Two things that are very different from each other.

We have countless phrases that refer to similarities in two people. Several phrases that perfectly compare and liken two people to each other succinctly …like two peas in a pod/ birds of a feather and my sister’s favourite “radishes of one field“( a literal translation from a Hindi proverb) to name a few! 🙂

However descriptive of the exact opposite personality trait in the verbal spectrum is the phrase as different as chalk and cheese.

For some reason this (well not some I know exactly when) this phrase came to my mind recently and got me thinking. I have of late been hearing of several couples facing hard times in their relationship purely due to just this.

The catalyst event to my thoughts was …..Driving home with the family one late evening, open roads, loud music in the car and no words spoken I reached my destination feeling very happy and content having enjoyed the drive very much. One look at my hubby’s face however made me realise that he hadn’t enjoyed the drive quite as much as I had. The loud music had got to him. He would have much rather preferred driving home in utter silence. For dinner we had Chinese, he would have preferred Indian. On weekends I love to go out, he would have preferred a day at home. When friends come home, I would like for all of us to have a raucous loud evening, laughing singing and dancing even. He would much rather skip the singing and dancing parts. For holidays I would love to visit new places explore destinations fill the holiday up with activities tours etc. every day. He would love to go to new places but then once there he would rather enjoy a leisurely holiday with definitely no pre-planned activities. Yet together we have managed either consciously or unconsciously to find middle ground. Together we enjoy our weekends – some his way some mine, together we enjoy our drives –some with music some in glorious silence, and together I would like to think that we offset each other finding middle ground finding happiness together. I am blessed to say that we manage to work around these differences keeping in mind the bigger picture of our lives together. I’m not saying we are perfect it is a work in progress but yes we do work at it.

But I know of several couples that fall perfectly within the parameters set by this phrase – as different as chalk and cheese and unfortunately don’t seem to be able to work it out.

Two people who couldn’t be more unsuited to each other, so different in their likes dislikes mannerisms tastes yet somehow circumstances have brought them together and led them to being bound together for eternity (well at least as of now) in holy matrimony! Sadly some of them find thereafter that overcoming these differences can be a challenging task which needs constant effort.

She loves music, loves to travel, discovering places meeting new people. He likes to spend the holidays with his folks!

Her idea of a perfect weekend would be one spent with the family, eating out, going out, spending time with friends, music perhaps even by the beach. He would like to be left alone to go fishing or go golfing! (Now I know many of guys reading are thinking well what’s wrong with that!)

She is polished, likes the finer things in life, looks to spend an evening at the opera, he would much rather be in front of the telly in his boxers nursing a cold beer!

He loves his red meat, she’s vegan and an animal rights activist.

She loves to shop he feels they need to save more!

Religion also plays an important role in many marriages.

They say opposites attract. But can these opposing tastes or views turn into foundations for discord? There are a myriad of other topics that can also crack the foundations of a strong marriage ranging from money to career ambitions to infidelity and then just basic smaller incompatibilities. Are any of them individually sufficient grounds for permanent partings? Could small differences one day gnaw away and grow into bases for larger battles?

It may seem trivial some of the opposing views. But it’s these very trivial issues that sow the seeds of intolerance or anger in a person’s mind. Then there’s no going back. It takes a tremendous amount of mental maturity, a reasonably big heart and a lot of patience for someone to see the situation without preconceived anger. To be able to view the pros and cons of a relationship without ones judgement being clouded by your personal pride or ego.

Sadly I have seen a few couples close to me being torn apart permanently due to these very reasons. Tiny issues which initially when the couple embark on life together were laughed off as endearing quirks or differences. But then as reality and life sets in they become three headed monsters eating away at the relationship.

Can one ‘fool proof’ against such eventualities? Do such guarantees even exist in a relationship? How do we help a couple find common grounds to stand and plant their roots together in? Is this something we need to warn more young couples about? Or leave them to find the way themselves? Is it all easier said than done? I wonder…


8 thoughts on “CHALK & CHEESE

  1. Pingback: CHALK & CHEESE | charteblanche

  2. Pingback: CHALK & CHEESE | charteblanche

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