Thursday, June 26, 2014

Michelle Duggar's Marriage Advice for Newlyweds


 Derick and Jill Dillard have been husband and wife for five days and are currently in an undisclosed, chaperone-free honeymoon location. Before Jill tied the knot, Michelle shared three critical pieces of marriage advice that she has gleaned over the years.

1. Be available 

Michelle received this piece of advice from a friend six months before she married Jim Bob, and to this day, she says it is the best marriage advice she has ever been given. 

Here's what her friend, Gala, told her:
“Michelle, I know you’re so excited. You’re a bride-to-be, but someday you’ll be at this point. I’ve been married three years and I’m still happily married. I have one child, we’re expecting our second and I’m big (and) pregnant. You’ve got to remember this. Anyone can iron Jim Bob’s shirt, anybody can make lunch for him. He can get his lunch somewhere else. But you are the only one who can meet that special need that he has in his life for intimacy. You’re it. You’re the only one. So don’t forget that, that he needs you."

“And so be available, and not just available, but be joyfully available for him. Smile and be willing to say, ‘Yes, sweetie I am here for you,’ no matter what, even though you may be exhausted and big (and) pregnant and you may not feel like he feels."

As Michelle has followed that advice through the years, she has seen her husband make great sacrifices for her in return. 

He will sit there and listen to everything I need to tell him because he knows that I’m there for him, too. I’m meeting his needs, he’s meeting my needs. 

The mother of 19 reminds newlyweds that their relationship with each other comes before their relationship with any other person on this earth, including their future children.

It’s not just me and the Lord; it’s me and the Lord and my husband.

2. Talk about disagreements privately

The Duggar family makes a point to praise publicly but correct privately, and this advice rings true in marriage, as well. Michelle encourages Jill and Derick to keep private matters between each other. 


Step aside and say we’re going to talk about this privately. And don’t ever put your husband down in front of your children or other people, especially your families. 


3. Get marriage advice when you need it

Michelle advises married couples to seek wise counsel when they need it.

We have all been there. Yes, we have a oneness with (the) spirit in Christ, but there are times that we need others to give us life counsel. So be willing to go seek it together.

And while friends can be eager to offer advice, couples often need to seek counsel from other people. Michelle also encourages husbands and wives to listen to sermons together and to attend marriage retreats.

When Josh and Anna tied the knot, Jim Bob gave his son a few relationship books by Ed Wheat (see our store page). Before Jill married Derick last weekend, Michelle put together a special bridal package for her daughter, which consisted of items for the honeymoon and notes of encouragement.

53 Comments (Click Here to Add Yours):

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I cannot think of a single thing I would have needed from anyone to have put in a bridal package for my honeymoon. We packed our clothes and went and had a great time with each other. NOTHING else needed. I can't even imagine what would have been needed.

Carissa said...

Love this. <3 If all couples followed this advice, I'd guarantee there would be fewer divorces in this country.

Anonymous said...

"Items for the honeymoon" Ugh....what could those have possibly been? Poor Jill.

HANNAH said...

Michelle is so encouraging. Im sure Jill and Derrick will have a wonderful marriage in Christ.God bless you two in your marriage together.

Anonymous said...

Awww... that wws really sweet! Thanks for putting that on here!! God Bless y'all!
~Brooke~

Betsy.skoog@gripoanchor.com said...

Thanks for the words of wisdom. Even those of us who have been married a while,35 years this August, need to be reminded.

Anonymous said...

anyone see those bridesmaid dress they were unquie? the color light green and white. who made those dresses? where will derrick and jill be living.

Anonymous said...

I (a daughter) told my mom about Michelle's first bit of advice, and Mom's jaw just about hit the ground. We believe that us wives reserve the right to say "No" to our husbands. We're wives, not slaves.

That particular bit of Michelle's marital wisdom upset me.

But I'm super excited for Jill and Derrick!! He seems nice. I can't wait to see the new episodes with the two of them together, and I wonder if people will start (affectionately) calling her Jillard Dillard.

