The Truth About Jill Duggar's Relationship With Jessa Duggar

It's safe to say the Duggar family has had a lot of drama over the past few years. The family once presented a united front but these days, it seems like the Duggars have splintered off into their own families and lives. The family in-fighting has splintered some of the relationships between the once close-knit family. 

Jill Dillard is possibly the most notable Duggar in that she's separated herself most from her extended family. It wasn't exactly by choice, however. Jill and husband Derick Dillard found themselves at odds with the Duggars over how they were being compensated for their time filming "19 Kids & Counting" and later, "Counting On" (per Us Weekly).

These days, Jill is definitely closer to some members of her family than others. Her relationship with her next youngest sister, Jessa Seewald, has always been close but it has certainly changed a bit in recent years.

Jill and Jessa have always shared a special bond

Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald were pretty close growing up. Even as the two began to come of age and get ready to set out for lives on their own, they moved with similar timelines. The two began courtships around the same time, married in the same year, and even got pregnant close to one another.

Jill even took the time out of her 2015 missionary work to pen a letter to Jessa as she welcomed her first child into the world. "I'm so excited to both be on this motherhood journey together! I pray our boys will love Jesus with their heart, soul, mind and strength and love others more than themselves!" she wrote in part (per Radar Online). 

"We will have to let them FaceTime frequently while we are down here. It will be so fun to see them experiencing things and going thru similar stages within a few months of each other. I'm sure since they were about the same size at birth they'll be sharing clothes too."

The sisters are used to a little distance between them

A few months later, Jessa Seewald would visit Jill Dillard in Central America as she and Derick Dillard continued their missionary work. It was the first time that their sons, Israel Dillard and Spurgeon Seewald, would meet each other. The moment was clearly an emotional one for the two sisters.

"I was definitely most excited to see Jill, but, it was also super exciting to see Izzy, how much he's grown. He's such a big kid now!" Jessa said (via YouTube).

"I've been telling Jessa for awhile that I can't wait to squish Spurgeon because he's so chubby," Jill added. "It's so sweet to see them beginning their relationship as cousins. I hope that this will just continue for the rest of their lives."

Despite growing up in the same household, the siblings do things a little differently in their roles as wives and moms. Of all the Duggar siblings, however, it seems that the two have come to respect their differences pretty well.

Jill and Jessa have navigated their new normal following the family feud

Jill and Derick Dillard have been on the outs with the Duggar clan for some time. Jill and Derick have confirmed that Jill's father, Jim Bob Duggar, has restricted her access to the family home, as well as to her younger siblings. 

"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 said in a 2020 interview (per The Daily Mail). "Jill even had to ask JB permission to go over to the house to help her sister when she was in labor because her sister wanted her help, but Jill couldn't provide the assistance until we got it cleared with JB." The sister in question was Jessa, who Jill helped with the birth of her third child, daughter Ivy.

Jill talked about her strained relationship with her siblings in a YouTube video as she explained how they felt about her step back from the family. "Everybody's gonna have their opinion about different things. I feel like some of my siblings are probably more like, have something to say about it than others," Jill said. "Not all of them are cool with it But some of them are more cool with it than others."

Jessa has also admitted to some strained relationships in the family

In a summer 2020 video discussing how Christ has affected her life, Jessa Seewald opened up about some strained relationships she had with her own siblings. "I just noticed God starting to break some of the habits in how I acted and reacted toward my siblings," she told fans. 

"I had some strained relationships with different siblings. My life before Christ, I was one who would always be picking fights, stirring up strife and contention, always getting on everybody's nerves, and God gave me a greater love for my siblings."

A mix of faith and therapy seems to be helping Jill Dillard navigate this time. "There were just a lot of things that we were working through and then learning to develop boundaries with even just extended family," Jill told Us Weekly. "[There's] a little bit of drama there ... At that point, we were like, 'We really need somebody outside the picture to speak into our lives to help us sort things out.'"

Jill and Jessa are leaning on each other more in the wake of scandal

One of the truly heartbreaking things that Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald allegedly share is childhood trauma. Both were victims of older brother Josh Duggar's sexual misconduct as a teen, before the family stepped into the spotlight (per USA Today). When Josh was arrested again for allegedly being in possession of child sexual abuse images of children under the age of 12, it must have been triggering for the sisters, who are just two of the four victimized by Josh.

The sisters were spotted together just two weeks before Josh's arrest, at a vintage market in Arkansas (per Cafe Mom). It's unclear if they knew what was soon to come, but some believe the two may be leaning on each other during this hard time.

The arrest also led to the end of the family's reality series, "Counting On." Jill and Jessa decided to mark the moment by going out to lunch with some members of the show's crew, who have "become like family" according to Jill's statement on the show's cancellation. It's unclear what's next for the family, especially as the case goes to trial later this year, but what's clear is that the bond between Jessa and Jill seems to be capable of surviving it all.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.