Tuesday, November 26, 2019

'Marriage Bootcamp' Recap

Counting On "Marriage Bootcamp"

  • Five of the married Duggar couples (the Seewalds, the Forsyths, John and Abbie, Joe and Kendra, and Josiah and Lauren) embark on a marriage retreat at a lake house. The retreat was coordinated by Jim Bob and Michelle and is being led by Pastor Caldwell (Kendra’s dad and the Duggars’ pastor).
  • “I think it’s so important for each one of our kids to have a strong marriage,” says Jim Bob. “And when they have a strong marriage, that makes a strong family, and it makes our whole extended family stronger.” Spurgeon and Henry stay home with Jim Bob and Michelle, but Gideon and Garrett come along and are babysat by Lauren and Kendra’s younger sisters.
  • “I am hoping to learn a lot, just in every aspect in our marriage, because I need a lot of work,” says Joy. Austin says that he wants to get their marriage “off of autopilot and start actively investing into it.”
  • The first topic is communication. “Something I have to do is close my mouth so [Ben] can actually talk,” says Jessa. “I’ve learned that when he does talk, I will try to guess what he’s saying and try to say it for him.” “I realize that’s one of the most frustrating things,” says Ben. “You have to give the other person the opportunity to explain themselves…”
  • Most of the women, like Kendra and Jessa, say that they talk more than their husbands, but Josiah admits that he often talks more than Lauren.   
  • Later, Pastor Paul takes the couples outside for a challenge involving walkie-talkies, blindfolds, and boats. It was not intended to turn into a race, but rather to be an exercise in communication, but with the Duggars, it quickly becomes competitive. The guys each get into an inflatable boat and have to fetch a duck decoy while blindfolded. Their wives give them instructions via walkie-talkies. 
  • Josiah wins the competition because Lauren makes it sound like someone is right on his heels. Jessa admits that she struggles with directions and keeps telling Ben to turn the wrong way. Austin ditches the paddles and uses his arms. He finds that easier.
  • The next topic is compromise. “I grew up very structured,” says Abbie. “My mom had a schedule. John-Boy grew up, more fly by the seat of your pants, so trying to combine those two [has] been a little challenging for us.”
  • “I think when you don’t compromise, it causes…tension,” says Kendra.
  • The challenge for this topic is working together to build a nest that will hold marbles. “Sometimes it’s a little hard to do a project together,” says Lauren. “We’re both pretty stubborn.” Lauren says she knows that Josiah’s idea won’t work, but she decides to let him figure it out on his own rather than nag him. Lauren ends up laying down on the couch because she has a headache.
  • “We work together pretty well, and we’re always willing to listen to each other’s ideas,” says Joy. “What helps me is the fact that I trust her,” says Austin. “I know I can compromise to somebody that I trust. And I know that she does have good ideas, and she does have good plans, and if I’ll listen to her, it’ll work out.”
  • Jessa and Ben start off doing their own thing, which, they say, is what they often do in life. “Thankfully we were able to merge our ideas, and it actually turned out really good,” says Ben.
  • On the last morning of the retreat, Lauren stays in bed because she is feeling tired and nauseous. The couples rewrite their wedding vows to show their commitment to each other. Then they stand up in front of everyone and recite them. Pastor Caldwell even has a veil, flowers, and candles. “For some reason, I was pretty giddy and nervous the second time around,” says Abbie.
  • “For me it wasn’t quite as emotional as our wedding day,” says Joseph. “There’s definitely emotion in it, I just wasn’t bawling.” Kendra says it was more emotional for her to hear Joseph recite his vows the second time than it was on their wedding day. Josiah videos his vows to show to Lauren later. He even kisses the phone screen.
  • “I’m very grateful that my parents set this up to where we could all come out here and have this little marriage retreat together,” says John-David.
  • In Laredo, Jinger and Jeremy are preparing for their moving sale. “I’m looking forward to being a little more minimalistic in LA,” says Jeremy, who has been more sentimental in the past. 
  • On the morning of the sale, Jeremy gets up at 6:30 to put the sign up. At 7:00, the Vuolos open their garage door, and people start pouring in. “One woman almost jumped out of her moving car,” says Jeremy. “They are expert garage shoppers. I almost got caught up in it.”
  • Some of the shoppers don’t speak English, so the Vuolos’ bilingual friend comes over to help translate.
  • The Duggars all agree that Jim Bob is the best negotiator. “He can sell ice to an Eskimo,” says Jedidiah. “I’m the worst negotiator,” says Jeremy. “I don’t have negotiating skills. I have not attended Jim Bob’s school of negotiating, that’s for sure.” He lets cans of paint go for $15, and Jinger tells him that he should have asked double. The Vuolos end up making $379.

186 comments:

  1. Personally... I did not like Jim Bob setting up marriage retreat for the married couples. That was a controlling thing (IMO). These are grown adult married couples and if they needed the retreat it should have been them to schedule. Jim Bob is too controlling on his adult married kids... just too involved in this issue. I love that Jeremy and Jinger are doing their own thing and lean on one another and you can see and feel the love and support they have for each other. Jinger and Jeremy are so good for each other... and if there are any issues... they figure it out together๐Ÿ˜ They are couples goals!

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    1. Why weren’t Josh and Anna included (obviously not to be shown); I would think they’d benefited the most out of all the married Duggars.

