Derick Dillard and Jill Duggar are praying to ‘restore relationships where there is brokenness’ after missing out on Duggar family gatherings.

Derick Dillard, 31, finally confirmed fans’ suspicions. After Counting On fans noticed the law school student and his wife Jill Duggar, 29, have been MIA for notable Duggar family events like Christmas and Thanksgiving in 2019, Derick further explained their situation in an interview with The Sun, published on June 7. “Because our visitation to the Duggar house has been restricted and that is where they and their spouses hang out, we have not been able to see other family as much as we would like, so that is difficult,” Derick told the outlet, referring to the giant Arkansas compound owned by Jill’s parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

The couple isn’t entirely estranged from Jill’s side of the family, however. “We do try to invite brothers and sisters-in-law over as much as they can come,” Derick clarified. He and Jill are even hoping to mend these shaky family ties; Derick added, “We hope and pray God would restore relationships where there is brokenness. But, at the same time, we recognize that only God can change people’s hearts and bring healing.”

Derick also teased details about his upcoming tell-all book, which fans have been eagerly anticipating in the wake of drama with Jim Bob. “Although the book will be inspired by our own journey, the goal is for it to be relatable, in that it will examine themes that have haunted people for ages,” he said. “Our story is difficult, but it is not unique.”

Although Derick confirmed his and Jill’s visitation restrictions in this interview, he had already hinted at them while responding to an Instagram fan in Dec. 2019. “It’s just harder now because we’re not allowed at the house when JB [Jim Bob] isn’t there. Jill even had to ask JB permission to go over to the house to help her sister when she was in labor because her sister wanted her help, but jill couldn’t provide the assistance until we got it cleared with JB,” Derick wrote in an Instagram comment, according to a screenshot on Daily Mail.

Around that same time, Derick called out both TLC (the network that airs Counting On) and Jim Bob. “So why does jimbob get all the money for the show and doesnt give any to the his children? the actual stars of the show,” a fan on Twitter asked in Oct. 2019, to which Derick replied, “I don’t know. You would have to ask him that.” Jim Bob hasn’t addressed his son-in-law’s allegations.

In Nov. 2019, Derick also tweeted, “@TLC has issues. They begged us not to quit filming, but then didn’t want to hear from us about why we quit. If money is all they care about, then it’s going to catch-up with them—you must care about people. All I’ve got to say is, they better lawyer-up b/c a storm is inevitable.”

Jill and Derick stopped making appearances on Counting On in 2017. Jill’s distance from her family’s extremely conservative lifestyle as independent Baptists has also been apparent in small details. For instance, the mother of two took fans by complete surprise when she promoted a bedroom advice book in Aug. 2019! Jill and Derick share two sons: Israel, 5, and Samuel, 2.

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