Jill Duggar Cut Ties With the Duggars After Her Autonomy Was “Taken Away”

Jill Duggar opened up about her decision to step away from the Duggar family and its TLC show Counting On in 2017.

By Lindsay Weinberg Oct 21, 2020 11:52 PMTags
Watch: Why Jill Duggar Distanced Herself From Her Family

Jill Duggar is regaining her independence after she decided to quit the TLC reality series that made her big family famous.

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, Jill explained why she left the 19 Kids and Counting spinoff, Counting On, in 2017 and distanced herself from her overly-controlling fam.

"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. The 29-year-old explained that any goals she and husband Derick Dillard made together were never prioritized as highly as plans from the network or her family.

Derick, 31, said, "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.'" 

When the couple finally left TLC, Jill said it caused an uproar. "It didn't go over very well with anyone," she said. "By that point we'd had enough. We knew we had to pull out completely to reevaluate and get our bearings." 

The Complete Duggar Family Tree

A spokesperson for the Duggar family told E! News, "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!"

Since premiering in 2015, Counting On is still keeping fans in the loop, with its COVID episode "A Quarantine Courtship" out in September. 

Derick is currently finishing up his law degree while the couple raises their kids: five-year-old Israel David and 3-year-old Samuel Scott.

Instagram/Jill Duggar

Earlier this month, Jill and Derick answered fans' questions about their departure on YouTube. 

"We found out we didn't have as much control over our lives as it related to the show and stuff, as we needed. We had to make a decision at that time to kind of put the show aside just so like to pursue our own goals and everything. That's when we made that decision," she explained at the time. "It was just a good decision for us."

Derick weighed in, "We were kind of put between a rock and a hard place where we had to choose between our family goals over filming and it really felt like it was in the best interest as a family to pursue our family goals."

And this isn't the only clash between the Dillards and the network. Back in November 2017, TLC cut ties with Derick after he was accused of bullying another TLC star, Jazz Jennings from the show I Am Jazz, which shined a light on transgender experiences. "'Transgender' is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it's ordained by God," Derick tweeted.

TLC responded, "The network has no plans to feature him in the future. We want to reiterate that Derick's personal statements do not reflect the views of the network." 

The spouses, however, are still going strong. Last year, Derick and Jill spent their fifth wedding anniversary in Missouri reading the Kama Sutra. Her advice for a strong marriage? "Be open with your spouse about your desires and change things up to keep it exciting!"