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Counting On's Jessa Duggar gives Josh Duggar credit for improving her marriage

Chanel Dubofsky is a fiction writer, journalist and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work on gender, sexuality, religion and reproductive justice has been publishing in Cosmopolitan, RH Reality Check, The Billfold, The Toast, The ...

Jessa Duggar reflects on her own marriage in the face of her brother Josh's disastrous mistakes

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On Part 1 of Counting On's season finale, luggage was packed, passport photos of infants were taken, and the words "chaos," "violence" and "Central America" were used numerous times as the family prepared to visit Jill, Derek and Izzy. Surprisingly, no one was forced to talk about courting, but that's probably because most of the hour was devoted to re-living Jessa and Ben's entire relationship, from the beginning of courting to their wedding to Spurgeon's birth. (I personally could have done without the close-up of Spurgeon being pulled out covered in gunk, but hey, to each their own.) 

More: Michelle Duggar's secret goes against all her beliefs

In addition to the clips, Jessa talked about Josh and how his behavior had impacted her pregnancy, since it coincided with that whole infidelity/porn thing. Jessa was mad and it was intriguing to see her express that, even if it was in an incredibly restrained way. In an interview, she said that she had supported Josh, she'd defended him, in spite of what he'd done to her, and then felt betrayed all over again when he turned out to have cheated on Anna. In spite of all that, it apparently has had a positive impact on her relationship with Ben.

Part of me thinks that she's just spinning it, but maybe that's how you get through a thing like this — you turn it into something else. Jessa and Ben decided to recommit themselves to their vows and to put God first, which does provide some perspective on why Anna will likely never get a divorce from Josh, despite the entire world (sans her parents and the Duggars) wanting her to. If God is first and God sent this person to you, it's probably pretty hard to get out of the relationship, even if the dude has done totally disgusting things.

It will be super interesting to see how Josh's issues impact the rest of the Duggars as they pursue courting and marriage. Josh's actions did destroy or at least puncture the idea that you can vet a person for things like cheating, porn addiction and molestation. It certainly challenges the notion that not sleeping together, or even touching, before you get married will guarantee a fulfilling, lasting and monogamous relationship. Of course, that's only if your world view can adapt to the outside world, which doesn't seem so possible in the Duggar universe. They seem to prefer believing that what happened with Josh and, by extension, to Anna is an aberration instead of what happens as the result of repression, rape culture and toxic masculinity.

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What did you think about Jessa's reflections on Josh and her marriage? Tell us in the comments!

Before you go, check out our slideshow below!

Jessa Duggar reflects on her own marriage in the face of her brother Josh's disastrous mistakes
Image: TLC
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