Michelle Duggar's Secret Past

TLC celebrity Michelle Duggar is one of those reality stars who will probably always pique people's interest. From Duggar's big brood (19 kids, to be exact) to her signature soft voice, there are many things about her life that fans find captivating. But most of all, the public is especially interested in who she was pre-19 Kids & Counting and Counting On fame. That curiosity is legit when you consider Duggar rarely opens up about her personal history — something many people find suspicious. So, what's the deal with Duggar's hush-hush background? There has to be at least one or two skeletons lurking in her closet, right? 

As it turns out, there's a laundry list of secrets Duggar has kept under wraps throughout the years — a fact that might shock her conservative fanbase. Yep, while Duggar waxed poetic to reality show cameras about the importance of living a squeaky clean and honest life, she was concealing some explosive secrets of her own. Let's take a look at what Duggar has been hiding from us. 

Does Michelle Duggar disapprove of her sister's lesbian relationship?

Fans of 19 Kids & Counting might have noticed the odd fact that Duggar rarely talks about her extended family on-camera. Although one might reason that Duggar's silence is due to privacy concerns, that theory doesn't add up when you consider Jim Bob's relatives have made numerous cameos on the series. So, what gives? Well, one likely scenario is that Duggar may be ashamed of her lesbian sister, Evelyn Ruark. 

Ruark, who appeared once on the show in 2008, is rumored to be on the outs with her younger sibling — a revelation that might surprise her family-oriented fanbase. Making matters even more shocking is that Ruark and Duggar reportedly haven't been pictured together since 2014. Yikes. 

If you ask Ruark's partner of three decades, Sharon Callahan, the awkward situation might be beyond repair thanks to Duggar's involvement in the Quiverfull movement. The Quiverfull movement supposedly preaches anti-LGBTQ views — a suspicion that Callahan understandably finds concerning. "We are worried about them," Callahan said in December 2014 (via the Daily Mail). "We have often thought that QuiverFull is a cult. It appears to be brainwashing to me."

Michelle Duggar grappled with bulimia

Considering Michelle Duggar is tight-lipped about pretty much everything besides her kids' weddings and pregnancies, people were understandably shocked when she admitted to struggling with bulimia as a young teen. 

In a rare moment of candor, Duggar revealed that she became bulimic at age 14 in an attempt to cope with her body image issues. "I found out that genetically I could put on weight easily, but with my activities, gymnastics and cheerleading, it was important for me not to," Duggar told People. "I would look around and compare myself to my friends, saying, 'oh my, she's so small,' or 'she has such skinny legs.'" 

Her condition grew severe. "I didn't tell any of my friends what I was going through," she said. "I was doing it sometimes on a daily basis, or sometimes I would go a week. I felt this was the answer to my problems." 

Luckily, Duggar was able to overcome this serious issue when she met her now-husband, Jim Bob Duggar, at age 16. Michelle revealed that after she told Jim Bob her "secret," she was "set free" because he held her "accountable" each time she expressed a desire to go back to her old habits. As one might imagine, the support Jim Bob provided Duggar during this time is one of the reasons she fell deeply in love with him.

Jim Bob Duggar actually got to first base with Michelle before marriage

Speaking of Jim Bob Duggar, it sounds like he got a little nookie from Michelle Duggar before the two got hitched. Yep, you read that correctly: Michelle broke one of her infamous courtship (aka dating) rules to get it on with Jim Bob pre-marriage. But for those of you who think we're implying full-on sexy times right now, rest assured we're just talking about a kiss. 

"We did not save our first kiss for our wedding day and we really regret that we didn't," Duggar admitted (via Us Weekly)."We really should have." 

Of course, a smooch between two people who are dating isn't a big deal. Keep in mind, however, that we're talking about one of the most conservative couples around. Michelle and Jim Bob force their kids to take chaperones on their dates. Smacking lips during the dating stage is a big no-no in Duggarland — even if you plan to spend the rest of your lives together. So, the fact that Michelle and Jim Bob engaged in k-i-s-s-i-n-g before saying "I Do" is a remarkable piece of info. 

Michelle Duggar dressed provocatively as a teen

You don't need to be a 19 Kids & Counting diehard to know that Michelle Duggar prefers, ahem, conservative clothing. From prairie-style dresses to Duggar's controversial beliefs about dressing modestly, her distaste of revealing outfits is no secret. With that being said, we have a jaw-dropping truth bomb to fill you guys in on — Duggar supposedly was a fan of bikinis during her teenage years. 

