Audacious as ever, Kody Brown has blamed Christine of Janelle “rejecting” him.
Why? Because the two of them talk. And because their kids (who are, after all, siblings) are close.
But Sister Wives viewers know the truth: whether he means to or not, he has been pushing her away for some time.
Let us count the ways.
Money has been a huge issue for the Sister Wives for a long time. Or, more directly, the inequality of it all.
They sold their Vegas homes before moving to Flagstaff, Arizona.
Janelle gave half of her money to Robyn, who had to make an emergency home purchase while others rented. Meri gave her all of her home sale money. Kody must have been almost happy with her!
Money can do more than make-or-break a relationship. It can give people the power to leave a bad marriage when they want to.
(This is not exclusive to plural marriages. People who know that they’ll still have a roof over their heads are more free to end toxic relationships)
Christine, who bought and later sold her house in Flagstaff, had the financial edge to ditch Kody when she was ready to. Good for her!
Janelle was not so fortunate. And if Kody had his way, she’d be even less independent.
Remember, he was royally peeved when she bought her five-wheeler (colloquially called an RV). In his mind, that money could have gone towards a house.
For the record, Janelle spoke to Kody before making the purchase. He just didn’t listen to her. This is about more than just money, after all.
Coyote Pass debates aside, Janelle has displayed a lot of caution when it comes to finances.
She is willing to live in downright humble lodgings — like the five-wheeler. Not everyone would be willing to; not if they had other options.
And Janelle’s frugal approach has not always been out of necessity. For years, she was the highest earner in the family.
Remember, it’s not like Janelle was fighting against being “tied down” or whatever.
She wanted to pay things off sooner rather than later and get to work building in Coyote Pass.
Kody’s refusal to listen held her back. And it may have cost him another wife.
Kody also unilaterally banished Janelle’s adult sons last season.
Now, failing to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines is a pretty reasonable bone to pick with someone.
But the way that Kody went about it made it seem like he was forcing Janelle to choose between him and her kids.
Meanwhile, Janelle’s kids themselves can’t have loved any of this.
They are also close with Christine — and always have been.
Janelle herself is closer than ever with Christine. While Christine is seeming to help her out a little to get her finances back on track, Kody sees this friendship as disloyal.
And then there are Kody’s mistakes that we haven’t seen yet.
In a teaser for the next episode, we see Kody angering Janelle.
He says that they haven’t been acting like a real married couple for the majority of their marriage. And then, it gets worse.
Kody suggests to Janelle that maybe they should just break up — end their spiritual marriage.
“Maybe this is not a good fit,” he tells her. “Maybe this doesn’t work.”
Meanwhile, he fears that “it feels like we’re unraveling.”
Kody knows whose behavior he’d love to see Janelle emulate.
“I have somebody in my life who is fundamentally loyal to me,” he taunts her.
“I’m not gonna become Robyn,” Janelle quickly tells him. We’re all rooting for Janelle to make a clean break. And if reports are true, she already has.