‘Counting On’ Critics Are Upset that John David and Abbie Duggar Allowed Josh to Be a Groomsman In Their Wedding

John David Duggar married Abbie Burnett back in 2018, and the two seem to have a relationship that’s a bit different than other members of their family. John Duggar is the second-oldest son, and he wed at a much older age than most of his siblings.

People aren’t concerned about how old John was when he was married — 28 might be old for a Duggar wedding, but it’s certainly a standard marriage age for anyone else. However, some took major issue with Josh Duggar being a groomsman in John and Abbie’s wedding.

Abbie Duggar and John David Duggar
John and Abbie Duggar | John and Abbie Duggar via Instagram

John Duggar and Abbie Burnett were married in 2018

John and Abbie were both well into their 20s when they started courting, and it allowed them to re-evaluate the courtship rules a bit. Most people remember when the two were spotted at WalMart by themselves while courting — something that other courting Duggars would never be allowed to do. However, since the two were older, they were given a bit more freedom.

John and Abbie wed back November 2018, though they didn’t have kids right away. The two didn’t announce a pregnancy until the following August — something that’s uncommon among Duggar couples.

When everything happened with Josh, John was extremely upset

Back in 2015, when Josh Duggar’s sexual abuse scandal leaked, the family was devastated. But John seemed to take it especially hard — he was likely only hearing about it for the first time. The kids were interviewed at the start of Counting On, the spinoff that was launched after everything with Josh forced TLC to stop production on 19 Kids and Counting.

Most of the kids shed tears when talking about the incident, and John seemed to have a lot of sympathy for his younger sisters and anyone else who was affected by Josh’s actions.

Critics were shocked to see Josh in John’s wedding party

Since John had such a genuine reaction to what his brother had done, critics of the show were shocked to discover an image of Josh in John’s wedding party.  “For all those insults [John] threw [Josh’s] way when the allegations came out, he went ahead and made him a groomsmen [sic] at his wedding?” a user asked on Reddit, seemingly shocked to see the photo.

“Familial pressure? We all know that’s prevalent amongst the Duggars,” one person wrote, suggesting that John might have been forced to have his brother in the wedding. “[John] has always been his own man more than any of his siblings. If it is pressure then it was probably in exchange for [Jim Bob] paying for the wedding,” someone else added. People seemed upset with John’s decision but ultimately agreed that he might have been under pressure.

Some think Jim Bob has total control of the family

Critics suggesting that Jim Bob asked John to put his brother in the wedding aren’t far off from the theory that Jim Bob controls everything in the family. Derick Dillard, who is married to Jill Duggar, has hinted in the past that Jim Bob’s controlling nature is what prompted him to leave the show back in 2017. It’s unclear if Jim Bob forced John’s hand with the groomsmen, but it wouldn’t come as a surprise to those who believe that Jim Bob runs the show behind the scenes.