In one of our bathrooms the sink has this regular habit of draining slowly. Every two or three years I have to clean in out. Now, this is a do it yourself (DIY) issue…and if you remember from the Something I Hate post back in July you know that DIY is NOT my strong suit.
A few months ago the issue began again. So like a true man I decided to wait it out. You know, because some problems will eventually solve themselves. Not this one. Over a few weeks the amount of water draining slowed to a trickle and when you washed your hands the sink would quickly fill and you’d have to wait for it to drain. The trail of tiny bubbles let me know it was working, but not in a healthy fashion. We visited the store and picked up some stuff that claimed it could clear a drain in 7 minutes! Hey! Seven minutes sounds great! I’m into problems that can be solved in 7 minutes. Looks like a solid purchase. At home I followed the instructions. Waiting the 7 minutes was a breeze. But yeah, no change. Waste of money. So I decided to give the problem more time to improve on its own. I waited a couple of weeks (or longer). It became worse. Back to the store. This time they had stuff that said it would take 15 minutes or 30 minutes for “tough buildup”. This was Max Power Gel and looked impressive. The problem we had was tough. So tough! I gave the Max Power Gel a full 30 minutes then flushed it with hot water. A little improvement but not free flowing. Oh well, something is better than nothing. So I let it go again for a few weeks. Of course it got worse because whatever nastiness was down there quickly attracted more nastiness (remember Danger – Poison!).
Again to the store and they were selling something even more impressive. Scary black bottle with instructions to leave it in for 8 hours. So glad we have a second bathroom! This time I didn’t mess around. I used my plumbing snake (of sorts, it’s this cheapo long metal thing with a tightly wound metal spring-like contraption on the end) to clean out the drain first. Not much came out. THEN I put in the 8 hour stuff. Guess what? No go. The same as before, maybe a 10% improvement. At this point I resolved myself to the fact that I was either going to have to tear apart the plumbing and clean it out or call a professional. I was very resolved. So I waited a few more weeks. Powerful resolve. (If you missed it a couple of those sentences were sarcastic.)
One day I went in the bathroom and the Max Power Gel bottle was on the counter. Apparently Sally had found it and was giving me a subtle hint. I figured I’d give it another shot and followed the instructions as before. Run some hot water, then pour in 1/5 to half the bottle (depending on the severity of the problem). I poured in maybe a third of the bottle. Then we went and did some other things. About 45 minutes later I flushed it with hot water. Looked like a small improvement, perhaps 30%. At this point I decided to go for broke. I poured in every last drop of the Max Power Gel. It was a LOT. Then another wait past the 30 minute mark. I flushed it with hot water, but didn’t stop right away. I let the hot water just go and go and go. It looked like another 20% or so improvement at first, but as the water poured down the drain it just kept picking up speed. After a couple of minutes something came loose WAY down deep and the drain flow increased dramatically. BOOM, breakthrough! Problem solved!
It’s now a few weeks later and the drain is still working like a champ!
Ok, we are over 650 words into this blog and all you’ve gotten is a plumbing story. Let me bring it back around. Most happily married people know that one of the best ways to insure marital happiness is to pay attention to the small things every day. Things like taking a few minutes to spend just talking to each other, doing something one or both of you really enjoys or praying together as we covered in 22 Years of Failure. But every once in a while you have to take it to the next level. You need to bust out the Max Power…twice! Then you have to pour it on like the hot water. What do I mean?
Here are some suggestions: Take a trip, just the two of you and reconnect. Go to a marriage retreat to learn and grow. Start a new venture together. Find marriage mentors (Sally and I are certified marriage mentors in case you are looking). If necessary seek a counselor. Some problems you can resolve quickly and easily, but perhaps you need to bring out the max power and JUST CONTINUE POURING IT ON! Keep going and don’t quit until you see the breakthrough. I made a mistake with the sink by not staying at it and it cost us months of unhappy hand washings Don’t spend days, weeks or even years of your marriage unhappy. If you have a true problem then just throwing the occasional small solution at it and waiting and hoping it will go away may never work. Get it fixed! (Remember, you and God can fix your problems, but it’s not your job to fix all of your spouse’s problems.)
I don’t know what you are working through. Maybe everything is fine. But perhaps there is a problem. A lack of love? A loss in communication? A secret hidden sin? It really doesn’t matter what the problem is, what matters is recognizing the problem and dealing with it…at max power!
Don’t let problems fester, work through them right away. It will often be easier than you think.
Remember, no matter what is happening God is with you.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
I love you all!