Michelle DuggarWhen it comes to marriage advice, it's pretty clear that Michelle Duggar -- mother of 19 children and wife to Jim Bob Duggar for over 30 years -- would have the best there was to offer. Sure enough, just two days before her daughter Jill walked down the aisle to marry Derick Dillard, Michelle gave the couple some words of marital wisdom on her blog.

It's hard to imagine what it must feel like to be the mother of the bride. I can only dream about what I would want to say to my daughters before they join hands with someone for life. I am sure that when the time comes, I will have quite a bit more experience and may be almost as wise as Michelle when it comes to marriage. At least I hope I will.

Michelle Duggar's 3 marriage tips are deceptively simple, yet brilliant. She credits a friend with passing them on to her. And they really do work if you try them yourself!

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1.) Be Available: Even during your longest, most exhausting days (and with 19 kids, you can bet there have been plenty), you still make time at the end of the day for him. If you do that, he will do the same for you. It's kind of genius, really, and something I have found to be true in my own marriage. When I do the things I want done for myself for him, he returns the favor. In Michelle's words:

While I am always joyfully available for him, in turn, he’ll lay down his life in any way. 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. We’re willing to be there for each other. And each one of us has different needs in a marriage relationship and that’s what’s so precious.

I may not be religious and I may only have three kids, but I can tell this woman is onto something here!

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2.) Fight in Private: Michelle says that she never reprimands her husband in front of others. It's simple, but it is absolutely vital. As far as I am concerned, nobody should ever know the real things my husband and I discuss. Sure, I'll share some small-time disagreements about the dishes, etc., but the big things are only between him and me. As she puts it:

Don’t ever talk about things in front of your children that are supposed to be between you and your husband only. 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. Talk privately. We always say in our family, we praise publicly, but we correct privately.

Also really fantastic advice. She's two for two here.

3.) Get Advice: At first glance, this may seem like it cancels out her second suggestion, but it really doesn't. Michelle advises that couples seek out the counsel of people who have been in their shoes and made mistakes. It's how we learn. She also advises finding that trusted third party who can help guide your marriage through difficult patches.

It may sound obvious, but for some it would be seen as a sign of weakness. In fact, it's the opposite. I've only been married a third as long as Michelle and we have already seen how much stronger we can be when we actively work on our marriage. To her, this means seeking religious counsel. To others, it might be finding a therapist or talking to another objective person who has been there and has wise advice. There is no shame in it no matter what you need. As Michelle says:

It’s important to note that you can get marriage counseling in a lot of different ways....Through the years as we have gone to marriage retreats, Jim Bob and I have tried to take time out as a couple to listen to messages from other couples that have either learned from their mistakes or from others with the Christian perspective that we share. Even if you can’t afford to get away for the weekend, that’s fine. In our early days, we’d often plan a romantic dinner and listen to readings together and have grandma babysit. It would strengthen our relationship.

All great advice. It's no wonder the Duggars have lasted as long as they have and made it through so many struggles. Theirs is true strength, and we'd all do well to listen to what she says. She knows what she's talking about. And her newlywed daughter Jill is lucky to have her as a mom.

Do you think Michelle Duggar's advice is good?

 

 

Image via Doug Meszler/Splash News