‘Counting On’: Do the Duggars’ Spouses Also Come From Super Strict Families? You Might Be Surprised

The Duggar family is one of the most traditional families most of us have ever seen. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have raised their 19 children with a very strict set of rules meant to serve God. The family has been on television since 2008, and in that time, several of the Duggars have grown up, married, and started families of their own. But do the Duggars’ husbands and wives come from families that are as strict as theirs?

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard
Jill Duggar Derick Dillard| D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

The Duggars were raised with many strict rules

Growing up, the Duggars didn’t live the way most American families did. Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar opted to infuse religion into every aspect of their kids’ lives, which meant they homeschooled the children and outlawed certain modern activities. The kids weren’t allowed to listen to modern music or watch cable television, since both things could have sexual overtones. Michelle taught each of the children their homeschool curriculum, which allowed her to bring more religion into their daily routine. And the Duggars weren’t allowed to date around; they could only court with the intention of marrying.  

Several Duggar spouses come from very similar families

The Duggars tend to marry very young, and some of their spouses do come from families that are very similar to their own. Lauren Swanson and Kendra Caldwell both come from extremely religious families who lived by values and rules very similar to the Duggars. They are out of touch with modern celebrities, songs, and television shows, the same way the Duggar children are. Swanson is one of nine children; she grew up in Central Georgia in a family with beliefs as strong as the Duggars’. Caldwell is one of eight children; she grew up in Northwest Arkansas and her father is a pastor.

Austin Forsyth and Derick Dillard are a bit more in tune with the outside world

Though people have had mixed feelings about Derick Dillard for his seemingly self-righteous attitude, he actually appears to be more in touch with the modern world than we would have thought. He once admitted that he and Jill Duggar use birth control, and he even once quoted a Notorious B.I.G. song on his Instagram. It comes as a surprise, but Dillard also reportedly wants his children to go to college. Austin Forsyth was one of the only family members who had any idea who the Backstreet Boys were, which shows that he was exposed to modern music and didn’t live a life that was quite as sheltered as his wife’s. It’s hard to believe that, since both of these men seem to live so traditionally, but it seems like they’re more in touch with the world than we imagined.

Jeremy Vuolo was raised in a fairly modern household

Jeremy Vuolo married Jinger Duggar in 2016, and he is by far the most modern spouse. In last week’s episode, Vuolo was thrilled to see the Backstreet Boys, N’SYNC, and Boyz II Men’s stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, so it’s clear he was exposed to modern music during his childhood. Duggar seemed out of touch with most of the celebrities on the Walk. Vuolo also has two siblings who are reportedly very modern; they drink and date just like most Americans. Though the Duggar family was raised very sheltered, it’s clear that some of them are trying to adopt a bit more modern of a lifestyle for their new families.