Anonymous said...

Jill is such a beautiful bride and her flowers are so pretty !!!!!!!!!!

Tami said...

It would sure be nice to see more of Jill's wedding pictures before the airing this fall. Do we have to wait that long? :(

Anonymous said...

I recommend that the header pic of Jill and derickdillard should be a wedding pic the last one on this page! Have a great evening

Melanie said...

I wonder if it will be difficult for Jim Bob and Michelle to disconnect from Jill and Derrick, and that may be why Michelle is saying to seek marital advice. I think that Derrick seems like an independent person who will want privacy with his new bride, and I don't get the impression he will be seeking Jim Bob out anymore after the very overbearing chaperoning that went over the edge. I hope in the future Jim Bob and Michelle will be a little smarter about the chaperoning that will lead the future son in law to be closer to his in laws and not just want to get away. I think the Bates had the chaperoning more correct which is why Chad and the others still seek them out.

Anonymous said...

I wish we could know what was in that bridal package that Michelle gave Jill.

Anonymous said...

Hmm I'm not sure about her first bit of advice. "Joyfully giving" each and EVERY time to your husband? How is that really even physically possible? I dont have 19 children and I can NOT imagine "joyfully" giving myself eVERY time. Just sayin

Anonymous said...

The advice to be availabke is really very wise. While of course a woman is of course free to decline, I can say from 30 years of experience that an open arms policy can make you both happy. Even on those days when you are all tuckered out it's funny how quicly your mood can change ;)

Anonymous said...

I understand your point. I agree that we need to respect our limits, and to not force ourselves.

However, I also think there's a lot of wisdom in Michelle's advice. It's not about being a slave (because a slave does whatever the master wants, independently or her/his own will), but rather *choosing* to give in, to make a sacrifice to please the other. And notice it doesn't go only one way: the husband also makes sacrifices for his wife.

Isn't this what love is all about? True love, I mean, not Hollywood love that's all about feelings, and I've minute is there and the other is gone. I believe what Michelle is saying is that true is to put the other person's need first (and in return she will do the same; I don't know if you are a Christian, but if you are, remember that Jesus said that there's more joy in giving than receiving, and that's so true in relationships!)

I have been married for almost two years now, and a friend gave me a similar advice. She said it's normal to be tired, or not want it, or any other reason that makes you say "no" to your husband. But she told me "try to not say 'no' more than 3 times in a row, because it is also your duty as wife, and his right as a husband.

I know this sounds choking, but I've experienced a lot if good from this advice. Is not that I'm a slave who has no saying. On the contrary, when I say 'no', it's 'no', and my husband respects me, and he is so patient and loving and understanding. However, I make an effort to please him even when I don't feel like (remember, love is not a feeling, is the gift of oneself to the other), because I love him and I want to make him happy, to meet his need for affection and intimacy. And he does the same to me, and makes sooo many things to please me, even when he doesn't feel like it.

So in the end, it's an advice about reciprocity, about being available to give yourself, about choosing to love the other, despite the way one feels.

Sorry this was long, I didn't mean to lecture, I just wanted to share my experience with you ;)

Cherylyn said...

I agree with Michelle, it's the one thing only the wife can give. And it's selfish to withhold. Each spouse should be giving to one another. :)

Anonymous said...

Be available? Serious???

Anonymous said...

I hope they call her Jill Dillard since that's her name.

Fallon Brumback said...

It's not about being enslaved, but always being available to emotionally support your husband. If he came to you visibly upset over something, asking you for help or advice, would you tell him no and turn him away? What if he did the same to you? A husband and wife should be, in my opinion, best friends. And best friends trust and unconditionally support one another emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Anonymous said...

That first piece of advice is terrible

Anonymous said...

Anonymous ... 2 I agree.
Shouldn't husbands or wives know when the other is exhausted or busy. If true intimacy has to be faked because neither is taking the others feelings into account, is this intimacy truly pure. Niether should expect anything from each other but the love they promised. After all isn't it unconditional. You shouldnt even have to say no. your other half in time at least should learn to know just by looking at you....Perhaps sometimes just holding each other tight can be the perfect end to the day.
Jill and Derick enjoy each moment, each day for eteternity, who could ask or want for more.....

