I am going to talk about something serious. Something that threatens more marriages worldwide than even the most depraved of perverts (see below) combined:

IKEA furniture assembly.

After 13 years together and 7 years of marriage, Jason and I now have an understanding that I am no longer allowed to assemble IKEA furniture. In fact, I am not even allowed in the same room where IKEA assembly is taking place. There is a reason for this.

Every time we do it, it nearly ends in divorce.

See I, Aries, jump in feet first, figure it out as I go along, and sift through the big bag of bolts and pluggy bits, scatter everything all over the floor, and muck my way through. I find things as I need them, do things as I need them, and occasionally put panels on backwards — only to realise when almost finished that its backwards and then have to pull things out and start again.

Jason, Capricorn, sorts all the screws, plans, and takes twice as long as I would by going in feet first first. He methodically reads the instructions, makes sure things are even, and generally has no bits left over at the end.

(In other words, he does it WRONG.)

And I feel the need to tell him how wrong he is, until it inevitably ends in someone stabbing the other with a screwdriver.

So, I have been banned from assembling furniture in the same room as my husband out of genuine concern that my children may not have a mother when he finally snaps after one-too-many “are you sure that goes that way…?”.

Having talked to other couples, I realise that this IKEA furniture assembly problem seems to be a common one… where couples peruse IKEA with the grand idea of replicating the awesome organisation of the catalogue, only to find that:

  1. The boxes don’t fit in the car (despite having decided to go to IKEA to save on delivery costs in the first place)
  2. You then need to pay for delivery
  3. That buying more than 2 items at a time results in a loungeroom full of flatpacked boxes, resulting in severe “what the fuck have I done?” buyers remorse, moments after you get them home.
  4. The novelty idea of assembling furniture has a very steep law of diminishing returns. The first chest of drawers is fun. The 3rd is right up there with swallowing an allen key and then passing it.

So, your romantic notions of organisation, wise use of space, (and having an unlimited tea candle supply) go out the window as you realise that IKEA is not the house of dreams you thought it was.

For the young couples that are thinking of getting married, I urge you to move in together first. Buy yourself a Billy Bookcase. If your relationship survives Billy, move up to the Mikael Desk. If it survives the Mikael Desk, move onto the MALM chest of drawers. If your relationship survives the assembly of a MALM chest of drawers, it will survive most things and you are assured to remain together for at least 10 years. If it survives the assembly of 2 chests of MALM drawers in one day, you are soulmates and can get through ANYTHING life has to throw at your relationship.

Or, you could actually buy your furniture not in pieces and hope for the best. It’s up to you.

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