JINGER Duggar revealed family and friends warned her about her husband Jeremy Vuolo’s “red flags,” as he lived a wild, single lifestyle before their relationship.
In Jinger, 27, and Jeremy’s memoir, The Hope We Hold: Finding Peace in the Promises of God, he opened up about his hard-partying lifestyle while in high school and college.
As the star goalkeeper of his high school’s soccer team, Jeremy wrote about the time he threw a party for his teammates when his parents were out of town.
Jeremy, 33, penned: “We told our families we were having a preseason get-together at my house, which wasn’t unusual for our team. But we didn’t mention the beer one friend supplied and the girls we invited.”
Though he “broke down crying,” he admitted he continued to “get drunk every weekend.”
When he got to college, his partying continued, as he wrote: “I joined my soccer buddies at party after party, the whole time thinking, I’m not gonna drink, I’m only going to hang out with the guys. I might as well have walked to the edge of a cliff and hoped I didn’t fall.
“Inevitably, I gave in to one beer, which led to another, and another, until I lost count. I woke up the next morning hungover, again and again.
“I sometimes went to church on Sundays so hungover that I vomited in the bathroom, and I promised to do better.
“And for a few weeks, I did. But it was never long before I eventually gave in again. The same scenario played out week after week, party after party, hangover after hangover. Lather, rinse, repeat.”
Jeremy explained how the parties became “more frequent,” the drinks became “harder” and he began to become distant from his Christian family.
Jeremy even took winter classes because the semester was “notorious for constant partying.”
After a night of playing beer pong, Jeremy went to a bar with friends.
When he saw a man looking at one of his female friends, he went up to him and picked a fight.
Jeremy penned: “Someone threw a punch, and the verbal altercation turned into a fight. By now, people inside the pizza joint had rushed outside to watch, like a cliché from a bad teenage movie. Time moved in slow motion as I watched the guy’s fist crash into my buddy’s nose. Blood poured from his nostrils as he tumbled to the ground. He was out cold.
“The first officer rushed to my buddy, making sure he was OK. I think the second officer actually thought I was trying to break up the fight— which I wasn’t—but for some unknown reason, I yelled at him. I’m not sure what I said. It certainly wasn’t, 'Hey, you’re a great public servant!'
When the officer told Jeremy to leave the scene, he grabbed his arm and responded: “I ain’t going anywhere."
The pastor wrote: “Big mistake. In a flash the officer’s hands were on my arms. I felt my face slam against the police cruiser, the metal freezing cold against my cheek. I heard something clink and felt handcuffs tighten around my wrists.”
Jeremy was sentenced to community service and credited the arrest for changing his life.
But when Jeremy became interested in Jinger years later, it wasn’t his hard-partying past that was a “deal breaker” for dad Jim Bob, it was his theology.
Jeremy explained how he filled out a 50-page questionnaire given to him by the patriarch in an effort to get to know him better.
Jeremy wrote: I did not see that coming. If anything was a stumbling block, I’d thought it would be my past. I drank and partied in college. I’d been arrested. I could understand parents looking at those issues as red flags. It had never occurred to me that my theology would be the issue.”
After four months of the patriarch and Jeremy talking, Jim Bob told him: “Jeremy, I’m so sorry. But I don’t think I can let you pursue my daughter. This theology seems to be a deal breaker.”
Though Jeremy was eventually able to change Jim Bob’s mind, he then had to convince Jinger.
She wrote in the memoir: “But when he told Jeremy no, but still Jeremy didn’t back down, that made me love him even more. ‘I don’t think this guy’s going anywhere,’ Dad said to me.
“The more time that went by, though, the more I realized how many people had very different perspectives on Jeremy than I did. Some friends pulled me aside to share their concerns about the wild life they were convinced Jeremy must have lived as a single man and professional soccer player.
“The people who talked to me were well-intentioned and only meant to warn me of what they believed were red flags. Still, listening to all these negative comments about Jeremy was emotionally draining.
"I was crazy about him, and I wanted everybody else to appreciate him too. I wanted people to be as excited as I was. Instead, some were skeptical. If we get engaged, it could get even worse, I thought.”
The Counting On star said she is a “people pleaser” and her father told Jeremy she was no longer interested.
She penned: "Then, for reasons I couldn’t understand, something shifted. As I talked to Mom and Dad that night, I suddenly knew I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t start a relationship with Jeremy. Something was weighing on me.
“There were so many conflicting opinions, and I felt like I would divide my family and friends if I moved forward. If I said yes to Jeremy, I would open the floodgates to other people’s opinions and criticism. My heart was hardened. It felt like I wasn’t myself and something beyond my control was happening.”
Jeremy called her rejection a “betrayal,” as he even labeled her “coldhearted.”
But Jeremy didn’t give up, as Jinger eventually gave in and the two began courting.
They got engaged during a trip to New York City in 2016 and married months later.
The podcast hosts share daughters Felicity, 2, and Evangeline, 5, months.
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