Janelle and Kody Brown recently confirmed they've been separated for months. In light of the news — which was revealed in the trailer for the upcoming "Sister Wives: One on One" specials— last night's episode of the TLC show takes on a new layer of meaning.
The Season 17 episode focused on tension between Kody and his second wife, Janelle. Janelle tells Kody she feels he's forcing her to choose between him and her children and nearly walks out of a family meeting in the latest episode of "Sister Wives."
The mother of six, who recently opened up about Kody's strained relationships with two of his sons, tells Kody, Meri and Robyn that several of her children are renting a house for Christmas so they can visit her in a neutral location since they're "not welcome" around Kody.
Kody had previously said he didn't want his children to visit his house until they apologized to him for disrespecting his COVID-19 protocols. But in the meeting, he reverses his tone and says he just wants to have a conversation with his sons.
When Kody suggests that Janelle has played a role in his rift with his children by not supporting his COVID-19 protocols, she speaks up.
"Kody, you are asking me to choose between my children and you," she says, adding that he keeps changing his rules.
At this point, Kody stands up and appears to get angry.
“I was trying to protect (my kids) and I got criticism from you and from my boys, the worst criticism, zero respect. You guys wonder why I'm mad. I've gone 18 months being persecuted by my own family for trying to protect them," he says.
Janelle explains that she and Kody see the situation very differently and says, "It's not my fault. You're acting like this is my fault."
In a confessional, Janelle says she was in an impossible situation trying to navigate relationships with her adult children and Kody, who was enforcing very strict COVID protocols.
"Kody’s acting like I was a COVID denier. I was not a COVID denier. I followed all the CDC rules, I wore a mask, I washed my hands, I was careful, I’m vaccinated for crying out loud," she says.
In the confessional, Janelle goes on to express her frustration over the way Kody is speaking to her.
"I don’t have to stand here and defend myself. This is the same old argument. I don’t need to be beaten into submission (or) made to kowtow. I’m just not. I just don’t need this," she says. "In the last 18 months I’ve realized that I’m pretty good, I’m independent. And I’m not gonna stand here and be yelled at. I just don’t need it. I don’t deserve it."
Back in the meeting, Janelle says she wants to table the discussion and Kody accuses her of running from their problems.
"I just survived a really really dark place. You don't give a sh— though. Look at you, dismissing it. Would you ever have any empathy for me? When you're in pain, I try to understand you," he says.
With that, Janelle stands up and starts to leave. Kody warns Janelle that it’s a “really bad idea” for her to walk away. Robyn pleads with both of them to calmly continue the conversation. She decides to stay and Kody apologizes.
Earlier in the episode, in another family meeting, Janelle brought up the topic of her children, saying that Garrison and Gabe aren’t the only ones that have issues with Kody.
“There’s a general disgruntlement among my kids,” she says.
In response, Kody suggests that Janelle and her kids are talking about him behind his back and wonders why he doesn’t know about this.
Janelle says it’s because Kody has “hardly been around” and the situation is more complicated than him simply telling his kids to apologize.
In a confessional, Janelle says that “something has really changed” for her. She elaborates in the meeting.
“There’s a strong pull for me to run away and do the easy thing,” she says. “I have two worlds pulling now."
In the same meeting, Robyn pushes the family to mend their rifts and says, “We’re still here and we don’t need to fail more. we need to fix it.” She also warns the group that if they don't make an effort to fix their issues they will "sort of disappear as a family."
This article was originally published on TODAY.com
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