OutDaughtered Stars Danielle and Adam Busby on What Keeps Their Marriage Strong After 15 Years
After nearly 15 years of marriage and six kids, Danielle and Adam Busby have learned the importance of prioritizing their relationship above everything else.
This July, the OutDaughtered stars — who share 9-year-old daughter Blayke and 5-year-old quintuplets Ava, Olivia, Riley, Parker and Hazel — will celebrate their 15-year wedding anniversary. And to this day, the couple still recognizes the value of going on weekly date nights.
“Our house is just an extremely high-stress environment,” Adam, 38, tells PEOPLE. “There’s always something going on. And we learned very early on that you kind of lose sight of each other in the shuffle.”
“You may be getting to Wednesday and feel like you barely so much as said hi to each other, just because you’re trying to sort everything out with the kids and get them up, fed, bathed,” he continues. “We realized you have to schedule time for yourselves. And honestly, it took putting date nights on the schedule. So every week we get out of the house and get away and just focus on us. That’s our time to talk and stuff like that.”
For the parents of six, finding a babysitter and getting out of their house in Houston to focus on one another has been crucial in helping them feel connected.
“We can have a glass of wine and sit outside or whatever, but we really find the most reconnecting time when we can step away from all the distractions at home,” says Danielle, 37. “And so get a babysitter — those things we have to do.”
“We’ve told ourselves, ‘It’s okay, we need a babysitter,'” she explains. “We have to have someone come in and help so that we can … [say], ‘Hey, what’s up, I’m your wife.’ Just finding time, communication, and making an effort to do it is what we have learned more than anything.”
She adds that “making that time and that effort — and making sure it stays a priority — is what we’ve learned has to happen.”
“And we have adjusted,” she says. “How do we date each other? What do we do to enjoy our company? And what’s the most valued time together? And I think for the past probably three years, we discovered it has to be away from the house.”
The couple’s love story began in 2003, when they met while both working at Target. After two and a half years of dating, Adam proposed on Christmas Eve, and he and Danielle were married six months later. “Man, we were so young!” Danielle wrote on their family blog about when they said “I do.”
On April 5, 2011, they welcomed firstborn daughter Blayke, and almost exactly four years later, the family expanded by five when Adam and Danielle’s quints arrived on April 8, 2015 at just 28 weeks.
Though the two have been parents for nearly a decade, one thing has not changed: their relationship with one another comes first.
“We’ve gotten great advice from mentors,” Adam tells PEOPLE. “Obviously, mine and her relationship is the most important relationship in the house. And so if that’s not doing well, you know, everything in the house suffers. And we can see it whenever we get in an argument, or you just don’t feel connected.”
With “stress and everything going on, the kids see it and the kids feel it,” he adds. “And it seems like the house just kind of starts spiraling out of control. So that’s just the most important relationship in the house — ours. And we focus on that and they’re happier for it.”
With a house full of young, growing girls, all with varying personalities and opinions, there’s lots of chatter in the Busby home. And for Danielle, maintaining a healthy line of communication with Adam is the most important ingredient of their strong and happy marriage.
“Communication is probably the biggest key, and learning to adjust what’s not working,” she says. “We enjoy doing stuff together and going on dates, but it can get overshadowed really quickly.”
OutDaughtered airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on TLC and can also be streamed on discovery+.