While I’m sure many women won’t appreciate the analogy, the following passage on parenting whiny children proves to be remarkably relevant for husbands:
Some [men], who are concerned about frustrating [women], give in to [women]’s whims when they are crying, mistaking these whims for genuine needs. In the broken cookie example, a [husband] may take his [wife] to the store to buy another box of cookies. The result of this indulgent style of [husbandry] is that the [wife] generally becomes more and more demanding and difficult to live with. This is not because [she] has been given too much. It is because [she] never has an opportunity to release pent-up feelings by crying and raging. These are [women] with stress just like all [women], but their [husbands]’ inappropriate responses to their attempts to release stress have prevented the [wives] from healing themselves.
When [husbands] “give in” after a wife has whined and begged for a long time, [she] is prevented from having a good cry and releasing stress. The [wife] will soon find another reason to whine and beg, and this will continue until she is allowed an opportunity to have a full-blown cry. This is the main mechanism by which permissiveness can lead to [wives] who are demanding and obnoxious.
-Tears and Tantrums by Alethea J. Solter, Ph.D., pg. 86 [Noun substitution by me…without permission.]