If you’re wife is complaining or depressed or whatever, you need to sit down and give her some space to air it out, which sometimes comes in the form of crying, shouting, anger (at you probably because you’re the closest scratching post) or maybe a good old venting session. So you hear her out. If she’s smart she won’t use you as a sounding board or a support system because….well…you suck at it. You’re a dude. (“Dude” isn’t my favorite word for “male” but it really seems to work here in this context.) Maybe you’re the one in a thousand men that can actually be a good support for your wife/partner but she either needs some real friends to listen to her or she needs a professional practitioner of some kind. So if you find yourself listening to her for hours at a time that means she needs someone who can really listen to her. Of course, it’s important to hear her out, but if you’re her only “ear” than she also needs a girlfriend or a pro.
So there are a ton of different things you can make available to her but here are three. Exercise, Help, and Friends.
Exercise is essential. I’ve said it before but there’s actually crap that resides inside the body, mind, soul that needs to move out and the best way to move it out is to sweat it out. She might know this already but somehow you need to help her find this out on her own. If she’s already working out then just let her do it and don’t resent her when she does and don’t bring up the gym membership expenses. (Unless she’s not going, duh.) The gym might be one of the things that helps her stay happy and healthy and whole.
Help is essential. If you’re at work all the time and she doesn’t the majority of the house work chances are she’s flat out pissed. You either need to find ways to help out in this area or hire someone to do laundry, cook, grocery shop, help with the kids and or clean or whatever is needed. If you do this it might save your marriage.
Friends are essential. If you’re wife doesn’t have supportive friends then she might look to you to help her with her issues, but like I said above, it’s not your strength. She comes from Venus and you think in “martian” so it’s better if she finds someone from her planet. Too many women, and men, are isolated. We evolved by being around other people (or apes, or whatever we used to be) and that close knit camaraderie was an essential component to survival. If you or your wife don’t have friends you have to make an effort to do so.