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Counting On’s 10th season is in full swing, all while rumors swirl about the Duggar family’s potential federal investigation. In the show’s most recent episodes, fans watched as Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson, as well as several of the other married Duggar family members,  attended a marriage retreat. While the retreat’s main goal was to bring couples closer together, some followers noticed that the couple-based activities showed a pretty serious crack in Josiah and Lauren’s marriage. In fact, several followers suggest the couple seem to engage in passive-aggressive behavior that, at some point, may prove fatal to their still-young relationship.

Followers have always been skeptical of Josiah and Lauren’s love story

While a recent episode of Counting On has given Duggar naysayers plenty of fodder about Josiah and Lauren, skepticism about the couple is nothing new. Before meeting and marrying Swanson, Josiah was involved with Marjorie Jackson. While no one was exactly thrilled with the Josiah getting so serious so quickly, Jackson appeared to be just quirky enough to work with Josiah. The courtship fell through, and a few years later, Josiah was linked to Lauren.

Fans noticed almost immediately that the couple didn’t seem particularly comfortable with one another. Their personalities also didn’t appear well-suited. It didn’t take long for rumors to swirl that their marriage was arranged by their parents. It has also been suggested that Josiah was married off as punishment for keeping a secret Facebook account.

Does the couple engage in passive-aggressive behaviors?

In the marriage retreat episode, Lauren retreats, alright. First, she retreats to the couch when Josiah refuses to consider any of her ideas when working on a project together. She also retreats to her bedroom, leaving Josiah to say marriage vows to an iPhone. While both incidents were explained away as Lauren feeling weak from her pregnancy, fans believe there was something more serious behind her desire to get as far away from Josiah as possible.  

In short, Lauren walked off each time Josiah refused to take her ideas into consideration. Instead of outright arguing, the couple both engaged in passive-aggressive behaviors. Josiah appeared to poke fun at Lauren to the production crew, while Lauren decided to shut down completely.

The episode had more than passive-aggression from the couple. Their demeanor towards one another appeared particularly icy for an on-camera exchange. Some followers have taken the poorly-constructed event as proof that Josiah and Lauren’s love is anything but fate.

How big of a problem is passive-aggressiveness in a relationship?

Psychology Today notes that passive-aggressive tendencies are not particularly uncommon. That, however, doesn’t mean such behaviors will bode well for the longevity of a relationship. The psychology publication notes that passive-aggressive people are challenging to deal with and often struggle in romantic relationships.

LifeHack suggests that passive-aggressive people are so fearful of rejection that they give up instead of asserting themselves. Lauren certainly does just that, but Josiah appears to be in a similar boat. When two passive-aggressive personalities find themselves together, the outcome is rarely a good one. No real connection can be forged because the couple can’t effectively communicate. Both Josiah and Lauren proved they are ineffective communicators.

In short, passive-aggressive tendencies can destroy a relationship, but it’s hard to ascertain how much trouble it will cause for Josiah and Lauren. The pair may figure out a way to simply exist together, although it doesn’t look like a deep, meaningful connection is really in the cards, at least as long as they continue to behave the way they are currently acting.