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    2. I have to disagree. Jinger and Jeremy were at several impasses when it came to selling garage sell items. The looks Jinger gave him said it all. Plus, as much money as Jeremy and Jinger have between them, as professed ministers of the Gospel, that stuff should have been donated or given to those poor immigrants in Laredo. To me, that is TRUE GOSPEL, charity and generosity.

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    3. 6:04, hopefully they’re in REAL counseling

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    4. 7:04, and you know what they did with the money, how, exactly?

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  2. That's funny that Abbie calls John "John-Boy"!

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    1. Well it's better than calling him "Sugar Muffin". lol

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    2. I know! I wonder if John got the connection the first time she called him that name?

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  3. It was so nice to hear Abby say " Stage of life" instead of " Season of life".Looks like she is not schooled in the way of Duggarisms yet...ie.defrauding,countenance,precious, wordly,and fellowship, ect.ect.ect.๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‡

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  4. If the marriage retreat was genuinely for the couples' benefit, there wouldn't have been a TLC film crew there to record it for Counting On.

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    1. Exactly. You do have to wonder why these couples need all these retreats and advice from JB and Michelle too.

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    2. Not necessarily.

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    3. Very few ministers set up an actual, real Marriage Retreat for 5 couples from the same family, plus a television crew to document it all for a reality TV show...one in which all the actors get paid as well. Seriously? They must think this fan/viewer base is really stupid.

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    4. Couldn't it baby been both? It can be both a good and healthy thing to do and something good for I show.

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    5. 4:17, very few may, but Pastor Caldwell is part of the family.

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    6. Aonymous @6:35- Yep and probably collected a TLC paycheck for that retreat too, along with a confidentiality agreement.

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  5. Some good relationship advice on this episode. I enjoyed this one.

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  6. Why do the guys eat and get into the boats?

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    1. Who knows why the Duggars do anything? Last week they were carrying people on those platform things.

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  7. I really enjoyed this episode! I think it's neat to take time as a couple to reflect every once in a while, even if your just married for a few months! I think it's great to do this with more married couples, by opening up they learn from each other and so I learned from them!

    In other comments I read about the involvement of Jim Bob and Michelle, about being to much there and all, but really.. I wish my parents would have that much interest in my life and marriage and put so much effort into that!! The married children have to make their own choices in the end and there doing so, but (asking) guidance from people who have life/spiritual experience like them.. I would treasure it!!

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    1. 12:50AM: I agree. When we got married 32 years ago in the Catholic Church, the priest asked the congregation (our families and friends) if they will be there to support the marriage and help nurture it. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to nurture a marriage. Kudos to Jim Bob and Michelle to offer guidance to their young married children. Better to start off on the right foot at the beginning of your marriage, in terms of communication, than to develop hurtful habits.

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    2. I agree! Personally I think it's great that JB and Michelle are there to demonstrate a Godly example of marriage for the adult kids. Trust me, coming from divorced parents and an estranged sibling as a result, genuine Christian parents are priceless. God bless them! These naysayers on here wouldn't know wisdom if it hit em in the face. Good for the adult married Duggars, glean from it all you can!

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    3. @6:58 We not only can recognize wisdom but we also know how to respect our married children and do not get them to do silly games for the camera. A wise parent stands by as support. They teach by example, not by words.

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  8. Ah, my heart goes out to Joy. I can see how she and Austin trust each other and compromise well.

    But I also know they've been through some difficult experiences: a C-section, a stillbirth, and raising a child in an RV without nearby family or friends. Any one of those could rock a marriage, simply because people process traumas and struggle with hardships differently, and they each can end up feeling alone.

    I think both Joy and Austin ate good people, but Joy is so new at adulthood to be so far from her support network, and Austin has lately come across as a bit sullen. Goodness knows most of us wouldn't make a perfect impression on TV, so maybe it's nothing. But I also know lots of people in real life who are stuck in a reactive, contrary mindset that come across similarly. It can be off-putting for people who, like Joy, might understandably need some affirmation. I hope I'm just reading too much into it. But it's hard to overdo approachability and earnestness when you have a new wife and child who have had hard times.

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    1. You’re reading too much into it.

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  9. Joy and Austin have been married 2 years. If they "need a lot of work" and "need to get off autopilot," I feel sorry for them. They never seemed very enthusiastic from the start, come to think of it.

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    1. out of all the young married couples, Austin/Joy and Josiah/Lauren seem to have more struggles in their marriages. Austin and Joy don't appear as happy. During the vow renewal Joy was looking down as if not fully into it.

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    2. They live in a country, it's not so easy to meet someone, and Austin was like 23 already, he needed to get married. Joy was this tomboy, so much energy, I think her parents wanted to give her away sooner than later to avoid any troubles. And now they are married, with a child, and can think about emotions :).

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    3. Having a kid from the start will do that to you, unfortunately...

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    4. Austin strikes me as a very practical person who is very into his work and sees his wife as a work partner. Every person needs to work at being married. We all have weak spots.

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    5. Their love life is probably robotic, as well.

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    6. I respectfully disagree. They are obviously very much in love.

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    7. Two years is a very common point for married couples to come off the newlywed high and find that marriage is work. Good work, worthwhile work, and meaningful work, but work still.

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    8. Austin doesn't seem as caring and loving as the other Duggar husbands. He comes across as insensitive and treats Joy like "one of the guys" sometimes. He's not a fav of mine.

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    9. I remember Joy being in labor with Gideon; when Austin talked about her pain, he was close to tears. And, from what I've seen, she is very much in love with him; perhaps he prefers not to be open with his emotions.

