What Color Is This? & Other Little Things Couples Disagree About

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When Justin and I were first dating, I wore a shirt that brought out a long-standing and recurrent disagreement between the two of us. The shirt was obviously blue, except that Justin was completely committed to the idea that it was purple. Ever since, we simply cannot agree on the colors of things. Case in point: last night we were evaluating the paint I picked out for the dining room. I was going for a shade between blue and green, but when I got it on the wall, I wasn’t sure I liked it. It’s SO blue, except that Justin insists that it’s really very green.  (The color is  “Geyser” on the middle of the front swatch.) The argument doesn’t always involve blue, though–pink or orange, black or navy, gray or muted green–name two colors that could be confused for one another, and we have debated them.

I imagine that all couples have these insignificant topics of contention they simply can’t agree on. Aside from color, Justin and I routinely disagree about whether/what preparation is needed before getting in bed at night (it’s never already made, which enables this conversation to continually occur). I absolutely have to straighten and smooth all the wrinkles from the sheets; Justin climbs in regardless of the level of disarray and makes himself comfortable. When he goes to bed before me, a conflict of interests (his need to remain comfortably arranged vs. my need to straighten and rearrange) inevitably occurs.

These silly disagreements always remind me that no matter how well you know a person and how many weighty, important issues you feel exactly the same about, there is always still a fundamental, insurmountable divide between you and someone else. Knowing that Justin and I stare at the same wall and see two different things–and that I literally cannot ever see it through his eyes–feels baffling to me.

It also seems like knowing how to resolve small and unimportant issues is maybe the real art of making a relationship work. Odds are a relationship where two parties don’t agree on foundational topics like politics, religion, money, work/life balance, etc, won’t get too far anyway. But working out which tool is the correct one for washing a pan, how plastic bags ought to be stored in drawers, whether it’s acceptable to play a musical instrument while watching television with another person (this has really been discussed on multiple occasions in our house)–these are the questions life is made of.

Do you have these silly sorts of disagreement with your significant other? If so, how do you resolve them?

VINE & LACE

13 comments

  1. That Geyser color is definitely NOT green! It’s more blue-ish to me, but I wouldn’t call it blue either. It’s RIIIGHT in the middle of the two. 😛

    My husband and I have stupid silly arguments all the time! I wish I could give an example but I can’t think of any right now haha! but I think all couples argue over silly things!

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

    1. Riiiiiight in the middle is good, yes? Maybe I achieved my goal and didn’t even know it! Arguing over silly stuff can be fun at times–it keeps things interesting. I am very serious about a non-wrinkled bed, though. 🙂

  2. It was a few months into my relationship with Mr.Chapman when I realized he was in fact, color blind. He was sporting a green work shirt which he believed to be grey with a blue tie and navy pants. . I knew at this moment, I would be dressing him for the rest of our lives. (I might add, none of the hues of said colors remotely blended well together.) It’s been a struggle going on 8 years. Maybe Justin is color blind, he did also wear questionable outfits while growing up and one might throw this concept out there. 🙂 . As for playing of instruments while watching television, either together or alone. . I hear you and sympathize. Just last night I am enjoying a show, and he is in the kitchen with one of his many guitars just strumming away. . at this point I choose not to fight it. I will fight another battle instead, like why does he now tuck his t-shirts into his pajama pants like a 72 yr old man? Thank goodness my children are already conceived because with this new habit I can’t even look at him while he sports this new (unmatching) ensemble. Lol. My suggestion is this for the organizational problems, give up all organization. Lol. Eventually a child will possibly enter the equation and will destroy all reason and functionality you once had in your house. Best to start practicing and mourning that loss now. 🙂

    1. OMG, Laurel, when you write your memoirs, please send me an advance copy. And please let it be soon! I give you all the props in the world for letting the guitar playing go. I have what I describe as a noise intolerance, so this bugs me SO much! My complaining doesn’t faze Justin, though–he just says he’s multi-tasking. Oy! As for the organization, I was actually thinking of my mom with the plastic bags; we just ball them up and shove them in a pile–so at least that’s one less thing to go down the drain when we (someday) have a kid. 🙂

  3. its not my significant other but I have this same argument all the time with my mom. She always fights me on what a colour is, even though I am 100% sure that it’s pink, she thinks it’s orange, or whatever colour she feels like disagreeing about. It’s an ongoing battle. I wish I could tell you how to resolve it but I guess the only possible solution is to accept that everyone sees things differently and as long as you both think it looks good that’s all that matters.

    1. I was kind of wondering if maybe there was a difference in the way men and women see color (I’ve heard before that men are more likely to be color blind), but I guess not! Oh yes, I’m for sure that I have similar silly disagreements with my mother–it probably happens in any relationship where you are close to someone. I like you solution, though–if everybody’s happy, who cares what color it is! 🙂

  4. Oh man, I wholeheartedly agree. You can see eye to eye on the big stuff, but unless you figure out how to navigate the little things, the relationship is as good as doomed. Case in point: me and my then boyfriend, who happened to live together. The argument that eventually led to our big, dramatic breakup? Him not doing the dishes for the upteenth time. Haha I’m not even kidding.

    Living with people is hard -__-

    Also, I side with your boyfriend with the messy bed- it’s already broken in and comfy 🙂

    xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

    1. Wow, that is a huge bummer, and I’m very sorry that happened to you! On the other hand, you really have to stand up for what you deserve in a relationship, and a beautiful, classy, smart, creative lady like yourself deserves EVERYTHING! And then also a cupcake. 🙂

      I think part of my bed obsession goes back to my mother and grandmother (two neat-freaky Italian ladies). My mom’s two real rules were 1) make that bed and 2) never go barefoot in a hotel. 😉

  5. Sometimes you have to step back and evaluate what’s important in your life. Is the color of the paint really worth fighting about when life is short, you never know what can happen tomorrow? We all have moments when we have to express our opinions and prove we are right. I try to take a deep breath and remind myself that I am lucky to be alive and healthy. Suddenly you will realize that whatever you feel so strong about doesn’t seem so important anymore =)

    Juju
    http://www.jujusprinkles.com

    1. Oh yes, I totally agree! I mostly find it funny that Justin and I can never agree on color. Neither of us takes it seriously enough to really fight over it. For sure we both believe we are lucky to have a roof over our heads, not to mention being in a position to be able to own our home and fix it up. Like you said, perspective is everything!!

  6. the geyser looks green-grey, to me.
    i think there are certain things that are particular to me that my husband will acquiesce to. the bed being made before bedtime being one them. it makes me happy so therefore he’ll do it. there are things that he prefers that i don’t have a strong opinion about but will lean twds ignoring/not doing but i will make the effort to do for him. it’s no skin off my back to do the majority of the dishes since he hates having to, and he handles the laundry, which i hate. it’s give & take and it works.

    1. Your husband sounds like he understands the “happy wife, happy life” principle, and that makes him a wise man! Justin and I for the most part have a similar thing going. He hasn’t taken a thing out of the dryer in years (he washes it and gets it into the dryer, at which point amnesia apparently sets in), but I don’t mind folding. He manages our three dogs every morning because I am literally always running late and he can be out the door in under 5 minutes. Just like you guys, we’ve developed a system, and it works.

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