‘Counting On’: Family Followers Don’t Think Jeremy Vuolo was Jim Bob’s First Choice for a Son-in-Law

In 2016, Duggar family followers watched as Jinger Duggar married Jeremy Vuolo and seemingly got her happy ending. Family followers long suspected that Jinger would be the Duggar to break free from her family’s strict upbringing. While her sister, Jill Duggar, appears to have taken on the role of the family rebel, Jinger is the Duggar who has fled furthest from the family’s homestead. Now living in Los Angeles, Jinger seems happy, but fans don’t think Jeremy was Jim Bob Duggar’s first choice for a son-in-law. There is evidence to back up that hypothesis, too.

Jim Bob Duggar has been involved in all of his children’s courtships

Family followers have long pointed out that Jim Bob has been heavily involved in the courtship of all of his children. In fact, a church insider told Radar Online that many of the marriages inside the Institute of Basic Life Principles, the controversial Christian ministry that the Duggar family belongs to, are primarily arranged. The insider, who was not identified, suggested that Josh Duggar’s marriage to Anna Duggar was organized shortly after he was caught inappropriately touching several of his younger sisters.

Jim Bob was also heavily involved in Jessa Duggar’s relationship with Ben Seewald and was the one who introduced Jill to her now-husband, Derick Dillard. The Duggar family was also well-acquainted with the Forsyth family when Austin Forsyth began courting Joy-Anna Duggar, as were they similarly familiar with the Burnett family and the Swanson family. Lauren Swanson went on to marry Josiah Duggar, and Abbie Burnett was matched with John-David Duggar.

Jim Bob Didn’t play matchmaker for Jinger

While Jim Bob has been heavily involved in the rest of his children’s relationships, it looks like someone else played matchmaker for Jinger. In fact, Jessa and Ben are credited with introducing Jinger to Jeremy. The two couples remain incredibly close and often visit each other.

Jeremy Vuolo and Jinger Duggar attend Discovery's "Serengeti" premiere at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Jeremy Vuolo and Jinger Duggar | Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Discovery Channel

Sure, Jim Bob had to approve the match eventually, but Jinger’s courtship certainly didn’t start like the rest of her siblings. Family followers have pointed out that Jeremy probably wouldn’t have passed Jim Bob’s sniff test if he had met Jim Bob before laying eyes on Jinger.

Why is that? Simply put, Jeremy appears to be far more “worldly” than the rest of the matches Jim Bob approved. College-educated, Jeremy spent years playing professional soccer before settling into a career in religion. He had a girlfriend during his college years, didn’t save his first kiss for marriage, and regularly indulged in alcohol while at a well-known party school. Jeremy was even arrested while intoxicated once, pointed out Redditors dedicated to sniffing out Duggar family drama.

Jinger is the only Duggar who has left Arkansas so far

Family followers have long suspected that Jim Bob was incredibly controlling, and Derick seemingly confirmed their suspicions when he spoke freely about the inner workings of the Duggar family on social media. Based on Derick’s statements, it seems pretty evident that Jim Bob never wanted any of his children to leave the state of Arkansas. Only one of them has done so thus far.

Jinger first moved to Laredo, Texas, to join Jeremy after their wedding, and has since moved to Los Angeles so he can pursue further education. She has also shirked the family’s strict dress code, donning pants regularly, and dyed her hair blonde.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Duggar clan has stuck close to home. John-David and his wife currently live in a Jim Bob-provided home, as do Josiah, Joseph, and Josh. Joy-Anna and her husband bought a house from Jim Bob for just $10, and Jessa remains in a home that was provided to her and her husband shortly after their wedding, too, although they have since purchased the property.