Jill Duggar and her husband, Derick Dillard, saved their first kiss for their wedding day, but Jill might not be the only girl Derick has ever locked lips with.
The Duggars’ reality series, Jill & Jessa: Counting On, has been picked up for another season by TLC, and the Duggars are using the renewed interest in their family to sell copies of Growing Up Duggar. The book was previously released in 2014, but the Duggar Family Blog reports that it has been updated with “never-before-shared stories of courtship and marriage from Jill (Duggar) Dillard, Jessa (Duggar) Seewald, Derick Dillard, and Ben Seewald.”
The Duggar Family Blog has published a few excerpts from the book, and many of them are anecdotes that fans of the Duggars have already heard multiple times on 19 Kids and Counting and Jill & Jessa: Counting On. This includes Jill Duggar’s recollection of how she and Derick Dillard met.
“As Derick said, he and my dad had a prayer-partner relationship for about a year and a half. My dad was impressed with Derick, and his confidence made me feel more secure about getting to know Derick better. My dad said we might have a lot in common, and suggested that we start texting.”
However, the Growing Up Duggar update does include one new juicy tidbit of information. Jill and Jessa’s husbands were asked to contribute to the book, and Derick Dillard confesses that Jill wasn’t his first girlfriend; he actually went on numerous unchaperoned dates before he met his bride-to-be and agreed to follow Jim Bob Duggar’s strict courtship rules. Jinger Duggar is currently courting a pastor named Jeremy Vuolo, so the courtship rules will likely be the focus of a future Jill & Jessa: Counting On episode. They include no hand-holding until a couple is engaged, having text messages monitored by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and saving their first kiss for their wedding day.
“I had had a couple of girlfriends before meeting Jill, and chaperoning was new to me,” Derick revealed. “But just because I had handled relationships one way in the past didn’t mean I couldn’t do it differently going forward.”
Jill Duggar did not have a couple of boyfriends before she dated Derick Dillard; he was her first and only everything, and this is the way the Duggars wanted it to be. According to Rewire, the Duggars believe that you give away “pieces of your heart” by dating multiple people, making it impossible for you to give your future spouse your “whole heart.”
The Washington Post calls the Duggars extreme views on dating and sex a “dangerous cult of purity” and points to Jim Bob Duggar’s Parable of the Cup of Spit as an example of what the Duggars think of people who date around.
“What if we were at a meeting with about one hundred other people and the speaker asked that a large cup be passed around and that everyone spit in the cup? What if you happened to be all the way in the back – the last person on the last row – and when the cup finally came to you the speaker asked you to drink out of the cup? What would you do?”
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar believe that their strict courtship rules protect their daughters from being viewed as cups of spit with missing heart pieces, and one of their most important rules is that Jim Bob Duggar is given a very big say in who his daughters marry. This is evidenced by Jill’s anecdote above about how Jim Bob pushed her and Derick together after deciding that he liked the aspiring missionary.
In Josiah Duggar and Marjorie Jackson’s courtship announcement video below, Josh Duggar helps them explain how courtship is different than dating. The aim of courtship is marriage, but things don’t always work out; as People reports, Marjorie broke things off with Josiah four months after they filmed the 19 Kids and Counting teaser.
Even when courtship ends in a seemingly happy marriage like it did with Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard, all that emphasis on staying pure can have long-lasting negative effects on a young woman’s psyche. A married Recovering Grace writer who was forced to follow similar courtship rules explains how her parents’ teachings have made it difficult for her to simply be around men without feeling guilt and shame.
“Where others see nothing wrong, I am suspicious of every look, every situation, every witty exchange. I am still uncomfortable hugging one of my best friends who is a guy because we were taught never to hug or have physical contact, even innocent, with a guy. Voices in my head scream ‘defrauder!’ just because I gave a friend a quick hug. I feel ill at ease sometimes even talking to other men… We were taught never ever ever to be alone with a guy because it could look bad. He could be tempted.”
If purity is so important to the Duggars and those who share their beliefs, why would Jim Bob see nothing wrong with marrying Jill Duggar off to a man who had multiple girlfriends before meeting her? And is Jill struggling with feelings similar to those expressed by the Recovering Grace writer now that she’s married? Unfortunately for Duggar fans who want answers to these questions, these are not the kind of topics that Jill & Jessa: Counting On or Growing Up Duggar touches on.
[Image via TLC]