‘Counting On’: Jessa Duggar’s Description of Her Marriage Is Kind of Depressing

Jessa Duggar was the first Duggar girl to find herself in a courtship. While she wasn’t the first Duggar girl to walk down the aisle, she made up for the lost time by having a child almost immediately. Jessa and her husband, Ben Seewald, welcomed Spurgeon Elliot almost precisely one year after their wedding date. Henry Wilberforce followed less than two years later, and Jessa recently gave birth to the couple’s first daughter, Ivy Jane. While the adorable family is great for the Duggar family’s media brand, it looks like things are taking their toll on Jessa, and fans were kind of depressed by the way she described her marriage.

Jessa and Ben admit they often do their own thing

Jessa and Ben have only been married for five years, and while they’ve settled into a pattern that some may find comforting, others believe there might be trouble in their fledgling marriage. During the marriage retreat, both Jessa and Ben admitted that they often do their own thing and rarely communicate during a project. They don’t eat meals together, they don’t spend a great deal of time together, and when they are together, it appears they are putting out fires and dealing with the mundane trials and tribulations of daily life with children.

During the nest-building challenge, which was all about compromise, fans watched as Jessa and Ben built two separate nests, while their married cohorts mostly worked together to craft a single nest. Ben even joked that he hadn’t noticed Jessa was busy building a nest right next to him. Jessa later quipped that their behavior during the nest-building challenge was pretty standard fare for them.

The admission left some fans feeling cold. The couple, in multiple scenes, came across as coworkers rather than a married couple. Jessa has admitted as much, too. Does it mean there is trouble in paradise? Not necessarily, but Jessa’s Instagram activity isn’t exactly buoying confidence in the pair’s long-term prospects.

Jessa’s Instagram doesn’t paint a picture of a happy marriage, either

Jessa’s marriage might not be particularly unhappy, but it doesn’t appear to be one filled with adoration and love, either. Her Instagram profile is pretty telling, too. While the couple struggles to raise three children, it appears they have failed at keeping their relationship fresh, or, at the very least, their interpersonal relationship has fallen to the wayside.

Scrolling through Jessa’s profile, there are very few pictures of the couple together. In fact, the last non-professional photo of the couple was posted in April 2018. While that might not seem strange, it’s in stark contrast to Jessa’s previous Instagram behavior and the behavior of her famous siblings. Joy-Anna Duggar often posts snapshots with her husband, Austin Forsyth, and Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo never miss an opportunity for a photo opp. ‘

Even Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard take time out of their days to take pictures together. They have been married just as long as Jessa and Ben, and also seem busy raising a couple of kids. Jessa has even posted photos of her parents kissing and looking close, so her lack of personal PDA posts has some fans concerned.

What happens to a marriage after children?

Jessa and Ben’s marriage might not be in trouble, but their satisfaction appears to be in a steady decline. According to Fortune, that’s not particularly uncommon. According to the publication, studies have found that happiness in marriage declines over time, but couples who have children experience more rapid declines than childless couples.

Several books have explored shifting family dynamics when children are thrown into the mix. All research has found that a couple’s interactions move from romantic to more businesslike once a child is mixed into the dynamic. The reasoning is simple; the child’s needs trump the needs of the couple, at least for the first several years of their life.

Jessa and Ben were married for just a year when they welcomed their first child together. Two more children followed in short order. With only five years of marriage under their belt, they have three children aged four and under.  The stress must be real, but how they will deal with it moving forward remains to be seen.