Dear Newlyweds,

I’d hate to speak for all married people, but given we’ve been doing this for almost a decade and neither of us have smothered each other with pillows in our sleep or ended up on an episode of Dr. Phil or Maury Povich, I dare say I’m somewhat qualified to hand down the following advice to you.

Your fights with your darling doodle lover bug are going to follow yearly themes. Some themes will carry over from year to year, others will end after a year only to reappear several years later.

Your first theme will probably revolve around sex, money or responsibilities. Such as “IT’S YOUR DAMN RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE YOUR DAMN SOCKS OUT OF THE DAMN LIVING ROOM AND PUT THEM IN THE DAMN HAMPER.”

This fight will most likely follow you forever. Sometimes there will be twists thrown in such as socks shoved under the couch or piled into a heap at the bottom of the stairs…but let me tell you now, there will always ALWAYS be socks. Literally or figuratively. Give up while you’re ahead sister.

Money fights blow. Hard.

Sex fights, well, there’s a blow joke in here somewhere but I’m to afraid to commit to it.

When and if you have a child there will be a new fight. The “who’s life is more important” fight. I hate this one. Yes, I KNOW your job is not all fun and games and in our situation you make the money and I’m grateful for that but I’m the one at home that doesn’t get to pee by myself or eat a meal in peace or have grown up conversations or OH MY GOSH WHERE DID MY PERSONAL SPACE GOOOO???

Above is Cody’s and my 2006-2008 themed fight. There are so many variations on this one your head may very well explode.

The last year and a half have been pretty fight free. I’ve accepted the socks, we’ve accepted our roles in our family and we’ve had the money fight so many times beating a dead horse is an understatement. (It basically comes down to this one, if you (meaning me) don’t spend it, you don’t fight about it. As much.)

Generally speaking we are a very happy married couple. If anyone loses their mind it’s generally me and it’s generally because there’s something else going on (depression, booo or pregnancy crazies, yay!) However tonight I learned that even the most solid couple cannot survive one particular life event unscathed, no matter how good their communication skills are.

Assembling IKEA furniture as a couple is the leading cause of men sleeping on couches and women throwing power tools.

IKEA blinds you to these inevitable facts with ligonberries, meatballs and cramped allen wrench wielding fingers.

You’ve been warned.

love. him.

Mozzi may have a dresser now but she almost lost her parents in the process.


  1. I’m not kidding. I was dozing off and opened my eyes to that picture. Ack! I’m scarled.

  2. This is why I build IKEA furniture by myself. It saves lives.

  3. Well, crap, I have an “assembly required” desk on its way from Target that should arrive any day now! Not quite the same as IKEA, but I’ll heed your warning and put it together ALL BY MYSELF.

  4. Hopefully it was nice dresser.

  5. Yeah, but I really do love those meatballs. I just never buy the furniture.

  6. This is why I now make my son assemble all Ikea furniture. Saves my marriage. And makes me know that 10 months of gestation and 7 hours of labour, three stitches in a place the sun never shines and months of bloody nipples has SUDDENLY PAID OFF.

    Plus the kid thinks he’s handy. Everyone wins.

  7. My hubby and I barely survived just such an experience in January. We built two childrens armoires, two small dressers, two benches and a bookshelf. There was a lot of swearing, contortioning, and cramped fingers.

    It was worth it for the meatballs.

  8. Michelle says:

    I remember watching a skit on a tv show here (Aust) with two hit-men in a room looking out at the target. One guy, trying to put his gun together said “someone should shoot the IKEA guy.” The other one said “that’s who our target is.”

    Still laugh at that when putting stuff together. 🙂

  9. Mwahahahahaha… Ikea is evil. And really super great. And we never assemble their furniture together. I do it OR he does it. Not both. Saves our marrieage every time. 🙂

  10. So you’re saying that we need to have Divorce Courton standby if we ever venture to an Ikea? Yes, I have not been to one *bows head in embarrassment*

  11. LOL…I call my husband “Upside Down and Backwards Man” because if there is a way to put something on upside down, or backwards, or both, he will find it. You can imagine how this goes when putting together furniture. 😛

  12. IKEA: 1001 things to put together with an Allen wrench, 1001 potential situations that could end a marriage.

    But at least it’s all cheap, so you can put all your energy into one single fight instead of multitasking.

  13. Yeah. I learned a long time ago that assembling any kind of furniture with anyone of the opposite sex is a bad idea. Throwing an extremely intimate relationship into the mix is an even worse idea. I’m going to IKEA on Tuesday and will most likely be coming home with a bookcase. The part I’m dreading most is definitely the assembling of said bookcase.

