Miracles at the strain in the drain
To the casual observer, the relationship was going great. Few knew of the discomfort and distress going on between Amber and Douglas. In fact, most who knew thought that Douglas was being a bit too picky about too much. After all, Amber was one awesome lady.
The analysis that Douglas had run seemed to suggest that he was being railroaded unfairly. Most of the few who knew of their troubles were friends of Amber and would naturally take her side. But how to convince his own guy friends that he was not the one causing the issue was another matter.
The Case Study
Running out of options and feeling pretty bleak, Douglas proposed a case study to get a more neutral opinion of things. In this case study, the most mundane and most trivial of matters was going to be on trial to prove to the world that the issue was not just in one corner of the relationship.
Amber, not the biggest fan of doing dishes, felt that Douglas was not careful enough to do the dishes on time or well. Neither could agree on what well meant either. Douglas felt that he was unfairly blamed for timeliness because Amber never asked for help. And when he went to do the dishes, she was always asking to leave them alone so she could do them.
What was the sore point that led to many heated discussions was the use of the drain. Yes, the use of the drain.
Douglas felt that a strain had to cover the drain at all times so that food particles wouldn’t accumulate and eventually clog the drain. Amber felt it made her process worse by holding not only the food particles, but filling up and backing up the water. Worse, the strain would shift about as she tried to move the particles around, and would seal off the drain… causing the whole sink to fill with water. And did she ever hate fishing around a filled sink to remove the strain to let water flow down the drain.
Of course, this would set off all of Douglas’ sensibilities as he would get highly upset by what he felt was carelessness on Amber’s part. The thought of a clogged drain needing a plumber and destroying their delicately balanced budget was too much for Douglas to take silently.
To add insult to injury, never in all of Douglas’ dish washing experiences has he ever had the sink fill with water without him intentionally setting it so. To him, Amber’s disorganized thinking prevented her from focusing long enough to learn how to properly operate the strain covering the drain.
Douglas figured that this was the perfect case study. Something typical and small that drew a wedge between them that most would not know existed. Very representative of the issues that made him feel that his wife didn’t care for his feelings and thought he was inept.
As far as Douglas was concerned, there were very limited options to resolve this. He either let things slide and hoped that the day the sink got clogged, Amber had the presence of mind to admit it was her fault and cover the repairs. Of course, he knew that would never happen that way. The other choice was to keep bickering about it and hope that one day she’d learn. And that wasn’t looking likely either, because the more he tried to explain things, the more she just removed the strain and left it out of the sink entirely while doing the dishes.
His last resort scared him. He was told by one of his boys that he should just one day stage snapping on Amber. Just totally go crazy and throw an epic monster tantrum at the top of his lungs as close to her face as he dared. That would get her attention, make her understand he had enough, and assert himself as the natural leader of the relationship.
The problem Douglas had with that idea, his lovely wife Amber was the type of lady who didn’t back down from any confrontation and loved eating male egos for a snack. That’s how she rose to prominence at her job. She knew how to handle herself strongly and confidently in front of any male ego that struck or dared cross her path. If he allowed himself to stand to her like that, she’d just kick him to the curb and his problems would have grown ten fold.
Douglas was not ready to be single by any stretch of the imagination. However, not doing anything to resolve this issue meant that he couldn’t find any solution to the root cause of the problem. Amber, in his opinion, had no respect for him and viewed him as a chore that she had to nurture until death liberated her from him.