The Duggar family rose to fame because their matriarch and patriarch, Michelle and Jim Bob, brought a whopping 19 kids into the world. This family is one of the US's biggest. The family is also very rule-oriented, thanks to rock-solid spiritual beliefs that require plenty of sacrifices. Many Duggar daughters are now wives and they are carrying on Duggar tradition by following a lot of rules.
The Duggars are a controversial family. They have their fans, in addition to tons of detractors. Some people appreciate their old-fashioned family values, while others find them very out of date.
Some people who watch the Duggars on TV or follow them on social media have mixed emotions because they appreciate the way that members of this famous family look out for each other, but find their views too strict and harsh.
This family is always in the spotlight. It is what it is. Now, it's time to learn about the rules that Duggar wives choose to follow.
From avoiding friendships with solo women to putting work ambitions on the back burner and beyond, the Duggar wives believe that the rules that they follow are righteous. They learned to embrace these rules when they were very young. Michelle and Jim Bob molded their daughters. They also molded their daughters' views on matrimony and what it means.
20 They Can't Be Friends With Solo Women
Duggar wives need to befriend other married women, rather than women who go solo. Solo women are still out there, dating and experimenting with life. They lead very different lives than married Duggar women.
Married Duggar women are all about tradition. According to Cheatsheet.com, even their wedding days are filled with tons of traditions, such as taking portions of their mom's wedding dress and then adding those pieces to their own wedding gowns. Jill chose to use a piece of her mother's dress as her wedding day handkerchief. Jinger sewed her piece of mom's dress into the lining of her bridal gown. Sticking to friendships with other married women is one more Duggar tradition.
19 Work Ambitions Are Always On The Back Burner
Duggar women who get married work as homemakers. Taking care of a home is real work — it's hard work. When kids are in the home, it's even harder. Intouchweekly.com reports that Duggar women embrace stay-at-home mom roles after marriage. They aren't encouraged to become surgeons or rocket scientists or fashion models or anything else. They are supposed to stay in their lanes by doing household and parenting tasks that are in keeping with their strict spiritual beliefs.
One Duggar mom, Jessa, has even gotten dragged online for her messy house! Interestingly enough, the unmarried Duggar daughter, Jana, is close to 30 years of age and still living with mom and dad. She helps them to care for their children.
18 Splitting Up Is Not An Option
Marriage can be tough. It takes endless commitment, love, and forgiveness to keep a marriage strong as the years pass. When it comes to Duggar marriages, they are meant to last forever. Splitting up is not an option, according to the show's Wikipedia page.
Anna is Josh Duggar's wife and she's had to put up with a lot. She's chosen to stick it out with husband Josh, even when a lot of women might have made another decision. Anna's own sister did decide to make the transition from married to solo back in 2015. Bear in mind that Anna is a Duggar wife, but wasn't a Duggar daughter. She was raised in another family. So, her sister was never a Duggar wife.
17 Tight Household Budgets Are A Fact Of Life
Let's not skirt around the fact that the Duggars have made a bundle off of their lifestyle. They are a brand. Josh hurt the brand but it's rebounding, thanks to Counting On. According to Cheatsheet.com, Jim Bob and Michelle have racked up a net worth of about 3.5 million bucks. Reality TV is lucrative and they have other streams of income as well.
This doesn't mean that Duggar wives are all rich. They can't necessarily depend on Jim Bob and Michelle in order to survive. For this reason, they need to follow tight household budgets. They're often pictured out shopping at economical places. They aren't shopping like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills!
16 Husbands Always Come First
Most women are raised to consider their spouses equals. In the Duggar universe, husbands seem to have a higher value than wives. They are catered to by their spouses. It's that old-fashioned "man of the house" thing.
Duggar wives must do what their husbands want in the spirit of joyful obedience. They need to bend over backward to keep their husbands happy. For example, they're not supposed to refuse romantic overtures. It doesn't matter if the wives are tired or not in the mood or whatever.
This sense of joyful obedience extends to giving their hubbies what an Intouchweekly.com report refers to as "the Duggar love stare." It's a gaze that is just so adoring.
15 They Need To Be Careful Around Other Men
Duggar wives need to watch their step when it comes to interactions with males who are not their lawful wedded husbands. Big Brother is always watching! For example, Duggar wives can't hug non-hubby men from the front or hug anyone who's not in the family from the front. They need to do strange hugs called "side hugs."
