‘Counting On’: Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald Were Raised With Completely Different Family Rules

Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald are one of Counting On’s most important couples; they’ve been around since the show was reborn back in 2015. The two have always been fan favorites, with many thinking Seewald is one of the most caring partners while Duggar has leadership qualities fans appreciate. But it turns out Seewald’s life wasn’t nearly as strict as Duggar’s growing up — did he know what he was in for?

Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald on a date night
Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald on a date night | Jessa Seewald via Instagram

Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald met at church

Duggar and Seewald were young when they realized they had a connection. The two met at church, and Duggar is the one who first noticed Seewald. There is an age gap of two and a half years, and Duggar was worried that Seewald, who was still a teenager at the time, wouldn’t be interested in her. However, the two got to know each other quickly, and it was obvious they were falling in love.

Duggar and Seewald courted for nearly a year before he popped the question, and they were married in 2014. Since then, the two have welcomed three kids: Spurgeon, Henry, and Ivy Jane.

Seewald’s parents always liked Duggar

Seewald and Duggar both come from very religious families, and Seewald’s parents were members of Duggar’s church as well, so they already knew of her by the time the two had started courting. When Duggar and Seewald first announced their engagement, Seewald’s parents expressed how much they liked Duggar for their son. “She is very strong,” Guinn, Seewald’s mother, told People in 2014. “She is very intelligent. She has a lot to offer to a conversation; she has great ideas. I have enjoyed getting to know her.”

Seewald wasn’t raised with the same strict rules as Duggar

Though Duggar and Seewald both come from very religious families, the Seewalds made it clear in the same interview that they did not have the same strict rules for their kids as Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar did. “There is nothing in the Bible that says ‘thou shalt court,’ Seewald’s mother said, suggesting courtships weren’t a solid rule in their family. “There is no perfect pattern. Treat other people as a gift. Honor God and your relationship.”

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar only allow their kids to enter into courtships, and they enforce the idea that their children should have as many kids as God allows. However, the Seewalds don’t necessarily agree. “How many kids they have is Ben and Jessa’s decision, and they can figure that out,” Seewald’s father said.


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Critics question if Seewald is happy with his life as a Duggar

Though Duggar and Seewald have never suggested they aren’t happy together, critics of the show can’t help but question if the Duggar life is the life Seewald actually wanted. “I think [the Duggars] trapped Ben on purpose and now he’s regretting sh*t big time,” one user wrote in a Reddit thread. “He’s just overall really unhappy and can’t even fake it for cameras,” another user suggested. “… He was a naive 19 year old and didn’t realize what he was really getting himself into,” someone else added.

To Seewald’s defense, he’s never suggested that he isn’t happily married. It’s mostly just body language and tone that has led people to believe this is the case. Ultimately, though, the Duggars do not believe in divorce, so Duggar and Seewald have a long life ahead of them — and, honestly, they seem to be enjoying it.