Jill (Duggar) Dillard recently revealed that she's distanced herself from her parents and siblings and their strict upbringing.
Dillard was a main figure in the popular TLC series, “19 Kids and Counting,” which followed her Christian parents and their ultra-conservative household. After seven years on air, Jill went on to star in the spinoff series, "Counting On," along with her sisters until she decided to quit the show in 2017.
Now, 29, she's opened up about why she and her husband, Derick Dillard, have distanced themselves from the family.
"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.
She explained that they felt as if they had lost the power to dictate their own lives. It progressed to the point that they, as a couple, felt it was interfering with their own goals, and that caused conflict with the network and the family's plans.
"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,'" Derick added.
The couple eventually told the network and the Duggar family that they were quitting, but it didn’t go over well.
"It didn't go over very well with anyone," Jill said. "By that point, we'd had enough. We knew we had to pull out completely to reevaluate and get our bearings."
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Jill's parents, provided the following statement after learning of Dillard’s public comments concerning her family's estrangement.
"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,” the Duggars said. "It is our prayer that our relationship is healed and fully restored quickly!"
Since leaving the series, Jill has parted ways with many of the family’s values. The Duggars never permitted "revealing" clothes, pants on females, dancing, alcohol or listening to non-religious music.
The Dillards and their two sons, Israel David, 5, and Samuel Scott, 3, have since made their own rules. She now has a nose ring, wears pants regularly, and revealed on their Dillard Family blog that she drinks a cocktail or glass of wine from time to time.
"Sometimes," she told People, "it's a good thing being okay with other people not being okay."
"I never expected this to happen or for it to get to this point," Dillard said of her relationship with her family. "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."