‘Counting On’: The Heartbreaking Reason Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth Rushed Into Marriage

Austin Forsyth admitted to sinning during his teenage years. The 25-year-old father of one’s rebellious streak clearly didn’t last all that long. By 23 he was married, running a business and awaiting the arrival of his first child. While he and his bride, Joy-Anna Duggar have spoken openly about their love for one another, and the romantic proposal that Austin managed to pull off, their fans may have noticed their courtship and subsequent engagement seemed pretty rushed. It looks especially rushed when you consider the fact that Joy-Anna was only 19 years old at the time. Sadly, there might be a reason for their haste to get down the aisle, and it has absolutely nothing to do with a possible pre-marital pregnancy.

Why did Austin and Joy-Anna get married?

Rumors are swirling that Austin and Joy-Anna were forced to wed by their overbearing parents. Fresh off a stint at an IBLP outreach program, Austin was ready to settle down and live a righteous life. The Hollywood Gossip alleges that his parents were desperate to have him marry into the Counting On family. 

The Forsyths, who happen to own a camp, have also been featured on reality TV in the past. They appeared on an episode of a reality show dedicated to strict parenting, according to In Touch. The Duggar family is considered IBLP royalty because of their buying power and media fame. If the Forsyths strongly encouraged Austin to find a Duggar to woo, he likely did just that to please them. While the relationship might not have been arranged, it is likely that it was actively encouraged.

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To hear Austin and Joy-Anna tell it, however, the pair simply fell for one another while attending church together. Fans have one problem with their story, though. The couple met as a pre-teen and teenager. Austin is four years Joy-Anna’s senior, and while it makes no difference now, some fans have found the claims that they fell for each other years before walking down the aisle a little creepy if it is true.

Did Austin just want to marry a Duggar girl?

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have never used the term “arranged”, but according to The Hollywood Gossip, the famed matriarch and patriarch of the Duggar clan do have a heavy hand in who their children interact with. Jim Bob has noted that he has “guided” his children towards their partners. While the notion might seem quaint, some fans find it disturbing.

In fact, it’s rumored that Joy-Anna was not just guided towards Austin but rather forced into entering into the romantic partnership. It’s been rumored that Austin was looking to settle on a Duggar girl, and he didn’t exactly care which one it was.

It has been theorized that Austin originally had his sights set on Jinger Duggar, who happens to be closer in age to Austin than Joy. When Jinger fell in love with Jeremy Voulo after her sister Jessa and brother-in-law Ben Seewald played matchmaker, Austin needed a plan B. Apparently, Joy was that plan B. She also happened to be the only available Duggar girl in his age range. 

Joy-Anna and Austin may not be the first pair highly encouraged to wed

While the couple likely will never confirm a forced courtship, it’s rumored that they are not the only pair who have had their romantic lives heavily encouraged. A church insider alleged that Josh Duggar, the troubled eldest son of the family, was set up with Anna Duggar as a way to curb his inappropriate behavior.

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Happy National Sisters Day!!

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It has also been rumored that Jana Duggar, the eldest single Duggar, was promised to a young man during her teen years. Her suitor backed out, leaving Jana high and dry. At 29 she still hasn’t found the man she wants to marry. The promised suitor has allegedly gone on to marry someone else within the family’s strict religious community.