‘Counting On’ Fans Suspect Jim Bob Duggar Is More Controlling Than Anyone Ever Thought

The Duggar family is one of America’s largest families, but it stems from their traditional nature; Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar don’t believe in birth control, so they had 19 kids. But their values don’t stop there — they believe that men run the household while women care for the children. For the Duggars, it’s a lifestyle that they seem to enjoy, but those who follow the family’s life suspect that it puts Jim Bob Duggar in total control — even more so than previously thought.

Jim Bob, Michelle, and the rest of the Duggar family
Jim Bob, Michelle, and the rest of the Duggar family | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

The Duggar family must follow all of their parents’ rules until they’re married

Michelle and Jim Bob raised their children very strictly, and there was no such thing as bending the rules. Growing up, the kids were not allowed to watch television and had very limited access to music. Michelle and Jim Bob only allowed their kids to access certain websites to make sure they weren’t exposed to any temptation. The kids were taught that the men do the work while the women raise the children, and most of them marry very young. Plus, there is absolutely no intimacy allowed before marriage.

The husbands in the family tend to be the decision makers

The Duggars believe that the husband is the head of the household. In all of the Duggars’ living situations, the women stay home and care for the kids while the husbands go to work. With that said, decisions such as finances are always primarily made by the husband, though it seems like certain couples do have a more inclusive conversation than others. But the idea that the men rule the house has led some to believe that Jim Bob Duggar has more control over his kids — and their spouses — than was once thought.

Some suspect Jim Bob Duggar is in total control of his family

Those who follow the Duggars are aware that Jim Bob is head of the household, but some think it goes even deeper than that. The Duggars’ salaries for their reality show have never been revealed, but some who follow the family suspect that Jim Bob is in total control of the finances. Meaning, he gets paid by TLC, then distributes the salaries and decides what percentages his children will earn.

“Jim Bob obviously is in charge of all major income streams that the Duggar family has. He supports all of the married couples either directly (cutting them a check) or indirectly (by providing them with a job to make money),” one Reddit user wrote. The comment was 87% upvoted. “The money should have been Jill’s (and Jessa’s and the other kidault’s [sic] on Counting On),” someone else added.

“The fact that money for Counting On was going through Jim Bob is disgusting,” another person replied in response. Though it hasn’t been confirmed that Jim Bob handles all of the money, he is the one responsible for setting the men up with jobs once they finish their homeschool program, so it wouldn’t surprise us if they depend on him for their finances.

Jinger Duggar appears to be the only one who escaped her parents

The only Duggar who seems to have been freed of her father’s strong hold is Jinger Duggar, who lives in California with her husband, Jeremy Vuolo. However, the two are still on the show, which means they still get a cut of the show’s profits. But Vuolo is a minister, so he has his own career path, unlike most of the family members who were set up with jobs through Jim Bob.