Sex is the great motivator to be on one's best behavior, but it doesn't secure relationships. A cheating man can have sex with his troubled wife in the morning, flirt with a few ladies while walking by, meet up with his hot girlfriend by afternoon, watch porn during a break at work, then tease his wife again before midnight for more sex, roll over then go to sleep as if he has done nothing wrong all day. Meanwhile, his wife (or girlfriend) either pretends as if all is well, really believes things are okay, or senses something but prefers to just let things go for now.
A family gathering means nothing to an abuser when his mind is made up that if anyone or anything makes him mad there is hell to pay. Loved ones can serve the angry man up with a few threats about messing with my daughter and long conversations about doing right by the family, but it means very little to a violent man (or woman). Inside all the bitter man is thinking about is getting even with his big mouth woman who alerted her family about him in the first place.
Gifts might put a smile on an emotionally troubled woman's face, but in time she will go back to behaving badly because she can't seem to get a grip on her personal issues. The children pay, her man pays, and people on the job pay for all the stuff the mean woman has on her mind.
Sex, family gatherings, and gifts are all band aids that don't cover up major wounds. The blood, sweat and tears are still spilling out the sides of that little band aid--messing up things around it and turning off all those who can see the open wound!
One can hope and pray, but there comes a point where you need to do more than just that or else get hurt worse later.