Couples Therapy: What a Trip to IKEA Says about Your Chances of Divorce

While it may seem odd that a trip to a furniture store can have the ability to predict the strength of your relationship or likelihood of divorce, a psychology professor at California State University says that it can do just that. As it turns out the complexity of much of the furniture from IKEA can act as a test about peoples strength with skills like communication and cooperation that can be important for a relationship to succeed. Assembling the flat-packed dresser or desk can end up leading to resentment and hurt feelings or it can demonstrate real skill and compatibility.

The “Divorce-Maker”

The doctor has highlighted one particularly challenging piece of furniture as an excellent test run, nicknaming it the Divorce-Maker. The actual name is the “Liatorp,” an enormous entertainment center. The Divorce-Maker is nine-feet-wide and seven-feet-tall with over 150 screws and 30-plus pages of instructions, not to mention heavy planks of wood and fragile panes of glass. The wall unit is clearly a two-person job, and it often requires the couple to work together to get it built and to avoid someone being hurt if something goes awry. According to the doctor, the stress of putting the Liatorp together acts as a fair litmus test for a relationship.

Underlying Causes

Of course, couples who have trouble are not actually fighting over an entertainment unit per se. The test works because it places the couple into a high-pressure environment and it forces them to work together, often outside of their comfort zone. That type of environment often reveals deeper issues that the couple may not have been aware of.

In fact, even a simple trip to IKEA can cause trouble for a relationship without purchasing anything. The stores are famous for their maze-like layouts showing idealized domestic scenes. This can promote conflict for any number of reasons. Some are simple or straightforward, such as if couples disagree over a piece of furniture. The fight becomes less about the furniture and more about how much the couple respects the wants and needs of each other. However, some fights can go deeper. Shopping for furniture, particularly in IKEAs uniquely domestic environment, can bring out more serious concerns such as where the relationship is going, peoples concerns about their own space, and even questions about children that can often stay buried in peoples day to day lives.

There are many reasons that people can start thinking that divorce may be right for them. If you are considering filing for divorce and want to learn more about how the process works, contact a skilled Naperville divorce lawyer today. Our firm is here to help answer your questions and determine whether divorce is the right choice for your unique situation.

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