What Jill Duggar's Relationship With Her Parents Is Like Today

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The TLC reality television show "19 Kids and Counting" and its spinoff "Counting On" featured Jim Bob Duggar and his wife, Michelle Duggar, raising their 19 children in what appeared to be a tight-knit wholesome household. However, the Arkansas family has endured plenty of drama that has contradicted this image. 

One of the oldest Duggar girls, Jill Dillard, hasn't been shy about addressing these struggles publicly. She's not as close with her parents as she used to be, and that's not surprising, as she's now an adult with her own family.

The TLC network portrayed Jill as an idyllic girl who loved helping homeschool her younger siblings, going thrift shopping, and abiding by her parents' strict rules. She left her parents' home in good graces after marrying Derrick Dillard in 2014, and her family seemed very supportive of her relationship at first. The couple's courtship and 2014 wedding were televised on "19 Kids and Counting," and Jill's dad even raved about his new son-in-law after the nuptials, telling People how it hit him that his daughter was leaving home. "We are so glad that Derick is an answer to her prayers. It's an emotional time, but a joyful time," Jim Bob said.

The "joyful time" didn't last long, though. The relationship got so bad that at one point, Dillard commented on a Facebook post that he lost respect for Jim Bob, as he uses "manipulation and deceit" for his own personal "gain at the expense of others."

She quit her family's reality television show

Jill Dillard was a staple on her family's reality shows, so it was surprising that she decided to quit "Counting On" in 2017. The show was even originally named "Jill and Jessa: Counting On" (after her and her sister, Jessa Seewald). It was canceled in 2021 (just like its predecessor, "19 Kids and Counting," which was canceled in 2019) due to the sexual molestation and child pornography drama surrounding her brother, Josh Duggar. 

In a Q&A about the Dillard Family official YouTube page, Jill said she left the show as she didn't have enough control over her own life, and she didn't like it. "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. Derick told the same source, "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,'" and added that their decision to quit "didn't go over well with anyone."

Jill's parents replied to the magazine comments in a statement, saying, "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!"

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

She had to fight to get paid

Jill Dillard probably considered that she wasn't getting paid when she quit her family's reality show "Counting On." She reveals that "she didn't receive any compensation until she quit the show in 2017" in a 2020 interview with People. "That's when we got an attorney involved and finally recovered some of the money," Jill said, adding, "It was a process."

According to the magazine, Jill's father, Jim Bob Duggar, was the "primary payee" for both "19 Kids and Counting" and "Counting On," and the family was paid an estimated $25,000 to $45,000 per episode. In a video posted on the Dillard Family YouTube channel, Jill's husband, Derick Dillard, says that while they did eventually "recover at least something," the amount that they got wasn't much. "It probably ended up being a little more than minimum wage," Derick says. 

The couple continues to share their lives with the public (sans TLC), regularly posting updates on their social media accounts, family blog, and YouTube channel (which has 110,000 followers as of this writing). However, they have still struggled with money over the years. According to a 2021 court deposition, Derick admitted that he and his wife "receive boxes of food from neighbors and also receive food through a pantry on campus" (via The Sun).

She said Jim Bob Duggar was verbally abusive

Jill Dillard shared some insight into her relationship with her father, Jim Bob Duggar when she took part in a lawsuit with three of her sisters (Jessa Seewald, Jinger Vuolo, and Joy-Anna Forsyth). The Duggar girls sued Springdale and Washington County officials for releasing their personal stories about being sexual abuse victims in 2017, which they felt was an invasion of privacy. 

A judge dismissed the lawsuit in February 2022, noting that the Duggar's lawyers didn't have enough evidence to prove wrongdoing. The sealed court documents were eventually released and revealed that Jim Bob Duggar "got pretty toxic" when Jill and Derick Dillard began doing things that didn't fall in line with his views (via E! News). "I saw a whole new side to my dad once my husband and I started making decisions that were best for our family but not in his best interest," said Jill. "Sadly, I realized he had become pretty controlling, fearful, and reactionary," she added.

The court documents state Jill called her father "verbally abusive" and admitted that her relationship with him was "not good" at the time. "We occasionally text on a family group thread, but I don't feel comfortable being around him and just hanging out," the reality star says. "It isn't good for my mental health right now."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

She was banned from the Duggar family compound

Many parents employ the "my house, my rules" mentality for their younger kids. However, the Duggars extend this adage to their adult daughter, Jill Dillard, and her husband, Derick Dillard, by not allowing them in their house when Jim Bob Duggar isn't there. In a June 2020 interview with The Sun, Derick said he thinks the ban was put into place because Jim Bob's "mainly worried about the influence we might have on his children."

The ban has impacted the couple's relationship with Jill's other family members. "Because our visitation to the Duggar house has been restricted, and that is where they and their spouses hang out, we have not been able to see other family as much as we would like, so that is difficult," Derick told The Sun in a separate interview, adding that they invite Jill's siblings and their spouses over to their house often to keep the relationship going. "We hope and pray God would restore relationships where there is brokenness ... But, at the same time, we recognize that only God can change people's hearts and bring healing," said Derick.

In a 2021 post on the family's YouTube channel, Jill discussed prioritizing her "mental and emotional health" and confirmed that there are "some restrictions" in place. She also shared that she hasn't been inside her parents' home in "a couple of years," aside from a quick stop to pick up mail. 

