one of her good female friends and her husband; let’s call him AP (!).
Your wife put herself – literally and physically – between the AP and his wife (her ‘good friend’). That was not accidental; it was deliberate, as well as symbolic. So when she says…
On the morning of our dinner party, under the pretext of an over-lengthy shopping trip, she met with him in a park and there he confessed his deep infatuation for her.
She said she told him a firm ‘NO’ to that, but that throughout the dinner party later that night that he was playing footsies with her under the table. She says it was ‘pretty much the unluckiest thing in the world’ that I happened to turn back at the very moment he put his hand through hers. She says he initiated that too.
…she is ignoring the fact that she put herself right beside him in full knowledge of what he was likely to try and initiate. She sent him a very clear signal by giving him the opportunity for physical contact, so it is pointless for her to say he initiated anything. She initiated it, by putting herself beside him. He simply took her up on the offer of physical contact she had arranged.
She backed up the ‘firm’ no by sitting right next to him?
And ‘pretty much the unluckiest thing in the world’ is a strange way to describe you catching sight of what she was doing with him. Would it have been ‘lucky’ if you had not seen it, and the affair was still going on?
In your first post, on the subject of the vacation, you wrote:
Finally in late November, we had a crappy week where we fought quite a bit because she suddenly wanted to bring AP and his wife to our long-planned holiday this January. For one, I don’t like the guy and for another, I just had this creeping sense that something is not right. But because I couldn’t give her great reasons for excluding them, she became frustrated with me.
And yet, in her letter, your wife does some classic blame-shifting:
He had apparently put a lot of pressure on her throughout November to get me to agree to having he and OBS on our January vacation; a lot of their texting throughout Nov and Dec was based around scenario after scenario he conjured to say how they would manage to have illicit sex right under our noses.
She was the one arguing with you to include the guy in your vacation, regardless of the ‘pressure’ she says she was under. And what you know now is that she was pushing for it so that they could do what they were planning to do in their texts.
However, it was him who put pressure on her, and him who planned the scenarios. She was just a poor, helpless victim of his evil plotting, so what else could she do but go along with it and then get annoyed with you when you put obstacles in their way?
On the AP’s approach, your wife said:
AP phoned her and asked whether she could meet because he and his wife (OBS) were having marital difficulties and, given my WF and OBS were friends, apparently my WF would provide the requisite insight he sought.
Absolon, the ‘Can I talk to you about my marital problems?’ ploy is one that countless male APs have used to begin affairs with women. Loads of women have written how their AP used a variation on that theme, which is an absolutely brilliant way to get the woman to talk about her marriage, and to fish for potential issues to exploit.
And yet, all the man had to say was that he wanted to have sex with your wife, which is a surprising angle for both of them to take when they met to try and fix his marriage and discuss his wife.
Can you see how transparently ridiculous that is? And how the AP did not approach your wife out of the blue?
I am sure there were more signals between them before his supposedly unexpected contact to meet up. And I am equally sure that she did not tell you about it before she went.
They met for coffee one workday morning, about 7-8 days before the dinner party, which lead to him texting her throughout the next week.
More blame-shifting. He was the one texting her. If she was not texting him back, why did he keep texting all week? And yet, in her account, the only person texting was him. The truth is that she was as active in the dialogue as him.
She was vague about sexual details but said it began in early February. AP insisted it be in my house as often as they could manage. She said that his ‘ultimate thrill’ was to humiliate me.
Well, what gal could resist a guy who wanted to get off on humiliating the most wonderful man she had ever met, and who she was going to marry? What comes across time and again in your wife’s actions is that she enjoys doing forbidden things, and taking risks by doing it right in front of the victim.
She gets off on the deception and taboo of it.
That is why she started flirting with you when she was engaged to the previous guy, who she cheated on multiple times. She loves fooling people. And that is a very bad sign in any prospective life-partner.
She compounds that by saying:
Remarkably, her Big Argument was as follows: that she acknowledges that infidelity is ‘in her blood’ (not sure whether a reference to ‘bloodline’ or ‘DNA’—perhaps both are true), yet … yet … that she was 100% excited and prepared to put all of that behind her because I am ‘the perfect man’.
Her twisted logic was that by having this affair, it would ‘purge’ her of all the ‘demons’ and would ‘cleanse’ her in preparation for a fully committed life with me. She said that the hugest appeal to this affair was her quiet loathing of this man (the one who apparently makes her feel ‘safe and secure’?!) and that, combined with his sick desire to humiliate me, the self-disgust generated from her choice to be with him would finally purge her of her 'last itch’ to cheat.
If that is the way her mind works, she has more problems than she realizes. And if she knew she had problems, and needed to ‘cleanse’ herself and purge her ‘demons’, why did she not seek therapy instead of a tawdry affair with the husband of a friend who wanted to humiliate you?
That is like trying to purge yourself of violent fantasies by going on a killing spree.
The truth is, if she really thought it was so messed up, and she really had loathing for the guy, she would not have done it. She did it because she gets off on doing ‘bad’ things, and it is significant that both she and her Dad are fond of pseudo-religious references to God-like power, purging, demons, etc. Both of them are deeply manipulative people.
Other than that (!), she said that she is now going to live at her parents’ indefinitely. She said she is going to undergo therapy for the first time in her life. She said she is going to write me a letter at the end of every month to update me on her progress.
She said that she is going to win me back, but only on my (Absolon’s) terms. She said that my cutting her off, in the way I have, has made her realize how much she truly loves and wants me, and is devastated by her actions.
All I can say in response to that is, “Run”.
Love does not manifest itself in any of her actions, and even after the discovery of the affair she went to spend a spa weekend with the man she loathed and made her feel self-disgust, while publicly declaring you – her Superman, better than every other man, etc – to be an emotionally manipulative bad guy who drove her repeatedly into the arms of her good friend’s husband.
By all means encourage her to get therapy, but cut your ties and tell her there is no need to provide monthly letters.
Oh, and: she apologized .. sort of .. for her ‘emotional abuse’ crap comments – definitely for the public nature of them, but also for their inaccuracy. But she didn’t retract things entirely: she recalibrated her remarks to mean that I operate by too high a moral standard and that it is consequently ‘suffocating’. She admires me for my integrity, etc, but says it is impossible to live up to the perfectionist ideals I hold for myself and others. I need to reflect on that last comment.
Well, that’s the cherry on the cake. A serial cheat who gets off on doing ‘bad’, forbidden things says that your standards are impossibly high, soon after describing you as her perfect man?
How can you be her 'perfect' man if your standards are so high that it forces her to have affairs with the husbands of her friends?
No, no, no.
What it says is that her expectations of herself are lamentably low, and if she really thought she could not meet your standards, why did she want to marry you, and why does she want to win you back? Can you see how ridiculous and contradictory that is?
Absolon, your standards are not too high. They are normal. Hers are missing in action. There is nothing wrong with you. If she struggles to meet standards that most people would say are normal, that is something for her to address in therapy, not to criticize you for.
In what way were your standards responsible for her choice to have an affair with the husband of a ‘good friend’? It was her standards that enabled her to do that, so how much introspection do you have to do because she has no discernible standards of her own?
Do not waste your time wondering if you are too demanding.
The fact is, she cannot meet the basic standards anyone would expect from a prospective spouse or even long-term partner, and until she gets her house in order, she will never be a safe bet to have anything more than a casual, passing relationship with.