They’re all connected. Kody Brown maintains separate relationships with each of his wives — but when he has trouble with one of them, everyone feels it.
“I cannot express enough how hard it is to be in a plural family where my husband and his other wife is having a problem and it completely affects my life, but I’m really supposed to stay out of it and I have no say,” Robyn Brown said during the Sunday, December 26, episode of Sister Wives. “The lines are hard between our different marriages because it’s like, ‘OK, you’ve got to respect that she’s got her own relationship with Kody.’ But at the same time, their relationship affects yours.”
Robyn, 43, was reacting to the way Meri Brown, Janelle Brown and Christine Brown were handling the rules Kody, 52, set up for how the family would interact amid the coronavirus pandemic. (The current season of Sister Wives was filmed in late 2020.)
Kody spent much of the early part of the pandemic with Robyn, which led to tension with the other wives. Meri, 50, was hit particularly hard given that her and Kody’s only child, 26-year-old Mariah, doesn’t live at home.
“As a family we haven’t really spent much time together and it’s … weird,” Meri said during the December 19 episode of the TLC series, adding that she felt “lonely” while quarantining. “I just miss my family.”
Robyn, for her part, said she wishes she could do something to help, because her sister wives’ unhappiness impacts her as well. “I love Meri and I hate that she is alone. I want her to be happy,” she said on Sunday. “If I could wave a magic wand that I had say over what was going on, I would make it so that Meri was happy — that her and Kody could figure their stuff out. But I can’t.”
Earlier this year, Robyn exclusively told Us Weekly that she “lost a lot of sleep” because of how much time he spent with her compared to his other wives.
“I can’t say [I felt] guilty because I’m not the one making the choices, but at the same time, it’s like, I do definitely feel bad and it’s made the whole family experience really hard,” she said in March. “This is not fair. I mean, I chose this lifestyle for a reason and when things are out of whack, it bothers me.”
Later in Sunday’s episode, Christine, 49, balked at Kody’s COVID-19 restrictions as well, telling him that she would “leave” if the family couldn’t spend Thanksgiving 2020 together. Shortly before season 16 premiered last month, she announced that she and Kody had called it quits.
“After more than 25 years together, Kody and I have grown apart and I have made the difficult decision to leave,” she wrote via Instagram on November 2. “We will continue to be a strong presence in each other’s lives as we parent our beautiful children and support our wonderful family. At this time, we ask for your grace and kindness as we navigate through this stage within our family.”
The same day, Kody released his own statement about the split, saying that her “decision to leave comes with a great deal of sadness.” He added that the duo would remain “committed” to coparenting their six children: Asypen, 26, Mykelti, 25, Paedon, 23, Gwendlyn, 20, Ysabel, 18, and Truely, 11. (The Wyoming native is the father of 18 children in total.
Sister Wives airs on TLC Sundays at 10 p.m. ET.