‘Counting On’: Did Austin Forsyth Change Fan Perceptions with This One Statement?

The producers of Counting On really seem to be reaching for content these days. While the show trudges along, season after season, producers are forced to come up with more and more convoluted storylines. This conundrum was showcased recently on the series when several couples were shipped off to a “marriage boot camp” hosted by Kendra Caldwell’s father. While the retreat was clearly an attempt to fill 40 minutes of screentime, a few fun facts came out of it. Fans learned that Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson are a bit passive-aggressive and that Jessa Duggar has a tendency to steamroll her beard-loving husband, Ben Seewald. Austin Forsyth, however, was the biggest surprise of the episode, and he may have just completely blown apart all preconceived notions that fans had about him.

Austin and Joy appeared to communicate better than any other couple

Joy-Anna and Austin’s relationship was put to the test during the marriage boot camp run by Kendra’s father. While they struggled mightily during a blindfolded rowing challenge, the pair did exceptionally well when working together on building a nest that could hold marbles. Both trials were designed to increase communication skills, but the nest building challenge was really about compromise if you want to get technical.

Joy and Austin managed to compromise much better than many of the other couples who were tasked with the challenge. Lauren, who married Josiah Duggar in June 2018, for example, stomped off to take a nap when Josiah refused to listen to her ideas. Kendra and Joseph Duggar, who recently welcomed their second child, worked on the task in near silence, something most fans assume befalls their homestead often. Joy and Austin, however, worked together to figure out the nature-themed challenge. Sure, it was right in their wheelhouse, but their ability to work together was refreshing.

Austin admitted that he needs to listen to Joy-Anna

Austin, aside from successfully communicating with his wife of two-years, also paid her a bit of a compliment. In doing so, he stepped off-brand and actually suggest his wife might have more than a few good ideas up her sleeve. During an interview segment, Austin noted that he should listen to Joy’s opinions more often because she’s usually right. While some followers may have read into the statement negatively, the positive connotations must be noted.

Austin and Joy were both raised inside the IBLP, a controversial Christian ministry, that teaches that a man is the headship of his family, and is entirely responsible for making decisions for the family. For Austin to even suggest he should probably listen to the lady of the house is a big step. Whether or not he’ll actually listen to his wife, well, that remains to be seen. The acknowledgment was nice, though.

Are Joy and Austin actually the most well-suited couple?

Followers of the Duggar family have long been suspicious of Austin. He does come across pretty cold and calculated. Many followers believe he is a classic alpha male, dragging Joy-Anna along for the ride. It has also been suggested that the couple were forced down the aisle by their parents, both of whom allegedly enjoy playing a hand in their children’s marriages.

It would appear, however, that the couple is actually well-suited to one another. Both Joy and Austin greatly enjoy the outdoor life, and Joy, unlikely some of her sisters, has never shied away from more masculine tasks, regardless of her upbringing. The quintessential tomboy, Joy, is now living a life filled with rebuilding old homes and hanging out at campgrounds.

While fans are still a little concerned about whether or not Joy really has a voice in her marriage, it would seem like her interests actually align pretty well with Austin’s hobbies. For a group of couples who are not allowed to be alone with their beloved before rings are exchanged, you can’t really hope for much more.