Anna Duggar Calls Josh Duggar’s Cheating, Ashley Madison Scandal “Such a Betrayal for a Spouse”

Calling a spade a spade. Anna Duggar opened up about the heartbreak and hurt she experienced after her husband Josh Duggar’s bombshell cheating scandal broke this past August in the first part of the Jill & Jessa: Counting On TLC special that airs this Sunday, December 20.

“It was definitely a hard thing, and I think it was such a betrayal for a spouse to go through what we’re walking through — and . . . it was hard,” she said in a teary confessional. “It was hard to realize that it was such a public thing, so not only was it a betrayal for me, but it was also a betrayal against those who call themselves Christian, because here we were as a Christian couple and everyone was able to see us get married and to vow before God to be loyal to each other. And [then] that loyalty was broken.”

Anna Duggar
Anna Duggar.

Anna, 27, added that she considered the disgraced former Family Research Council board member her “first love,” which added hurt to the painfully public scandal.

“I knew that my only hope was to cling to my faith, because I knew that if I went with what I was feeling, then I would turn a mess into a disaster,” she recalled. “I was praying to God to help me know how to respond to this. I didn’t know what to do . . . but I hoped that God would give the help and the wisdom that we needed to take the next step.”

In August, news broke that Josh, also 27, had been leading a double life involving a membership with Ashley Madison, a website dedicated to helping married people conduct affairs. His account was among the millions that were exposed in a hack of the site, along with details that he listed interests like “one-night stands” and “experimenting with sex toys.”

Just a few months earlier, it was revealed that Josh had molested five girls in 2002, when he was 14 years old — two of whom were his now-married sisters Jill and Jessa Duggar.

Anna Duggar and Josh Duggar pose during the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center on February 28.
Anna and Josh Duggar pose during the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center on Feb 28. Kris Connor/Getty Images

Fellow Duggar sister Jinger voiced her respect for the way Anna handled the entire situation.

“Anna is amazing,” the 21-year-old said tearfully during a confessional for the special. “She displays to each one of us what it means to have unconditional love, and she’s walking through this better than anyone of us could have ever imagined.”

Josh and Anna share four young children together — Mackynzie, 5, Michael, 4 Marcus, 2, and Meredith, 4 months.

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