‘Counting On’: Did Jim Bob Duggar Arrange Joy-Anna Duggar’s Marriage To Austin Forsyth?

Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth tied the knot a little over two years ago and it appears as though the two are enjoying their marriage more than ever. Despite suffering a devastating miscarriage earlier this year, Austin has been a constant source of support for Joy-Anna. But there is some evidence that when they exchanged vows in 2017, neither of them were happy about it — and it all has to do with her father, Jim Bob Duggar.

Joy-Anna Duggar
‘Counting On’ stars Joy-Anna Duggar and husband Austin Forsyth | The Duggar Family via Instagram

Inside Joy-Anna and Austin’s early days

Joy-Anna’s wedding was nothing out of the ordinary, but fans were suspicious about her and Austin’s courtship from the very beginning.

The Duggars say that Joy-Anna and Austin met in church and that it was basically love at first sight.

But with Austin being four years older than Joy-Anna, Counting On fans thought that it was a little creepy that they met when she was fairly young. That said, the two delayed their romance until she was 18 years old.

Even still, their courtship raised a lot of questions, and when they finally did tie the knot in 2017, fans suspected that their wedding was forced by Jim Bob, who has always been very strict about his children’s courtships.

When the pair suddenly moved their ceremony up, rumors of a shotgun wedding began to circulate. It did not help that the couple gave birth to their first son, Gideon, around nine months after they exchanged vows — and fans still argue that the timeline is a little off.

Was Joy-Anna’s wedding arranged?

Shotgun wedding aside, there are some Counting On fans who are convinced that Joy-Anna’s marriage to Austin was arranged by her father.

According to The Hollywood Gossip, Jim Bob has been very vocal about how he guides his children toward individuals who would make good spouses. This sounds very close to arranged marriages, though nobody has been able to prove this point.

Despite their best efforts, not all of Jim Bob’s children have followed his plan. Jinger Duggar, for instance, reportedly got married to Jeremy Vuolo against her parent’s wishes.

In light of Jinger’s rebellious ways, fans believe that Jim Bob took no chances with Joy-Anna and quickly agreed to a deal with Austin’s dad, Terry Forsyth, who also has complete control of his son’s life.

“His father governs everything that he does, from cutting cows to doing whatever,” the source shared.

The agreement that led to Joy-Anna’s courtship

Inside sources claim that Terry controls everything Austin does and that he worked out a deal with Jim Bob about a potential courtship with Joy-Anna.

“He went to his dad, and he said, ‘What do I need to do?’ and his dad said, ‘You need to flip five houses before you can court,'” the insider explained.

The insider noted that Jim Bob told Terry that Austin needed to prove that he could provide for Joy-Anna before he started courting her. To prove his worth, Austin was forced to flip five houses before he got the chance to marry Joy-Anna.

There is no telling if this is actually true, but Terry does have a bit of a questionable past — at least according to Duggar standards.

Counting On fans may be surprised to know that Terry has been married twice. Although he is divorced, he is still an officer if the Duggar’s home church, despite rules against a divorcee becoming an officer.

Was Joy-Anna Austin’s first choice?

While some fans remain convinced that Joy-Anna had a shotgun wedding, others believe that she was not Austin’s first choice.

There are reports that Austin had his eyes set on Jinger back in the day, mostly because she is the closest Duggar to his age. But when Jinger and Jeremy fell for each other, he had no choice but to pursue his second option.

The Duggars, of course, have never addressed any of these rumors surrounding Joy-Anna’s marriage to Austin, which is one reason why the reports have persisted over the years.

Whatever the truth, Austin and Joy-Anna do appear to have a happy marriage. In fact, Joy-Anna gave him a lot of credit for helping her get through the miscarriage. At the very least, it is good to know that they have a strong relationship, despite all the rumors.