When women cry, men often feel helpless and their first response is to try to problem-solve or to convince their partner that tears are not helpful or the situation is not as serious as she may think. The man’s intentions are certainly good ones as men often say that, while they feel extremely uncomfortable when they see their woman crying, their main hope is to find a way to quickly help her feel better.

Women may appreciate their partner’s willingness to help; however, solving the problem may not feel like the best response and she may believe that her thoughts and feelings … even she herself … is just being dismissed.

So ... what is a man to do? If her tears are not about a concern with him, his best response is just to be a “shoulder to cry on” … someone who can just be good a sounding board. Women generally feel much better after they have talked about a problem and often, once some of the emotion has been drained away, can then come up with their own ideas about how to approach the situation. A good thing for men to remember … men or women actually … is that when listening to another person talk about a situation that is upsetting to them, do not offer advice unless asked, or until their partner thinks that they truly have a clear understanding of the situation.

Author's Bio: 

Sally Connolly is a family and marriage therapist practicing in Louisville, Kentucky. She has taught coursework and conducted clinical supervision for The University of Louisville and The Louisville Seminary.
Sally and her husband, family therapist, John Turner, LCSW, LMFT have presented relationship workshops for couples and singles.