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Arranged Leftovers: Matching "Defects" in the Name of the Quiver


FighterJet
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After watching a recent video of David and Priscilla Waller's, I finally made up my mind and started this thread.

There is something substantial yet elusive about the fundie culture of arranging marriages for what are considered to be "leftover kids".

Let's take a look at 3 examples of these "red flag" couples.

 

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First come the Wallers: no one in their right mind would look at David and think that he genuinely shares anything deeper than a sense of marital duty with poor Priscilla. David plays a part, he plays it eerily well, but there's no complicity transpiring from the baby-voiced interactions with his wife. There is an iron will to make it work, though. Many have hinted at the fact that David may be hiding in the closet. Priscilla tries really hard to make it work herself, but it is fairly undeniable she's the product of hardcore brainwashing administered in place of therapy for her processing disorders and slight cognitive delays. 

While this family-oriented arrangement seems to be working for them as far as raising a family goes, it is quite sad indeed that both David and Priscilla were likely made feel like neither would deserve anything other than what they got, their "otherness" a decisive factor in the matchmaking algorhythm conjured by their parents. Gay husband and disabled wife. 

 

 

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Then come Bethany Baird and Daaaaaaaav Beal from Girl Defined. Bethany was 30 and single, an old spinster by most Texan fundie-lite standards. She got married with a guy from her Christian circle of friends from the last couple of years, Dav, who at 25 had reportedly never had a girlfriend/courtship interest/platonic sweetheart, ever. Rushed anyone? 

Now, while there has been some speculation concerning Dav's sexual orientation, I (personally) don't hold any strong opinion on this. He could be gay, he could be straight, or anything in between. He could be struggling with issues that would cause him trouble in fundieland, maybe he grew up constantly feeling like he needed to prove his masculinity, something that didn't come easily as he isn't as into "physical jobs" as many other guys are. He draws, animates cartoons and dresses nicely instead. All elements that would be enough for some to question his sexuality in a narrow-minded, sheltered world. What strikes the random onlooker as odd is Dav's nervousness. The guy is fidgety, cryptic, whips out ambiguous puns about Bethany (reddit is full of examples on this) and is always ready to wipe his mouth after she forcefully kisses him for the camera. Either Dav is reaaallly camera shy, or he learned a script and plays by it. Bethany just wants to show the world she's married. She wants everyone to know she had sex. She's obsessed with "making marriage work". Feminine husband and elderly wife (by fundie standards, I definitely don't believe they fall into those categories). Bethany probably felt like she'd miss the motherhood train if she turned Dav down. Dav likely felt endangered by going any longer without a female partner by his side.

 

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Lastly, we've got Josiah and Lauren Duggar. The wayward son who got sent to 99 ALERT camps and still disobeyed, and the unstable, attention-seeking daughter who likely didn't keep sweet enough. 

Josiah has got somewhat of a flamboyant style, which shines through when he isn't repressed by Jim Bob. He's into graphic and/or interior design and had high hopes of studying them in college, something that was never to be. He initiated courtship with the spunkiest fundie girl he could find, Marjorie Jackson. Out of everything he envisioned for his future, getting a commercial driver's licence was not high on the list. We see him begrudgingly getting one on Counting On in preparation for his marriage, while Jim Bob hawkishly looks on. There is something about Josiah and Lauren's courtship that always looked forced to me. All the "bullying" Josiah had to endure on behalf of his family transpired on his wedding day, when he tried his best to show how macho he was. Their wedding likely means they can't go anywhere, since Mr Swanson probably conceded his daughter on Duggar employment grounds for his son-in-law. They're stuck. Disobedient son and problematic wife. Feels like they both were given a spouse so that they could "grow up and finally fit in fundieland". Josiah was given an ultimatum, maybe.

All these couples have got children now, all the husbands appear to be more hands-on fathers than the average fundie male. These men cling onto the fatherhood with an awareness in their hearts: the awareness that they were almost excluded - due to their "sin" - from filling their quiver, something that must be especially soul-crushing if you've been raised quiverfull (or fundie). Staying married provides them security, if not happiness, in this sense, 

Why isn't maniac son Josh listed as well? Because he got a special treatment due to his birth order and the nature of his sin. Apparently, fundies believe being gay puts you in a more disadvantaged position in the "marriage industry" than being a serial molester. Josh got Anna, who was poor growing up in a trailer and faithfully helpmeeting, but it was David who got mentally challenged Priscilla, instead. As if Priscilla had a second-tier price tag to begin with. I feel extreme sadness for her, for the chances and the voice she - especially - never got.

Do you have other "leftover couples" in mind?