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    10. Austin “needed” to get married? At age 23?

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    11. Austin is a 'mans man's. He does not show his emotions too soon. But I believe he cares for Joy and is willing to realise and work on his ways to keep it.

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    12. 9:02 - he must have felt that way. I’ll never forget how he said that one morning he got up and thought, “ What about Joy Duggar.” I thought that it lacked romance. But it works for them, I think.

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    13. That is terribly unfair. Anyone that is honesi has moments in a marriage of stress and disagreements. They are just honestly speaking about challenges. It doesn't mean they have a harder time in marriage just because they are honest. I think they seem to have a strong base and will have a strong marriage. I live how he said he trusted her decisions. So sweet.

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    14. Marriage can be tough under the best of circumstances. They're both so very young and never had any experience being independent from their parents. Hopefully, they'll figure it out with time and maturity. I don't think divorce would ever be an option for them, regardless.

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    15. Austin and Joy are my favorite. The acknowledge they need work but they seem to genuinely care. They don’t have this weird “ we’re married getting to know each other” period. Joy and Austin have known each other most of their lives and I stand each other strengths and weaknesses. Neither one of them seem to to be affectionate in public. None of the other husbands talk so passionately and living about their wives.

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    16. 10:53, that made me laugh. Austin is by no means a “man’s man”. Is he outdoorsy? Sure but a man’s man....no

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  10. Another Duggar used castor oil! It’s so dangerous especially at home with no medical professionals around. They need to learn some common sense

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    1. What’s dangerous about caster oil??? It’s one of the good ol’ tried, tested, and true methods that were used years ago! As long as you know that the baby isn’t breech, you should be fine taking it at term

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    2. A very small dose of castor oil is quite effective for some women with much less risk than medical induction. Sounds like your common sense is actually just your opinion.

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    3. What's dangerous about castor oil? Or castor beans? They're toxic, and one step away from deadly ricin, which is derived from these beans. I seem to recall a murder attempt one time where a wife put ground up castor beans in her husband's food.

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    4. 5:51, no it actually isn’t.

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    5. @4:02 Medicine has come way beyond having to use the "good ol' tried, tested, and true methods that were used years ago." When I was a kid, they'd put your feet in a machine (a fluoroscope) at the shoe store that would x-ray your foot bones to see how the shoes fit. Old patent medicines were full of drugs like heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. People used to be shocked with electricity, ingest mercury, and be bled with leeches. All those and more were done thinking it was beneficial. It's time to put giving castor oil for labor in that same box of outdated ideas, lock it, and throw away the key.

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    6. Castor oil can not only stimulate contractions, but also a bowel movement in both mother and baby. Bowel movements before birth put baby at risk of respiratory complications.

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    7. Not to mention that in this day and age, that castor oil is pressed from castor beans fertilized and sprayed with who knows what kind of chemicals and pesticides, The processing isn't exactly chemical free either.

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    8. 5:36, funny you should go there. Lots of chemicals in our food supply that could affect the unborn baby.

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  11. Not another Duggar using castor oil, seems every birth they do they risk the babies and their lives

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    1. These young women are crazy to take caster oil. I wonder if Lauren took it and that's why she had a long, difficult labor and delivery.

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    2. Can you please cite the studies that found maternal and child death or injury rates increase with an appropriate dose of castor oil? I’ll wait right here for that. (Spoiler—they don’t exist.) However I could find some studies citing the risk of maternal and child injury or morbidity increase with in-hospital inductions and interventions, if you’re interested.

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    3. You can stop waiting, 5:54PM.

      /CASE REPORTS/ A 33-year-old pregnant female (at week 40 of gestation) ingested castor oil to induce labor. Within 60 min of ingestion, cardiopulmonary arrest occurred and was reportedly due to amniotic fluid embolism.
      [Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel; Int J Toxicol 26 (Suppl. 3): 31-77 (2007)] **PEER REVIEWED**

      Castor oil is contraindicated in pregnant or menstruating women.
      [American Hospital Formulary Service. Volumes I and II. Washington, DC: American Society of Hospital Pharmacists, to 1984., p. 56:12] **PEER REVIEWED**

      /LABORATORY ANIMALS: Developmental or Reproductive Toxicity/ The effect of castor oil in the diet on the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and the induction of labor using two groups of eight pregnant Wistar rats (at gestation day 18; test and control groups, respectively) /was evaluated/. Two milliliters of castor oil-containing diet were administered by gavage daily for a total of four feedings. The diet (labor-inducing diet) consisted of castor oil (30 mL) + one chicken egg, blended and heated to a thick consistency. At 4 hr after the fourth feeding, the pregnant females were killed. Compared to the control group, a significant increase in concentrations of PGE2 in tissues of the intestinal mucosa, placenta, amnion, and amniotic cells was noted in test animals.
      [Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel; Int J Toxicol 26 (Suppl. 3): 31-77 (2007)] **PEER REVIEWED**

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    4. Anon 5:54. There was NO reason for Kendra to take castor oil. I don't know WHO is advising these young women to take it, but they should just STOP doing so.

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    5. If the Journal of Toxicology says no, that's good enough for me.

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    6. Anon@1:06 Thank you for looking up studies! My personal impression had been that castor oil was effective but dangerous, similar to other methods of induction like artificial rupture of membranes or Pitocin. I had heard rumors that it could cause meconium, specifically. I hadn't heard about amniotic fluid embolism before, so thank you for that info.

