19 Kids and Counting's Michelle Duggar on her marriage: 'I had to let go of the urge to plan everything'
Michelle Duggar and hubby Jim Bob have 30 years of married life behind them and a mere 19 children under their belt so keeping the flame alive is something they know a few things about.
The happy couple married in 1984 but three decades later they still haven't tired of each other, and despite having a larger than average brood to take care of at home, they even manage to find the time for regular dates.
Answering a question on her blog from a fan about inexpensive date nights, Michelle happily revealed that it's the simple things that she and Jim Bob find the time to do.
With so many things going, it's little wonder that what they really appreciate is just finding the time to walk and talk.
"It's so nice when it's quiet and there are no interruptions. We really enjoy that because we're not around a lot of peple then, and we can catch up with each other."
They also try to schedule in a weekly coffee or ice cream, and the occasional meal for just the two of them. And if the week is really squeezed, they may even just settle for a lunch date fitted into the working day.
"If we've got something happening on our regular date night, Jim Bob usually will just call me up on a weekday and ask me out on a date," she says.
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"It's really sweet, he'll call up and say, 'Hey, can I come and steal you away for a date?' Then he'll surprise me and take me for lunch between his office work and my work at home."
Michelle admits that his spontaneity was something she had to adapt to, and that learning to "just jump and go", rather than plan ahead, has been much more fun.
"At first, those two different personality traits can be a challenge, but you really do need to be flexible with each other and spontaneous in your relationship," she says.
"For a while it was really hard for me, because I'd think, 'Wait a minute, we can't do that. I'm not prepared. I've got to get all these things done.'
"And I realised that was squelching Jim Bob's creativity and fun spirit – both things that I really love about him. I had to let go of that urge to plan everything. And when I did, it brought such a wonderful new dimension to our marriage."