Josh Duggar admitted to cheating on his wife Anna Duggar after the Ashley Madison data was leaked. (Photo: Kris Connor / GettyImages)
A Georgia mom’s Facebook post about Anna Duggar’s choice to stay with her cheating husband has gone viral, garnering more than 245,000 shares and more than 450,000 likes in less than a week.
In the post, Jessica Krammes Kirkland details the bind that Anna is in after her husband Josh admitted to using the infidelity website Ashley Madison to have an extramarital affair, and calls on other parents to help their children avoid a similar situation. The post is no longer public, but the text reads:
“I know everybody is laughing about this Josh Duggar story. Oh, a DUGGAR on Ashley Madison, it’s so rich! I wish more people would talk about Anna. I normally keep things light on Facebook, but let’s talk about Anna. Let me tell you: Anna Duggar is in the worst position she could possibly be in right now. Anna Duggar was crippled by her parents by receiving no education, having no work experience (or life experience, for that matter) and then was shackled to this loser because his family was famous in their religious circle. Anna Duggar was taught that her sole purpose in life, the most meaningful thing she could do, was to be chaste and proper, a devout wife, and a mother. Anna Duggar did that! Anna Duggar followed the rules that were imposed on her from the get-go and this is what she got in reward- a husband who she found out, in the span of 6 months, not only molested his own sisters, but was unfaithful to her in the most humiliating way possible. While she was fulfilling her ‘duty’ of providing him with four children and raising them. She lived up to the standard that men set for her of being chaste and Godly and in return, the man who demanded this of her sought women who were the opposite. ‘Be this,’ they told her. She was. It wasn’t enough.
What is Anna Duggar supposed to do? She can’t divorce because the religious environment she was brought up would blame her and ostracize her for it. Even if she would risk that, she has no education and no work experience to fall back on, so how does she support her kids? From where could she summon the ability to turn her back on everything she ever held to be sacred and safe? Her beliefs, the very thing she would turn to for comfort in this kind of crisis, are the VERY REASON she is in this predicament in the first place. How can she reconcile this? Her parents have utterly, utterly failed her. Think of this: somewhere, Anna Duggar is sitting in prayer, praying not for the strength to get out and stand on her own, but for the strength to stand by this man she is unfortunately married to. To lower herself so that he may rise up on her back.
As a mother of daughters, [Anna’s situation] makes me ill. Parents, WE MUST DO BETTER BY OUR DAUGHTERS. Boys, men, are born with power. Girls have to command it for themselves. They aren’t given it. They assume it and take it. But you have to teach them to do it, that they can do it. We HAVE to teach our daughters that they are not beholden to men like this. That they don’t have to marry a man their father deems 'acceptable’ and then stay married to that man long, long after he proved himself UNACCEPTABLE. Educate them. Empower them. Give them the tools they need to survive, on their own if they must. Josh Duggar should be cowering in fear of Anna Duggar right now. Cowering. He isn’t, but he should be. He should be quaking in fear that the house might fall down around them if he’s in the same room as she. Please, instill your daughters with the resolve to make a man cower if he must. To say “I don’t deserve this, and my children don’t deserve this.” I wish someone had ever, just once, told Anna she was capable of this. That she knew she is. As for my girls, I’ll raise them to think they breathe fire.“
Kirkland later told CNN that she wrote the post because, “I just couldn’t stop thinking about Anna. … I feel for her.”
Kirkland’s concern for Anna Duggar isn’t unusual. The 19 Kids and Counting star’s brother Daniel Keller posted a message on Facebook earlier this week, saying (among other things) that Josh Duggar “brought so much disgrace” on his family, adding “I won’t stop trying to get that pig out of our family.”
Anna Duggar’s situation and choice to stay with her cheating husband has inspired countless social media posts from strangers about her well-being.
Why do we care so much?
It’s human nature, licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, tells Yahoo Health. “We are drawn to follow situations and events that remind us of our own fears and insecurities,” she says. “Nothing promotes more insecurity than the idea of being completely vulnerable in a relationship and being betrayed.”
We often look to celebrities and other role models to show us how to navigate these life challenges, she says. And, when they make a move that seems like a mistake, it reinforces that bad things happen to everyone — which can shake us.
The betrayal aspect is also compelling and upsetting, even though we don’t know Anna Duggar.
“We can’t help but feel understandable anxiety watching this injustice, and want an outlet for our anger and our fear,” says Clark. “We want the injustice to be corrected.”
And, of course, we’re worried about the impact it may have on our own lives. If Josh Duggar, a self-proclaimed family man with conservative values, will cheat on his wife, what does that mean for the rest of us?
The cheating in particular resonates with people, says Clark, because most of us have serious fears about being the victim of infidelity and betrayal.
As a result, we speak up on social media and talk about it with friends in an attempt to make us feel better about the situation — and hope on some level we may help change the status quo.
Despite the best efforts of many fans, it sounds like Anna Duggar has no plans to leave her husband. Per Keller, “she said she’s staying where she’s at.”
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