Making matters even more wild, one of Duggar's former neighbors claims Duggar wore skimpy bathing suits while she mowed the lawn. The neighbors "used to complain because she'd mow the lawn in a bikini and wear short skirts," the neighbor told Star. "They were always trying to get her to cover up her legs. And so were her parents." Jeez, is that not shocking imagery or what

Needless to say, the ex-neighbor is shocked by Duggar's transformation from rebel teen to the woman who told TLC: "By keeping those private areas covered, there's not any 'defrauding' going on. My kids are taught the definition of defrauding as stirring up desires that cannot be righteously fulfilled. We don't believe in defrauding others by the way we dress." 

When the tea-spilling neighbor was asked about Duggar's transformation, he told Star: "I've seen commercials for the show, but I never in a million years would've believed that's Michelle!" Yeah, we're having a hard time wrapping our heads around this too.

Does Michelle Duggar have a bad temper?

One of Michelle Duggar's most well-known traits is her soft, baby-like voice. Sometimes she speaks so quietly, in fact, that it's hard to make out what she's saying. Considering how iconic Duggar's sweet-sounding mannerisms are (look up some parodies for reference), it may surprise you that she struggles with her temper. 

"I don't always stay calm," Duggar admitted (via The Christian Post). "Years ago the Lord really broke my heart about my anxiousness and my anger. I think we all struggle with that. The feelings of frustration and anger building up, and how do we deal with that?" 

Apparently, Duggar's anger issues became so overwhelming that she felt the need to apologize to her kids. "I just began to cry," Duggar recalled of her watershed moment. "I said 'I want you children to know that mommy loves you and I really am a nice person and I don't want you to think I'm this mean mommy.'" 

Following Duggar's revelation about her "mean-mommy" ways, she decided to "lower her voice and whisper." All's well that ends well, we guess? 

Michelle Duggar's sister passed away

As upfront as Michelle Duggar might be about her conservative views, she's less forthcoming about her family members. Case in point: When her sister, Kathie Ann Arnold, passed away in March 2013 at age 60, she didn't say one peep about the sad news publicly. Although it's not clear how Arnold died or if Duggar attended the funeral, it seems that this information was intentionally kept a secret. But why was Arnold's death hidden? 

One possible scenario is that Duggar was never close with Arnold, a theory that's backed up by a quote from her aforementioned sister, Evelyn Ruark. "I think my mother and father wanted two different families, because Michelle and Carol are the second generation. And the rest of us, the first five, were pretty much grown when they were younger," she said (via InTouch Weekly). 

Hmm, if Duggar didn't grow up with Arnold, it might explain why she chose not to address her death with fans. Another possibility is that Duggar wanted to keep Arnold's passing a family matter rather than a televised event, which seems totally fair.

Michelle Duggar was a cheerleader who... played the field

Although it's difficult to imagine Michelle Duggar with anyone other than Jim Bob Duggar, it's rumored that she dated other guys before they met. Apparently, Michelle's suitors were very attracted to her bubbly persona and cheerleading uniform. 

She "was a pretty, popular cheerleader who dated more than a few guys before Jim Bob," a supposed friend from high school told Radar Online. "The cheerleaders and football players all hung out and partied together, and she was part of that group. I can't believe she's changed so much!" 

Wait — Michelle was on the cheerleading squad? And she partied with high school jocks? This supposed secret might be one of the more juicer ones simply based on the fact that she has adopted an entirely new way of life today. Not only does Michelle abstain from drinking, but there's no way she would ever view dating around, at least in the aforementioned fashion, as acceptable for her own daughters. Trés interesting.

LGBTQ issues weren't always on Michelle Duggar's mind

It's not necessarily earth shattering news that the Duggars are rumored to hold anti-LGBTQ views. In fact, Michelle Duggar basically confirmed as much when she protested an anti-discriminatory ordinance protecting the rights of transgender people by recording a robocall against the ordiance. 

"I don't believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls," Duggar said about the proposed bill protecting a transgender person's ability to use public restrooms without restrictions, according to the Fayetteville Flyer. "I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space."

