Trying times. Though Anna Duggar, 34, is “making the best of raising her children without Josh [Duggar],” getting through the festive months has proven to be tough for the mom of seven, a family insider tells In Touch.
“The holidays have been difficult,” the source says. “Josh has done terrible things – she’s still dealing with that betrayal, but she misses him. Josh is all she knows; they met in 2006. He was a good boyfriend, husband and dad until he wasn’t.”
Unsolicited opinions about how she should approach her marriage are adding to Anna’s holiday stress, the insider tells In Touch. Mixed messages from her inner circle aren’t making the 19 Kids and Counting alum’s life any easier.
“It might be a cut and dry decision for others, but it’s not that simple for Anna,” the source shares. “ Her faith has been tested, but she’s stronger than people think.”
Josh, 34, spent his first of many Thanksgivings behind bars at Federal Correctional Facility in Seagoville, Texas, as his family celebrated the holiday. Though siblings Jana Duggar, Justin Duggar and James Duggar enjoyed some pre-Thanksgiving festivities together on Wednesday, November 23, Anna was noticeably absent from the celebration.
Just one week earlier, Anna appeared to be missing in action at sister-in-law Joy-Anna Duggar’s gender reveal party. Of Anna’s new boundaries with her in-laws, a source previously told In Touch that the former reality TV personality “could use some distance” from Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar as Josh continues to serve his sentence.
A separate source told In Touch in October that while Anna has attended Duggar events from time to time – like the family’s fall festival held earlier in November – things have changed. “The Duggar family fully supports Anna, but it’s complicated. There are a lot of hurt feelings over what Josh did,” the insider noted of their family dynamic. “She still attends family functions because her kids love their cousins, aunts and uncles, but it’s not the same for Anna.”
The disgraced 19 Kids and Counting star was arrested in April 2021 and later sentenced to nearly 13 prison after being found guilty of one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography by an Arkansas jury in December 2021. The latter charge was dropped at the TLC personality’s May 25, 2022, sentencing.
Despite Josh’s original sentencing, his release date is scheduled for August 12, 2032, meaning he’ll spend a little more than a decade behind bars, In Touch exclusively learned in June 2022.
His legal team has since appealed the charges, the latest legal move having been filed on October 3. The United States government responded to the motion more than one month later, and both sides presented their arguments in court on November 22. A decision about the appeal has to be made as of publication.
Reps for Josh and Anna Duggar did not immediately respond to In Touch’s request for comment.