Everyone has a past and, when you're living your life in the spotlight on a popular reality TV show, past relationships and story lines can easily be resurfaced. So, with the news that the 21-year-old Duggar son is now engaged to 18-year-old Lauren Swanson after six weeks of courting, it's no surprise that Josiah Duggar's previous courtship with Marjorie Jackson has been getting some attention, too.
Yes, Duggar was in a serious relationship before his current engagement and it was very public. Back in 2015, according to People, Duggar entered into a courtship with Jackson, who's now 20, and all seemed to be going well at the time. But, just four months later, the couple split up and Duggar released a statement explaining what had happened. "Marjorie and I had a good time together. We were just trying to follow God's lead on everything," he said of the split, according to In Touch Weekly. "She didn't feel that it was the right timing then, so we called it quits for a bit."
He continued, according to People, "We have time to grow … you never know... But when you think about a girl to marry, you ask what kind of guy she would want to marry and you try to be that kind of guy."
Since then, Duggar has obviously moved on, as he's now engaged to Swanson. And Jackson, for her part, seems to have moved on as well and has been pretty successful in her endeavors, too. According to the International Business Times, Jackson has written two books.
No specific reason has been given by Duggar or Jackson on why things ended, but it's clear that it wasn't meant to be. The Duggar family released the following statement to People announcing the breakup:
Both Josiah and Marjorie have enjoyed getting to know each other and to build their friendship over the past months. We are so grateful that they each are seeking the Lord’s will for their future. A few weeks ago Marjorie and Josiah agreed to end their courtship, keeping in step with what they believe the Lord’s will is. Both are thankful for the time getting to know each other, and their families continue to enjoy each other’s company and close friendship.
Duggar and Jackson first announced that they were getting serious in April 2015. In their video announcing that they were courting, Jackson explained, "courtship is like dating with a purpose." According to People, Duggar met Jackson "when he was taking Spanish lessons from her mother, Analucia." At the time, Duggar explained that he really liked Jackson's maturity and grace. "I was very impressed with the way she was with her siblings and her love for the Lord," he said, according to People.
It was when the two went on a mission trip to El Salvador that Duggar really started to take notice of her. "She really caught my eye," he told the magazine when the couple first started dating. “That is really where I noticed her." And from there, it seemed like the two were headed straight towards wedded bliss. After all, in the Duggar world, you don't date, you court, and you court to get married. And with Jackson's explanation that they were dating "with a purpose," it definitely seemed like they, too, thought that they'd be hearing wedding bells soon.
But, they ultimately called it quits and some have speculated that Jackson's decision to end things may have had something to do with Josh Duggar's sex abuse scandal, as their relationship ended soon after the story made headlines. According to OK! Magazine, Jackson published a book titled Devoted, in which she appears to throw shade at the older Duggar sibling, though she does not directly name him and has not publicly commented on reports.
Though things tend to run a bit differently with the Duggar family, sometimes courtships end, just like any other relationship or sometimes engagement. Now, Duggar is set to marry his 18-year-old fiancée and they seem thrilled for this next journey together.
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