I have been the go-to guy whether personally or professionally, within family, friends and office colleagues. So when people come to me, 9 out 10 times, it is to seek help to solve a problem. My sleeves get rolled up (sometimes not literally) and I dive into it, almost like second nature. In fact that is one of the feedback, I have been given by peers as part of my leadership development that I need to sometimes reflect a bit more, a bit more planning before jumping right into it.
Leaving work and professional development aside, the expectation in the role of husband is completely opposite. You are NOT, repeat NOT, expected to solve problems specially when they are being narrated by your wife. Womenfolk and specifically respective wives do not expect you to solve problems regardless of how obvious the solution is. They don't need your view, they don't need your help, they actually don't want you to solve the problem. In fact I am not even sure whether they want the problem solved at all. So what do they want...? Here comes the moment of truth, wait for it... They want you to "listen"...quietly.
Here is an extreme version of the concept, a YouTube video titled, "It's NOT about the Nail". By the way which hits the nail exactly on the point I am trying to make, no pun intended of course :).
So next time, your wife comes to you with a problem, remember the rule. She doesn't really need a fix (actually she does need it, maybe of a different sort, but that's for another blog post), she needs you to just listen. So be patient, zip it and focus on just listening to her, with full attention, eye to eye. Here is another YouTube video which explains the "eye to eye" concept without need for any further elaboration.