Ronny UK

Anonymous said...

Reply to anonymous about saying "we as women reserve the right to say no". Its Biblical advice! We as women were created to be help meets for our husbands. I know its not popular in today's society and most women today dont like that concept but thats how God created us. If we want our marriages to be everything God intends for them to be then we will understand that and accept that whole heartedly.

Anonymous said...

While I understand (and agree with) the heart attitude behind Michelle's advice about "being available", I think it's a bit extreme to *never* say no. There WILL be times when a wife is just too exhausted or not feeling well and needs to rest, especially a mother of young kids. The Bible talks about the husband living with his wife "in an understanding way." It also talks about him laying down his life for her. Given these two things, I believe that there are appropriate times for the wife to say no...and the husband should understand. I don't think Michelle is trying to say that wives should be some sort of slave, but again, I do think she's taking it a bit far by *never* saying no. However, I can't say that they should not live this way if it is what works for them. They do seem to have a wonderful marriage that is full of love!

Anonymous said...

I think the "available" part throws people. But if you have married a Godly man it's doubtful that he would "force" you to be intimate when he sees you are exhausted, sick etc. People put that in the context of their relationship which may not be as spiritually developed as Michelle's and Jim Bobs.

Anonymous said...

Well her bit of advice has helped her stay married for years I have been married for 10 years and it has also helped my marrage you married him so why not do everything to make him happy if he try's to make you happy too??

Anonymous said...

Wonderful advice there would be less divorce if we all follow this advice

Anonymous said...

If you are available willingly, you don't feel like a slave.
Imagine if I wanted to talk to him or needed another of my needs met and he said, "No, I am not a slave. I have the right to say no."
I would be crushed, devastated. I don't want to cause my husband to feel that way either. The key is to be joyfully available.
Sometimes we wives can be manipulative of his needs. This practice is selfish and ungodly.
And the husbands can be abusive in this area, getting their needs met with no care of our needs. This, too, is ungodly and cruel.
But we can't change them, only ourselves, our attitudes toward our husbands. And pray that God can do the changing in them.
I am not perfect at this, but love the advice.

Anonymous said...

I hope Jill and Derrick have a long and healthy life together. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous

Doll, you're the only one who can give him that part of what he needs. If you don't give it to him when he needs it, he'll go somewhere else to get it.

-Regina

Anonymous said...

I, too, was discouraged by Michelle's first piece of advice. Yes, the Bible says (1 Corinthians 7:3-5) not to deprive each other. I don't think that means you have to say yes EVERY time. I think both partners should be respectful in that area. A woman can have an occasional "headache" as long as it doesn't last for weeks or months. A wife can be mindful of her man's "needs" without being a doormat.

Anonymous said...

Seems like we have forgotten all about Ben and Jessa. They were the first couple to date and now no one talks about them. I would like to see an update.

Anonymous said...

{Last time I checked, you show your love by the actions you do, and if you are upset by Mrs. Duggar simply saying that a wife should be there for her husband, no matter how she is feeling, you have no idea what true love is. It is easy to love someone when you are having a good day, but it is a true show of your love when you are there for your husband when you aren't feeling great. Remember Eve was made for Adam, Adam was not made for Eve.}

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 2. My jaw hit the ground when I read your comment. Apparently you have the wrong idea of what a wife is supposed to be. A wife is a helpmeet, she is supposed honor and obey her husband. Obviously you've never read 1 Peter 3. Where it tells the wife to be in subjection unto their husbands. You are correct in saying that a wife should not be a slave to her husband but being there for him when he needs you is not slavery. It's obeying Gods command as a helpmeet.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last two statements. For the first statement, I feel so sorry for the young women who have been given this partriarchal advice. Men as well as women need intimacy and want being listened to. A marriage is not an arrangement where husbands require physical availability in exchange for listening to their wives. Everyone can have their views and opinions, but the Duggars publicly promote and advertise beliefs that discriminate women.

