Janelle reconsiders her future with Kody after celebrating the holidays without him — accusing him of only "getting angrier and angrier" amid issues with his children.
Kody and Janelle Brown are heading in two totally separate directions — and she’s not even sure if reconciliation is something she wants going forward.
Sunday night’s season premiere of Sister Wives showed the polygamist family more at odds than ever before, following accusations Kody favors his family with wife Robyn more than the rest of them.
Kody married his first wife Meri in 1990, before Janelle joined the family with a spiritual marriage in 1993. Christine was next, spiritually marrying into the family in 1994, before Robyn did the same in 2010. Kody then divorced Meri so he could legally marry Robyn in 2014. 18 children later, Christine was the first to go her own way in 2021, then he and Janelle “separated” sometime in 2022, before Meri and Kody also announced in January they had “permanently [terminated] our marriage relationship.”
This week’s episode went down around Thanksgiving 2022, which both Janelle and Christine celebrated with their respective children instead of joining Kody, Robyn and Meri for one big family celebration. Though Janelle had “mixed thoughts” about not being with everyone else, she told viewers she had a “perfect” holiday amid ongoing tensions between Kody and some of his kids.
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“I told the kids what their dad was requiring of them in order to come to Thanksgiving, that’s what I did, I delivered the facts,” she said in a confessional, adding that Kody needs to step up and “do something here” about his strained relationship with his children. “He needs to do something here. He’s the head of the family, he wants to be the patriarch.”
“We’re not a family, we’re acting like animals,” added Kody, before Robyn said how her own children have allegedly been affected by the drama.
“My three older kids … they dealt with feelings of rejection, or hurt, of heartbreak. The question was asked, why don’t they care?” she claimed. “They’ve dealt with that heartbreak before. So just reminding them it’s not necessarily personal, apologizing to them for being innocent parties in this.”
Amid the separation, Janelle was seen setting up her new apartment, where Christine visited to offer some support.
“I just am taking it day by day,” she said, before shedding some more light on her and her kids’ issues with the family patriarch. “Kody always was a really engaged father, it’s one of the things I admired most about him. When Covid happened, the relationships with my children — my boys especially — really broke down and I think that opened the door for older complains to come up again.”
“I’m stuck in the middle. My boys feel like there’s been a definite favoritism on time and energy poured into the different households,” she explained.
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In his own confessional, Kody said “always” wants relationships with his children, but said that as the kids get older, “these relationships, they go both ways.” He went on to say that while he has not demanded his sons “apologize” for their behavior during their Covid disagreements, he added that he did want to “communicate with them and talk” to “clear the air on all these rumors going on in this family.” That, it appears, hasn’t happened yet.
Janelle said she was “not optimistic” about them all being able to work things out, while making it clear she doesn’t think Kody is the only one at fault in the situation. “I don’t think it’s one sided, there’s no bad guy here,” she added, saying, “I just think this maybe goes back to when we blended families, we somehow missed something.”
In a confessional, Janelle said that it can be hard to blend so many different family members, saying that, for her children, they “remember a lot of hurts” when others were added into the mix. “I know they tried hard to integrate everybody but maybe there were always cracks,” she then suggested. She also said she’s not even sure how much she wants to mend things at this point, unsure if it’s even worth it anymore.
“Do we keep working for this? He seems so set about the kids respecting him and my kids are like, ‘What?’ Everybody’s angry,” said Janelle. “There’s a lot of moving pieces and I’m worried they’re not gonna do the work because everybody is so angry, Kody is so angry about this. He’s getting angrier and angrier, sharper and sharper, more black and white with me about these kids need to respect me.”
“It’s just getting so hard, it’s getting really complicated. We’re not getting divorced, we’re not walking away, I don’t know what to do,” she added.
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“I’m not going to sit here and try to put together this relationship post-children leaving when there’s not a lot in common,” she continued, referring to her own fractured relationship with Kody. “I don’t even know who this guy is anymore. I just don’t see that it’s really worth the work.”
She then called out both Kody and Robyn for, as she saw it, finding new ways to keep the rest of the family at a distance after using Covid as an excuse during the pandemic.
“Now that Robyn, Kody and the kids have all had Covid and there’s no fear to separate because of the disease, ‘We can’t get together until we sort this all out.’ Now that’s their new drum, it’s the new excuse to keep everybody apart,” she said. “It’s interesting because there is a lot of unsettledness with the rest of my life, but with my children and Christine it seems normal, it seems stable, how it always was.”
“With Kody at odds with my children and Kody and I at odds at our relationship, it really kind of gave me a time to reflect on what I needed in my relationship going forward with Kody,” she concluded. “Kody and I weren’t in that great a place going into this situation and I don’t know what the future is for Kody and I going forward. Can it be saved? I have no idea.”
New episodes of Sister Wives drops Sundays on TLC, MAX and Discovery+
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