February 23, 2020:
Within hours of moving in she set out to take away from me my favorite room, the dining room I was so proud of. She used the dining table and chairs to hang wet laundry. The entire time she lived with me she refused to take meals together there. She never ate there once.
I should have concluded immediately the truth which became inescapable over time: she's a sour person, a person incapable of taking joy in other people's happiness.
Her sole interest was in making the space hers. The entire space. Without collaboration or compromise. To the point where she very literally asked me to not be in it. And barricaded herself in her private suite if ever I was.
She savagely criticized my moral and intellectual commitments, poured scorn on them, and me. She told me I was a bad person. She refused to spend time together. She made me feel invisible and unimportant and small.
When challenged she labeled my perspective "unkind" or "mean". It wasn't unkind. She doesn't want to be challenged.
Later, when she was gone, friends came to visit and immediately sat for meals in the dining room. They commented on how comfortable it was, how the details of the individual pieces were so cleverly adapted to the space; and they asked where I'd found the sideboards, or if I'd had them custom made. It was shocking to me because by then I was so used to thinking the room was shit.
Recent studies suggest that marriages succeed when the partners are generous toward each others' personal commitments, making the partner feel accepted, safe, and nurtured. Marriages fail when one or both partners are contemptuous of the things which are important to the other.