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'Counting On' Critics Question Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald's Relationship Dynamic: 'She Is Manipulating Him'

The Duggars’ biggest critics often question the family’s dynamics. And with tensions rising between Jill Duggar and her family, it’s hard not to wonder if other family members’ dynamics are different than they seem on camera, too.

Counting On viewers can’t help but think that Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald don’t have the most heartwarming relationship behind the scenes.

Viewers have long thought Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald have a different dynamic than other couples

In the Duggar family, it’s traditional for the woman to stay home and care for the kids while the man goes to work and makes the money. But Duggar and Seewald have always seemed to share most responsibilities at home. While Duggar doesn’t work, she does occasionally get endorsement opportunities that allow her to bring in money. And Seewald has revealed that he often does the dishes and does most of the cooking.

Duggar and Seewald seem to share equal responsibility in their marriage, though it has led some to believe that Seewald could potentially be lazy, or Duggar too bossy. And critics have taken to Reddit to discuss what they believe happens between the couple behind the scenes.

Critics don’t think Duggar and Seewald actually have a good dynamic

Those who have been watching Duggar and Seewald for years find that his seemingly blasé attitude is creating the illusion of a balanced relationship. “I think that Ben actually does ‘run’ things but he’s lazy and so nothing ever gets done,” one user wrote on Reddit. “Anyone would seem ‘dominant’ next to [Ben] because he does nothing … He upholds those headship values in his marriage, while his wife is hustling on socials to earn money for their family,” another user wrote.

“[Ben is] totally unmotivated yet extremely controlling behind the scenes. Ben sets off alarms for me,” someone added. “Jessa is high strung so Ben allows her to get her way on a LOT of things he doesn’t actually care about, primarily minutiae and day to day details,” another person suggested. “I am convinced that Jessa has convinced [Ben] that he is in charge while actually she is manipulating him,” someone else wrote.

People seem to have differing takes on why they believe the couple’s dynamic is far different from the way they’re portrayed on the show. Still, it’s only speculation; there is nothing to say for certain that Duggar and Seewald have a poor relationship when the cameras are off.

Critics have questioned other Duggar relationships in the past

Duggar and Seewald aren’t the only two whose relationship has been criticized by some of the show’s critics. While people support Jill Duggar’s decision to break away from her family, many still think that Derick is controlling in their relationship. People have also given Joseph and Kendra Duggar a hard time for having children so quickly; Kendra became pregnant with her third child at 21, and at one point critics felt Joe had turned her into a “baby machine.”

Opinions of the Duggar family fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. Some love their family dynamic and dedication to God, while others think it’s a front for an environment that suppresses women and limits opportunity. 

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