Marriage isn't easy for anyone. But when you're married to a Duggar, it's a little bit harder. Because so much of the family lives their lives in the public eye, marriages have to be challenging. But even for the couples who think they have a handle on it, there's always room for improvement. In a clip for the newest Counting On, five of the couples head to a marriage retreat. It will certainly be interesting!
The Duggar couples: Jessa and Ben Seewald, John and Abbie Duggar, Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth, Josiah and Lauren Duggar, and Joseph and Kendra Duggar traveled to the retreat conducted by Pastor Caldwell, Kendra's dad. During the retreat, the goal is to learn more about themselves and figure out how to improve upon their relationships.
"We've been married about 10 months now, and so coming to the marriage retreat..." Josiah says in the clip before wife Lauren adds, "We feel like babies."
"What are we going to learn? What are we supposed to bring? What are we supposed to do," he describes their feelings. "It's different than anything we've ever done."
Building a relationship and subsequent marriage in the Duggar family is unconventional at best. Couples don't date in the traditional sense. When they decide they're interested in pursuing a relationship, they practice courting, which means all of their dates are supervised. There is no kissing, or physical contact, and couples can only side hug. Each couple's first kiss is at their wedding. This doesn't likely give the couples much room to really understand what it's like to be a couple or how to handle a relationship.
When asked by a producer what she hopes to get out of the retreat, Joy-Anna was surprisingly honest. "I'm hoping to learn a lot, just in every aspect of our marriage cause, I need a lot of work," she said. Austin added that he hopes to take their relationship off "autopilot."
During a tour of the house where they're staying, they realize the sleeping arrangements are a little cozy. Only one room has a single bed, which the group decides that the "newlyweds" John and Abbie should take it. The other rooms have two beds, which means couples will have to double up. Someone suggests they can "just wear blindfolds."
Though they're not present at the retreat, the clip shows Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar offering their best communication advice. We're curious to see what all the couples take away from the experience.
Counting On airs on TLC Tuesday nights at 9:00pm.