In the eyes of many Duggar fans, Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo are the best couple on TLC's Counting On. So it's no wonder people were excited when the two sat down to answer some fan questions. In fact, Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo shared their relationship advice on a recent video segment, and had some interesting thoughts on how to keep a marriage strong.
It's been an exciting time for the 24-year-old Duggar, who rose to fame on her family's reality show 19 Kids and Counting. She married Vuolo, a 30-year-old former soccer player and current pastor, a little over a year ago, after a brief courtship. (And I do mean courtship. Any fan of the Duggars knows that they don't date in the typical sense of the word. Instead, they begin spending time with a potential partner in hopes of moving toward marriage, all while following some very strict courtship rules like no kissing, and the constant presence of a chaperone, according to TODAY.) Now, the couple is expecting their first child, all while appearing extremely happy together.
So of course a fan wrote in to their "Fan Mail" segment, posted on the Counting On Facebook page, to say, "I just love you two. You are truly the picture of a loving couple. I am so happy you found each other and have a wonderful marriage. Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for others?"
The couple didn't seem to have to think too hard for an answer. Duggar jumped right in, saying:
Just counting the other person more important than yourself. Instead of thinking, "Oh, what can I get out the relationship." In any relationship, whether it’s with family, [a] friend, anybody — instead of thinking of ourselves, like "What can I get," just, "How can I encourage this person," or "How can I give?"
Solid advice, for sure (although it's also important not to diminish your own needs. There's a difference between trying to "get" something out of a relationship, and standing up for yourself and what makes you happy).
Vuolo chimed in to agree with his wife's advice, adding, "And people always ask us about our first fight, or do we fight, and we really haven't fought."
Ah, that certainly sounds like the dream. Still, to comfort those out there who may not have constant peace in their relationships, fighting in and of itself isn't necessarily a bad thing for a couple. In fact, some relationship experts and psychologists say that a little arguing and fighting can actually be healthy, that it means you aren't repressing feelings, and that you're invested enough in the relationship to stand up for what you want. As licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., told Glamour, "Fighting means you care about the relationship. When fighting goes away completely, sometimes one or both people have checked out."
In response to Vuolo's assertion that they hadn't really fought, Duggar said:
Maybe we've had like small disagreements, but any time we have a disagreement though, I think like [what] we've tried to do is like, talk about it and then think of the other person, what their view is too. And I think you've set a really good example in that for me.
Soon, the couple will be able to offer fans some expert parenting advice too. Duggar talked to Us Weekly recently about how she and her husband were getting ready to welcome their baby into their lives, and it's clear that they can't wait to become parents. "Jeremy is so happy," she told the publication. "He’s just so excited that he’s gonna be a dad at this point." According to In Touch Weekly, Duggar is due to give birth in July. If the couple's selflessness and care with one another is any indication, they're going to be great parents.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.