Portrait of a marriage: Chalk and Cheese

This pic’s for my hubby.

He’s a total chess fanatic you see. Add to this his incredible passions for theology, history and as of a coupla weeks ago, geology and well…sometimes we feel like we’re from completely different planets.

I was chatting to a very dear friend about this the other day, specifically, about how because we met so young (I was 18 when I first stalked my way into his life met him), my hubby and I have now seemingly grown into very different people.

And…I’ll be honest. There are times when this worries me. There are times when this worries him.

But seeing as we’ve got quite a lot riding on this marriage thing – aside from which I really believe that at the end of my life, if I’m still sharing a bed-pan with married to the same dude and neither of us has yet actually followed through on the occasional impulse to maim, then you know…at least something’s been successful.

But…in the grand tradition of chess, we are in need of some strategy.

So far we’ve resolved to:

a) focus on the stuff we DO have in common. Digging photography. Planning some volunteer trips with the kids. THE KIDS.

b) look at the positives. Bear in mind this is not one of those “oh but when you’re so different you’ve got so much more to talk about!” situations. I cannot for the life of me feign an interest in igneous rocks. And I have tried. But you know, I guess us being different means that we’ve got…um…other stuff to talk to other people about? Hmmm. Still working on that one…

c) try to consciously invite each other into our worlds. Case in point: Gumball Theatre. Rather than relegate the hubbster to child-minding duty during all things Gumball related, we’re committed to finding childcare elsewhere so that he is absolutely part of the whole shebang.

But you know, sometimes it really is damn hard.

How bout you? Any experiences – romantic or otherwise – with peeps you have very little in common with, that you care to share?

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10 Comments

  1. Sally
    November 23, 2010
    Reply

    Hmm not really related to this post, but in a flash of inspiration the other day, after reading your posts on fostering and the kids wanting a dog, I thought, you know what? You should foster a dog! No seriously, have you ever thought about fostering a guide dog puppy?

    • November 24, 2010
      Reply

      Oh my goodness, you might just be a freaking GENIUS!

  2. Ashley Moore
    November 24, 2010
    Reply

    If you can’t feign an interest in igneous rocks, how about sedimentary rocks, which are much more exciting. Or metamorphic rocks, the wild boys of the geology world.

    • November 24, 2010
      Reply

      I’m sorry, Ash, is that you? For a moment I thought you were the hubbster…

  3. November 24, 2010
    Reply

    Absolutely. My husband and I are suffering/working through how to even speak the same language. I’m artistic have grand ideas, think way outside the box, and think that you should enjoy what you do for a living because you do more of that than anything else. Him – electrician, logical, methodical, practical. I don’t have those “ical” things. We’re constantly at each other and things have been tough for a while. I don’t know what the future will bring but I do know we need to find some common ground. It’s hard.

    • November 28, 2010
      Reply

      Hey Heather, thanks so much for sharing yourself (and your hubby) with us. It is really hard to find common ground, for sure. One thing I forgot to mention in this post is that with the occasional freak out of wondering how on earth we can hope to make it work when we’re so damn different, comes the realisation that I also do NOT want to be with somebody who’s just like me either.

      Seriously, I think I would want to kill them too. I guess it’s hard no matter who you’re with. 🙂

  4. Franipantz
    November 24, 2010
    Reply

    Not having been in many long term relationships myself I find it hard to relate but I think I can give some insight on the relationships of people close me.
    If you really knew my parents you would wonder how the heck they EVER made it nearly 40 years and only getting stronger being together through somewhat hellish circumstances (child dying = hell). They are completely different people in every way!! Though in many ways I can see how they’ve rubbed off on each other.
    This brings to mind 2 wise old fridge magnet sayings:
    “The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well”.
    And:
    “We make friends with people we’d like to be like” – Maybe I made that one up myself but it’s still true.
    I see qualities in all my ‘chosen friends’ that I aspire to and admire in each. Surely we’re attracted to people we admire for certain traits we’d like to acquire?

    To address the first: it’s only when you’ve known someone for 10 years plus (sometimes a lot less) that you can really know you know them, and even then you have to be open to the fact that they might have, may be or might in future – change. As might you.

    When we first meet the love our lives we feel like we have ‘so much in common’. Maybe this only lasts a few years before we notice we keep developing as individuals. From what I’ve heard – this is a very healthy way to be in a relationship: developing as and being individuals.
    So really, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Everything you say sounds completely normal and healthy to me. And I’ve gone a long way to find out what IS healthy and normal in most things to do with life.
    Similarities or differences have nothing to do with how we get along with each other as individuals really. It depends how you see it. Same goes for religious persuasion, ethnicity, spiritual belief, sexuality, interests, whatever. The fact we’re all different is the beauty of it all. If someone is interested in something you’re not – we can only give respect to their interest, we don’t have to take part. “It’s awesome that you find the difference between shale and slate interesting dear”. It’s not a bad thing. Just a thing.
    And ‘Things’ make life interesting. Hallelujah to interesting even if it’s something you’re not interested in. It’s still good material.
    Don’t worry Jen. I think everyone feels like they’re with someone they’ve got nothing in common with at some stage or another. Doesn’t mean it’s not gonna last forever with bells on. Most probably will.
    Love ya work. Keep rockin’ it sister!
    XX

    • November 28, 2010
      Reply

      Thanks Frannie for taking the time to respond babe. So funny, you’re so right about feeling like there’s so much in common at the beginning. I guess I have to look back and see those things are still there, even if we’ve added others to them. We still love Pearl Jam. We still love Woodford. We still love incense. They’re not enough to base an entire relationship on, for sure, but they’re still SOMETHING! xx

  5. Kath
    November 27, 2010
    Reply

    Thanks for your honesty and sharing such an intimate topic Jen!
    And here here! I think relationships are tough at times too. Most of the time it is positive – we balance each other out. For example I am an explorer and socialite. Most of my life I have been a nomad flitting around. But Jeremy is a home-body and an introvert. We are both quite extreme in our tendencies but are gradually pulling each other to center albeit with a little kicking and screaming. I now enjoy home activities like gardening and cooking and Jeremy thanks me for showing him the world.
    So a little painful in the process but the outcome is wonderful!
    K xox
    PS I can’t believe this is my first blog comment…. EVER! I am no longer a blog virgin 🙂

    • November 28, 2010
      Reply

      Congrats my little blog slorry!!!

      It is awesome that you guys can bring each other into your respective worlds. I think that’s pretty ideal, really (well, you know, as ideal as relationships can be!!!) To not just bring out the good stuff in each other but share your worlds. I don’t think it’s so much about becoming one as it is joining up and expanding your universe.

      Man I sound like a hippy. Pass that round, won’t ya?

      x

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