I try to go to the gym as often as I can. I'd been going consistently for a couple of months when one day, my husband wanted to go at a different time than usual. I didn't love the idea because I knew it would be crowded, but we went anyway.
We got there, went inside and I hopped on the stair climber. I was already frustrated because all the equipment I needed was being used, but my frustration turned into full-blown rage when I started my workout and took a look around the gym.
It was packed, and what seemed like every girl there was barely working out but still had a perfect body. I couldn't understand why I had been working so hard for months with such little change, while everyone else was walking around, looking pretty and doing nothing.
My husband finished his workout, we left and I had a meltdown - I wasn't just tearing up, I was crying so hard I couldn't even breathe. This was my breaking point, and my sweet husband wanted nothing more than to help me. But his way of helping was finding ways fo fix my problems.
He immediately started giving me ideas on what I could do to see the changes I wanted and how I could do it. He was helping me the best he knew how, but I honestly just wanted him to get me some low-calorie ice cream and tell me I was pretty.
As women, we tend to let little things build up until we break. We all react differently in these situations, but what we all really want is for the men in our lives to know exactly how to help us.
Here are 10 things you need to do when your wife starts breaking down:
1. Validate her feelings
There's nothing worse than being told what you're upset about is insignificant. While you probably think she's being irrational, understand that your wife's feelings are real and intense. Let her know she's not crazy and that you understand what she's going through is hard (even if you don't exactly understand).
2. Tell her what she's doing right
When your wife is in the middle of a meltdown, she doesn't want to hear what she should be doing. Instead of trying to fix it, tell her what she's doing right. Tell her she's a great mom. Tell her she's healthy and that's what matters. Whatever she may be struggling with, give her words of affirmation over anything else.
Sometimes your sweetheart just needs to cry for a little while. I know it's hard to see someone you love so much be so upset, but let her have that moment of weakness and let her know you're there for her no matter what. Hold her through her tears and talk when she's ready.
4. Give her extra love
If she's getting down on herself for whatever reason, give her a little extra love. Kiss her a little longer, hold her a little tighter and look in her eyes and say "I love you" like you mean it.
5. Save your ideas for later
I'm sure you have great ideas on how to fix your love's problems and she'll want to hear, but not right now. Share them later. Don't try to push your ideas on her while she's breaking down, but keep them in mind for when she's calm and ready to have a conversation.
6. Take her to do something she loves
Take your wife on a date to do what she loves. Showing this little act of kindness goes a long way, especially when she's fragile. It'll take her mind off things while you two have a great time.
7. Be patient
It's hard to completely understand what your sweetheart is going through, especially if you don't see it as a big deal. Be patient with her and let her know you're there for her, whatever she may need. Trust me, she'll come around and appreciate your patience.
8. If it feels appropriate, try to make her laugh
Sometimes all it takes is putting on an episode of The Office to make her feel better. If you feel like it's appropriate to try to lighten the mood, make her laugh and distract her from her problems.
Now is a perfect time to start listing the reasons why you love your wife. It sounds silly, but hearing sincere compliments from the person you love most is healing and wonderful. Tell her exactly why you love her.
10. Hold her and tell her it'll be OK
Holding your wife and telling her it'll be OK will do wonders for her. She feels like the world is crashing down on her, so be the person who gives her that glimmer of hope that everything will work out. Tell her she's amazing the way she is.
Men, you're doing a great job - these are just ways to help you do an even better job. When your wife is breaking down, it's so important to remember the best thing you can do is love and accept her. Follow these guidelines to help her through her rough patches and she'll be forever grateful.
Lindsey loves traveling and shopping, and her favorite place in the whole world is Disneyland. She also loves spending time with her family and cute husband. She is studying Professional and Technical Writing and is part of the content team for FamilyShare.