Our expert says:
Though the way you describe having responded to your wife's voiced concerns was sympathetic and could have been helpful, clearly this is not how she experienced it, and apparently she was simply wanting some supportive overy sympathy rather than encouragement to analyze it.
If this is a general and typical way in which she responds to others close to her, it may be worth gently suggesting that she might find it helpful to discuss this with a counsellor to enhance her repertoire of ways of responding to such situations. If its more specific to this particular person, then maybe just encourage her to stop being friendly with someone she doesn't enjoy contact with.
Fairness doesn't come into it, she's not trying to be fair to you, she feels somehow that by not responding in the way she wanted, you were unfair to her. In such set-ups, it can be useful to respond "That must have been really upsetting ! How can I help you feel better ? "
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