For some reason, men seem to be a bit uncomfortable around crying women. They may not be comfortable with so much emotion, it may upset them to see a person they love crying, or it may be they just don't know how to act when the waterworks turn on.
Here are 5 things your wife would like you to do when she is crying:
1. Hold her
When your wife is crying, the number one thing you can do is give her physical comfort. Hold her, hug her, let her rest her head on your shoulder. This is her way of communicating that something is wrong, and physical contact can do a lot to help comfort her. It communicates that you are there for her, that you support her, and that you know something is wrong, all without even saying a word.
2. Reassure her
At this time, it is important to reassure her. Let her know everything will be okay (even if you're not 100% sure of that). Tell her you will figure it out, or work out the problem, or just tell her that you are there for her during this time. Whether she has just received bad news, had a bad day, or just not even sure why she is suddenly feeling down, your job is to reassure her that things will be fine. Once she has gotten her tears out of her system, you can then sit down together and work through whatever is going on.
3. Let her cry
Sometimes people just need to cry. It is an emotional release, and it does not last forever. Once the crying stops, they can move on. Do not tell her to stop crying. Do not tell her that she shouldn't cry, or that she is crying for nothing. Let it happen. Let her get it out. If she starts to get hysterical or cannot seem to stop crying after a reasonable amount of time, you can step in, tell her to take a deep breath, sit her down, give her a cold wash cloth, and sit with her a minute. Help her calm down without telling her to calm down.
4. Agree with her
When your wife is upset, don't argue with her. Don't tell her why she is wrong. Don't try to fix her problem, mend a relationship right then and there, or tell her she doesn't need to cry. Just agree with her. Give her support. Help her feel justified in her reasons for crying (even if you don't fully understand it). Agree with her. Tell her she is right to cry. Whatever you do, do not tell her what she "should" have done, or tell her why she really has no reason to cry. This will only cause a fight or make the situation worse.
All of the above are ways to help her feel better, but if you really want to help her calm down and stop crying, know what she needs. Does she need to have her mind taken off the situation? Does she need to go out for an ice cream? Does she need a bubble bath and alone time? Does she need a heart to heart conversation? What is it that makes your wife feel better? Know her trigger, and do it. Don't do it right away as if you are just quieting the problem with ice cream, but once you have completed the steps above, then offer to give her what it is she needs to feel better.
Women have breakdowns. Sometimes they have moments where they just need a good cry. There may not even be a really great reason; she just may be more emotional than usual. It is okay. It doesn't mean something is seriously wrong, or that you've done something wrong. Just know how to comfort her and make her feel better. Then you can move on and everything will be better.