Jill, 32, and Derick, 34, opened up about the 6-inches that they had to keep between them at all times before their 2014 wedding during a conversation of the “The Unplanned Podcast” on Tuesday, January 9.
“Actually? There was a 6-inch rule? Could you hold hands?” host Matt Howard, who cohosts the show with his wife, Abby Howard, asked.
“Not until we were engaged,” the 19 Kids and Counting alum frankly replied. “And we didn’t kiss until our wedding day.”
Jill explained that “authority” is one of the main pillars under the Institute in Basic Life Principles umbrella of values — the non-denominational Christian organization the large family follows — with her husband adding that the reality TV series “poured gasoline on the fire that was already there.”
“Jill and I have talked about this — with or without the reality show, this control issue would’ve been a thing,” Derick said. “But it just blew everything out of proportion. If the patriarch has more money, there’s more control.”
Jill then explained that under IBLP’s strict teachings, she was required to “abide by her parent’s authority forever,” or risk “opening herself up to evil.” “Getting in a car crash could be a result of not obeying your parents even far into adulthood,” the Counting the Cost author stated.
The mom of three used her wearing pants as an example of her “going against the grain” of her parents. “I grew up wearing skirts all the time, like [that] was a big deal,” the TLC personality explained. “I was, in their eyes, making decisions that could potentially be harmful to me … I would go so far as to say, like, in their view [I] was jeopardizing my salvation.”
Jill has been vocal about her strained relationship with her father, 58, and her mother, Michelle Duggar, with tensions arising after she began speaking out against the family in the years following their time on the TLC shows 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On.
Jill and Derick — who share sons Israel and Samuel — discussed the tense dynamic in detail in Prime Video’s docuseries Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets, as well as in their September 2023 memoir, Counting the Cost.
While promoting her tell-all book, Jill alleged the patriarch’s initial reaction to the tell-all was sending a seemingly threatening text message to the large family.
“My dad texted the entire family group text (since we’re still in the group thread) and he was just saying, ‘This is so sad’ and basically threatening that if anybody speaks out against him or my mom [Michelle Duggar] that they would be cut out of the inheritance,” Jill told Today.com the same month her book released.
Jill and her father seemingly put their differences behind them for the holidays as Jill and Derick were present for the Duggar family Christmas celebration last month at her parent’s Arkansas compound.
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