[quote="EasterJoy, post:19, topic:253169"]
A wife is usually going to feel threatened if you want to set up a regular place and time from which you can essentially run a private sphere of your life that specifically excludes her. It is not only that it gives you a safe place to indulge a porn addiction or run a physical or emotional affair. From the outside, it feels like a shunning: not as if you value this time and place because it is for you only, but because it frees you from her company. That hurts.
I think there is a common ground here. You speak as if what you need to carve out is a place of solitude in time, whereas your wife sees you as carving out a place within your home *in space *: a place for just my things, a place "my wife would usually not go in there, unless there was some practical need like to open a window". The other possibility is that she re-charges by social means, by touching others and by conversation, while you re-charge by means of solitary time and introspection. What charges your batteries up may be just what runs her batteries down, and vice versa. That isn't that unusual, though. If you recognize it and honor the needs of the other person, you can work around it. Also, she may see your whole home as her "nest". It may be intensely uncomfortable to her to find herself excluded from controlling a part of it. Consciously or not, she may feel as if you're making a judgment on her ability to provide a comfortable place for you to come home to. The home she has prepared isn't good enough, doesn't comfort you, so you have to make a nest of your own within her foreign country in order to have a "home." That might hurt, too.
I think perhaps you and she need to come to an understanding about your solitary side. In couples where both are like you, the wife has her sewing room no one gets to touch, the husband has his office or workspace and tools that no one gets to touch, and everyone is on the same page. Unless perhaps your wife's mom was the solitary and her dad didn't need that, it is unlikely that your wife has a solitary side and yet can't understand that you have one, too. Therefore, assume that she, as a "non-solitary", is going to have to learn not to take it personally that you can only spend so much time in the company of others--any others!--before you need to curl in your ball and re-charge. If a social animal did that, it would be an exclusion, a punishment. It doesn't mean the same thing when a solitary does it.
You are going to have to give her time and space in which you show that enjoying her and your relationship with her and the home she has prepared for you to enjoy together has as high a priority as your relationship with yourself. You would probably also do well to take as much care that she has a time and place of her own in which to recharge, keeping in mind that if she recharges by socializing, for her that might be a place she can spend quality time with her female friends, with her sister or mother, and most probably also with you. Take at least as much care with her needs as with your own, communicate why you're different, and I think you can work this out.
Thank you, this explains a lot. I guess "my office" was becoming an area that I was putting a lot of effort into because I feel that she hasn't done much with the rest of the house, except criticize the things that I brought from my single life (my many many books that are still in boxes, my music system which she dislikes and has gone back in its box, I put time into painting a mural wall to make the room look like a monastery or castle, etc., and had plans to put candle holders around the room. I wanted to buy lots of bookshelves to display my books there because she doesn't like bookshelves anywhere else in the house. I was turning it into the space I wish we could have, but she wants the ability to criticize my stuff in there too.
I guess it was a bad idea. I'll work on the positive things you suggested instead of trying to make a home-within-a-home in my office.