‘Sister Wives’: Kody Admits He Knew He Was Hypocritical As a Young Polygamist Husband

Kody Brown of TLC’s Sister Wives has always been a strong, unrelenting advocate for the rights of people who practice polygamy – or, as the Brown family calls it in their fundamentalist Mormon sect, “plural marriage.” That’s why many Sister Wives fans were shocked when Kody told his four wives (Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn Brown) on the new season that he wasn’t interested in advocating for polygamy anymore.

With several fractured marriages under his belt, Kody reasoned, he could no longer honestly say he thought polygamy was always a good choice. On the most recent episode of Sister Wives, “The Basement Wife,” Kody explained that he realized later in life that he had been overconfident about his ability to make his wives happy in plural marriage.

Robyn, Meri, Kody, Christine, and Janelle Brown from 'Sister Wives' on the red carpet at Mike Tyson's one-man show at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in 2012 in Las Vegas
Robyn, Meri, Kody, Christine, and Janelle Brown | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Kody Brown was ‘critical’ of other polygamists as a young man

Kody looked back on his time as a young polygamous husband on Sunday’s Sister Wives episode. With his marriage to Robyn a rollercoaster, his marriage to Christine deeply troubled, and his relationship with Meri estranged, he realized that he might have been too judgmental of other husbands with plural wives in his youth.

“When Meri and I were newlyweds, and I was looking at these older polygamist men with their families, I was very critical about their family interaction,” the Sister Wives star admitted.

But now, Kody explained, he knew just how hard it was to sustain a polygamous marriage for many years. His epiphany made him wonder if the troubles he saw in others’ marriages were inevitable in most plural families.

“And here I am, 25 years later, seeing my wives in the same places that these other polygamists had their wives that I was so critical of,” he revealed. “But now I’m thinking, maybe, honestly, you morph to that. Maybe that’s what these wives wanted. Maybe that’s what my wives want.”

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The ‘Sister Wives’ star admitted he didn’t think his wives wanted relationships with each other

Ultimately, Kody told Sister Wives producers, he simply didn’t think his four wives wanted to be friends. Unless they took the initiative themselves, he didn’t believe it would ever happen.

“Honestly, I just don’t think my wives really want to be together that much, because if they did, they would,” he argued.

Kody’s ideal for the Brown family was for them to live under one roof as a cohesive whole. But that just didn’t seem to be their fate. Now, his wives were only together in person about once a month – and they showed no signs of wanting to change that.

“It settles to a baseline of what is comfortable and normal for a family,” Kody mused. “Where my ideal is at – with this other place where we’re interacting all the time, we live next to each other, we’re always interacting – I don’t believe they want that because that’s not what they’re comfortable with.”

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Kody’s wives were ‘more comfortable’ being apart, he reasoned

After years of trying to find a way to get his four wives and their children under one roof again (as they’d once lived in Lehi, Utah), Kody admitted he was just about ready to give up on that dream.

Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn were now scattered in different homes around Flagstaff. To Kody, that’s what they seemed to prefer.

“I swear, they’re so much comfortable here with us being farther apart and less interactive,” the Sister Wives star lamented.

While the state of the Brown family culture and overall dynamic did seem to “worry” his wives, Kody shared, he ultimately believed they were no longer comfortable sharing space together too often.