According to Intouchweekly.com, Michelle Duggar has been dragged online for giving her own kids these bizarre side hugs.
In the "Duggarverse," rules are legion and Duggar wives need to follow them all. They aren't going to be hanging out with guys who aren't their husbands, and they sure aren't going to be front-hugging these sorts of guys!
14 Social Media Posts Must Be Wholesome
Wholesomeness is a part of the Duggar clan's spiritual values and it's also an important part of their brand. When eldest son, Josh Duggar, was accused of misdoing, the accusations really damaged the Duggar brand. These days, social media posts from Duggar wives and other Duggar family members are usually incredibly wholesome. I say "incredibly" because they are amazingly clean-cut when they are contrasted with posts from Kardashians or similar celebrities.
Duggar wives aren't posing in racy swimsuits with their small children in their arms, Kylie Jenner-style, and then posting the results on social media. According to Romper.com, Duggars aren't even supposed to use social media until they're engaged.
13 Their Kids' Play Habits Must Be Closely Supervised
Kids raised by Duggar wives need to be taught to play appropriately, based on Duggar family rules. This means that they need to be taught to play in a wholesome way, with wholesome toys. They also need to be taught to obey, in a way that's in keeping with the family matriarch, Michelle Duggar's philosophy of "joyful obedience," according to Romper.com. Joyful obedience is all about embracing obedience with a happy spirit. It's about accepting and loving the rules and limitations!
Obviously, when this type of parenting philosophy is in place, it puts more pressure on Duggar moms. They have to be sure that they're teaching their children how to live (and play) the Duggar way.
12 They Can't Support Certain Lifestyle Choices
We live in a world where most people's attitudes towards "alternative" lifestyles have evolved. Not in Duggar land, though. In Duggar land, wives must frown on alternative lifestyles. They need to keep things very traditional, in honor of their family and their family's spiritual beliefs.
So, don't expect the Duggar wives to be marching in Pride parades or anything like that anytime soon.
To give you a sense of the way that "alternative lifestyles" are frowned upon, GLAAD considers Josh Duggar to be someone who's against GLAAD's principles and agendas, according to the family's Wikipedia page. The Duggars wives are the types of people who have no issue with Chick-Fil-A. Let's leave it at that.
11 Birth Control Is A No-No
Jim Bob and Michelle did utilize birth control in the early days of their marriage before Josh was born. Then, Michelle went back on birth control but became pregnant while using it. The couple sadly lost the baby and she thinks that prior usage of birth control may have caused this tragedy, according to Cheatsheet.com.
Michelle gave up on birth control and 18 more children followed. These days, she has a bunch of grandchildren, in addition to her own brood of kids. Overall, birth control is not approved by Duggar wives. It's against the family's philosophies and beliefs. Duggar wives need to anticipate getting pregnant a lot.
10 They Need To Handle Disagreements Privately
This isn't really a bad rule. I disagree with most Duggar rules, but live and let live, right? When it comes to this one, I kind of get it. Keeping disagreements within the family, and private, is not a bad idea. It's smart. However, the rule could perhaps be a bad thing when a Duggar wife desperately needs to vent about marriage problems. Make no mistake, these women have their marriage problems, just like everyone else.
According to Ibtimes.com, Michelle has suggested that all Duggar wives should keep their marriage problems between themselves and their husbands. Of course, wives should also be "joyfully available" to their husbands.
9 They Can't Encourage Daughters To Achieve
Since building awesome work lives isn't really in the cards for Duggar wives, Duggar wives can't really encourage their daughters to achieve. Of course, they can encourage them to become awesome wives, mothers, and homemakers, and these things are all valuable. But they can't encourage them to get out there in the world and make a mark.
For example, with the current rules in place, it's unlikely that a Duggar wife will ever run for high office, or run a corporation, or hold a position of real responsibility within the community. These opportunities are not considered proper, according to Cheatsheet.com.
8 Unwed Mothers Must Be Shunned
Unwed mothers just don't fit into the worlds of Duggar wives. Women who've had babies out of wedlock are considered bad company because they've failed to follow the rules that the Duggar family believes in so strongly.
According to Ranker.com, it's just not permitted for Duggar wives to spend time with women who've had children while unmarried. Oh well, it's their loss, right? To each his own.
