We create the same spaces for each other. After nearly twenty years, and innumerable moves, I can't even remember what those adjustments were anymore. But if one of us likes something, and it's not a huge inconvenience to the other, it's fine, no question. D is awake at night a lot, lights wake me up at night, whereas sounds do not. So, he can play his guitar softly or turn on the TV in the wee hours, but we have a red lightbulb in the main room that doesn't wake me. (The way into the bathroom and litter boxes is through the bedroom, and Moby doesn't have opposable thumbs to open the door if it's not left ajar, you see.)
So different from my erratic father's insistence that I had it so easy, I was so "spoiled" but I would learn that the "real world" would treat me so much worse, and I had to learn. He would turn on the 100 watt light in the upstairs hall to wake me, painfully. I would not be left alone to read. So many unnecessary restrictions, because of what he just didn't like. Funny, nothing was ever quite so bad as being a child in his house, under his authority. Even my time with the ex, worse in some ways, (I could not twist my toes* with my fingers without being informed that I was "doing that again") at least it was in my power to walk away†. The Army was easier, as it had clear rules and limits, and the sergeants were utterly in control of themselves.
There is a Sacred Harp song called Love At Home that always chokes me up a little. Love at home I will never take for granted, as it took so long to be the heart of my life. I have come to believe it is only when we have some small refuge, where we can be at peace, and are beloved, and can pour out our love, that we become most human. Without that, we need to form a hard crust to carry on. To grow up that way meant having to learn later how to be open, how to trust, how to be at ease, to let go of the anger and irrelevant insistences. I still have a lot of BCBs (Burnt Crunchy Bits.)‡
It grows easier. With each day, each year together, we find a deeper ease, a gentler way to live.
*I had inturned feet as a child, with toes that piled up on each other. So I took it on myself to mould them down. Since I started when I was so small, it actually worked, and it is an lifetime habit of comfort. My toes are in a pretty normal position today, because of my persistence.
†After I took my hands away, and put on shoes and socks, of course.
‡A reference to the Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett.