Jackson announced to her parents, at the age of 18, that she wanted to marry Nathaniel Brown, her childhood love in May 1968. This created a division in the Jackson family. Rebbie expressed her feelings for Brown and wished to move with him to Kentucky. Her mother supported her wishes, believing that mother and wife were important roles for all of her daughters play. Her father Joe disliked her getting married and wanted to see her become a singer like her brothers. He felt the marriage would stop her from doing so.
Despite having taken lessons in piano, clarinet and dance, she had no interest in becoming a singer. Rebbie argued with her father for weeks before the wedding and he finally relented, allowing the marriage, but refusing to walk his daughter down the aisle. Jackson would go to have three children with her husband, daughters Stacee and Yashi, as well as son Austin. Rebbie's husband died of cancer on January 6, 2013.