Walking away. Since their departure from TLC’s Counting On, Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard have started to open up about their strained relationship with her famous family.
Fans met Jill in 2008 when 19 Kids and Counting (formerly 18 Kids and Counting and 17 Kids and Counting) premiered. In 2013, Derick asked patriarch Jim Bob Duggar for permission to start courting Jill. Less than a year later, the twosome were married in June 2014 in front of TLC cameras. Jill and Derick went on to star on their own series, Counting On, with her sister Jessa Seewald and Jessa’s husband Ben Seewald, after 19 Kids and Counting was canceled in light of their brother Josh Duggar’s molestation scandal.
It wasn’t long before the spinoff expanded to follow the rest of the Duggar children and their respective families. After several seasons, Jill and Derick, who are parents of sons Israel David and Samuel Scott, quietly quit the spinoff in 2017. Three years later, the couple finally addressed their exit.
“We found out we didn’t have as much control over our lives as it related to the show and stuff, as we needed,” she said in a YouTube Q&A in October 2020. “We had to make a decision at that time to kind of put the show aside … to pursue our own goals and everything. That’s when we made that decision.”
Jill added that it was a “really difficult decision,” but the pair doesn’t “regret” leaving the series.
“[It was] something we knew that we really needed to do for our family,” she said. “We’re doing what’s best for our family right now and just working through it I guess. We are praying and trusting God that, like, the timeline is his and what that looks like and everything. So, we definitely appreciate your prayers, and we don’t want to go into detail.”
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar subsequently released a statement: “Every family has differences of opinion and perspective at times, but families work things out. We all love Jill, Derick, and their boys very much. It is our prayer that our relationship is healed and fully restored quickly!”
Scroll through for more of Jill and Derick’s quotes about their strained relationship with the Duggars:
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