Couples Counselor Suggests Building Ikea Furniture

by Jamie Kenney

Who here watches WE's Marriage Bootcamp? Raise your hand. Really? Just me? Well, let me tell you, you're missing out. Like most reality shows, a large part of its appeal is that it's a train wreck, but one where you're rooting for the passengers and are hopeful for their success. (Wait, I hope that's true of ALL actual train wrecks.) The show depicts the couples engaging in myriad high production value, over-the-top trust and communication exercises: realistically staged car crashes, imaginary funerals and morgue goodbyes, burning buildings. But if you're a peasant without access to a special effects team, Dr. Ramani Durvasula suggests couples therapy through building Ikea furniture. Man, way to drop the wow factor, Dr. Ramani. But, if you think about it, this approach might be genius.

Ikea has long been hailed as a destroyer of relationships, even prompting a 30 Rock episode that hilariously addressed this trope. Assembling Ikea furniture is often viewed as an exercise in frustration and futility. Dr. Durvasula has brilliantly combined all this into an exercise:

My use of furniture building, specifically Ikea furniture building, as an exercise for my patients really comes from trying to find a very specific way to work on tasks like communication and collaboration while also focusing on issues like respect and trust.

And you get a nifty bookshelf at the end of it? How cool is that?! And it has to be nice to have a physical reminder of a time you and your partner worked through a challenge together, right? Personally speaking, I have absolutely zero spatial intelligence (it's kind of a problem) and my husband loves building, so our strategy has always been "we'll shop together and then you go off and build it and I'll demonstrate my value as a partner in this marriage in other ways" but after watching this video I'm like, "Maybe this would be a good exercise and horizon expander." Just look at how happy and adorable this couple looks.

Think this could be useful for your and your partner? Check out the full video, and remember, Bustle is not responsible for your broken relationship if this exercise goes south...

Images: Getty Images; YouTube