Trouble in paradise. Sister Wives star Christine Brown shocked fans in November 2021 when she announced she was leaving her husband, Kody Brown, after more than two decades together. She has since left Flagstaff, Arizona, and her former sister wives, Meri Brown, Janelle Brown and Robyn Brown, to return to Utah. Keep reading to see all the details of Christine and Kody’s split.
Why Did Kody and Christine Split?
The dynamics of the polygamist family have been strained in the past, but Kody’s strict guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic fully exposed the cracks in the relationships Kody has with his wives.
One of the rules put in place by the patriarch to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 among the family of 23 included strict isolation. This meant that the wives and their children were prohibited from spending time with one another besides those in their immediate households. Meanwhile, Kody would travel in between the houses. This rule left a sour taste in both Christine and Janelle’s mouths, but Meri and Robyn abided by it as well as the rest of the rules.
However, the final nail in the coffin for Christine becomes apparent in the January 23 episode when Kody reveals he no longer wanted an “intimate relationship” with her.
“He said, ‘I’m not interested in having an intimate marriage anymore,’” Christine explained in the episode. “I’m not OK staying in a marriage where there’s no intimacy.”
This is not the first time Kody has informed one of his wives that the “intimate” part of their relationship was over.
“Kody and I — we had a conversation recently, that kind of came down to, ‘We’re friends.’ Which I guess is a good thing,” Meri said during a confessional in season 16. “I guess I just have hope for more than that.” However, she further explained she would not be leaving the family.
Kody told producers of the reality show, “My relationship with Meri is not the type of relationship where I’m going to talk to her every day.”
Christine later opened up about the last straw in their relationship saying, “He broke my little girl’s heart.”
Their daughter Ysabel underwent surgery to correct her scoliosis in September 2020 which required travel to New Jersey. Kody opted to skip the operation in order to avoid traveling amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I was there with Ysabel the whole time in New Jersey for the surgery. And I remember them pointing out, like, ‘Are you here alone? Where’s your husband?’” Christine told People in August. “I’m like, ‘Oh, he’s not here.’ And they’re like, ‘Whoa, isn’t that hard?’ And I’m like, ‘No, it’s hard for her.’ It’s hard for Ysabel, but it’s not hard for me. It was a good wake-up call. In the end I would’ve preferred to have him there, of course, because it’s what Ysabel needed. But I didn’t need him anymore.”
“I really find it hard to stay with a guy who I don’t respect. I understood COVID, and why he couldn’t come, but she didn’t. And she still has a really hard time with it,” she added. “It wasn’t just the physical aspect of intimacy that we didn’t have. It was that layer of love, commitment and trust.”
When Did Kody and Christine Break Up?
In the January 23 episode teaser, Kody filmed himself in Christine’s garage, where his belongings are packed away in boxes.
“Kody’s books. Kody’s clothes,” the father of 18 said while looking at the boxes. “I guess I’ve been moved out of the house.”
Before the season premiered, Christine informed fans that her relationship with Kody was over via Instagram in November 2021.
“After more than 25 years together, Kody and I have grown apart and I have made the difficult decision to leave,” Christine wrote at the time. “We will continue to be a strong presence in each other’s lives as we parent our beautiful children and support our wonderful family. At this time, we ask for your grace and kindness as we navigate through this stage within our family. With Love, Christine Brown.”
Kody also took to Instagram with a statement confirming the news of their breakup.
“Christine’s decision to leave comes with a great deal of sadness,” he wrote after Christine released her statement. “We enjoyed many years together and I have a large amount of respect and admiration for her. Although we are moving forward on different paths, we will always remain committed parents.”
Christine and Kody were spiritually married on March 25, 1994, and they share six children together: Aspyn, Mykelti, Gwendlyn, Ysabel, Truely and Paedon.