      Just one note: when I read the final excerpt you quoted, at first I interpreted "the pregnant females were killed" as an odd way of saying fatalities occurred due to the castor oil. But then I realized it meant that as part of the experiment, the researchers killed the female rats, so they could biopsy their tissues to test them for PGE2. FWIW, prostaglandins like PGE2 are naturally produced during labor to soften the cervix to facilitate dilation. So all that is really saying is that castor oil is effective for induction.

      So: effective but dangerous, more or less like other methods of induction, it seems. I hope I never have to choose among them someday.

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    7. Just the fact that castor oil has been lab studied makes me think it was under suspicion. Labs don't waste limited research money and resources testing any old thing.

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  12. Castor oil is banned where I live! For good reasons

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    1. Good. There's no reason why people should be taking it anyway.

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    2. Please name the good reasons that castor oil is banned from mothers who are full term and planning on using a very small dose to initiate contractions. Please, name them.

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    3. I've got a good idea! If we're so gungho on all-natural labor-intensive home-births, why don't we just let our bodies do "what they're designed to do"? That means no castor oil. They can't have it both ways. Seriously though, our bodies are designed to give birth and we shouldn't be initiating contractions or trying to speed up the process (unless the mother's or baby's life is endangered). Why try to play God?

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    4. 5:55, how about you do your own research? But since you don’t seem keen on doing so; using castor oil to start labor is not only ineffective and causes the mother to be in unnecessary stomach pain, but can cause the baby to pass meconium which can then be swallowed by the baby and kill it. Is that a good enough reason for you?

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  13. I hate when people take castor oil, esp without any medical professionals around. After Jills life-threatening birth you would think they would learn and stay away from it

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    1. I can't imagine why ANYONE would take it. They seem to believe having intestinal cramps is good for them or something.

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    2. You know, there’s basically two ways to take castor oil as a pregnant person. You could be the woman who is 41 weeks along and trying to avoid a drug induction. You could be that woman and take half the recommended dose just to jumpstart things. That’s a responsible use of castor oil. OR you could be the lady who is 38 weeks and impatient and trying to control labor. That’s the irresponsible way to use castor oil. Don’t say you hate when any person takes it, when a lot of times, it’s a much better option than the alternative.

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  14. Dear Duggar's and extended family, My Dad and I enjoyed the yard sale and watching Jeremy and the customers negotiate prices. I enjoyed everything about the marriage retreat. We thought it was a good show and love seeing them out more. We hope the show continues in 2020. Natasha B.

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  15. I feel so sad for Josiah that Lauren would not recite the vow renewal with him. He was so sweet to go ahead and do it for her. The other couples did really well on that, although it probably really was a little weird.

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    1. Why didn’t Lauren recite the vows?

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    2. I don't. Making people do stuff they don't WANT to do isn't productive. I'm glad Lauren stood up for herself and opted out.

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    3. 6:31, the whole thing was dumb, I don’t blaim Lauren for passing up on it. She probably wants any vow renewal that they do to hold meaning, instead of just cheapening it at a “marriage retreat” that was orchestrated for a tv show.

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    4. You know, they could have waited until later in the day when maybe she might have felt better.

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    5. Funny, I get the impression from her "weakness" after the miscarriage and not feeling well at the retreat that she is not a strong person. I could be wrong; after all, I only know what I see on tv.

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    6. I’m with Lauren on this one. I’m the type of person who doesn’t like being told to do something so personal because some leader said I should. I guess that’s why my husband of 45 years and I have never been to a marriage retreat.

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    7. I feel very bad that Lauren was in so much pain. My only issue is how it was treated on TV. She and Josiah could have discreetly passed on the retreat altogether, or that part could have been edited out. Josiah was so sweet. But if she were so much uncomfortable with it, they could have asked TLC to edit out the picture of her lying down or even Josiah's vows without her. To me those are private issues and probably best not broadcast. Lauren seems like such a nice girl.

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    8. @9:08- Same here! Been married for 30 years and we've never been to a marriage retreat. It's great if you enjoy that kind of thing and it works for you, but it's not for everyone.

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    9. I think Lauren is very dramatic. They were at a marriage retreat and she ‘opted out’. Pretty disrespectful. She should have opted out before starting the whole weekend.

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    10. 6:27, going off to be alone when you don't feel well is hardly dramatic. How is she going to know ahead of time that she is going to have a headache or that she won't sleep well, which is miserable on top of morning sickness?

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    11. She looked pretty well manicured for not feeling well!

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  16. Didn't they do this Marriage "strengthening" thingy two weeks ago with "Date Night"? Either they have really bad marriages or too much time on their hands.

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    1. It's TLC trying to convince us once again that Duggar marriages are The Best. If you're not strengthening your marriage with rowboat retreats, constant vow renewals, or eating sandwiches in a gazebo in the rain, then you're not trying hard enough.

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    2. Or just need something to film for the show.

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    3. With the divorce rate, couples living together without marriage (not judging), confirming vows is not a bad thing.....in my opinion.

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    4. Standing around for a few minutes saying words over and over insures nothing. You have to put those words into action the rest of the time. Vows get broken otherwise. They're just empty words if you don't follow through. As someone said, it's not games in a boat or weaving twigs that's the solution.

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    5. Having read quite a lot from the Duggars (Michelle & Jim Bob), as well as watching their show and Counting On, I have to say that strong marriages shouldn't require that much constant, on-going maintenance on a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, semi-annual, and annual basis. Strong marriages do require work, care, and attention (just like anything else you're trying to grow), but a good marriage can't be reduced down to a formula, a series of strategies, a questionnaire, or constant shoring up with retreats/couple functions/parental mentoring. If a marriage needs that much work, time, and attention, the couple needs actual marriage counseling from a licensed psychologist.

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    6. 12:57- I read your comment and almost spit out my coffee! Yours is the best here, IMO!

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    7. I'm tired of the Duggars acting as if they have the secrets to successful marriages and the rest of us don't. My husband wouldn't stand for sitting around having those silly discussions, or playing those ridiculous games. Come to think of it, I wouldn't either. Yet we've been married longer than Jim Bob and Michelle, or all the other Duggars put together.

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    8. 4:52- I was thinking the same thing! My husband and I would be so out of place playing those games or participating in those discussions. I guess whatever floats your boat or makes a potential episode for filming!

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    9. Showing what they do does NOT imply that they think the rest of us are lesser because we don't do the same things they do. Don't take it so personally. At the same time, Pastor Caldwell did say things that are true and helpful to a relationship. Better communication, a determination to be committed? How can you have a problem with that?

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    10. Pastor Caldwell is not a licensed marriage therapist. He should not be doing these retreats.

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    11. You do not have to have a licensed marriage therapist for a marriage retreat. Pastors do them all the time.

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  17. I’m reading between the lines here, but Austin has such a demeaning nature towards joy sometimes. It appears he wants her to constantly try harder to be a better wife while he doesn’t have to put in the work it takes to be a better husband. I also feel Lauren is quite the theatrical artist. Her and Josiah are very much alike yet very different. He seems to be arrogant and she seems to crave attention in dramatic ways.

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    1. Austin was joking

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    2. I don't think Austin will ever put a lot into being a good husband. It's not in his DNA. I'm glad that Joy will be out of the camper soon and will have a nice house.

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    3. Sometimes it appears to me that neither Joy or Austin are truly happy with each other. Joy seems insecure about whether she measures up to his standards and Austin seems more interested in flipping houses. I'm glad they are going to get off "autopilot" and hopefully develop their marital relationship.

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    4. I don’t see it, they seem like a normal couple to me. He actually seems to respect Joys opinion more than the other couples. Not everyone is ‘happy and cheerful’ like the duggars are on tv, Austin is more shy and reserved

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    5. Anonymous, 6:02. I think that too. They actually seem to behave in a more natural way, like most couples I know in real life. Not kissing, and smiling and gooey eyes all the time. Also think he respects her opinion.

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    6. He didn’t seem to have any issue going with Joy’s idea to build the nest. But it’s not like letting your wife take the reigns should be a victory.

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  18. I think Lauren's behaviour was ridiculous. She did not participate in the challenges and was staying in bed. Kendra and Joy were at the same gestation of pregnancy and they were fine. Abbie probably was pregnant at that time too, and she participated, and we know she had a lot of sickness in first months. Lauren was behaving like princess.

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    1. Every pregnancy is different. What's common to them all is the importance of listening to your body. If your body says rest, it's important for you and your baby that you rest. I'm glad Lauren was in touch with herself and her baby.

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    2. I don't blame Lauren for staying in bed if she wanted to. How much "marriage counseling" do these couples need anyway? They had "counseling" on their date night two weeks ago. I'd opt out of the "challenges" too.

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    3. You were not in Lauren's body and have no idea how she felt. And comparing pregnant mothers is pointless, because there is such a wide variety of pregnancy experiences.

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    4. 11:19. Being at the same gestation doesn’t mean you feel the same symptoms. Every pregnancy is different. Having said that Lauren does seem to have a disposition toward being faint hearted in body and soul.

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    5. I feel like she could’ve at least showed up for the bow renewal. It was like 5 mins with each couple.

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    6. I disagree. If Lauren didn't feel well she wasn't required to participate in these activities.

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    7. I agree. If she was feeling that bad, she should have declined the retreat. I, too, felt bad for Josiah that she was not there renewing the vows. She could have submitted them in writing or over the phone. She didn't like the compromise segment either. Again, it would have looked better if she and Josiah had declined the retreat altogether.

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    8. Well, that's pretty insensitive. I'm sure she would have preferred to NOT have a headache, to have slept well, and to not have morning sickness and be able to enjoy the retreat with everyone else. As far as comparing to other moms, that is ridiculous. Every pregnancy is different. Some moms get violently ill, some sail through it, and some are in between. And this took place in March, so Abbie was not pregnant, unless she's having a 10 month pregnancy.

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    9. Abbie was not pregnant yet, and Kendra and Joy were both in their second trimester at that point since they were two and three weeks further along than her. You can’t control when you have morning sickness and she was not “being a princess”. Honestly, get over yourself.

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    10. Every pregnancy is different just like every person is different. People also have different tolerances for nausea, pain, etc.

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    11. Lauren lost her first baby, so of course, she was being extra careful!

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    12. Ugh. Give Lauren a break. She’s so young, maybe immature and went through a miscarriage that was extremely painful for her. She probably wanted to be very careful with this pregnancy and rest at the first sign of discomfort.

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    13. Everyone is different, you can't compare any two pregnancies. We don't know all, nor should we.Not everyone is an open book and tell every single thing about ones health. Give the girl a break.

