‘Counting On’: Jeremy Vuolo Reveals How His 2008 Arrest Changed His Life: ‘I Realized I Can’t Live Like This’

Jinger Duggar married Jeremy Vuolo back in 2016, and the two have become fan favorites on TLC’s Counting On. Vuolo’s upbringing wasn’t as sheltered as his wife’s, and he once revealed that too much freedom caused him to lose direction. He was drinking, partying, and even was arrested — and it proved to be a “turning point” for the reality star.

Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo
Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo | Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Discovery Channel

Vuolo was raised with less strict rules than his wife

Duggar and Vuolo have the same religious values, but they had two very different upbringings. Duggar was homeschooled her entire life and lived by a very strict set of rules. She was not allowed to watch television or wear any sort of revealing clothing, and she could only court (start a relationship with the intention of marrying) rather than date.

Vuolo was homeschooled for part of his life but was able to attend regular schooling while in high school. He later went on to play soccer in college and attended Syracuse University; after that, he played professionally. While in college, he was exposed to drinking and partying, and he says the experience ended up leading him down the wrong path.

Jeremy Vuolo played professional soccer
Jeremy Vuolo played professional soccer prior to becoming a minister. | Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

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Vuolo’s 2008 arrest had a huge impact

When Vuolo was in college, he spent a lot of time with friends. He was playing soccer, and the sport led him to experiment with alcohol. “I was drinking, I was partying in college, just being a foolish young guy,” Vuolo revealed in a recent episode of Counting On.

One night, while Vuolo was out around 3 a.m., he was arrested for harassing a police officer. And at that point, he knew he needed to make a change. “It was really that night when I got arrested… I realized I can’t live like this and call myself a Christian,” he said. “That was the turning point for me.” Vuolo said that from there, he decided to change his life’s mission to “actively serve Christ.”

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Vuolo’s upbringing has bled into the way he and Duggar live their lives

Though Vuolo and Duggar live a very religious life, they have taken on a more mainstream lifestyle that seems to find balance between Vuolo’s partying days and Duggar’s strict family rules. The two enjoy having fun, and they listen to mainstream music and watch television, as Vuolo did growing up. Still, the two don’t drink, and they spend their life honoring God.

Duggar and Vuolo seem to be raising their daughter a bit differently than Duggar was raised. They gave her swim lessons (Duggar never learned how to swim) and she plays with mainstream toys that aren’t rooted in religion, such as Peppa Pig. Plus, Felicity enjoys playing soccer with her dad; sports weren’t something Duggar did much growing up.