Hi and welcome to the Chiari Forum.
I am not sure what you mean...who told you her personality could change?
With the pain from Chiari I know it can alter someone's personality....but I do not understand being forewarned of a personality change with surgery?
Personality change is a new idea to me. However, I will say extreme pain and the aggravated way stress affects someone dealing with it can’ change how people perceive you.
I can’t tell you about your wife. But let me tell you briefly how it sometimes affects me and perhaps that may help to a degree. BTW - before you think I don’t get it... I don’t share this painful event with anyone. Not sure I’ve even told selmaS and I respect the crap out of her. My wife didn’t just cheat she moved in with her boss for 2 years. Some say I’m a fool for taking her back so yeah I get the pain. But the choice on how to deal with that pain belongs to you. For me the love I still had was enough to overpower the pain until I could begin to heal.
I am not and never really have been one that is quick to anger. Those times when I do feel an indigent rage at atrocities in life I still tend to bite my younger unless there is something I can obviously do about the situation. However, the pain from Chiari Malformation is different. I have multiple health issues related to birth defects. The first condition anyone has ever said made me appear angry was when a fall made CM symptoms worse back in ‘09. Now after the fact my youngest son and my wife have told me that during that time period my personality became that of Dr Jeckle and Mr Hyde. I have 0 memory of feeling that way at all? With help we have determined that perhaps my trying to hide the pain I was in was actually the source of their perception. So in my heart and mind it was not a change in who I am. Rather it was my stupid but normal desire to not let my family feel my own pain. Not wanting to slow their life because mine had been so drastically altered. Again - I felt no adverse emotions but they were perceived by those around me. Now my case was not just CM so not saying everyone goes through this as i have no idea. But perhaps somewhere along the lines her ability to communicate her feelings to you got frayed as mine did.
Something that I’ve not heard many talk about is how this new diagnosis affects and effects a persons outlook on life. This is important because hope is one the main motivators for human beings in general. When you first get the diagnosis and you see so many stinking doctors that just do not understand you. For a spell it is normal to begin feeling as though no one understands. If she isn’t able to communicate those feelings to you so the two of you can work through her emotions it literally is like going through the grief of loosing the person the closest to you. A persons entire life is changed in small and sometimes large ways. The changes are inside the patient though not external. In other words this isn’t something that anyone can see. Except perhaps like my family thinking I was angry when all I felt back then was fear they wouldn’t have the strength to help me and continue with their life. To me it felt or still feels at times like my limitations are holding back those that I love. If your wife is feeling this type of grief some most likely perceive it as self-pity which it is not. It is simply our mind trying to learn on the fly at 9billion miles an hour how to still be themselves when they don’t feel like themselves.
I’m not certain this explains to you what was intended for you to perceive??? Or if everyone feels that grief. Perhaps others will chime in here and share. No one can advise you what to do about the marital pain that is your call and yours alone. As it should be. Those telling you do this and do that about the situation with the affair are not your true friends. The ones who stand by your side to just be there and not try to persuade you one way or another. Those are your friends. Being as you loved her enough to write this note it is obvious you still love her and buddy that is the most precious thing there is in life. Again this probably won’t help a lot but please just know the changes she is going through in her mind are most likely so overwhelming she may not be able to come to you without your prodding. Even then I didn’t share with my wife about the pain or inner personal doubts about the future due her own emotional issues.. Perhaps your wife feels the same? Only she can tell you that.
I’m having a lot of unrelated issues this past year or so and have not been checking the list here often. If you wish to drop me a note though I’m happy to listen. I do hope this helps in some tiny minute way. The pain is real in you as well as her. She knows that but may not be able to respond on her own she may need you to help. To be totally frank just try to let your love shine above all other feeling as that is your only weapon if you wish to get through this with a healed heart and wish to help her along with you.