Jill Duggar Dillard, one of the stars of “19 Kids and Counting,” revealed how the show negatively affected her marriage.
In an exclusive interview with People, Dillard, 32, promoted her new book “Counting the Cost.” In the book, she revealed “the secrets, manipulation, and intimidation behind the show that remained hidden from their fans” and shared the show also “caused a lot of frustration” within her marriage to Derick Dillard.
“Especially early on, where he would feel a certain way about filming something. I’d be like, ‘I hear you, I feel you, I also don’t want to do whatever it is they’re asking us to do either. But we have to,'” she added.
Dillard also spoke about the teachings of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) about children obeying their parents, which caused her to struggle to say no to her father, Jim Bob Duggar, over the show’s taxing requests.
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“It definitely got between us,” she said of her marriage.
Furthermore, she explained what obedience looked like into adulthood.
“No matter your age, you are to obey your parents’ wishes and you even have to ask them for their blessing for any major moment in your life. That could be buying a house, moving to a different state, where to go to school. We were dealing with this a lot when we were trying to make decisions for our family, and we were really wrestling back and forth with it.”
Derick Dillard also claimed her father tried to interject in their marriage.
“Whenever we were at odds with what her dad thought we should be doing with filming, he would say things that would be very damaging,” he alleged.
Derick Dillard added, “He would weaponize the relationship and say, ‘Is this you, Jill, or is this you, Derek? Are you leading your wife astray and doing things that are not supportive of marriage?'”
Looking back, he said he thinks “that was a red flag.”
After leaving the IBLP in 2020, the couple is “trusting God” and has been going to therapy.
“Therapy was the gift we didn’t know we needed,” she said. “We initially went into it with the goal of re-establishing a relationship with my parents, but once we go there, the therapist was like, ‘I think we maybe need to do a little more processing, a little more sorting out here.'”
She shared the therapist’s wisdom to “figure out” who they are helped them “so much.”
In a statement to People, Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar said, “We love all of our children very much. As with any family, few things are more painful than conflicts or problems among those you love… We do not believe the best way to resolve conflicts, facilitate forgiveness and reconciliation, or to communicate through difficulties is through the media or in a public forum so we will not comment.”
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