The problem is, people are a lot more likely to break the rules if they know (or think) they'll get a warning. If they know they will probably get banned for breaking the rules, they will be a lot more careful not to break them.
You guys may not realize it, but one of the main reasons TAM is such a great place to post, is the fact that we are strict when it comes to being respectful to others here (rule #1
There are a lot of other boards on the web where people constantly spew their anger towards each other through personal attacks and name calling, and if you've ever been to one, you'll know how ugly they can be.
When people start that stuff here, if they are brand new, we permaban them for the first offense. If they have been around a while we kind of have an unwritten "3 strikes you're out" policy. We keep notes on all warned and banned users so mods can easily look at their history.
So I'm not going to apologize for banning without warning, or even act like we'll consider softening up. Sometimes we do give warnings, but it's usually for things that are borderline against the rules, or grey areas.
You see, banning without warning may seem cruel in some ways, but it is actually the secret to maintaining such a healthy, supportive community.
Our goal is to provide a supportive community for people to seek marital help and to help others. We will remove any member who gets in the way of that goal. I like to call it the "Talk About Marriage Relocation Program."