Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar recently shared their tips for keeping the romance alive after 30 years and 19 kids. The reality stars told TODAY Moms the seven things they do to stay madly in love and keep things steamy in the bedroom.
And with 19 kids, you know they get it on. But more than that, the couple seems genuinely in love and happy with one another. So how do they do it? Here are the Duggars’ seven tips for sustained romance in a long-term marriage.
1. Say yes to sex, even when you’re tired. When you’re a newlywed, you don’t think you’ll ever choose sleep over nookie, but you know how it goes. The kids come and just drain all the energy out of you.
Michelle shared some advice a friend gave her before her 1984 nuptials: “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. 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."
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I admit, when I read that one, I was a little taken aback because what about her needs, but read on friends and see if you wouldn’t mind being available for a husband who treated you like a princess.
2. But give it a rest sometimes. Jim Bob apparently gives Michelle her space when she’s having her monthly, and also for a good chunk of time after each baby. Michelle seems content with the breaks, and said, "When you've missed it for seven days, you look forward to it even more."
3. Treat your wife like a queen. Jim Bob said, “That’s the key in a relationship, the husband needs to cherish his wife and always treat his wife like a queen.” They really seems to admire and respect each other, and find ways to connect even in little ways with “I love you” texts and calling each other pet names.
4. The strong, silent type is overrated. "He shares his heart with me, his struggles, his fears and his dreams," said Michelle. "Many men would not do that, but God's word says that before honor comes humility. When he learns to humble himself before God and me, it builds him up so much in my eyes."
In other words, keep the brooding to a minimum. We ladies want to be here to help you guys through tough times, but if you shut us out it turns us off.
5. Perfectionism kills romance. Jim Bob and Michelle do not demand perfectionism of each other, and don’t believe in withholding praise. Jim Bob said, “Expectations ruin relationships.”
They sure do. You’ll be set for nothing but disappointment if you demand too much out of your partner and then feel disappointed with them when they don’t deliver to your pie-in-the-sky expectations.
6. Make time for date night. The Duggars go out every Saturday night -- without kids in tow. They shared that they usually go out for ice cream, and Jim Bob looks forward to it every week. He said, “It’s a really special time.”
Aww! How can you not love a man that looks forward to taking you out for a weekly dish of ice cream, and considers any alone time he gets with you special?
7. Never stop learning. The Duggars’ last tip is an important one for keeping the spark in their marriage after so much time and so many kids together. They’re always trying to learn more about how to keep their marriage solid and be the best spouses they can be to each other.
They shared that they’d recently met an Amish couple that had been married for 50 years, and asked their advice. They answered that the phrases, “I was wrong” and “Will you forgive me?” played a big role.
Do you think keeping the romance alive is the best way to keep up an active sex life in marriage?
Image via TLC