The Duggar Family Is Falling Apart
Since Josh’s scandal rocked the Duggar household, there’s been nothing but drama circling this former reality TV family. Now that TLC has pulled the plug on 19 Kids & Counting, is the uber-religious family falling apart at the seams?
“The better part of the last decade has been doing their show, and to have that removed — and instead for there to be this intense scrutiny of their every move — just isn’t something you get used to overnight,” a family insider tells People. “I think the family is still trying to absorb the fact that their life has so radically changed.”
Though Jim Bob maintains an “injustice” has been done to his family — they “truly felt” everyone would understand and be OK with the scandal — there’s still a need to continue “maintaining some distance.”
“Jim Bob and Michelle love their son, and they love it when they can spend time with his family,” the source continues. “But every time they’re photographed with him, a story gets made out of it that rehashes the whole mess, and it’s painful for everyone.”
The family member who has been keeping the most distance, however, seems to be Jill Dillard (née Duggar) who has relocated to El Salvador on a long-term mission. Was this pre-planned or is it one of the best coincidences ever?
“Yes, it was ‘God’s calling,’ but it was God’s calling at exactly the moment it made the most sense for her and Derick [Dillard] and the baby to get away from the spotlight,” the source says, pointing out Jill “knew exactly what she was doing when she left the country.”
Perhaps the biggest divide, though, is between Jessa Seewald (née Duggar) and an unknowing Jill. Jessa seems to hold some resentment for her older sister getting a special about her giving birth to son Israel. Meanwhile the expectant mom, who is due November 1, only has the outlet of social media to include the world on her little miracle and it’s “bittersweet.”
“Jessa would have liked to have had the same sort of platform to give thanks, show what a miracle she feels her child is and express her gratitude,” the source continues. “Instead the show isn’t there to chronicle this happy time, and even though she’s posting on social media, the scandal still gets brought up by commenters. So much has changed for Jessa compared to what Jill experienced, and it can’t be changed back. And that’s sad for her.”
With Josh in a sort of isolation, Jill out of the country, Jessa feeling a weird mix of jealousy and bitterness, and Jim Bob maintaining that there’s nothing to gawk at, this family seems a bit fractured — as to be expected. It seems the only thing they’re on the same page about is their support for Josh, whether they’re willing to be seen with him or not.