Considering Ben and Jessa Seewald didn’t front-hug until their wedding in November, the pair had a lot of time during their courtship to focus on the non-physical aspects of their relationship. Now, little more than three months after saying “I do,” the pair is offering their “dos and don’ts” for a successful marriage.
“It’s important not to build walls or turn away from hard topics,” Jessa, 22, told People this week, adding Ben’s better about broaching difficult topics. “Not like, ‘I am going to take my feelings and close off from you and build a little wall there.’ The ‘I’m-going-to-show-you attitude’ really hurts. It’s always best to open up and talk about things… Clamming up is just as bad [as yelling].”
Ben, whom People referred to as wise beyond his 19 years, added he strives to help his wife whenever he can.
“The most important thing is humility and putting the other person first,” he said. “I try to make that my perspective – I’m here to serve her and help her. What can I do to make her life easier?”
Although the young couple keeps a tight budget and tries to “buy used and save the difference,” they advise against skipping date nights in an effort to save a few bucks.
“Dates are investing in our marriage,” Ben said, as the couple explained the regularly go out once or twice a week. “That’s a good way to spend our money.”
Sneaking away for those date nights may get harder in the near future, as Ben and Jessa said they are beginning the adoption process and also hope to have biological children. (They said in the video above that they want their boys to look like Ben and girls to look like Jessa.)
In the comments section of People‘s article, the reaction to Ben and Jessa’s advice seems to be mixed: While most agree the suggestions are sound, many thought it was laughable that such young newlyweds should be asked for their tips. As one person put it, “Taking marital advice from them is like asking a Kindergartner for guidance on writing a novel: Just because they know the alphabet and a few simple words, it doesn’t mean they’re qualified.”
However, considering Jessa and the three other oldest Duggar daughters wrote a book about relationships before any of them were courting, I suppose it isn’t that bizarre!
19 Kids and Counting is back on TLC on Tuesdays at 9/8c.