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Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s family is continuing to grow. Eight of their 19 children have started families of their very own, and rumors continue to swirl that another courtship or two could be on the way. While Jim Bob and Michelle seem to enjoy solid relationships with several of their in-laws, family followers think the parents of 19 have a favorite son-in-law. That favorite in-law appears to be Ben Seewald.

How many Duggar daughters have married so far?

Jim Bob and Michelle are the proud parents of nine daughters. So far, four of those nine daughters have walked down the aisle and started families. Jill Duggar was the first to marry. She married her husband, Derick Dillard, in 2014. Just a few months later, Jessa Duggar said, “I do” to Ben. In 2016, Jinger Duggar found her Prince Charming in Jeremy Vuolo, and Joy-Anna Duggar married her longtime friend, Austin Forysth, in 2017.

There has been a lull in Duggar daughter courtships since then. Jana Duggar, now 30, still lives at home with her parents and has failed to meet the right man, although she’s admitted to dating fairly extensively. The rest of the Duggar daughters are still too young to marry. Johannah Duggar, who was born in 2005, is the next oldest Duggar girl. Jennifer Duggar, Jordyn-Grace Duggar, and Josie Duggar, who were all born between 2007 and 2009, are the youngest Duggar children.

Does Jim Bob have a favorite son-in-law?

While Jim Bob and Michelle have never publicly suggested they have a favorite son-in-law, family followers seem to think that Jim Bob and Michelle have a clear favorite and a clear least favorite. Derick is believed to be Jim Bob’s least favorite in-law. The father of two and law school student has been outspoken about the inner workings of the family, and he has not painted the Duggars in a positive light.

Derick has suggested that Jim Bob hoards all of the earnings from the family’s show, and tightly controls who is allowed to come into the family’s home. Derick also once alleged he was in the process of writing a tell-all book. Since Derick’s admissions, Jim Bob and Michelle have been on a mission to shore up their image, but the damage seems to be done. Derick is clearly their least favorite in-law, although some family critics believe Jeremy isn’t far behind.

Their favorite in-law, many agree, seems to be Ben. Ben and Jessa is the couple who are most closely adhering to the Duggar family’s strict belief system, and they are also the couple who appear to be the most financially dependent on Jim Bob and Michelle. Jessa has spent the last three weeks crafting content that heavily praises her parents.

Ben seems to be the most easily manipulated son-in-law

While Ben might be enjoying the benefits of being the favored Duggar son-in-law, it’s not for a particularly good reason. Simply put, Ben is the most easily manipulated man who has married into the family. Not only does Ben appear to lack a strong personality, but he also doesn’t have the ability to financially support his family.

Unlike Derick, Austin, and Jeremy, Ben hasn’t held a job since joining the Duggar clan. Before marrying Jessa, Ben was working in auto glass repair, but he quit his gig when he walked down the aisle and hasn’t been fussed to find a new job since. At last check, Ben’s only source of income comes from tutoring the younger Duggar children, meaning he’s utterly dependent on Jim Bob. In Touch noted that Ben is “basically unemployed.”  

If rumors are to be believed, that is precisely the way Jim Bob likes it. Family critics have long theorized that Jim Bob controls his children by managing their money. Derick even suggested that Jim Bob thwarted job opportunities to keep family members on a tight leash. Since Ben doesn’t hold a job outside of the family, he is pretty much forced to follow Jim Bob’s strict rules.