Josh Duggar still has a long way to go before his family will totally trust him again — if ever. While the former 19 Kids and Counting star has spent the past six months seeking treatment at an Illinois faith-based rehab center to address the sex scandals of his past, the Duggar family is slowly trying to put their own faith back in him.
In an interview with People, Josh Duggar’s sisters said they have forgiven him, but forgetting — and trusting him again — is a whole other ballgame. In the interview, Josh Duggar’s sister Jessa Duggar Seewald said the road to trusting Josh again will be a long one.
“I definitely have forgiven Josh. It is a process, though, that you have to work through in your heart. And trust is not quickly rebuilt. It is something that takes a while. We love him very much, though, and we are very hopeful for the future.”
Josh’s younger sister Joy Anna reiterated her sister’s sentiment that while she can open her heart to forgive her brother, trusting him again will take time.
“I have forgiven him and I feel that, but the trust is not there.”
Josh Duggar’s past came back to haunt him in 2015 after two scandals made headlines. After a past sexual molestation scandal from his teen years resurfaced, the former reality star was named last summer during the Ashley Madison hacking scandal, which revealed he had an account on the affair-seeking website.
Josh Duggar admitted that he has a pornography addiction and that he had cheated on his ever-faithful wife, Anna. Josh and Anna Duggar have four young children together: Mackynzie, 6, Michael, 4, Marcus, 2, and Meredith Grace, 7 months. The Ashley Madison scandal came just one month after baby Meredith was born, so Anna has been left as essentially a single mother while Josh seeks treatment in Illinois.
While Anna passionately defended Josh Duggar’s “teenage mistakes” after a molestation scandal involving his sisters came out, one month later, her world came crashing down after Josh’s high-profile Ashley Madison scandal was leaked, and she was left to raise her children alone.
While TLC canceled the Duggar family’s reality show after Josh’s scandals became public, the network aired a spinoff special, Jill and Jessa: Counting On, in December. In the update special, a tearful Anna Duggar addressed her husband’s infidelities, saying it was “heartbreaking to hear what had happened” with Josh. In addition, Josh’s sister Jill admitted that she cried “a lot of tears” when she first found out about her brother’s double life.
Still, the close-knit Duggar family is trying to get through this. In the new People interview, Jessa Seewald said she loves her brother Josh and wants to help make things better for his wife Anna Duggar and their four children.
“I love Josh and I want the best for him. There are a lot of people who have been hurt in this situation. I want to look for ways to help heal the situation for Josh and for Anna and their kids especially.”
Josh Duggar’s family will surely talk more about this topic on Jill and Jessa: Counting On, which has been picked up for a full season on TLC. In a new preview for the show, Anna Duggar admits she doesn’t know what she is stepping into when dealing with the aftermath of Josh’s infidelities and that the situation wasn’t anything she ever thought she would walk through.
Take a look at the video for more about Josh Duggar’s family’s TLC spinoff.
[Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]