Several jury members waved at a grandfather they had cleared of murdering his wife as they left the court room.
David Sadler, 62, admitted killing his wife Jill, 58, at their home in Moreton, Wirral, but denied her murder.
He told police he strangled and smothered his wife with a pillow.
A jury at Liverpool Crown Court found David Sadler not guilty of the murder of his wife Jill, right. He had previously admitted his wife's manslaughter at the family's Wirral home
He said on the evening of his wife's death, he had drank more than ten pints of lager.
He told police: 'I just snapped, she caused the death of my daughter. I was just fed up with all the pressure. She just went for me.'
Liverpool Crown Court heard the couple's daughter, mother-of-two Joanne Reszczynski, 34, died of lung cancer in January this year.
Sadler said his wife's 'nastiness' in a sweary rant to Joanne before Christmas caused a permanent rift, which he felt hastened her death.
The father-of-four admitted manslaughter but denied murder in a nine-day trial, saying he was 'mentally broken' and 'just lost control'.
Sadler argued 'loss of control', but mid-trial Judge Andrew Menary, QC, ruled there was insufficient evidence for this legal defence.
Jurors had to consider whether he intended to kill or cause really serious harm when he strangled his wife and suffocated her with a pillow.
After more than three and a half hours of deliberation, they returned a unanimous not guilty verdict, prompting Sadler to burst into tears.
Members of his family gasped in relief, hugged and cried in the public gallery, while he held his head in his hands in the dock.
Six of the seven female jurors wiped tears from their faces, as the judge thanked them for their work on 'not an easy case at all'.
Sadler, who continued to sob, nodded and thanked the jury as they left the courtroom, some of whom stopped to smile and wave.
Sadler told police he had drank at least 10 pints on the night he killed his wife by strangulation and suffocation
Judge Menary said he would be sentenced for manslaughter on Monday morning and remanded him in custody.
During the trial, the jury heard the married couple of nearly 40 years had four children - David, Joanne, Nicola and Aimee.
Prosecutors accepted Mrs Sadler had a drinking problem and could be 'sharp or difficult', leading to an estrangement with Joanne.
Having been told her cancer was terminal, she went home from hospital to spend her last Christmas with her daughters, aged five and eight.
The court heard Joanne made a will stating should anything happen to her husband Chris, a close friend would bring up their children.
Sadler told the jury she 'only had weeks