Last month, Duggar family fans learned that Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell got engaged after just a few short months of courting.
Joseph proposed to Kendra at the reception following the wedding of his sister, Joy-Anna Duggar, and her new husband, Austin Forsyth.
Joy assisted in an elaborate proposal that was captured by TLC cameras, and the whole family seemed overjoyed when Kendra said yes.
But as with so many things involving the Duggar family and the way they present themselves on television, all was not quite as it seemed.
While the Duggar daughters courtships have all yielded successful marriages, the Duggar sons have not been so successful.
For obvious reasons, Josh Duggar’s marriage has endured one rough patch after another for at least the past two years.
Josiah Duggar’s courtship with Marjorie Jackson didn’t even reach the engagement stage, and it ended abruptly just weeks after the young couple made news of their relationship public.
Now, it looks as though Kendra and Joseph have already endured some difficulties of their own.
In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Gossip, a former employee of the Duggars revealed that prior to courting Joseph, Kendra was romantically involved with someone else:
His brother, Jedidiah Duggar.
The business associate, who asked to remain anonymous, informed us that Joe moved in and "bumped [Jedidiah] out" during the early stages of the younger brother’s courtship with Kendra.
Understandably, there was a period of hostility between the brothers that ended only when Jed wrote a letter granting his blessing for Joe to pursue a relationship with Kendra.
Our source offered no information with regard to why the younger brother decided to quash the conflict and move on.
It’s possible that only Jed (below, with twin brother Jeremiah) knows the real reason behind his change of heart.
But it’s also possible that this was yet another effort by Jim Bob to keep conflicts within the family out of the tabloid headlines.
"There’s a whole world that goes on that really isn’t so," the insider told us about life on the Duggar compound.
"When the cameras aren’t rolling, it’s a whole different life."
At 18, Jed is four years younger than Joseph, and that may have entered into Jim Bob’s thinking when it came time to help settle the conflict between brothers.
Or perhaps Jed decided to simply be the bigger man and prioritize his relationship with his brother over his relationship with Kendra, also 18.
(Interestingly, Jedidiah was linked to Caldwell‘s family – along with his brother and her sister – after Jinger’s wedding episode earlier this year.)
It may sound as though Kendra Caldwell didn’t have much say in the matter herself, and in all likelihood, she didn’t.
According to the rules of the patriarchal society in which the Duggars live, women are by and large subservient to the men in their lives.
The decision of whom she should court was likely decided by her father (seen in the above trailer, with Joe asking his permission to court Kendra) and Jim Bob.
Of course, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever find out exactly what transpired behind the scenes between Kendra, Joe, and Jed.
Jim Bob has worked hard to create an illusory world that’s to the liking of millions of fans over the years.
And he’s not about to let the facade crumble any time soon.
As always, you can follow the link to watch Counting On online for more from one of TV’s most controversial families, and comment below.