 

 

Edited by Coconut Flan
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Well, these people all have roles to play and play them they do.  As time goes on, though, Priscilla and David seem matched and compatible -- but to your point, what does that mean in fundieland? 

 I've remarked in the past on ultra fundy women who cultivate a breathy little girl voice in response to extreme demands to demonstrate a submissive demeanor.  They sound like a four-year old well into adulthood.  Pris has that exact breathy and hesitant voice. 

I think almost all of these women are of normal or high intelligence, but have so totally suppressed their thought process that they have zero ability to express themselves normally.  Might this come across as "processing disorder and cognitive delays"?  Or does your trained ear and eye perceive a very specific problem?  

One of the Pennington daughters married, and now has a child with, a man who has struggled with same sex attraction and was quite open about it, but only in the "feel-good, saved by Jesus from godless homosexuality" sense.  I hope he is at least bisexual and also hope, for the sake of their child, that they can be good parents and make it work. 

 

 

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The speculation in this topic makes me feel... uncomfortable. Do we have proof that Priscilla is mentally disabled? As far as I know she more her family have ever said as much, making it seem cruel to speculate if she isn't, and even crueler if she is.

She and David seem to enjoy each other's company and work well together.  It is possible they actually had things in common that drew them to each other. 

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I don't think Priscilla is mentally disabled.  I think she's just brainwashed.  She sounds like about every other fundie wife that goes on camera.  The soft voice, the use of God and Jesus in every sentence, and the constant approval of everything David wants just sounds to me like Mike and Suzette did a very thorough job of making sure she would never try to think for herself.

We can't know what goes on in any individual home.  From listening to David, I figure he is in control of the home and Priscilla does what he wants.  They do seem to be on the same page about their kids and both of them seem to enjoy the children.  Honestly, I think Pris married better than Anna.  At least David hasn't yet humiliated Priscilla.  

I agree that David's dad wanted him married off.  The authoritarian fathers are pretty set on making sure that there's no speculation going on as to sexual identity.  And they want those quivers of grandchildren.  As far as I could tell, Pris and David didn't appear to have any chemistry but that's not a deal breaker with the fundies.

Edited by Xan
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Arranged for me means that the family arranged for them to marry, and that doesnt look like it was the case for Bethany and Dave at all, didnt they meet on their own and decided to marry? I agree that they dont seem in love, but not every couple that marries does it because they are madly in love, even in the non-fundie world. 

The rest is just pure speculation, but even if Priscilla wasnt the smartest, why would that make her less desirable in their culture? if any being and intelligent woman is what makes you less desirable for them.

I also find very tiresome that everytime a man shows any interest in his appeareance or an artistic ability the gay speculation begins.

 

 

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I don’t think Priscilla is mentally impaired, she’s just brainwashed and weird.  

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8 hours ago, Queen Of Hearts said:

The speculation in this topic makes me feel... uncomfortable. Do we have proof that Priscilla is mentally disabled? As far as I know she more her family have ever said as much, making it seem cruel to speculate if she isn't, and even crueler if she is.

She and David seem to enjoy each other's company and work well together.  It is possible they actually had things in common that drew them to each other. 

OK could be that they are really like that as a couple. I hope so, for them.

The family has said Priscilla suffered from complications at birth, many people have said that on social media, a small research can bring that up, I thought it was widely known. That likely means that, like many other fundie kids, Priscilla didn’t receive the targeted attention she needed to improve, since the fundie approach on every case that shies from the norm is to « pray it away », even when there’s no problem at all, in non-fundie terms.

I am actually defending Priscilla, I think it would be terrible if she were paired with David just because the community felt like they were not enough not to be paired with a « non defective one ». They seem strange as a couple.

And I refere to « sin » because that’s what fundies’d call homosexuality, disobedience, sloth and selfishness.

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6 hours ago, llucie said:

Arranged for me means that the family arranged for them to marry, and that doesnt look like it was the case for Bethany and Dave at all, didnt they meet on their own and decided to marry? I agree that they dont seem in love, but not every couple that marries does it because they are madly in love, even in the non-fundie world. 

The rest is just pure speculation, but even if Priscilla wasnt the smartest, why would that make her less desirable in their culture? if any being and intelligent woman is what makes you less desirable for them.

I also find very tiresome that everytime a man shows any interest in his appeareance or an artistic ability the gay speculation begins.

 

 

The gay speculation began when Bethany reportedly admitted on a livestream that Dav went to conversion therapy. There’s no tangible proof I could find of that, but you’ll find a lot of discussions on Reddit. GD’s comment section on instagram and youtube is a river of people urging Dav to show his true colors, and the Beals don’t dismiss these comments. This is what prompted speculation in the first place, again, I wrongly assumed it was widely known.

