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Ikea knows that trips to its stores and the subsequent task of putting together furniture can be a serious relationship test. Why else would the brand internally refer to difficult-to-assemble pieces as "husband killers"? Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that one California-based clinical psychologist is actually using Ikea shopping runs as a communications exercise for couples therapy.
Ramani Durvasula asks couples to work together to assemble a piece of Ikea furniture and then report back about the experience. She even has her own nickname for the especially tricky Liatorp wall unit: "the Divorcemaker."
Durvasula thinks the Ikea shopping experience is fraught with anxiety for couples, since the kitchen models can lead to arguments about who doesn't do the dishes and so forth. "The store literally becomes a map of a relationship nightmare," she said.
When asked about Ikea's furniture being used for therapy, an Ikea spokesperson said, "We’re just happy to be part of the process."