Jill, 32, opened up about her strained family dynamic in an interview with Access Hollywood coinciding with the release of her new book, Counting the Cost, on Tuesday, September 12, revealing that she’s in different places with Jim Bob, 58, and Michelle, 57.
“I saw my mom at a birthday celebration for one of my sisters,” Jill noted. “She’s always good about bringing birthday gifts over, Christmas gifts, things like that, but it is very complicated.”
When it comes to her father, however, the tension still appears to be high. “We mostly see him at weddings, funerals, and then sometimes a few other events here and there. But yeah, it’s complicated,” she explained. “We try to not involve my mom in too much of it.”
The Counting On alum continued: “We really don’t have a whole lot of conversations at this point in our relationship with my family about the whole family drama situation, because we feel like we have kind of just had to make our own decisions and realize that you can’t change people. They have to, like, make those decisions for themselves, which is hard sometimes.”
Jill has been on rocky terms with different members of her family since she and husband Derick Dillard chose to leave Counting On in 2017 after six seasons. She previously appeared with her parents and siblings on 19 Kids and Counting, which was canceled in 2015. Counting On was canceled by TLC in 2021. (Both cancellations were in relation to scandals involved Jill’s brother Josh Duggar.)
In October 2020, Jill informed fans in a YouTube video that she was “not on the best terms” with some of her relatives. “We’ve had some disagreements, but we’re working toward healing definitely and restoration, but we’re having to kind of just take some time and heal,” she explained.
Jill continued shedding light on her family relationships in Prime Video’s Shiny Happy People docuseries, which premiered in June, and in her new book. In an author’s note, she asserted that her goal in writing her memoir was not to “shame” the Duggar clan or “get their attention.”
Despite their distance, Jill told Access Hollywood that still spends time with her family when “it’s healthy for us or we’re in a good place.” She added, “And then other times, I just feel like I’m not there and not able to do that, so we have to draw that boundary.”
Dillard, 34, noted in the same interview that the pair have taken their therapist’s advice to heart. “One thing that helped us was something our therapist taught us, which was, ‘You have to be OK with other people not being OK,’” he said. “So I think we had to get to that point where we’re not going to convince other people, we can’t change other people. We just have to be OK with that.”
One sibling Jill can count on for support is her sister Jinger Duggar, who shared her own realizations about her religious upbringing in her book Becoming Free Indeed. “Jinger and I definitely have gotten closer through this process,” Jill said.
Jim Bob and Michelle, meanwhile, addressed Jill’s book in a statement ahead of its release. “We love all of our children very much,” they noted. “As with any family, few things are more painful than conflicts or problems among those you love. … We do not believe the best way to resolve conflicts, facilitate forgiveness and reconciliation, or to communicate through difficulties is through the media or in a public forum so we will not comment.”