Almost two years after Josh Duggar headed for rehab following the bombshells that he cheated on his wife and molested some of his sisters, he’s back in the spotlight. Duggar has resurfaced amid rumors that his loyal wife Anna Duggar may be considering splitting from Josh.
When the Duggar family turned to Facebook recently to wish Josh happy birthday, the famous clan didn’t hesitate to hint that they continue to feel concerned about the oldest son, noted In Touch.
“Happy birthday, Josh. We love you, your amazing wife, and sweet children,” wrote the Duggars. “We pray that you diligently follow and serve the Lord with your whole heart all the days of your life and that this year is a wonderful year for you and your family.”
The Duggars soared to fame on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting. However, although Josh’s parents and most of his siblings appear to have welcomed him back after his stay in rehab following the scandal, TLC has taken a different approach.
After the news had broken about Duggar, the network canceled the original show. Also, TLC allegedly edited scenes of the 19 Kids and Counting spin-off show, Jill and Jessa: Counting On, to create a “fake sun glare” to edit out Josh. The alleged blocking of Duggar occurred during a wedding between Jinger and her new spouse Jeremy Vuolo.
Josh, now 29, and his wife Anna have four children — Mackynzie, Michael, Marcus, and Meredith. Anna recently returned to Instagram after avoiding the social media platform for more than a year, according to the International Business Times.
Although Duggar’s wife avoided revealing details about her life with Josh after his rehab stay, she “liked” a quote that resulted in speculation that the two are having problems. The quote that she liked hinted that Anna has been comparing herself to others.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Since Josh returned to his wife after rehab, she reportedly has been “struggling to get back to a normal life after the shocking revelations about her husband,” according to the media outlet. Anna’s sisters-in-law Jessa, Jinger and Jill have carved out a niche for themselves in the entertainment world, showcasing their happy relationships on TLC’s spinoff series Counting On.
In contrast, Anna is away from the spotlight. She has confessed that she turned to couples therapy in an attempt to heal her marriage to Josh. Social media users have shown sympathy to Duggar’s wife.
Announcing the arrival of Meredith Grace Duggar! 7lbs 14 ozs, 20-1/2in — Anna and Meredith are resting & doing well! pic.twitter.com/HfnuoZcSN7
— Josh Duggar (@joshduggar) July 19, 2015
“Comparison is the problem with people being happy with their lives now, because social media shows many things that many of us can’t afford or ever do,” speculated one commentator.
“I think Anna likely means that she’s comparing her husband with those who don’t cheat and lie.”
While Josh’s parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar seemed to show their acceptance of their son by posting their birthday wishes for him on social media along with a photo, some alleged that it was an old photo, raising questions as to whether Duggar’s parents wanted to focus on his pre-scandal days.
Speculation that Anna and Josh would split began soon after Duggar confessed that he had cheated on her and was addicted to porn. The oldest Duggar son also had allegedly molested some of his sisters when they were under-age. All of that led to the show’s cancellation and Josh’s stay in rehab.
Please read our family statement regarding our TLC show: http://t.co/TWgeqhmWDm
— The Duggar Family (@duggarfam) July 16, 2015
Last year, Anna and Duggar revealed in an announcement that they were working with a professional marriage and family therapist “to take important steps toward healing.” The couple also admitted that there were challenges.
“Some days are very difficult. It is a long road to rebuild trust and a truly healthy relationship,” they confessed.
As for how Josh’s scandal affected the rest of the family, some have pointed out that there’s a difference between forgiving Duggar and trusting him. In the wake of allegations that when he was a teenager, Josh sexually molested some of his own sisters, Joy Duggar was among those speaking out, noted Today.
“I have forgiven him and I feel that, but the trust is not there.”
Duggar, who previously was the executive director of the Family Research Council, also confessed to a porn addiction and cheating on Anna. He entered a rehab facility after writing a public apology on the family website, calling himself “the biggest hypocrite ever.”
Josh’s sister Jessa Seewald also said that she has forgiven her brother. However, she noted that it wasn’t easy.
“It is a process, though, that you have to work through in your heart,” said Jessa. “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.”
[Featured Image by Danny Johnston/AP Images]