The Truth About Josiah And Lauren Duggar's Romantic Life

Dating and relationships on mainstream reality television are often filled with excitement, heartbreak, lust, love, and plot twists. But for the Counting On family, who have built their brand off of serving God and their deep faith, "dating" looks more like courtship for eventual marriage. Although that lifestyle seems to work for the Duggars, many of whom are now married and have children of their own, not every relationship is the same. Some married early after barely courting, while other couples took their time to grow and get to know each other. 

It might be these differences that also led to different dynamics between each couple. Some are known to be more low-key and reserved, while others are open about their love story and parenting styles.

However, recent speculation suggests one couple, in particular, might be hitting a rocky road. Many fans suspect Josiah and Lauren Duggar, who got married in 2018, aren't as happy in their marriage as they claim. Let's take a closer look at the speculation.

Was Josiah and Lauren Duggar's union orchestrated by Jim Bob?

The speculation goes back to before Josiah and Lauren's marriage when Josiah was considered somewhat of a black sheep of the Duggar family. As In Touch Weekly noted, Josiah has always been a little bit of a rebel — running off after the announcement of Duggar #20 and going through a failed courtship with Marjorie Jackson. After the said failed relationship with Marjorie, rumors sparked that Josiah may be getting himself into some trouble. The timing occurred shortly before the fallout from Josh Duggar's molestation scandal, which broke in May 2015.  

Interestingly, in 2014, Josiah attended International ALERT Academy, a school that offers an intense physical training program. The Duggars believe the school "inspires young men to draw close to God and to become diligent, conquer laziness, anger and to set goals for the future," according to The Duggar Family blog.

The internet has since erupted with theories, with some watchers claiming that Jim Bob set up Josiah with Lauren to keep him "tame." Blogger and YouTube commentator, Katie Joy, theorized, "Josiah apparently was so disobedient and out of control that Jim Bob would do anything to tame him and get him back under his thumb, and so he arranged the marriage between Lauren and Josiah to get him back to God."

Fans question whether Lauren Duggar is happy

As fans might recall, Lauren and Josiah Duggar lost their first child due to a miscarriage, which was understandably a tough time for Lauren and her husband. Although some fans have defended Lauren, saying she should be able to grieve as long as she possibly needs to, others suggest the disconnect between Lauren and Josiah seems unrelated to the loss. Some have called their dynamic "peak cringe," with users on Reddit saying there is "no spark" between the couple and that it seemed like the two barely knew each other at the time of their engagement. "Something about their interactions feels so flat," one user posted, noting that the two barely touch and seemingly have "contempt" for each other.

Speculations about Lauren's unhappiness resurfaced once more in Christmas 2019 when Jana Duggar posted photos of the family celebrating the holiday together. While the rest of the family seemingly opens presents and crowd around each other, Lauren sits apart from the crowd, cradling what was then her newborn baby Bella. While some suggest Lauren could have been suffering from postpartum depression, others have guessed that she could just be overwhelmed. 

Of course, it's impossible to gauge someone's happiness off of photos on social media.

Josiah and Lauren Duggar have not addressed the rumors

Although these rumors have clouded Josiah and Lauren's relationship for quite some time, it's important to note that the two have never admitted to being unhappy in their marriage. On the contrary, the pair have often posted on social media about enjoying their marriage and parenthood. In June 2020, Josiah posted an Instagram saying that when they first met, "it was that, 'you know, when you know', moment." He said, "I instantly knew, somehow, someday, you would be my wife. You have changed my life forever and for the better. You have brought so much joy and fun into my life." 

What's more? The two have also seemingly grown together as parents to their daughter, Bella, who they welcomed in November 2019. Lauren has also posted about her appreciation for Josiah. In a 2020 Father's Day post, she described her husband as "such an wonderful and loving father." And in an August 2020 post, she said she considers herself "blessed to be married to such a wonderful man." 

Now, the two often post photos of their little family, with Bella growing up before fans' eyes. If the two are the slightest bit unhappy in their marriage, it sure is hard to tell.