Dav asked permission to court Bethy to her father, there was heavy involvement from the families in their whole courtship deal. The families had known each other for years. Could mean nothing, could mean they pulled a Jim Bob.

As for Priscilla, she reportedly suffered at birth, prayed anything that might’ve come up that needed extra attention away. The point is that she really shouldn’t feel like she’s any less deserving than anyone else, so it would be sad if she were raised under circumstances that made her feel otherwise. Same goes for David, if he really were gay as many claim. All seen and considered, Priscilla is likely much better off with David than Anna will ever be with Josh, however.

Edited by FighterJet
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@Howl

The Kellers reportedly spoke about Priscilla having suffered at birth.

Even if that were not true and she were «simply » brainwashed, it’s undeniable that the hardcore brainwashing caused her problems. 

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This is pretty awful, this whole post. It is probably the kind of thing best kept in your brain. 

 

42 minutes ago, FighterJet said:

@Howl

The Kellers reportedly spoke about Priscilla having suffered at birth.

Even if that were not true and she were «simply » brainwashed, it’s undeniable that the hardcore brainwashing caused her problems. 

What problems?

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Plenty of difficult births don't end with cognitive delays and it's not just thanks to early interventions. 

You seem to have boarded the speculation rocket to salute reality for good. It's creepy af.

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What did I just read?

It's a fine line between speculation and fan fiction and this post straddles it.  Creating head canon for these people doesn't make any of it true. 

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6 minutes ago, VooDooChild said:

Ew. This is some real Freudian crap.  It reads like a tabloid.  

It really does. I clicked on this topic because I was really interested in what people had to say about actual arranged marriages since they definitely happen, but this just seems like the speculation bus went off-roading. 

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Speculation is bad enough, but calling a 19-year-old bride a leftover is over the top.

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17 hours ago, FighterJet said:

the unstable, attention-seeking daughter who likely didn't keep sweet enough. 

I've never minced words when talking about Lauren... But this just feels over the top. Like past snark and right into mean. I especially dislike the use of the term "unstable" it just rubs me the wrong way. 

 

Priscilla just strikes me as awkward. Like if she had a normal upbringing I think she would be that shy quirky girl who joins a board game group and reads Sci Fi. But she never had a chance to just be a little awkward and geeky (said as a compliment!) So instead she just comes across as lost. 

 

I agree wholeheartedly with @nelliebelle1197 this post was tactless at best, wildly speculative and cruel at worst. 

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Perhaps this thread could be re-purposed to discuss the marriages that are truly arranged or seriously helped/pushed along by the fathers and the aftermath and outcomes?

I remember reading about one on FJ where a father encouraged his then 15-year old to be in a courtship with a 28-30 year old man. The father had already given the young man permission to court. I think they got married when the girl was 16-17.  I can't recall what happened after that.

Edited by Red Hair, Black Dress
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4 hours ago, FighterJet said:

The gay speculation began when Bethany reportedly admitted on a livestream that Dav went to conversion therapy. There’s no tangible proof I could find of that, but you’ll find a lot of discussions on Reddit. GD’s comment section on instagram and youtube is a river of people urging Dav to show his true colors, and the Beals don’t dismiss these comments. This is what prompted speculation in the first place, again, I wrongly assumed it was widely known.

Dav asked permission to court Bethy to her father, there was heavy involvement from the families in their whole courtship deal. The families had known each other for years. Could mean nothing, could mean they pulled a Jim Bob.

As for Priscilla, she reportedly suffered at birth, prayed anything that might’ve come up that needed extra attention away. The point is that she really shouldn’t feel like she’s any less deserving than anyone else, so it would be sad if she were raised under circumstances that made her feel otherwise. Same goes for David, if he really were gay as many claim. All seen and considered, Priscilla is likely much better off with David than Anna will ever be with Josh, however.

I dont know were you read that but doesnt seem to be true that Bethany ever mentioned conversion therapy in a livestream. Probably someone made that up. In fact Dave replied to a comment and denied ever going to any conversion therapy. Seems to me like a made up rumour based on some people thinking he must be gay because he seems artistic, cares about his apareance, and dont forget that his wife is taller than him! the horror! Dav and Bethy were in the same circle of friends. The fact that he asked permission to marry her doesnt mean that the families arranged the marriage. I think both were desesperate to start a family and settled for each other.

Again there is no proof thar Priscilla is cognitive impaired in any way, its all speculation based on the way she talks. Same for David, nobody that claims he is gay has any proof, just that he has a feminine demeanor, whatever that means. I think as husbands in fundieland go he seems like a good catch, really religious, involved in IBLP, comes from a good family, seems hard working and handy...

