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Relationship Wife had a dissociation episode, cheated on me, tried to make things better, now she's divorcing me


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My wife and I have together almost seven years, married for two. We moved to a new city (not too far from our old one) the week the pandemic hit, so of course, everything shifted really fast. We both became different people, and after three years, I noticed she seemed to be really in her head a lot but wouldn't talk about it.

She works remotely in tech and went to a remote week and ended up cheating on me with her drinking buddy coworker. When she came back, she recommended we take a road trip to a city I'd been wanting to visit, she became really internal again, eventually when I broke through she told me what happened.

Tried to make the best of that week, be more positive and affectionate, but of course it was tough.

We got back home, things seemed to be okay for a week, then she became really internal and started acting strange for a month. I didn't understand what was happening, she kept saying nothing was.

Over time I grew a bit frustrated because I felt like I was the only one who was trying.

Eventually I was learning to get her to be more open, and the last great talk we had, maybe the best ever, she admitted to me that has a tendency to dissociate her way out of relationships when they get hard, and had also been doing so off and on during the pandemic. I'd never noticed this behavior overtly before.

She signed up for therapy and said she needed to get into her trauma for real, but when the day came, she clearly deflected, and I became the issue. I stood up for myself, asked why she was making it about me, and everything really started unravelling. This was maybe five weeks ago.

She seemed to be getting worse the more she deflected, we weren't doing great, I wasn't keeping the idea of dissociation in mind when she started acting very "off," not remember important conversations. A couple of times she straight up said she had to think about whether she wanted to stay in this marriage before we went to an event.

I kept being direct, but not angry or forceful in my counters with her. One night she came home from a friend's and hugged me and kissed and said she loved me, and the next day after no real interaction said she couldn't do this anymore. She tried filing papers that night, let them sit, filed them for real a little over a week later, and straight to divorce talk.

After talking to a number of mental health specialists in a panic via the crisis line, they all said she was dissociating, and I've been wrapping my head around. I left for a couple of days to give things space, and when I came back, she had two knives in her nightstand. Eventually was told to ask her about it and whether or not she had any suicidal ideation like she had back when she told me what initially happened. She blew up and told me I had to move out as soon as possible. That was early last week, it's been intense and weird, I'm trying to stay nice and her tone shifts rapidly with me in our short conversations. She still wants me to move all my stuff out as soon as possible, and then she'll be nice to me.

I know it's all been a lot for her, and I should've known not to pile on was she was most vulnerable, but she's very quickly trying to throw away our past seven years all because I kept asking her why she kept forgetting important conversations.

I get the sense she doesn't really want this, that it was a cry for help, but it's still so difficult, and I don't know what to do. I know she has her third therapy session tomorrow, so maybe she can stop blaming me, at least. Overall I've been a good partner, pandemic depression notwithstanding. Part of me thinks she was desperate to get me back to a safe space, and she's clearly been in an episode for almost four weeks now, and I'm starting to feel a little hopeless. I did stop by the house today to grab some stuff, made sure to stay soft and nice, and she warmed up right before I left. For the time being I'm just trying to keep my distance, and fortunately I have a welcome place to stay. But I only have two more weeks to be completely moved out of the condo she bought and we moved in together. So much whiplash. I broke down hard the day after she told me, and she just squeezed my shoulder and kept eating her lunch. Then the next week, on my birthday, I had a panic attack (not in my nature at all normally) and begged her for us to talk to a counselor together, but she just got annoyed and again kept eating her lunch.
With all due respect, and coming from someone who is struggling to deal with their partners severe ptsd symptoms….mate you need out. PTSD absolutely changes the person, it causes some horrendous actions from them…but she just sounds like she’s being cruel to you. Trust me when I say I know the heartache involved and 99% losing yourself in caring for someone who love - but mate, you need out. Don’t let the PTSD be an accuse to destroy you.