Although Duggar's ideas about the LGBTQ community aren't surprising, fans might find it hard to believe that Duggar was allegedly more open-minded in high school. "She was honestly one of the loveliest, sweetest people you could ever hope to meet," a woman who went to high school with Duggar told Radar Online. Her classmate was reportedly furious about the aforementioned robocall. "I don't understand what has happened to her heart," she said. "...When you [use] your words, actions, money and fame to further discriminate against an already marginalized group of people, you are a hateful bigot." 

Wait, Michelle Duggar took birth control?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Michelle Duggar conceived her 19 kids via a little something called unprotected sex. You don't end up with a soccer team of kids if you're using contraceptives, right? As it turns out, however, Michelle did use birth control at the beginning of her marriage to Jim Bob Duggar. Pretty wild stuff.

What's especially interesting to note is that Jim Bob was the one who spilled Michelle's birth control secret. "Believe it or not, when we first got married we decided we did not want to have children right away, so Michelle began taking birth control pills," Jim Bob wrote in a July 2016 blog post. "Three years into our marriage Michelle went off the pill and we had our first child. Then she went back on the pill, because we heard it was better to space your children out, but Michelle got pregnant while she was on the pill, and the pill caused her to miscarry. We talked to a Christian doctor and he explained that the pill could be abortive."

That idea — that birth control can cause a miscarriage — has been widely dismissed as a myth by top medical professionals.

But wait — this story isn't over just quite yet. Jim Bob also revealed that the couple stopped using birth control because of the aforementioned miscarriage. "We were so grieved ... we had lost our second child ... We asked God to forgive us, and we told God we want to follow Him with our lives and receive any blessings He wants to send our way."

Michelle Duggar didn't go to church as a kid

Considering Michelle Duggar is one of the most religious people on reality television, one might assume she had a religious past. Shockingly enough, however, Duggar didn't grow up in a religious household and she didn't attend church until she was a teenager. 

"When I was 15, I got saved and committed my life to the Lord. It was the first time I'd ever heard what Jesus had done for me and I had a hunger to learn about the things of God," she told Love to Know. "A friend went to the same church Jim Bob went to. She invited me to her church." 

Michelle's religious conversion led her into the arms of an already very religious Jim Bob. She recalled one of their first hangouts. "He brought me home and we discussed the Bible for four hours. I remember when he left, I ... looked up and said, 'Father, I can't imagine anyone better than this that you have planned for me. He's such a Godly man.'"

The crop job on Michelle Duggar's daughter wasn't personal

It's not exactly a secret that Jill Duggar and her husband Derick Dillard have been fighting with her parents, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar. According to The Sun, Dillard was "banned from the show" and has used social media to trash the family patriarch in the past. He reportedly called Jim Bob "the boss," claimed that he hoped Jill's brothers and sisters would "break free" from the family, and insisted that their TLC series "messed with" his own family.

Amid this drama, Michelle ended up taking the petty route — at least that's what it looked like to fans. As The Sun pointed out, Jill, who previously skipped out on her father's birthday party, seemingly patched things up with her parents and attended her sister Joy Austin's baby shower. Michelle posted pictures of the event on Instagram, but not before cropping Jill out of one of the snaps. The matriarch even owned up to cutting out her daughter in favor of her grandkids. "You can only fit so many in a square photo," she wrote in an Instagram comment. "Wanted to include some of the grandkids too!"

You heard it: Jill didn't make the cut, and it would appear that this family feud is very much kicking.

Michelle Duggar's secret code word for what?

Lust is a powerful thing. You never know when it's going to strike. Thankfully, Michelle Duggar has invented a pretty fool-proof way to nip lustful thoughts in the bud: using a code word. In the 2014 book Growing Up Duggar, the four Duggar daughters revealed that when they encountered "someone dressed inappropriately," their family used the code word "Nike" to help the men — which included their father Jim Bob Duggar — immediately stop thinking those kinds of thoughts about women. "That's a signal to the boys, and even to Dad, that they should nonchalantly drop their eyes and look down at their shoes as we walk past her," the Duggar girls wrote.

That's one way Michelle can reel them in. According to a source who spoke to People, the "Nike" code word is powerful enough that if Michelle utters it, it's always met with immediate action. "They say it, and all the boys look straight down to the floor every time. It's like an automatic military thing. Things like that blow my mind," the source claimed.