The Two Week Rule

Everyone has good days and bad days in a relationship, so not every day or week will go wonderfully in your marriage. Bad moods can come and go. However bad moods, changes in behavior or general wierdness shouldn’t go on and on without explanation or investigation.
I’m still somewhat reading the Talk About Marriage forum but commenting less and less. I’m just getting frustrated with the near constant issue of variations on the theme of, “My wife has been cranky with me for no reason that I understand and going out with her newly divorced girlfriend a lot. This has been going on for the last two years. How do I reconnect with her?”
Regular MMSL readers will already be facepalming and groaning. Dude, did you not see the signs?
And yes, almost always the problem is that an affair of some sort has been going on for the last two years. Which generally means the poster is screwed with an enormously difficult situation to resolve. The biggest aspect of his failure is simply a failure to do anything to understand the situation. Nearly any other reaction would have been better than simply doing nothing and hoping her attitude would change toward him.
A wife’s affair at the two year mark is usually deeply physical and emotionally intense with the lover, and coupled with a very shallow connection to the husband. But at the two week mark, an affair is usually only at the flirting level with inappropriate texts, emails and phone calls. That’s vastly easier to head off and resolve things.
It may not even be cheating either. It can be any number of potentially relationship breaking problems that cause your spouse to get strange on you.
So the rule is simple…
Anytime you notice your partner being usually moody, odd, avoidant or devious with you, never let it go on more than two weeks without getting to the bottom of it.


  1. Badger says

    (a) I am with you on the creeping advice fatigue. I try to respond thoughtfully to emailers (which are a lot less in number than yours) and I do like the feedback. But, say, over at Susan Walsh's blog, people (esp young women) write in with the same exact problems over and over – usually hookup-to-relationship, FWB, does-he-want-to-marry-me or "I can't find a man [who will date me that I'm attracted to]." There does come a feeling that one has said much of what he has to say.

    (My response to this has been to dig up some offbeat and expansive blog ideas I had sketched out when starting the Badger Hut. Solomon's response was to hang it up. Roissy's was to expand and dilute the brand.)

    Brendan felt that kind of thing for a while and then finally hung it up, only parachuting into occasional discussions.

    (b) "Anytime you notice your partner being usually moody, odd, avoidant or devious with you, never let it go on more than two weeks without getting to the bottom of it."

    A year and a half too late. I don't know if this advice would have saved my LTR (which probably needed to be extinguished eventually) but it would have made things more pleasant, or possibly ended it earlier if it was to end.

  2. Athol Kay says

    Badger – It's not so much advice fatigue, I've had that since 2009 and it's part of why I started MMSL. The point of the blog and book is to create a standardized advice framework so that I don't have to repeat myself endlessly.

    Honestly I don't understand why any of those bloggers you mentioned didn't actually publish something in book form. Much of the writing and research is excellent, but for whatever reason they can't make the final step.

    You and Susan should publish something. Dalrock is brillant and really needs to publish as well.

    No I don't think the two week rule would have saved things for you… other than saved time. But then time is precious.

  3. Lainey says

    This needs to be applied to husbands as well. One of my very dear friends just found out her husband was having an affair.

    She is gorgeous, and a great mom and wife. He had a mid-life crisis and business troubles – pulled away from his wife. She gave him space and he blew it. He knows he blew it, too. So sad.

  4. Anonymous says

    The exact thing happened to me about six months ago, married for 15 years with two little boys. Wife was cranky and started doing GNO a couple times a month. Hanging out with her girlfriends late night partying, etc, etc. At the same time she gives me the "I need space speech". Luckily with the help of TAM and Dr. Glover's No Mister Nice Guy website I was able to blow up the emotional affair about 2 weeks after it started. A couple of months of therapy and lots of reading Athol's blog I have been able to turn my marriage around for the last six months or so. I don't see any problems in my marriage for the immediate future, but I am ever vigilante now.

    I agree that hanging out on TAM can be depressing because it's the same sad story over and over and over. Athol has written such a great book and I think every husband should get a copy when the get married, plain and simple!

  5. Lainey says

    Anon – Was it only an emotional affair? Had it not breached the physical?

    It seems like once it gets physical that is a point of no return. :(

  6. Anonymous says

    Athol, my standard is pretty clear. If my wife strays, the guy is dead. Never had any problems.

  7. Athol Kay says

    Anon 4:12 – violence is an old strategy. I don't question that it can be effective as a deterent, but the outcome of simply being cheated on seems better than being cheated on plus jailed/dead.

  8. Lainey says

    I agree. When cheated on life may feel like it is over, in fact the life one planned on may very well be over. Don't throw it all away based on one person being untrustworthy.

  9. Anonymous says

    Hmmm… I'm afraid to wander over to TAM without some guidance. I don't want to fall back into the pit of despair that was caused by my now-ex-husband having cheated on me. I can prove the online stuff, but can never prove anything physical. I need to heal from that, given the fact that I have divorced him. Even tho time has passed, I can feel the skepticism creeping in. No one is immune to my scrutiny now. How on earth can I learn to relax and enjoy a good thing standing right in front of me?

    The scars are so painful.

  10. Anonymous says


    Easier said than done. If my fianceé cheated on me, I would never be able to feel at ease again. When she leaves to work, is she really working? Is that lunch with the colleagues really just a lunch?

    I would never be able to find my peace of mind again. So, I would have to end it, there would be no other way.


  11. Jon says

    Anon 4:12 – violence is an old strategy. I don’t question that it can be effective as a deterent, but the outcome of simply being cheated on seems better than being cheated on plus jailed/dead.

    I read somewhere that a husband can’t plead insanity for killing his wife’s lover because it’s considered the act of a reasonable man.

    Even so, I kind of wish I exhibited less restraint when I was going through it. If my ex had thought I was likely to do something rash, she probably wouldn’t have brought her boyfriends over to the house.


  1. […] 7) Sex is necessary for marriage. If you fool around all through your twenties then settle down, you don’t get to cut your man off from your vagina without some consequences. There’s a fine line here that requires some communication though. The reason a lot of women end up cutting off the vagina-fun-zone is because they’re no longer attracted to their man. If that happens, it is absolutely a Red Pill Woman’s responsibility to initiate a State of the Marriage talk to fix it, if her husband hasn’t taken the initiative to do it himself. Follow the Two Week Rule. […]

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