When<a href="https://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2018/10/josiah-duggar-and-lauren-swanson-finally-married-still-not-allow/"> Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson got married</a> back in 2018, their wedding was nearly identical to every Duggar ceremony that preceded it. Over 1,000 guests were in attendance, and a TLC camera crew was on hand to capture the moment when the couple kissed for the very first time, in accordance with the hyper-strict Duggar courtship rules, which prohibit most forms of premarital physical contact with the opposite sex.
In one important way, however, Josiah and Lauren's wedding was different than those of his older brothers and sisters: Unlike any other Duggar of his generation, Josiah dated someone else before he met his eventual wife.</p><div></div>
As longtime Duggar fans will recall, <a href="https://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2018/03/josiah-duggar-why-did-he-break-up-with-marjorie-jackson/">Josiah courted Marjorie Jackson</a> back in 2015.
The couple broke up under mysterious circumstances, and Josiah has avoided the topic of his first relationship ever since.
Obviously, for most people, there's nothing unusual about dating someone in your early twenties and eventusally deciding they're not the one. But in the Duggars' world, breakups are almost unheard of, and Josiah's ultra-conservative parents were reportedly less than thrilled when they learned of his breakup with Marjorie. The split remains shrouded in mystery. In fact, there was no official announcement, and fans learned of the breakup only when they noticed that <a href="https://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2018/03/josiah-duggar-why-did-he-break-up-with-marjorie-jackson/">all of Marjorie's photos had been deleted</a> from Josiah's Instagram page.
According to a former Duggar employee who spoke exclusively with The Hollywood Gossip, Jim Bob and Michelle were particularly troubled to learn of Josiah's split from Marjorie, as he had always been one of their more rebellious children, and they had hoped that the relationship would lead him to settle down. "Josiah never followed the rules," our insider said "He was already getting to like the outside world while he was still in his teens," the source continued, using the Duggars' preferred term for communities and cultures more secular than their own.
At least partially out of a desperate need to corral his wildest son, Jim Bob reached out to Lauren's father, Dwain Swanson. The circumstances surrounding the relationship have led to rumors that the <a href="https://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2020/05/josiah-duggar-arranged-marriage-to-lauren-swanson-is-doomed-to-e/">Josiah and Lauren are in an arranged marriage</a>, but it seems that the eventual partners did have <em>some</em> say in the matter -- just not much. "How that marriage came about, Jim Bob made some sort of deal with Dwain and said, 'We've got to do something about Josiah," said the insider. "Because he's nuts; he's totally nuts," the source added, in reference to Josiah's rebellious behavior.
Because of how soon Josiah married Lauren following his breakup with Marjorie, Duggar fans have long accepted the narrative that Josiah and Lauren's parents strongly encouraged them to enter a relationship, but it all worked out in the end, as they now enjoy a blissful marriage. But what if the latter part of that story is untrue? What if Lauren felt pressured to marry Josiah, and she's been miserable ever since? That's the question fans have been asking since <a href="https://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2020/05/josiah-duggar-gets-slammed-for-creepy-confession-i-love-breaking/">Josiah admitted to snooping through his wife's phone</a> in search of private information.
Josiah made the startling admission in the context of what was <em>supposed</em> to be a charming story about finding out his wife's aesthetic preferences in order to surprise her with her ideal picnic on her birthday. But Duggar fans were quick to point out two unsettling facts about that story: 1. Josiah should have a rough idea of his wife's preferences just from talking to her, and 2. People store all types of private information in their phones these days, and there's no telling what he might have uncovered.
Lauren had little to say about her big birthday surprise, which led many to the conclusion that she felt violated upon learning of her husband's intrusion. Our Duggar source is among those who believe there's something a little unhealthy about Josiah and Lauren's marriage. "To be honest with, you I don't look for that marriage to last," he told us. Obviously, divorce is strictly forbidden in the Duggars' world -- but Josiah has already demonstrated that he doesn't have much regard for his parents' rules.