There are moments in everyone's relationship that are sent to test us, obstacles that threaten to destroy our love and commitment to each other and thus tear apart our families and have us running to the nearest lawyer's office.
Money trouble is a big one. Bereavement, moving house, In-laws or even welcoming a new addition to the family are common issues and ALL are sent to test us and the strength of our partnerships.
The biggest threat of all is the construction of IKEA furniture. This by far tops the list.
Hundreds of little screws, instructions that would even challenge a structural engineer, holes in the wrong places, not enough of Screw 1527mm, too many of Screw 85764mm and missing FECKING allen keys.
It's hard. It's hard on me, and hard on my man, especially as the whole process is designed to test his masculinity.
And I get the blame for all of this, as I was the one that made him do it. I MADE HIM buy another set of drawers for the bedroom... there really is NO need for any more, he says.
I pointed out that we obviously needed more drawers as the pile of clothes that eternally gather on the floor on HIS side of the bed obviously need a new home.
This observation was NOT well received.
The last encounter I had with a set of IKEA drawers proved to be exceptionally stressful and it resulted in me going into labour a whole month early. Stan came flying into this world like a bullet from a gun after Jay and I built the drawers for the nursery back in 2009.
The birth was so quick and dramatic that I considered contacting the NHS at the time to suggest that they added 'IKEA Furniture Construction' to their website as a suggestion to help spur on labour for overdue women. Castor oil, pineapple, hot curries, long walks, sexual intercourse and IKEA furniture building: ALL helpful to induce labour and put overdue women out of their misery.
I fear what may happen to me today when we build our new drawers for the bedroom. Given that I am not pregnant, I fear that another body organ may come flying out of me at the speed of light... maybe a kidney or something. Not only is my relationship at risk, but my health and my very life are at stake.
I don't wanna die!!!
You can scream and cry but this budget furniture ain't gonna build itself. And all the Swedish Meatballs and Dime Bar Cheesecakes in the world ain't gonna mask the reality that once you have purchased the furniture and have enjoyed a chow down in the canteen, you still have to drag it home and build it.
I think that IKEA should provide a list of relationship therapists alongside their über complex instruction manuals with every purchase. Or maybe stick a nice bottle of chardonnay, an aromatherapy candle and a Lionel Richie CD in the box next to all the screws. This may be a great way to soften the tension.
Building furniture would be a romantic and relaxing activity to be enjoyed by the multitudes. Families would stay together, love would continue to blossom and there would finally somewhere to put all of the pants that lie in piles at the foot of the bed.
WIN, WIN, WIN.
IKEA, you know what you have to do. The future of our family units and our wider society hangs in the balance.
We will continue to build your furniture but you must do what you can to build a better future for our children and keep our families together.
Give us the Chardonnay dammit....and an extra Allen key!!