Counting Fans are extremely familiar with the Duggar family’s fundamentalist religious beliefs, and it appears that so far, all of Jim Bob and Michelle’s 19 children have had no problems accepting their extremely conservative lifestyle. The same can’t be said for the Dillard family.
Jim Bob and Michelle’s daughter Jill Duggar married Derick Dillard in 2014, and at the time, Jill’s in-laws appeared to have the same belief in God as the Duggars. But, Derick’s mom Cathy Dillard Byrum has written a new memoir, and she revealed that her oldest son Dan struggled so much with accepting his family’s religious beliefs that he lived a double life.
View this post on Instagram
It was so special getting to visit my father-in-law’s grave today and take new flowers (thanks mom!). He was an amazing man who helped raise the man of my dreams! 💙 Israel wanted to leave an orange handkerchief there for his grandpa too, so we put a stick in the ground and tied it on there. We miss you dad! 💕 Father’s Day is hard for those who have lost theirs.🌸 #rip #rickdillard #policeofficer #lawenforcement #father #grandpa @justdand @deena.dillard @cldilla @derickdillard
In her book I Shall Not Die: My Walk Through the Valley of Death, Cathy wrote that Dan called her in January 2015 after she survived stage four non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to tell her that he had been running from God despite his religious upbringing, but finally surrendered and let “Jesus come in and take over.”
“He now realized that had been a decision of his head and not his heart,” Cathy wrote. “He had grown up in church and knew all the right things to do and say, but in his words, he had been ‘living a double life.’ He never turned his life over to Jesus.”
A year later, Dan announced on Facebook that he had been on a “path to self-destruction,” and the difficult journey was full of struggles and pain. However, he did not face his troubles alone, and he told his Facebook friends that he was praying for them and what they were going through.
According to Radar Online, Dan never mentioned a struggle with addiction, but in February 2019 he spoke at the Boone County Opioid Prevention Project kickoff. Cathy didn’t get specific in her book about her son’s problems, but she did say that it was “obvious” he had carried a heavy burden for a long time.
Dan Dillard is now married to his wife and Deena, and they are the parents of a 10-month-old son named Jaxon.
View this post on Instagram
We had a fun day yesterday at #silverdollarcity with @justdand & @deena.dillard Even though we ran for shelter from the rain at the end of the day, most of the day stayed nice for us and we had a blast packing in the rides with the boys! We ended the day with a pizza dinner with the fam, then carried both sleeping boys to bed when we got home. 🍕 ❤️ 🌧 ☔️
Jill Duggar isn’t the only member of the family who has in-laws that aren’t totally on board with their religious beliefs. Jinger Duggar – who married Jeremy Vuolo in November 2016 – has a brother-in-law named Charles who is a producer and director, and he once directed a film titled Lupe which is about a trans immigrant struggling with their transgender identity.
The Duggar family has not been shy about sharing their anti-LGBTQ beliefs, but it appears that Jinger fully supports her brother-in-law and his work.
New episodes of Counting On will return to TLC later this year.