Sealing yourself off from a whole segment of the population is certainly a limited way of moving through life. It's perhaps easier to maintain certain beliefs when a lot of people who don't think the same way aren't in the social mix.
7 They Can't Wear Pants
Imagine a world where you couldn't throw on a pair of pants when you needed clothing that was practical for a certain task, such as doing yoga or running errands around town on a windy day. This is the world of a Duggar wife. No, it's not exactly The Handmaid's Tale, but it's still a rule that a lot of women might balk at following.
According to Intouchweekly.com, certain Duggar women have gotten a little bit rebellious. Some of them, including Duggar wives, have chosen to flout the rule and take the consequences. For example, Jessa's been photographed wearing ski pants during outdoor winter fun. Mostly, though, they do follow the no-pants rule.
6 Swimwear Is Not Permitted
The no-pants rule is ultimately about modesty and so is the no-swimsuit rule. It's about keeping Duggar women covered up as much as possible. In the Duggar world, women, married or not, must dress modestly, out of respect for spiritual rules and beliefs, thanks to Intouch Weekly. When Duggar women want to enjoy time in the water, they need to wear clothes that really cover them up.
Of course, Duggar wives are free to decide when they want to break the rules. Jill has relaxed her dress code a bit after marriage, compared to how she dressed before she became a wife. She's worn very modest swimsuits — not the Kardashian types of bathing suits!
5 They Can't Celebrate Halloween
Halloween just doesn't fit the Duggar family's beliefs, so don't expect Duggar wives to be dressing up as naughty nurses or Britney Spears or Kardashian sisters. It's not going to happen. According to Romper.com, Halloween, in the eyes of Duggar wives and other Duggars, is about celebrating things that should never be celebrated, such as spell-casting and witches.
Duggar wives can enjoy fun activities that are centered on the harvest aspects of autumn, but they can't dress up on Halloween or take their children out trick or treating. It's not really that surprising that Halloween isn't appreciated by the Duggars, is it?
4 Reading Material Must Be Approved
If you're fond of diving into thrilling best-sellers on the regular or prefer classic literature that is a bit subversive, do not become a Duggar wife. If you marry a Duggar, you'll be expected to keep your reading habits squeaky clean. In fact, your reading material will need to be approved.
Josh Duggar actually censors his family's reading material.
The Duggars have shared information about reading material that does pass muster, according to Intouchweekly.com. Examples include His Needs, Her Needs, which is about building a marriage that won't be adversely impacted by a "third party." I wonder if Josh read that one?
3 They Need To Homeschool The Kids
Doing housework is hard work. That is unless you're not really into it and do the bare minimum. Parenting is hard work, too. When you're a Duggar wife, you'll need to add homeschooling the children to your daily list of tasks. That'll be even more work for you!
In 2016, experts in the US estimated that 1,689,726 kids were being taught at home, based on information from Nheri.org. So, Duggar wives definitely aren't the only wives who are making the decision to embrace homeschooling. In the case of the Duggar family, the primary motivation for teaching kids at home is to instill them with the right spiritual values and shield them from different values.
2 They Can't Unwind With A Glass Or Two
It's never five-o-clock at Duggar households. I personally find that kind of depressing, but that's just me. I was raised to think that enjoying a little vino is sophisticated, rather than blatantly morally wrong. We are all a product of our upbringings. Some of us decide to embrace the values we learned when we were young, while others reject those values. Everyone's on their own path.
In the case of Duggar wives, enjoying a glass after a tough day is just not an acceptable outlet. These women find other ways to de-stress. Jill usually opts for sparkling grape juice over wine, according to Inquisitr.com.
1 Children Must Be Raised With Strict Rules
Duggar wives need to maintain the status quo when it comes to instilling Duggar family values in their children. According to Intouchweekly.com, Duggar wives must practice Duggar-style discipline when it comes to the kids, and this means showing kids how to control themselves from very early ages.
Duggar wives can't give in to their children when they have meltdowns. Kids are put in time outs or something like that.
Jessa had said that she's open to relaxing the rules a little, or changing them somewhat, to suit her own way of thinking. She's not necessarily committed to following every parenting rule that her mom and dad used. She follows some of them, though.
Sources: Cheatsheet.com, Intouchweekly.com, En.wikipedia.org. Romper.com, Nheri.org, Inquisitr.com, Ibtimes.com, Ranker.com