“Kody does a very good job of keeping things very separate. He doesn’t usually talk about the other wives with me. If he did, I wouldn’t really want to because I wouldn’t want to hear it,” Janelle, 51, told Us Weekly exclusively while promoting season 15. “I just think that’s dangerous for my relationship because I need to have a separate relationship.”
Janelle, who married Kody, 52, in 1993, three years after he married Meri, 50, added that she knows “they have struggled for a long time,” and it hasn’t been easy to watch.
“It really kind of hurts when I see them not good because it sort of spills over into the families,” the mother of six added. “It doesn’t feel like everything’s completely calm, completely whole. I’m always trying to advocate and go to bat for both of them. And it’s a hard thing, I think, really for the whole family. When one relationship struggles, they all struggle.”
Meri and Kody’s relationship troubles have been highlighted in the current season of the TLC reality show, displaying them going to therapy together.
“I know that they’ve had some deep troubles, but I don’t go asking,” Janelle added. “I just think sometimes they’re entitled to their privacy. And unfortunately, there’s not quite that level when you’re public.”
During a recent episode, Kody said that neither he nor Meri saw “real value in the relationship” — a statement she wasn’t thrilled to hear.
“I did not agree with that statement then, nor do I now because I think there is value to it,” Meri told Us exclusively on March 10 about the comment. “It’s always hard looking back over, you know, some of the not so good and not so graceful moments of the show.”
She added that it made her “sad” to hear, but noted, “I can’t control what he thinks or feels. All I can do is show up as the best version of me.” As for where they stand now, she said she’s “at peace” with their marriage but “there is always improvement to be made.”
Sister Wives airs on TLC Sundays at 10 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi