Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s Secrets for Keeping Their Marriage Strong

There’s no doubt about it — marriage is hard. And when it comes to having children, taking care of them, and raising them until they’re old enough to leave the nest, this can put a strain on a marriage even more. Some couples seem to roll with the punches totally unscathed, however, and Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have proven their marriage is a force to be reckoned with. Even after having 19 children together and living through public scandal with Josh Duggar, they’ve never questioned the strength of their bond.

So, how have they managed to keep their marriage strong through the years? Here are their secrets.

They still act like a newlywed couple

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34 years & counting! More in love than ever!

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Michelle and Jim Bob may have some seriously strict rules for their kids, but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost any love for each other over the years. Most recently, the Duggar family Instagram posted a photo of Jim Bob and Michelle drinking a milkshake together to commemorate another year of being married. “34 years & counting! More in love than ever!” the post said.

They also never get lazy with each other’s wants and needs. Date nights are important to Jim Bob and Michelle to keep the romance alive. And though they likely argue like any couple, they’ve learned that their love for each other and for their kids conquers all, so there’s never a reason to call it quits on their amazing marriage.

Michelle is always sure to meet the ‘physical need of love’ that Jim Bob requires

It’s clear from their family rules that Michelle and Jim Bob waited until after marriage to get intimate, but now, the two have spoken candidly about how sex is an ultra-important component to their marriage. According to Today, a friend of Michelle’s gave her advice back when she married Jim Bob in 1984, and it was this: “In your marriage there will be times you’re going to be very exhausted. Your hubby comes home after a hard day’s work, you get the baby to bed, and he is going to be looking forward to that time with you.”

Michelle then continued by saying she’s always available for intimacy whenever Jim Bob wants it. “Be available.¬†Anyone can fix him lunch, but only one person can meet that physical need of love that he has, and you always need to be available when he calls.”

They treat each other with love and respect, no matter what

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Me and my love in beautiful Kauai!

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There are times in their marriage when Michelle can’t provide physical intimacy for Jim Bob, like when she’s menstruating or for months following the births of her kids, Today notes. But no matter what, Jim Bob always makes sure to treat Michelle with the utmost respect. Today notes when Jim Bob was asked his secrets to a healthy marriage, he said, “That’s key in a relationship, the husband needs to cherish his wife and always treat his wife like a queen.” And many fans have noted that they can tell Jim Bob and Michelle both put each other on a pedestal over the years with the way they speak and act toward one another.

Their Christian faith dictates that divorce is a sin

There’s no doubt Jim Bob and Michelle love each other, but even if their marriage was unhappy, it’s highly unlikely they’d get a divorce. In Touch Weekly notes none of the immediate Duggars have ever divorced, nor have they ever considered it a possibility. Not only that, but some members of the family, like Jill and Derick Dillard, have entered a covenant marriage that makes it legally more difficult to separate.

We can’t ever imagine Jim Bob and Michelle wanting to leave each other’s sides even if they did believe in divorce, however. It seems they’ll truly be together forever.

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