She moved out of Arkansas

Jill Dillard announced on Instagram that she and Derick Dillard were selling their Lowell, Arkansas, home and heading for greener pastures in April 2022. The post included a photo of the couple's one-story brick house with a for-sale sign in the front yard and the hashtag #newadventuresawait.

Jill also acknowledges the move in her family blog: "We are sad to say goodbye to our very first home that we bought three years ago but pray it brings much joy to the next family who will get to make memories here." The post, titled "New House! New Job! New State!" confirms that the couple didn't take long to establish roots, as they had already purchased a new house in Siloam Springs, Oklahoma, two months after the house-for-sale post went up on Instagram.

While we can assume that the couple's challenges with Jill's family had something to do with their decision to leave Arkansas, it should be noted that Derick officially passed his bar exam and accepted a job offer as a prosecutor in Oklahoma when they made the move. The good news is the couple made a tidy profit on the Arkansas home. The four-bedroom, two-bath house was purchased in 2019 for $187,000 and sold for $305,000, according to Realtor.com.

The Duggars skipped Samuel Dillard's 4th birthday party

Jill Dillard's parents (and most of her siblings) were noticeably absent from her son Samuel Dillard's 4th birthday party in July 2021. We're not sure why they didn't attend. However, it appeared that only Jill's sister, Jana Duggar, and her younger brother, James Duggar, came.

James played a crucial part in the celebration, driving his fire truck and letting Samuel and his friends test the hoses and explore. On Instagram, Jill acknowledged that her mother, Michelle Duggar, brought over new bicycle lights and a few other things before the party but didn't mention her father, Jim Bob Duggar.

In a now-deleted comment (via The Sun), a follower questioned their absence, writing, "I guess the parent Duggars choose not to be grandparents to these boys. What a shame they are like that with all the family values they talk about. Sorry, Jill. You don't need those kinds of people in your lives. At least Jana was allowed to go." Jill replied, "The fire truck birthday was just something we worked out between us and James. My parents always send or bring gifts for the boys' birthdays. We've had to put some boundaries in place over time for ourselves as we learn to navigate life and work toward healing and restoration. They aren't always invited to everything and vice versa," per the same source.

She doesn't conform to her family's strict rules

The Duggars have a list of strict rules their kids must abide by, including how they dress, date, and what they watch on television. "Modesty was a huge topic in our house, and we believed that wearing skirts instead of pants was a central part of being modest," Jinger Duggar Vuolo writes in her 2021 book "The Hope We Hold."

Jill Dillard has broken several of her parents' rules since she's grown up and left home, which may or may not be an indication of her current relationship status with them. She's enrolled her son in public school (opting against the Duggar's preferred method of homeschooling), worn pants, and dyed her hair. She's also publicly stated that she doesn't think there's anything wrong with drinking alcohol from time to time, despite her parents believing differently.

In a 2020 interview with People, Jill says, "I know my parents would not be happy with it, and I know that my siblings, some more than others, would probably have an issue with it," adding, "Other ones would probably be like, 'Whatever's good for y'all, that's fine. Live your life.'" In a separate interview with the same magazine, she states, "Sometimes ... it's a good thing being okay with other people not being okay." Jill's okay with them not being okay with what she does, as she continues to do things her way. 

Her mother (and most of her sisters) didn't attend her baby shower in July 2022

It doesn't look like Jill Dillard's mother, Michelle Duggar, attended her July 2022 baby shower when she was pregnant with her third child, Frederick Dillard. This is surprising because Jill suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage a year earlier and was likely looking forward to celebrating her rainbow baby. Several of Jill's sisters and sisters-in-law were also noticeably absent from the party, according to People. Her cousin, Amy King, stirred up drama when she posted on Instagram that it "was an honor" hosting the party, as Jill "deserved to be loved on."

It didn't take long for social media sleuths to notice Jill's family's absence. One follower commented, "Where's Michelle?" and another wrote they "couldn't believe that none of her siblings were there." Jill's sister, Jessa Seewald, got defensive about the situation, commenting on the post, "These rumors make me angry, and I'm here to put a stop to it. The narrative these kinds of comments put forward is a false one. Simply not true."

Jessa also gave insight about the attendees, writing, "I was there at the shower, but pretty much everyone else was out of town whether for a wedding, family reunion, or beach trip. Summertime is busy, and you cannot always coordinate 19+ schedules. Anyone with more than one adult kid should know that." Another user scolded Seewald for not hosting the party herself, writing, "I thought sisters do this stuff."

Her mother helped nurse her back to health after a 2022 surgery

Michelle Duggar stepped up when Jill Dillard faced medical complications shortly after giving birth to her son Frederick Dillard in July 2022, suggesting that the family's relationship is on the mend. Jill shared her health scare on Instagram, telling followers she underwent gallbladder surgery after experiencing pain before a postpartum checkup.

"I wasn't excited about having to start my healing time clock over again, but I am so thankful for good medical care and so many other little blessings along the way ... help from family and friends plus the relief now and thought of hopefully never having to deal with another bad gallbladder attack again!!" Jill wrote. 

When a follower commented that she should try a heating pad for relief, Jill raved about her mom's support. "Yes!! The heating pad! Mama got it out for me last night! Being in the recliner has helped too!" Jill wrote (via The Sun). Maybe there's hope after all? She did seem hopeful in a 2020 interview with People. "I never expected this to happen or for it to get to this point," Jill says. "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," the reality star told the publication.