    The part I’m most looking forward to?

    Meatballs and chocolate cake.

  14. This may be my very favorite post every… because it is all TRUE TRUE TRUE!!!

  15. Amen, sister.

  16. I remember once my husband was going to replace a fan/light fixture. As we’d had ‘this fight’ many times and my help (not helpful according to he – how rude!) was not needed I watched and waited. When he’d put one part on upside down I said nothing. One part in wrong place – nothing. FINALLY he asked for my help!!! ~~JOY~~

    He’s been gone 6 years. Oh to have ‘those fights’ back.

  17. You hit the nail on the head! I love how you bowed out of that sex joke so gracefully!

  18. I always say once my husband and I get thru putting any furniture together, we may be angry and tired but we are stronger for it. I truly believe assembling furniture together is the leading cause of divorce

  19. Shortly after we got married, we bought some cabinets at Ikea. We worked as a team to put them together. Hubs: “Hand me a right door.” I handed him a door. He said “No, a right door.” I told him it was. He got a tone “I need a right door.” So I got up, flipped it around (magically turning the left door into a right door) and sat back down. We have since agreed to never put furniture together as a team. One of us is elected and the other leaves the room.

  20. The only thing slightly worse than assembling that furniture is running through IKEA in 59.5 minutes so as to reclaim the children on time. We just did it today, and will assemble furniture tomorrow. Marriage counseling on Monday.

  21. Maybe this is why I should keep my boyfriend! He doesn’t put together furniture. He had an etagere in a box when we started dating. After four months, he agreed to let me “try to put it together.” He apparently hates doing that kind of thing and I love it and have decided that when I retire I want a job putting together furniture with an allen wrench.

    One year later, he still hands me the allen wrench and leaves the room every time. I can’t imagine the havoc that would ensue if we tried it together.

  22. we are ikea devotees, nowadays due to the fact that it’s inexpensive enough that our heads don’t explode when our little man decides to bang all manner of toys against it. while i pride myself on being able to throw together any piece of ikea furniture on my own (thanks to lots of college and grad school years of experience), these days i leave it to my loving husband. unless he absolutely requires my assistance, i save both of our sanity by staying out of it 🙂

  23. IKEA. Haven’t been.

    Seriously. You would think I live under a rock.

    First I was a lush virgin and now this.

  24. This is why we are paying a whole lot of money to have someone paint the interior of our house. My marriage and sanity is well worth over $2k.

  25. I think lingonberries sounds dirty.

  26. damn wichita. no lush, no ikea…it’s like I’m living in a cave. 🙁

  27. Here is my IKEA philosophy. IKEA, whom I love very very much.

    They provide the cheap furniture, I provide the profanity.

  28. I have never heard this summed up so well. Our marriage has survived 8 moves (two of them overseas!), crazy in-laws, purchasing a home, eeeevil bosses, a major car wreck, years of infertility, two miscarriages, both of us simultaneously attending law school, my crazy pregnancy hormones and morning sickness, both of us studying for and taking (and miraculously passing!) the bar exam (all during the era of crazy pregnancy hormones), and the birth of our child, but was very nearly dashed on the rocks of an IKEA crib. (The crib was returned after we discovered it was defective and we decided to order a new, non-IKEA crib. I credit Amazon Prime with saving our marriage in that instance.)

  29. SOOOO totally agree. We spent most of 2009 putting various pieces of IKEA furniture together before and after the arrival of our second born.
    I would rather hire somebody to put it together than try to do it together again!
    OR…spend the big bucks on already assembled furniture!
    I do LOVE IKEA, though!

  30. i read this post out to my husband and the both of just laughed cos seriosly we still…STILL have the sock fight…and the who’s life’s more important fight…the money fight and we just a few hours ago had the assembling furniture fight. a few yrs ago we had the fight that was abt putting up ikea blinds. it ended with only one single window in the whole house having blinds and me hanging curtains on others.
    except the fight isnt really fight…when it’s me who is yelling n upset. my husband has worked out that id get over it. so it just goes on and on year after year in themes…just like you discribed. ha. :/

  31. This is so very true! Just yesterday I told my mom that I would not be helping my husband assemble our baby’s changing table as I was afraid the marriage might not survive it. I stayed out of the way except for a brief few minutes when he needed me to help hold something in place. The changing table is together and no divorce papers were needed! So glad your marriage survived the dresser assembly as well!


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