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    14. I understand why you would assume this; however, each pregnancy and each separate woman is different regarding pregnancy experiences. Some women are very sick their entire pregnancy while others aren’t sick at all and then some fall in between the two. I’ve had six babies and each pregnancy was different. There were a few pregnancies where I struggled with other health issues that caused me to be debilitated some days. I don’t believe Lauren was doing all of that on purpose.

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    15. Have you ever been pregnant? Multiple times? It's different every time. Sometimes you're so sick you can't function. She probably would never have gone to the thing at all if they hadn't needed to film. She probably would have benefitted from resting at home instead. But I suppose they have contracts to fulfill.

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    16. Every pregnancy is different. I'm guessing Lauren has been advised by her doctor to behave in certain ways that are in the best interest of the baby.

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    17. 1:02 pm "Bow renewal" LOL!!! know it was just a typo but considering all the bow discussion on this page, that was funny!

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    18. Maybe Josiah could have stayed home with Lauren and taken care of her rather than going single to a couples’ retreat?

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    19. I agree she can give that impression you are not being fair. You have no idea how she was really feeling. She could have been feeling terrible.

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    20. Cut her some slack. She's young, inexperienced, and pregnant to boot in this short video. I sure wouldn't want to have my personal life filmed for public criticsm. We women sure can find ways to beat up on one another. You'd think with all we endure when it comes to the reproduction process, they'd stick together rather than tear each other down.

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    21. Lauren was very dramatic following her miscarriage at 4 to 5 weeks gestation. She claimed to be so weak that Josiah had to carry her around. I think she is young and at most times comes off as mature these situations show how young she is. Have to wait and see but my guess is a max of three kids for this couple....I don't think she could handle more.

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    22. 5:25. But this family DOES want every aspect of their personal lives filmed. With that comes the invitation for others opinions.

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    23. Several posters talking about Lauren being dramatic following her miscarriage. None of us are privvy to her medical history here, so we have no clue if she's typically anemic, regularly has low blood sugar, or low thryoid, or any other of a number of issues that may in fact make her feel weak. I'm not a die-hard Duggars can do no wrong kind of fan by any means, but I am a little surprised at how many people have unofficial medical degrees here. LOL We moght do well to remember that when we meet or see someone, we have no idea what underlying medical conditions they're struggling with before we make snap judgements about them, their self-control, their maturity level, their lifestyle or eating habits, etc. Grace, people, grace...we're all going to need it at some point.

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  19. I can’t understand renewing vows so early in marriage. Some of these couples are less than a year in. Joy and Austin are on auto pilot 24 months in, and Josiah is reciting his vows on his own and kissing a phone. Just maybe rushing through courtship, to engagement to marriage in about 25 weeks actually isn’t enough time to prepare for the realities of marriage. Just a thought.

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    1. They explained why they were doing them on the show. And people need reminders whether they've been married a year or 40. Life gets busy, you start taking each other for granted. Josiah's phone vows were because his wife was down with morning sickness, which is a reality of marriage.

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    2. It's called 'keeping up appearances.' They have a Godly image to maintain on TV, which includes retreats, campouts, vow renewals, side-hugs, hand-holding, and sitting on hubby's lap while gazing into each others' eyes.

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    3. It's so sad to hear them talk about finally being alone and really getting to know each other AFTER marriage. And once married, they often don't even get time to just be a couple, because right away there is a pregnancy-- and morning sickness!

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    4. I'm sorry, but if they really want strong marriages, the couples should be working through The Resolution for Men and the Resolution for Women, followed by His Needs, Her Needs, then The Five Love Languages, and The Birth Order Book. If their husbands are so fragile or the wives so worried/anxious about the state of their marriage, they definitely shouldn't be adding children into the mix. Every couple has baggage because both spouses carry personal baggage from their own families. Good premarital counseling by a licensed marriage and family counselor goes a long way toward setting a solid foundation for healthy communication, the art of compromise, establishing realistic expectations for your spouse and the marriage relationship, and building your identity as a couple.

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  20. Oh gosh. Another somewhat unflattering portrayal of Lauren . If she was feeling that poorly maybe she and Josiah could have convalesced at home? Josiah doing a vow renewal via computer culminating in kissing his phone is a bit weird. I guess my thoughts are if you are at a marriage boot camp to strengthen a marriage wouldn’t it have been more supportive to skip the solo vow renewal and actually go be with your wife to support her?

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    1. Not everyone wants someone else around when they feel sick and tired. Maybe he offered and she turned him down.

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    2. The reality is that this is when the Duggars, Pastor Caldwell, and TLC had scheduled with to have and film the retreat for Counting On. They weren't about to change the shooting schedule and production time to accommodate Lauren. Shooting, Production, Editing, and wrapping to get on air all take a set amount of time and run on a tight schedule (and this wasn't the only episode they needed to shoot within a set time frame). They had to get it done, whether Lauren was up to it or not-that's reality TV for you. Sadly, it made Lauren look uncooperative, with some viewers labeling her a diva (which is really unfair). When you sign a TV contract, you're committing to shoot x-number of episodes within a specific time frame ("material" for the show). Lauren had no way to know she wasn't going to be feeling well, by the time this shoot rolled around.

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  21. IMO all of these couples would do a lot better without JB and Michelle's constant and overpowering presence in their marriages. JB and Michelle may mean well but They need to back off and let their adult children build their own marriages which probably won't be exactly like theirs.

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    1. They instigated the retreat. They were not there and they didn't do the counseling. Maybe they just paid for it, made the reservations, and asked Pastor Caldwell to do it.

