“At one point,” Anna says, “I was like, ‘I feel like I’ve been in labor for like days.’ It’s like when you’re in labor, you just make it through the next contraction and go on and I think there’s been a lot of that lately, of just taking the next step and going on.”
These are the words of Anna Duggar, who was cheated on by her husband Josh Duggar, he formerly of ’19 Kids and Counting’ fame. Josh has also admitted to an addiction to porn and a past history of touching children inappropriately, to include his own sisters.
Anna has also stated that she will forgive Josh and participate in repairing their marriage.
This is the short backdrop to what will surely be a painful attempt at capturing my thoughts on Anna Duggar, labor pains and moving on. I say this because it has already taken me two hours to settle on the 155 words you’ve read so far in this article. I’ve typed, deleted, re-typed and deleted some more.
I find her comparisons dangerous, naïve and shortsighted and portraying my thoughts and rationale in a clear manner has proven more challenging than expected; though I shall try nonetheless. Before I continue, I do want to express my sorrow for Anna and any other person on this green earth that goes through what she has gone through. For while I find her comparisons and desire to participate in repairing their marriage troublesome, I still ache for her.
I do not ache for Josh. He made his bed and unfortunately, Anna will remain sleeping in it with him. In this, Josh got to have his cake and eat it too. Anna, meanwhile, is going through ‘bad labor pains’, to put the experience in her own words. She has cried. She has contemplated her future.
She has cried.
She has contemplated her future.
She has wondered what was so wrong with her that Josh had to step out on her. But last I checked, the end result of being ‘in labor for like days’ is the arrival of a beautiful and healthy child in the arms of a beautiful and healthy mother. This is a positive end-state to a pregnancy that can often be physically and emotionally painful and wrought with morning sickness.
Anna, what is the positive end-state that befalls you in your continued relationship with Josh?
Can you explain the parallel of morning sickness with learning that your husband has slept with porn stars?
Is making it ‘through the next contraction’ akin to making it through the list of children Josh touched in an inappropriate manner?
I ache for you Anna, for I know not where your confidence is, nor do I believe you truly know what you need and what you want. And while my questions may appear sarcastic, my intent is pure. You are a beautiful woman that deserves more than you got and yet you’re content to move forward with the same boy that gave it to you.
Taking a step back from my passionate diatribe, allow me to make some obvious statements. I have not been nor will I ever be pregnant. In this, I have not experienced labor pains. I also understand that different people view marriage, commitment, understanding and forgiveness differently. In this, responses to my questions may be as simple as, “I love him and believe he will change” or “I take my vows seriously and we will prevail”. I asked a female colleague what she thought about the comparison to labor pains and she noted that if someone has the mindset to move on, they will see the pain, like labor pains, as temporary and thus the comparison valid.
Earlier, I used three words to describe Anna’s comparison:
Naïve, dangerous and shortsighted.
I chose them carefully. Anna Duggar also knows what she says as her words are chosen very carefully. The difference is, hers are largely chosen by those that mind her reputation and affiliation with both the church and the Duggar media empire. And yet, a lot of what she says will set the stage for how she acts and the life she is allowed to live. As well, there are people that look up to her and follow her. So yes, comparing moving on from what Josh did to temporary contractions and labor pains is dangerous.
Anna is convincing herself that they were temporary acts from a husband that had temporary lapses in judgment. Anna’s watchers are convincing themselves that a strong woman of god and the church can and should see past these things and repair the vows that were broken not once, not twice, not three times, but dozens of times. These are shortsighted remarks made by a sweet but naïve woman who cannot see the forest (her long term happiness, effects on her children, etc.) through the trees.
There goes that ache again.
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