Sometimes, you've just got to do your own thing.
Breaking with the tradition of having nary a cross word to say publicly about other members of her tight-knit family, Jill Dillard—born Jill Duggar, the fourth of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's 19 children—revealed last year that she and her husband, Derick Dillard, have been keeping their distance since reaching a point where they felt as though their life choices, particularly regarding their careers and future prospects, weren't their own anymore.
"There's been some distancing there," Jill said in a Q&A on their Dillard Family YouTube channel earlier this month. "We're not on the best terms with some of my family. We've had some disagreements, but we're working towards healing definitely and restoration, but we're having to kind of just take some time and heal."
And judging by what they've stuck together through in the past, this really must have been the last straw for the 29-year-old mother of two.
Explaining what led to the rift, Derick told People, "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 Jill informed her parents back in 2017 that they planned to take a step back from Counting On, the sibling-spotlighting spin-off of 19 Kids and Counting, the TLC show that started it all 12 years ago (when there were only 17 kids), "It didn't go over very well with anyone," she recalled. "By that point we'd had enough. We knew we had to pull out completely to reevaluate and get our bearings."
Jill and Derrick (who burned his TLC bridge in 2017, when the network stated that, though he hadn't been on Counting On for months, he would also not be featured again following remarks he made about fellow network star Jazz Jennings that came off to many as transphobic) also revealed to People that they had to get a lawyer involved after leaving the series in order to recoup some of the money from their time spent on camera that they felt was rightfully theirs. (Family patriarch Jim Bob has been called the primary payee.)
"I never expected this to happen or for it to get to this point," Jill said of the current state of her relationship with her parents. "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."
So far, in response to their daughter's public revelations, Jim Bob and Michelle have said in a statement, "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!"
Meanwhile, if you hadn't noticed, perhaps, that Jill hadn't been on Counting On for awhile because there are just so many Duggar siblings and their kids to keep up with, we don't blame you.
With 19 children, some grown, some still living at the family homestead, and more than 18 grandchildren, plus more on the way, it might even be a stretch for Jim Bob and Michelle to keep track of all those names, let alone the rest of us.
So, with the family expanding at a rapid clip (the first time we counted in 2017, they were grandparents of nine with one on the way), we won't waste another moment before laying out the existing family tree for you right here:
This story was originally published on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 12 a.m. PT.