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    2. Yeah, but the fact is that Mom & Dad instigated the retreat, just like they organized the Date Night marriage advice counseling session. They tell us how mature, responsible, grown-up these young couples are...and yet Jim Bob and Michelle still treat them like children. They still do what their parents tell them to. That's not treating them like adults or respecting the couples as adults or as a married couple (just like the weekly Monday night Family Nights). Jim Bob and Michelle should be focusing their time on the children they still have at home and let the couples establish their marriages and their own children and household rhythms for themselves. They should not expect to see their married children as often and should be encouraging the couples to invest into their own children and family identities. That's the actual biblical model.

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    3. Amen....they do need to stay out of their married children’s lives and concentrate on the kids they have at home. Maybe Michelle needs to focus more on the younger children’s education.

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  22. I think Abbie’s comment about JD growing up “by the seat of his pants” is very telling. Michelle and JimBob were not hands on parents. Siblings did raise each other.

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    1. John David was not raised by any of his siblings.

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    2. I agree. They had too many children so they had "deputy parents" (the older ones) to help out. Michelle was quite open about the "buddy system".

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    3. While Michelle was open about the buddy system, she spent quite a bit of time on episodes, in books, and in seminars speaking about how she managed the household and the children using Managers of the Home. You'll see the color-coded organizational chart on the wall, detailing what each child should be doing, by the hour. Michelle covered it extensively on the "14-19 Kids and Counting" episodes. She and Jim Bob regularly talked about how well run and well-scheduled their household was. Then came Counting On and viewers found out the Duggars ran on Duggar Time (regularly late) and we saw chaotic episodes with children biking/skating/roller blading through the house and children playing with toys in thrift stores when they were supposed to be trying on shoes (and Michelle trying to corral them), and the younger boys clearly misbehaving when Michelle was attempting to do a cooking with the boys segment. Coupled with Abbie's remark, I have to question how much of what they told the public was true yet again.

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    4. @5:16 There's no contradiction between having a household schedule so everyone knows what they're supposed to be doing vs. skating in the house or playing in stores.

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    5. @5:16 Correct. Michelle always reminded me of my MIL who had one tiny clock on the stove and another beside her bed, but that was it for knowing what time it was or keeping on schedule. I finally put my foot down when Christmas dinner was delayed 2 hours because MIL was too busy chatting and playing games, and all the little kids started having meltdowns from hunger and sleepiness. That is no way to run a household, and MIL had raised 8 kids so she should have known better. Michelle should know better too - kids need structure and houses need schedules, not just Post-Its on a wall chart that nobody bothers to follow and that isn't reinforced. We see a Duggar household where no adult wants to put forth any effort. Michelle only wants to smile and get admiration, not to do the dirty work of parenting. It it weren't for the older sisters taking over, nobody would eat or be dressed or get anything done or ever get on the bus to go somewhere.

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    6. So true. Ever wonder how not one of the daughters so far emulates Michelle’s speaking voice. I’ve seen on past shows how the older daughters were the ones getting firm with the younger ones.

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  23. How is Lauren going to cope when she is pregnant and has other children to care for? Mothers don't have the luxury of naps and sleeping in.

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    1. She'll figure it out when she gets there. Leave her alone.

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    2. Perhaps Josiah will help out with the babies when she's not feeling well. Some men do that. I'm not sure the Duggars are among them though.

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    3. Both Josiah, and Lauren, have younger siblings, who would probably, be happy to help out with Bella, while Lauren, took a nap.

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    4. She'll have to learn to deal with it like every other mother has had to do.
      Also, she's got no shortage of babysitters close by if the going gets too tough for her. She's got more support than most women do.

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  24. I thought the Pastor did a good job with the three "C's". It seems they are good advice not only for marriage, but in dealing with anyone in any organization or institution, whether it be work or social or family. How many times do we come across dealing with hard to work with people. It made a good show for everyone to think about, not just the couples on retreat.

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    1. I agree. He gave some good advice, which should be the takeaway from this episode.

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  25. Wasn’t among my favorite episodes. This has been done before in years past with the elder Duggar’s running the show. But it still was better than anything else on at the time.

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  26. This was an entertaining episode. Liked the couple's retreat more than I thought I would. Spending time together and getting counseling and advise is always a good thing. It seems that they genuinely enjoyed and appreciated it.

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  27. Lauren lost her first baby. She was being super careful with this one. She seems to go straight to horizontal at every little pain.

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    1. You have no idea how much pain she was in.

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    2. There's nothing wrong with going "horizontal" when you're not feeling well. She made the right choice IMO.

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  28. I am sorry. I have to disagree about what people are saying about Lauren. I am 64 years old. I had five precious babies. I had morning sickness, all day sickness with each of them. Our fifth was my most difficult morning sickness. I lost 15 pounds and I could not get out of the house even to go to the doctor. Anyway, I can totally relate to how Lauren was feeling. There are times I just could not even get out of bed because lifting my head up made me so nauseated and dizzy. So I do not think it odd at all that Lauren had to miss out on a lot of the retreat. I totally understand why. And the Lord blessed them with such a beautiful little girl!

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    1. Thanks for your perspective. I find it sad how many people are judging someone without being in her shoes.

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    2. I like lauren standing up and saying “no”.
      She seems very real and not afraid to voice her opinions.

