Jill Duggar is opening up like never before about the rift that led to her and her husband Derek Dillard distancing themselves from her famous family.
The couple explained that it was lack of control over their own lives that caused them to distance themselves from her family.
“Our control to choose what jobs we were allowed to accept and even where we were allowed to live was taken away from us,” Jill told People Magazine, with Derek adding, “The first few years of our marriage, we spent time and money working towards opportunities only to hit a dead end when we’d be told, ‘Well, you’re not allowed to do that.”
Jill went on to explain that her and Derek’s decision to leave TLC’s reality show “Counting On” in 2017 “didn’t go over very well with anyone,” but “by that point we’d had enough.”
“We knew we had to pull out completely to reevaluate and get our bearings,” Jill said.
Since she distanced herself from her family, Jill has publicly broken some of their strict rules by doing things like drinking alcohol, getting a nose ring, and wearing jeans.
“Sometimes, it’s a good thing being OK with other people not being OK,” she said. “I never expected this to happen or for it to get to this point, but I’m realizing I can’t put a timeline on healing. I love my family and they love me. I really just have to follow God’s lead and take it one day at a time.”
Jim Bob and Michelle, Jill’s parents, responded to this by issuing a brief statement of their own.
“We all love Jill, Derick, and their boys very much,” the couple said of Jill and Derick’s two sons, Israel, 5, and Samuel, 3. “It is our prayer that our relationship is healed and fully restored quickly!”
Entertainment Tonight reported that Jill had first revealed that her relationship with her family had soured in a YouTube video that she posted earlier this month. Though she didn’t go into much detail at the time, she said that “we’re having to kind of just take some time and heal.”
Derick said that he and his wife would never return to television with the Duggar family “under the circumstances that we were under at the time that we left.”
“Right now we have no plans to join back into the show or anything,” Jill continued. “We don’t regret leaving the show. We feel like it was the best thing for our family.”