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I won't repeat what all the commenters above have said, but I just wanted to make it clear that David and Priscilla are far from being considered "defects".

On the contrary, they are IBLP's flagship couple and their job is literally to parade around the country to speak in churches and encourage other families to be more like them.

I think Priscilla's speech pattern is just her way of appearing overly meek, but even so, don't judge people's intellect through speech. My sister is a Biochemistry PhD and couldn't utter a coherent sentence on camera - she's very dyslexic and hates public speaking.

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The one that gets me is Amanda Smith (of the 11 Smiths blog) and Russell Lewis.   I don't recall the exact specifics but she was a mid/late 30's single woman married off to a widower in his 60's who was a family friend.  While he seems like a nice person and they seem to have fun together, it is just a little creepy to me.  Especially because at that age, he could provide no better than a small one bedroom apartment for the first several years of their marriage.  They have since purchased some land and moved a lovely modular home onto the site, but it was quite sad seeing her at home in that small apartment for years. Trying to garden on their small balcony and have apparent minimal budget for decorating or furniture.  She was "older" but surely not too old to have found a nice similar aged man to start a family with.  She has implied they would like to.  I once even asked in a comment about starting a family (it was a post about getting a minivan) and she indicated she would like to.  It makes me sad.  In the blog they seem like a father/daughter off enjoying camping and visiting relatives rather than a couple.

Edited by fundiefollower
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13 minutes ago, fundiefollower said:

The one that gets me is Amanda Smith (of the 11 Smiths blog) and Russell Lewis.   I don't recall the exact specifics but she was a mid/late 30's single woman married off to a widower in his 60's who was a family friend.  While he seems like a nice person and they seem to have fun together, it is just a little creepy to me.  Especially because at that age, he could provide no better than a small one bedroom apartment for the first several years of their marriage.  They have since purchased some land and moved a lovely modular home onto the site, but it was quite sad seeing her at home in that small apartment for years. Trying to garden on their small balcony and have apparent minimal budget for decorating or furniture.  She was "older" but surely not too old to have found a nice similar aged man to start a family with.  She has implied they would like to.  I once even asked in a comment about starting a family (it was a post about getting a minivan) and she indicated she would like to.  It makes me sad.  In the blog they seem like a father/daughter off enjoying camping and visiting relatives rather than a couple.

I've never heard of these people, but is there anything creepy to you besides the age difference?

That weirds some people out by itself, which I think is a shame as long both parties are adults.  Although legal I absolutely find it creepy when someone barely legal hooks up with a middle aged or even older person ...but once you get to your mid-late 30's you can find love or companionship with much older people without it being weird to me.  

And a lot of people start off in less than opulant living arrangements, regardless of age.

I personally think it's rude to inquire about other people's reproductive choices, even strangers on a blog, so I think we just see this very differently.

Edited by HerNameIsBuffy
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The only person I feel comfortable discussing their sexual orientation for is Nate Axmann (Patience Pennington's husband) and that's only because he actually has a blog post were he unambiguously talks about praying the gay away. But he wouldn't fit your theory anyway since I can't imagine Patience isn't one of Lisa's favorites seeing as two of her siblings have fled the fundiedom, one very publicly so.

The rest of this thread makes me wholly uncomfortable. Implying that straight men can't be feminine is harmful to everyone, and I'm not going to even touch your horrible speculation on Priscilla. 

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"Leftovers?" "Defects?" 

What the hell.

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Amanda and Russell Lewis (from the 11 Smith's blog) actually are one of the best matched fundie couplings I follow. They are both very interested in music.  In fact, both are musicians professionally (she teaches lessons, he perorms and I believe teaches). Both were well into adulthood when they decided to marry so I don't find the age difference as creepy as I would if she were 18. Also, I think he may only be about 20 years older which doesn't feel so creepy when you are 30/50.

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I don't believe people are defective. Some exhibit horrible behavior, but most are just people who are doing the best with the lives they have.

 

A lot of fundie pairings aren't great matches -- like Josiah and Lauren. But there seemed to be pressure for Josiah to get married and Lauren was the option. And Lauren reminds me of girls at the Baptist College who wanted to be considered adults, so they mimicked adult behavior without really being there yet. And because they had been raised in fundie environments, the process of becoming an adult didn't involve responsibility (like a job) but involved marriage and babies. But, again, they weren't really mature enough for that yet -- they planned elaborate weddings and made lists of names for their future offspring and hinted about engagement rings with their first ever boyfriends. (I always tried to be the big-sister-like friend who would reassure them that not marrying their first ever boyfriend at 18 wasn't going to ruin their lives forever.) That's true of many young fundie women, actually -- some make it work despite a perceived "bad match" and others are miserable and spend decades grimacing instead of smiling.

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