This issue came up last night when I was talking to my partner on the phone, and she was telling me how stressed out she is about a number of things. She has been really, really exhausted, and I want to be there for her to help her out. My brand of help, however, was not welcome, and I have a hard time not being able to help out in this way. My way of helping is to hear the problem, and try to find a way to fix it, and if that isn't possible or isn't worth the effort, then to suggest a way to approach the problem mentally so that it won't be so burdensome. She did not like this kind of help, and said that she wasn't asking me to fix anything. I told her that I don't know what else I am supposed to do. I asked if my job is to hear her say every night "I'm exhausted and miserable," and to only reply to her, "I'm sorry. That's too bad. It was too bad yesterday, and the day before, and tomorrow it will be just too bad and I will be sorry for you again." She says that this is the other extreme, and that I should try to meet her half way in how she is dealing with a situation. I absolutely think it I should try and empathize with her more if she feels that I'm not on the same page with her. She deserves to have a confidant that will listen to her words with understanding and embrace. I think she also deserves someone who respects her enough to offer good advice when good advice is available. I am worried that she is shutting me out of this role, one that seems like the appropriate role of a life partner. I am starting to feel like nothing more than a crying shoulder for her, and I don't even think I can do that well if I can't say what I feel like needs to be said when it is appropriate. Are my concerns justified? If I am not viewing this properly, what can I do to be more emotionally supportive, and feel like I am actually helping? Many thanks in advance.