In marriage we get into cycles. There are good cycles and there are bad cycles. BOTH partners are responsible for the cycle. Here is how it works.
Wife says something grumpy---- husband response defensively----- wife is offended by his defensive response and gives him the cold shoulder----husband is angry wife is ignoring him so he doesn’t do what she asked---- wife is angry he will not do what he asked so she refuses sex--- husband looks at porn because he feels justified since his wife isn’t giving him any…… and on it goes
Husband make wife breakfast in bed---- wife is so grateful that it leads to sex--- husband is sexual satisfied and feels appreciate so he is motivated to do the wife’s to do list--- wife is so grateful he did the to do list that she makes a really special supper for him--- husband is appreciative of his wife’s previous action that he asks her to cuddle and watch a movie together after the kids go to bed… and on it goes
Now at any point each partner has the power to break one of these cycles. Any point one person can response sweetly or poorly and jump to the other cycle. This is a very powerful concept. If you can start to recognize these patterns in your own marriage you can prevent a series of relationship damaging events from ever happening.
Husband is grumpy and exhausted from the day and is short with his wife--- wife recognizes the exhaustion and offers to make him supper and encourages him to relax--- husband feels respected, valued and more rested, and then has more energy to talk sweetly and spend time with his wife--- wife’s needs get met and it is no longer a challenge to be sweet to him--- both the husband and the wife’s needs are satisfied--- potential conflict averted.
Breaking these cycles means stopping yourself before you respond emotionally, but the benefits are a happy and satisfying marriage. If you and your spouse are stuck in the bad cycle don’t be afraid to seek help. Breaking long time habits is not easy to do!