For 22 years the kitchen was my domain. I planned and cooked the meals, did the shopping, organized the cabinets and refrigerator. Completing the vital task of providing nutrition for my family allowed a sense of purpose and control in my life. Mike who does no cooking was happy to retreat to the garage or study when I was occupied in the kitchen.
Prior to moving in with ED and her boys, I had underestimated how much cooking meant to her. Initially thinking that I would relieve her of meal preparation, I learned that it is more important that we load/unload the dishwasher, freeing her to concoct whatever she can imagine. While we are the lucky recipients of her creative use of spice blends and innovative recipes, it has been an adjustment for me to transfer control to her.
Biting the tongue and staying out of the way are required characteristics when sharing a home and are made more crucial and more difficult during this heat-plagued pandemic. Blessedly the boys have plenty of room to themselves, occupying most of the second floor leaving the adults to claim cramped corners for inside work, while Mike tends to the garage and large yard.
Most vital is allowing ED to parent without criticism or advice, made easier by the fact that she is an excellent parent. So if you are considering sharing a house, ask yourself if you can stand aside, give up control, and bite your tongue.