Another Sunday and once again Robyn Brown‘s relationship with the rest of the Brown family is more twisted than one of Kody Brown‘s curls. Sister Wives was back with the latest installment of season 18 and the family is no closer to a resolution in the wake of the Thanksgiving holidays.
TLC opens with Kody and his ex, Christine Brown, finishing up their incredibly awkward meet up in which Kody admits to having “anger issues,” and says plainly, “I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be here with her.”
“Christine herself, her face, doesn’t bother me. It’s what she’s doing with our children, talking behind my back about the reason she left,” Kody claims in his confessional interview.
Christine, who left Kody in 2021, takes great issue with this allegation, claiming she’s never tried to turn Kody’s kids against him.
“Kody can get mad at me about a lot of things. He can name-call me, that’s just fine,” she says. “But when he sits there and he tells me to my face that I am pitting his children against him, no, no, that’s not true. I am their sounding board. They get to talk to me about things that are hard and I listen.”
The newly single Utah resident laughs off Kody’s assumption that she is fixated on their split, saying, “I really think about him less than he thinks I think about him.”
And while Christine is trying to keep things civil with her ex, he seems to think it’s not genuine.
“I think she’s Machiavellian, she plays nice while stabbing me in the back,” Kody claims.
Christine thinks that Kody is trying to put the blame on her for the downfall of their plural family, but she feels that his actions are the culprit. And when he suggests “post-breakup counseling,” she laughs off his offer.
“Kody’s been bringing up going to counseling and therapy for years,” Christine says of the father of her six children. “We’re not going to do it. I’m just going to flat out tell you. He’s not going to.”
She adds once again, as if it weren’t perfectly clear, “I’m just super grateful that I’m not married to him anymore. Oh my gosh. It’s a lot. He’s just so intense.”
As the family celebrates their second divided Thanksgiving with Kody and Robyn, their kids, and Meri at Robyn’s house and the rest of the family spread out across the country, Christine describes the situation as a “breaking point.”
But Kody continues to claim that Robyn’s inclusion into the family all those years ago was not the reason things started to fall apart.
“The big shakeup wasn’t caused by Robyn, it was caused by the fallout of going public and that decision was made by our family before we met Robyn,” Kody says of the decision to appear as the stars of Sister Wives, which premiered in 2010.
Kody and Christine’s son, Paedon Brown, talks to his mother about the estrangement between his dad and the older kids, and negates his father’s claims.
“The purpose of going public was to say, ‘Polygamy works.’ I don’t think polygamy works in my family anymore,” Paedon says, adding, “My mom’s kids and Janelle’s kid have all chosen a side and to the best of my knowledge, all of us chose my mom.”
Janelle Brown also thinks that Kody needs to step in to try to resolve some of the drama in the family, pointing to the salesman’s declaration that he wants to restore “patriarchy” in his household.
“He needs to do something here. He’s the head of the family. He wants to be the patriarch, this is part of that role,” Janelle says.
Unfortunately things go south when Robyn suggests a family video chat between the older kids to possibly do a gift exchange.
“I was pushing for a video chat for the sake of the kids. And when I got all this pushback, I was like, ‘Why am I trying here?’… Then it just turned into this whole big squabble between my kids and the rest of the other kids,” Robyn says after Christine and Janelle explain that the kids were struggling to find a time that would work.
“Everyone was trying to deflect but it just kept spiraling. With some of the things that were said and expressed, I don’t know if we ever come back from it,” Janelle admits of the off-camera drama.
“I think Robyn jumped to conclusions too fast,” Christine expresses.
As for Kody, he claims to have stayed out of the text exchange.
“I was just ignoring it. I wasn’t going to pick sides,” Kody says.
But it’s clear that Robyn took great offense to the behavior of the other kids, saying, “It’s just another example of them not wanting to be a family with us. It’s been like this from the beginning. By the time the whole thing was over with, my older kids didn’t feel comfortable being involved in the gift exchange anymore.”
And though there had been hope that the family might be able to work things out moving forward, the holiday drama seems to have led to a potential “permanent separation,” according to Christine.
“I don’t think Robyn’s ever lived plural marriage, honestly, because as soon as she came into the family…” Christine begins before deciding against it and adding, “I just don’t even want to go down that road because it just doesn’t help with anything. It just doesn’t help with anything. I left Kody because I could see he had favorites, well, when you have a wife that’s a favorite, your other kids are going to see and they’re going to have a hard time with that.”
Janelle, who at this point is still married to Kody but struggling in her marriage, admits to feeling “stuck in the middle.” She also admits to a shocked Christine that things between her and Kody are not going well.
And when she tries to trace the origin of the turmoil, she too considers the possibility that things didn’t work out for the family after they tried to blend with Robyn’s family back in 2010.
“I don’t think it’s one-sided. There’s no one bad guy here,” Janelle says. “I just think this maybe goes back to when we blended families. We somehow missed something.”
Sister Wives premiered in 2010. In the show’s pilot episode, Kody announces to the rest of his plural family that he intends to court and marry Robyn. Robyn had been previously married to David Jessop and came with three children from her previous marriage. Kody’s implied favoritism of Robyn has been a sticking point in all of his other marriages. Christine left him in 2021. Janelle confirmed she and Kody have separated in the One-on-One special this past January and recently described her marriage as “over.” And Meri “permanently terminated” her marriage to Kody after years of estrangement in January.
New episodes of Sister Wives air Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.