Gary is a big believer in the adage, "A problem shared is a problem halved."
(Clearly I believe in it too, given that I have a blog devoted to sharing most of my problems. However, Dear Readers, I trust that when I cut my worries in half you don't end up weighed down by the half I just gave you. You go on about your days of dilettante coke-sniffing /caring for your family without another thought of me.)
The thing is, I care about the same things Gary does, like his parents or our finances, and when he unloads on me that means I have a new worry I will carry with me for days, long after he's said, "Thanks for listening, hon, I feel a lot better."
I think I know the moment he starts feeling better. At first I will be rational, but as I can't take it any more and I start crying I hear how helpful it's been for him. I think next time he shares with me I'm going to burst in to fake tears almost immediately.