‘Sister Wives’: Is Kody Brown Open to One of His Wives Leaving the Family?

Kody Brown of TLC’s Sister Wives often comes up with big ideas that his wives aren’t quite on board yet.

First, the polygamist husband moved his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn Brown, and their many children from Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada, due to fears about potential prosecution. The Sister Wives family moved again five years later, from Las Vegas to Flagstaff, Arizona, after Kody said he was moved by divine inspiration.

Most recently, Kody announced he wanted to want to move his entire family into one shared home, in contrast to the cul-de-sac setup of four nearby homes the Browns had in Vegas. While fourth wife Robyn and first wife Meri seemed undecided, second wife Janelle was strongly in favor of the idea. Meanwhile, third wife Christine was adamantly against it.

The Sister Wives family sat down for a heart-to-heart about Kody’s dream of a shared home on the Feb. 9 episode, “An Awkward Valentine’s Day.” The conversation shifted into something even more uncomfortable for the spouses: the idea of a divorce between Kody and one or more of the wives.

Meri, Janelle, Kody, Christine, and Robyn Brown
Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, Kody Brown, Christine Brown and Robyn Brown | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Kody brought up the possibility of one of the spouses leaving

When Kody brought up the idea of sharing one large house, with separate areas for each of his four wives, at Christmas, most of them weren’t interested in the discussion.

“They didn’t seem receptive at Christmastime,” Kody admitted to TLC producers. “I kind of got myself in a little trouble. They’re silent and it’s discouraging because I put a lot into this.”

“It doesn’t seem like there’s any genuine curiosity on this,” he confessed, adding that it was hurtful for him because he longed for a shared home for the whole family so much.

As the Sister Wives stars sat down to discuss the blueprints for Kody’s dream house, the conversation shifted into resale and investment value on the property.

“We’ve decided we’re a family. But what if you decided we’re not a family anymore?” Kody asked rhetorically as his wives looked on awkwardly. A few of them groaned, feeling uncomfortable. “You’ve got to have an asset you can sell as you move on, we buy you out.”

Although his wives didn’t look happy with the notion, Kody insisted, “I’m just being realistic here.”

Robyn said she ‘respected’ Kody for bringing up the possibility of divorce

But Robyn, who was previously married and had three children with her ex (who have since been legally adopted into the Brown family) before she joined the Browns, said she actually appreciated discussing the idea of divorce.

“I actually respect Kody for this kind of talk,” she told Sister Wives producers. “I know what it is to be in a marriage and not want to be in a marriage anymore.”

In plural (polygamous) marriages, she explained, divorces are often complicated. In certain cases, partners might feel trapped, especially due to messy finances and their religious promises to be married to each other for eternity.

But the Browns have always emphasized individual choice and freedom, and Robyn said that value was also important to them in marriage.

“I’ve seen this so many times in a plural marriage where a wife realizes it’s not working for her anymore,” Robyn continued. “I don’t want to trap anybody here and I don’t want to be trapped here.”

Still, despite the discussion, Kody’s fourth wife clarified that she didn’t think this was a possibility anytime soon. “I know not every relationship is perfect here right now, but I don’t think anybody is considering leaving,” Robyn said. This might have been a clarification on Meri’s benefit in part, as rumors have swirled in recent years that Meri and Kody might end their marriage.

“I think we all should have the right and freedom to leave, even Kody,” Robyn asserted.

The four wives disagreed strongly on the potential of a shared home

As the conversation continued, Christine’s opposition to the idea of living with her sister wives became all the more obvious. “I really just like me tons better not living with any of them,” the Sister Wives star explained.

For her part, Meri said she was actually hurt by Christine’s comments. “There is a part of me that feels a little bit of rejection at Christine’s reaction,” she confessed, especially because she had felt left out of the family in recent years due to her legal divorce from Kody and empty-nester status. “I don’t know if any of that is personal to me, but I’m taking it personal.”

Meanwhile, Janelle thought the Browns’ “family culture” would thrive much more in a shared home. “I’m almost as blind to the cons as Christine is blind to the pros,” she confessed, adding that she was thrilled by the idea of sharing a house again.

Since Robyn had never lived in a shared home with the other wives, she said she was undecided on the idea. “I don’t have the experience to speak from,” she said, leaving it up to the rest of the family instead.