Jinger Duggar’s fiancé, Jeremy Vuolo, is sending a clear message to Jim Bob Duggar. According to a relationship expert, the preacher is using a simple romantic gesture to let Jinger’s father know that he can’t be pushed around.
Us Weekly recently asked relationship expert and psychotherapist Rhonda Richards-Smith to analyze Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo’s interactions on the Duggar family’s TLC series, Counting On. One scene Richards-Smith shared her thoughts about took place in Jeremy’s apartment in Laredo, Texas. Jeremy was getting physically affectionate with Jinger in front of his future father-in-law by putting his arm around Jinger and cuddling with her on the couch. According to Richards-Smith, this was Jeremy’s way of letting Jim Bob Duggar know that he and Jinger aren’t going to play by all of the Duggar family patriarch’s strict rules.
“By putting his arm around Jinger, Jeremy created a visual and physical boundary between the couple and Jinger’s parents, asserting himself as the primary male in her life,” Richards-Smith said.
— Rebecka Schumann (@RebeckaSchumann) September 14, 2016
The considerable amount of physical contact between Jinger Duggar and her fiancé is unusual for a courting Duggar daughter, and Jim Bob usually would not allow it. This is evidenced by the way he reacted when Derick Dillard attempted to put his arm around Jill Duggar during their first date. Derick barely touched Jill’s back with his hand, and Jim Bob quickly stepped in and grabbed Jill, pulling her away from Derick and towards him. Jill was 22-years-old at the time.
As Crushable reports, the awkward moment in question took place when Jill Duggar met Derick Dillard in person for the first time in Kathmandu, Nepal. You can check it out in the video below.
So far, Jim Bob hasn’t been as hands-on with Jinger Duggar’s relationship, and his fourth daughter has made it clear that she and Jeremy Vuolo are following their own courtship rules.
“Jeremy and I have our own set of rules for the courtship, and our own standards that we desire,” the 22-year-old Counting On star said.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Jeremy Vuolo has hinted that he has a sexual history, so this may have something to do with why he’s a little more lax with the Duggars’ strict courtship guidelines. As the Hollywood Gossip reports, the family’s rules include side-hugs only until marriage and chaperoned dates. Jessa and Jill also didn’t hold hands with their significant others until they were engaged, and they saved their first kisses for their wedding days.
Jim Bob Duggar hasn’t physically tried to stop Jinger and Jeremy from getting affectionate in front of the Counting On cameras, but he has tried to embarrass Jeremy. Jim Bob shamed the preacher for not making enough money to support Jinger’s thrift store shopping habit, and he suggested that Jeremy should get a second job. During lunch with Jeremy’s parents, Jim Bob also tried to forbid Jeremy from kissing Jinger.
“I just don’t think they’re at the place to swap spit yet,” he told Jeremy’s mother and father.
— Wonderwall (@Wonderwall) September 14, 2016
Jeremy Vuolo did not respond to Jim Bob’s attempts to meddle with his love life and his finances, and he also remained silent when Jim Bob told him that he should move to Arkansas. According to Rhonda Richards-Smith, 29-year-old Jeremy “handled himself well” during these uncomfortable conversations with Jim Bob, and he should not let his father-in-law have any say in his relationship with Jinger.
“Restrictions imposed by individuals outside of the relationship [can sometimes] lead to negative consequences over the long haul,” Richards-Smith said. “Jeremy and Jinger must take the time to separate their own thoughts, feelings and preferences from those imposed by others.”
Jeremy Vuolo did make sure to meet the courtship requirement of asking Jim Bob for permission to begin a romantic relationship with his daughter. However, the beginning of Jinger’s relationship with Jeremy differs from those of her older sisters, Jill and Jessa, in a key way. According to the Duggar Family Blog, Jim Bob set Jill up with Derick Dillard. Jim Bob also played matchmaker for Jessa and Ben Seewald, according to one of Michelle Duggar’s TLC blog posts. However, on his website, Jeremy Vuolo reveals that he didn’t meet Jinger Duggar through Jim Bob. Instead, he became friends with Jessa and Ben, and they introduced him to his future bride.
Do you think it bothers Jim Bob that Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo are challenging his authority? Share your thoughts below.
[Featured Image by TLC]