Adventure Girls said...

Michelle - I read this post on the TLC site, too, and was discouraged by the hurtful comments - but only momentarily. (I have always assumed that it is your faith that makes you confident in the only opinion that really matters - His. Your faith is inspiring!) I wanted to tell you that I received the same advice as your point number one from my mother before my own wedding. My mother, never one to waste time nor words, said it more succinctly. "Talk a lot. Make love a lot." This advice has been so incredibly helpful in my marriage. As you said, in this way, both of our needs are met. As the children have come and as we have grown together, my husband has become more and more sensitive to my moods and rarely desires intimacy when he sees that I am just worn out. By the same token, I can read his moods and quickly understand when he just doesn't have it in him to hear the tedious play-by-play of our day. What blessings your faith and your wisdom are to your lovely Jill. God bless.

Anonymous said...

I think Michelle first advice is great, she doesnt mean being a slave, she is just talking about comforting your husband/wife. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Would love to know what Michelle put in the honeymoon packet for Jill!

Jennifer C. said...

I agree, we have the right to say no. Sometimes we just aren't up to be "available". But the rest is great advice.

Anonymous said...

I believe there is a fine line between availibility and enslavement. I've found it great pleasure in being available for my husbands love needs

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with what you said. It was not meant to be taken the way some people are.

Anonymous said...

I read number one to my husband and he said he didn't agree with it. He doesn't want me to do it if I'm not up to it. He doesn't want me to pretend to want to either. And he doesn't want a daughter of his following that advice. I agree with him. There are times a women can't and shouldn't.

Anonymous said...

I say Michelle is right give them what they need or they will go find it elsewhere. May reason why there is so many cheaters out there give them what they need and everyone will be happy no need for cheating

Anonymous said...

A husband is to love his wife like Christ loves the church and that's a whole lotta love! If you get all that love, you're not going to feel like a slave.

mythoughtis said...

She did not mean 'comfort' your husband... she meant exactly what it sounded like because she has said the same thing in TLC interview snippets. Yes, intimacy between husband and wife is special..... but there are just times where you need to be able to say NO. Illness, stress, lack of sleep. You need to be able to say no, and your partner needs to be able to accept that word. Advice like this with no exceptions leads to abuse.

Anonymous said...

I would also love to know what was in Jill's honeymoon packet!!!!! :)

Anonymous said...

very wise counsel from Michelle

Anonymous said...

Men who cheat have poor character, it is not the wife's fault. I love Michelle but this is one area I strongly disagree in. A woman should not feel uncomfortable to say no when she's not up to it.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think Michelle has a point with the first piece of advice, I just don't think it means a woman has to say yes every single time. However she should be "available" more times than not. If you start withholding too much, your partner will seek it elsewhere.
The Bible is very clear to only refrain by mutual agreement for a period of fasting and prayer. Then come together again so no one falls to temptation.

Anonymous said...

I have been following Duggar family blog and watching the show for over a year now. Although I live on the other side of the world and I don't agree with everything they teach (I am quite conservative Christian but a little different than Duggars), I have to say these marriage advices are pure gold. I completely agree. I respect the Duggar family a lot. God Bless!

Cathryn said...

I agree with comment 48. If a man feels like cheating because his wife says no once (or occasionally), there is something wrong. A wife should be able to say no on occasion. If she says no often, the husband needs to talk to her to find out if there is a problem. His reaction to her saying no should not be going out and cheating. Besides, didn't Michelle say, "Expectations ruin relationships"?

Anonymous said...

If you think about it, the female Duggars put a lot of stress into finding a husband that has very good character. That type of husband is not going to force himself on anyone. Also being intimate can cover more than actual love making.

ruth said...

I have been married for 20 years i do love him very much but my husband is very ill and I do everything for him and I got a son who help me with him and my husband need 24 hours care

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