Gold and White: 6 things the “Tumblr Dress” taught me about marriage.

I’m sitting watching a show with my daughter and during a commercial, I happened to look down at my twitter feed. 

Big mistake.  The world was crazy with over the color of a dress.  This phenom started Thursday with a Tumblr post. A lady posted a picture of a two-toned dress with the caption, “Guys please help me-is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking…out.” (edited out the f-bomb)

tumblr_nkcjuq8Tdr1tnacy1o1_1280

Within hours, the image went viral and consumed social network.  I was lost.  Everybody was posting, tweeting, and retweeting and would stop to clear up my confusion: 

Before, long, I heard Anne call me from the other room asking me about it. It didn’t take long, but after spending a few moments (that I will NEVER get back) I found out what the world was obsessed with.  

And I don’t really get the big deal. But I did learn something about marriage, 

6 things the “Tumblr Dress” taught me about marriage. 

1. Some people just love to argue. You see them on facebook and twitter.  Some of you see them when you wake up in the morning.  People think it’s fun to get a rise out of others.  I’ve counseled couples in which the one who loves to argue has not clue that their method of “fun” is what’s driving their spouse away. If you are one of those people who love to intentionally engage in unnecessary conflict and you are married to someone who is NOT like you…I’ve got some advice for you: Stop trying to stir up arguments all the time.  It’s not cute and you’re annoying the crap out of your spouse. 

2. You’re not going to agree on everything. Stop thinking you do.  If you disagree on stuff, there’s nothing wrong with your marriage.  If you two agree on everything, then one of you is not necessary.  You may just need to agree to disagree. Which leads me to #3…

3. Arguments mean you are not compatible…AND THAT’S A GOOD THING. Compatibility is a farce. So many people (and dating websites) are bent on this being the “end-all” of relationships.  Compatibility attracts…and that’s all it’s limited to. But it doesn’t make a marriage. In fact, the word “compatible” means, “Able to exist or occur together without conflict.” The incompatibility of your lives gives room for the two of you to work, love, and grow together.  Your marriage is WAY RICHER because you’ve married to somebody who is much DIFFERENT than YOU are. 

4. Perception is more reality than you think. Sometimes we are so bent on changing our spouse’s perception.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but there’s a small process to it.  First, validate their perception.  He/she sees something you do not.  Instead of making them feel wrong/stupid/ignorant, let him/or her feel valued by understanding what they see. Second, clearly and calmly explain your understanding to the situation.  Third, if needed, apologize.  Even if your actions are misunderstood, your actions did lead to the misunderstanding (a little extra humility never hurt anyone). Lastly, let the response of your actions change the perception.  

5. Don’t tell me you two have nothing to talk about. There’s always something to talk about. The world stopped to talk about a dress (which I think is gold and white). What’s really happened is one or both of you have quit trying to talk.  You’ll push yourself at work, church, the story, etc. to engage with people.  You’re spouses deserves that effort and more. 

6. You don’t have to be right all the time. You like it.  I know I enjoy being right.  For a portion of my marriage, even if I was wrong, I could manipulate the conversation to make Anne feel responsible for the situation so that I could be right.  It was wrong.  It’s still wrong. If you are bent on ALWAYS being right makes you less attractive and more of a jerk.  So stop it. 

In the midst of all of this, I find myself in Proverbs 18:15.  It says, 

Wise men and women are always learning,
    always listening for fresh insights.

I’m a guy who’s always trying to learn.  I am looking for ways to grow. As silly as this whole dress thing is, there’s so much we can learn from our human responses.  And if we don’t pursue opportunities to learn, we will pay for it personally as well as martially.  To learn is to live. And in the words from one of my favorite movies, “Get busy living or get busy dying.” 

Now that the “Tumblr Dress” has had its 15 minutes of fame…this blog is officially outdated.  

Thanks for letting me ramble…

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