What Ikea and Marriage Have in Common

a collage of ikea direction people

Ikea and marriage have a lot in common, don’t they?

I mean, you walk into the Ikea showroom and look at all that great-looking stuff, with great-looking prices. It’s easy to imagine how awesome that furniture is going to look in your place, all crisp and new. With fun little Swedish names, to boot!

You find the Aisles and Bins (like a scavenger hunt!), pay for it (more than you thought it would be?) and haul it home, only to discover that you actually have to PUT IT ALL TOGETHER. Like, millions of pieces with 4x screws, 16x wood pegs, and pages worth of dinky puff people drawings as a guide.

Marriage is the SAME EXACT THING! Right?!

You get in with someone, all shiny and new and think how awesome it’s going to be with them. It’s easy to visualize this great life with them. You get the wedding together, pay for it (more than you thought it would be?) and then get home, only to discover you actually have to PUT IT ALL TOGETHER! The wedding was just the checkout line.

images (1)So there’s this person you have to figure out, using whatever tools you are given and your little dinky puff person (of a conscious or voice of reason) as a guide. GREAT.

And you’ve got two choices, really. You can figure this shit out – or return it and get something ready- made. You want to do the latter. But you know that if you do, you are just going to be bringing yourself to that furniture too – it might look easier, but will it really be in the long run? Nope.

So you unfold those directions again.

And look really hard at the drawings, noticing the little details that you overlooked before. The screw goes HERE. The side is the round one. Peg up. Those slats face OUT. And it starts to go a lot more smoothly.

ikea direction person looking at the directions with a heart in a thought bubbleKind of like when you pay more attention to your partner and when he says what is important to him, what’s really, really important: that I tell him how much I appreciate what he does for our family. That I pay less attention to the iPhone and devices. That I keep the house a little cleaner.

It gets easier. He starts doing more of what I want, too. It gets to feeling like a cycle has started, but rather than it being one of negativity and frustration, it’s pretty happy.

We’re both listening to the dinky puff people.


is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).
She likes her coffee black and hot.
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  • Very good analogy there, but IKEA stuff comes with directions. I had to wing my marriage for a long time. Once I bought an IKEA couch with some of the holes drilled in the wrong spot. Now that was my
    marriage. It was work to put that couch together. This was pre-husband. I liked him though and asked him to help me and he did. A good test, I should say.

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