January 22, 2019:

They tried to read Tolkien together, or maybe better to say, he pressured her to try to read Tolkien together.

The intention was good. Something he loved that he enthusiastically wanted to share.

Ultimately the attempt failed, from her lack of interest, from her general alienation from reading, from their difficulty communicating, from what became clear years later was her overall intellectual lack of interest. She didn't like new things. She didn't like things which took mental effort. That's not intentionally patronizing, it's just who she was.

So they drifted, intellectually and morally as much as geographically, although distance became the final cause.

He regretted that for a long time. It only became clear two decades later that she hadn't at all been the nearly-successful relationship he'd for so long believed her to be.