1. Time getting home: In a job like mine, quitting time is highly variable. After my last meeting of the day it's up to me how much longer to stay, although late afternoon/evening time is often some of the most productive for programming so I usually want to stay later. The time I get home further depends on whether I bike or take a train, which depends on whether it's raining, etc. Left ot my own devices I might get home anywhere between 5:30 and 8pm. When I lived alone, I didn't even think about this. But it inconveniences Sushu when she doesn't know what time I get home. She can't plan around it, she doesn't know if she should eat dinner without me, or what.
Easy solution: any day that we don't have something prearragned I email her to let her know what time I'm coming home. We figured this one out in the first year and it hasn't been much of a problem since.
2. The wait cycle: Say we were planning to take a walk together after dinner. But then I start reading something, and while Sushu is waiting for me to finish reading, she starts sketching a comic. Then I finish reading, but she's sketching a comic, so while I wait for her to be done with that I start doing some accordion practice. Then she finishes sketching but has to wait for me to be done practicing so... We could cycle like this for hours and never leave the house.
Now when Sushu's doing something waiting for me, she'll say out loud "I'm wait cycling". And vice versa. This usually ends the cycle rapidly. (Sometimes just naming a problem gets you most of the way to fixing it.) We just figured this one out this year.
3. Social event warning: I'm an introvert. I have energy for only a limited amount of socialization per day. The last thing I want to do, after getting home, is have to talk to somebody I don't know. There were some times in the first year when I would get home and then find out that somebody was coming to visit or that we were going to somebody's house. It stressed me out.
Now Sushu gives me a couple days' advance warning of any potential encounter with strange humans (and usually offers me an exit strategy).
4. Time horizon for trip planning: Sushu likes to plan trips a few months ahead of time, reserving plane tickets and hotel rooms way in advance so she can relax until it's time to go. I have trouble even thinking about anything two months in the future -- two weeks is about my time horizon at which future events start to feel concrete; anything beyond that feels like "someday". It used to be that Sushu would start making reservations and ask me questions like "Do you want to stay in Trujillo or Chiclayo on Wednesday night?" and I'd be like "Where the hell is Trujillo? How should I know?". She'd end up planning the whole trip herself and be frustrated that I wasn't participating, and then later when the trip entered my mental time horizon I would realize I had missed my chance to give input.
We're still working out a solution to this. For our latest trip planning (we're going to Peru next month) I told her I needed some time to clear out space in my head. We scheduled a weekend to do the planning. I bought a guidebook, a Spanish phrasebook, and a paper planning calendar (the only one they had at Office Depot was a "kitchen calendar for moms" with purple flowers all over it; talk about pointlessly gendering products. Whatever, I like purple.) I've been reading up on Peru and writing trip details on the calendar; it helps make things more concrete, and this time I feel like I'm having more input.
5. Bedtimes: Sushu needs to get up earlier than I do. So she needs to sleep by 11. But sometimes I want to stay up later than that. But it turns out she has trouble falling asleep until I come to bed. So if I stay up late, it limits how much sleep she can get.
Just this week I resolved to go to sleep the same time as her every night. I'll ask what time she needs to wake up, and aim to sleep 8 hours before then. If this gets me on an earlier and more regular schedule, great! Bonus.
None of these are, like, huge romantic sacrifices or hardships or any of that. They're just minor things that we're gradually figuring out to make living together more functional. I think mutual willingness to keep doing small adjustments is important to make relationships work in the long run.