‘Counting On’ Viewers Are Convinced They Know What Really Caused Jill Duggar to Break Away From Her Family

Jill Duggar has made a 180 compared to the version of herself that fans knew three years ago. Duggar and her husband, Derick Dillard, were once stars of the Duggar family reality shows 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On. But in 2017, the couple left reality television behind for good.

It’s been largely suggested that Dillard is the one who convinced Duggar to break away. Still, some viewers are convinced he wasn’t the only reason Duggar decided to break away from her family.

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard recently spoke out about losing ‘control’ over their decisions

When Duggar and Dillard parted ways with Counting On in 2017, fans thought it was because of disrespectful comments Derick had made toward other TLC stars. But viewers have come to know that Duggar and Dillard had stopped filming for the show long before those instances. The couple has since revealed that it was Jim Bob Duggar’s tight leash that made them want to pull away.

The couple recently explained that they were not able to pursue their own goals as long as they continued filming the show. “Our control to choose what jobs we were allowed to accept and even where we were allowed to live was taken away from us,” Duggar 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,’” Dillard added.

Duggar and Dillard eventually carved out their own fan base, and she remains the most-followed Duggar on Instagram. Plus, she’s branched out, becoming more accepting of others and enrolling her son in public school — she even wears ripped jeans.

Jill Duggar with three of her sisters in 2014.
Jill Duggar with three of her sisters in 2014. | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

RELATED: Jill Duggar Opens Up About Family’s Reaction to Her Decision to Quit ‘Counting On’: ‘It Didn’t Go Over Well’

Viewers theorize that Dillard isn’t the reason Duggar was convinced to leave

For a while, fans have believed that Dillard was the one to recognize that Duggar’s family was too controlling. The Duggars were raised to allow the men in their homes to make the decisions, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Dillard was the one who wanted out.

However, critics of the show have a new theory. Some believe that Duggar’s travels helped her discover how sheltered her family had kept her throughout her life. Others think Duggar might have always wanted to break free but didn’t know how.

“I think their mission work kind of woke her up a bit … I think it showed her that people live differently and that the world is more than her parents taught her,” someone posted to Reddit of Duggar’s ability to break free.

“One of my theories … Is that Jill was not as deep in the Kool-Aid as we thought from the beginning,” someone else suggested. “I think that Jill was one of the more sincere believers. The thing is, when you sincerely believe something because you believe it’s true, and you’re genuinely seeking to deepen your understanding of that truth, you start shedding beliefs when you realize that they aren’t true,” someone added.

The real reason for Duggar’s inspiration to separate herself from the family remains unclear, but critics don’t believe it was all her husband’s doing. Some have also theorized that her cousin, Amy King, might have helped her distance herself.