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    3. Anon 8.58. Morning sickness or all day sickness as you refer to it (& your not wrong as some poor mums have sickness 24/7), can be extremely debilitating. Added to the fact Lauren had a previous miscarriage & would no doubt be extra careful, I too think people are being unfair on her. On the plus side with morning sickness, it’s actually a very good sign that the pregnancy is well established (I hope someone mentioned that to Lauren) as it may have alleviated some of her concern thinking there was something wrong.

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  29. Jinger wanted him to charge $30 for a can of paint at a garage sale?

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    1. New ones aren't even that much!

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    2. 30 for several cans of paint

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    3. Baaaaabe made a boo boo! Seriously, though, I think Jinger made a bit too much of the cost of paint.

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  30. Where were Jill and Derrick, Josh and Anna? Did they get to go on the retreat or was it just for the couples that appear on the show?

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    1. They were there to work.Being filmed is their job. Those who do not work on Counting On have nothing to do at the set.

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    2. The retreat was obviously planned for the show. Hence those couples weren’t there. Same with the date night for the first episode

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    3. Anon 12:46. A marriage "retreat" that is simply fodder for a TV show is pretty useless IMO. All the participants are simply playing to the cameras.

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    4. How'd you like to be dissecting your marriage in front of your father anyway?

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  31. I get the impression that Lauren doesn't have the robust good health the rest of the Duggars enjoy. She has a gluten allergy and that may mean she has other health issues. I can relate to her as I have struggled with health issues my whole life and the rest of my family is very healthy. You not only have to deal with your health but learn when to say "no" to activities you know are too demanding on your health. I think Lauren is doing a good job or managing this very overpowering Duggar family.

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  32. It seems like this show is running out of program ideas--another marriage retreat.? I would have liked Michelle and Jim Bob to have a different pastor/certified marriage counselor to lead this. Having one's father/father-in-law conduct a marriage retreat seems like a violation of Kendra and Joseph's privacy. How could Kendra and Joe relax and reveal their inner feelings in this situation? It seems awkward.

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    1. It was just for the show and they likely didn't go too deeply into anything.

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    2. I agree with you. But I think the 7 TLC crew members and all of our comments are much more of a violation of privacy.

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    3. Keeping everything in the family is their thing.

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  33. I think Lauren failed the task of employing her dad, who is also a pastor if I remember correctly, on the show. Her behaviour was a childing protest agains Kendra's dad being there. Her dad has many kids to feed as well, give him a part!

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    1. Not sure what you are saying . . .

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    2. Why would you think that Lauren had the power to "employ" her dad on the show?

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    3. I don’t understand your train of thought.

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    4. The dad/pastor is Kendras dad not Laurens

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    5. i think you missed the part where michelle said 'pastor caldwell is the pastor of our church' and they set it up with him. lauren's dad isnt their pastor

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  34. I seem to remember that the Duggar children did not have a set bed time. They went to bed whenever they wanted; often very late into the night. I wonder if the adults are raising their children in the same way. I think some of the issues these young couples are now facing could be solved if the parents had some "alone time" during the week when their children are in bed at a reasonable hour.

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  35. ALL YOU PEOPLE ON HERE WITH YOUR JUDGMENT AND HATE FOR THE WAY DUGGARS DO THINGS... GO VOLUNTEER IN A SOUP KITCHEN... this family is wonderful and blessed! Worry about your own life and problems.. it probably needs it more than theirs!

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    1. My goodness, 8:11am. No one here is "hating for the way Duggers do things". The comments on this blog are opinions, with bits of research sprinkled in. I respect and learn from the comments, many of them coming from around the world.

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    2. Anon 8.34. Here here. I couldn’t agree more. I love the fact I can communicate with people across several countries & all giving different & informative views on this family. I feel many of the commenters have become more well known to me than colleagues Iv worked with for years. If all this blog was about was people like anon @ 8.11, praising this family to the point of seeing them as wonderful & blessed & doing no wrong, then I would stop coming to the blog. No one is perfect & I’m quite sure many of the posters on here do volunteer in soup kitchens, raise money for charities, give of their time to hospices etc etc . . . they just don’t go on about all the good deeds they do, but you can tell reading comments that there are a lot of very good people who come to this blog, & I include the ones who can see fault in the Duggar’s & are prepared to call them out on certain things. Fan worshipping is only for teenage girls with crushes on boy bands, not for adults living in the real world. There is a place for all of us on this blog & unless Ellie & Lillie turn it into a fanzine then you will continue to get a multitude of different views from people all over the world. I for one love that aspect of this blog. So long as people are not intentionally cruel about the family, everyone is entitled to their own viewpoints.

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  36. Just watched this episode this evening in the UK. I would have to honest & say at the marriage boot camp where the couples were making the nests, Ben & Jessa came across as the most natural out of all the couples. They are clearly in love, but without the overly attentive behaviour the other couples still have as they are still relatively newly married. Ben & Jessa look like every normal young couple Iv ever known, young parents who rub along nicely together, have huge respect for one another & know life isn’t all roses & love, but hard work & determination (especially once children come along). The episode in general was a bit odd I felt, couples that have been married so short a time shouldn’t need marriage boot camp & tbh non of them looked like they did, they are all (apart from the aforementioned Ben & Jessa), in the first flush of love. I also feel it must have been very odd for Kendra with her dad running the camp, surely they could have got someone else apart from their church pastor.

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    1. I would think that people who have only been married a short while would benefit greatly from a marriage bootcamp. For one thing, they are new at this marriage business and have a lot to still learn. For another, it's a great idea to learn the wise way to handle things up front before you've cemented bad habits.

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