Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are getting candid about the toll Counting On took on their marriage.
Things were heavy between the couple when news about what Josh Duggar did to his sisters and a family friend in the early 2000s was made public in 2015.
They had been married the year prior and were settling into their new life. However, nothing was on their terms. It was all about what Jim Bob Duggar demanded of them.
With the release of Jill’s book next week, she and Derick are talking about some of the moments that hit them the hardest.
It’s not surprising that things almost ended between the couple. Jill had always been the favorite and most obedient Duggar daughter, so when she began to follow her husband’s lead instead of Jim Bob’s, it was a problem.
Fortunately, they were able to resolve those issues, and their marriage is still going strong nearly a decade later.
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard open up about nearly splitting up
While speaking with PEOPLE before the book release, Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard opened up about struggling in their relationship during the Counting On days and what it took for them to walk away.
Jill said it put a lot of strain on their marriage, especially during the earliest years when filming 19 Kids & Counting and Counting On.
She said, “He would feel a certain way about filming something. I’d be like, ‘I hear you, I feel you, I also don’t want to do whatever it is they’re asking us to do either. But we have to.'”
“They” refers to her parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and likely the production company filming the show. Jill and Derick were required to be available for 20 hours a week to film, without much say in any of it.
A big part of what caused the issues early on for the couple was the teachings that Jill grew up believing. She was raised in the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) and believed that honoring her parents was of the utmost importance. She needed their blessing for everything, which didn’t sit well with Derick.
Jim Bob Duggar tried to manipulate their marriage
When Jill Duggar mentioned her father, Jim Bob Duggar’s influence on their decisions, Derick Dillard piped in.
He said, “He would weaponize the relationship and say, ‘Is this you, Jill, or is this you, Derek? Are you leading your wife astray and doing things that are not supportive of marriage?’ And I think that was a red flag.”
This tracks with what many followers and critics have suspected for years — Jim Bob runs things through his children and controls the relationships around them. Jill and her sister Jessa Duggar were used to downplay what happened to them at the hands of their brother during the Megyn Kelly interview in 2015.
When Counting The Cost drops next week, more bombshells will likely be revealed.
Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets is currently streaming on Prime Video.