The topic of navigating life after separation appeared to be on everyone’s minds on this week’s Sister Wives episode.
After all Brown family heads but Meri Brown virtually gathered to attend Mykelti and Tony Padron’s baby gender reveal party, Christine Brown hosted a going away dinner for Ysabel Brown ahead of her return to North Carolina for college. But instead of the focus being on Ysbael’s new academic year, Tony, 29, switched the tables to discuss how Christine, 51, was navigating post-divorce dating life.
“I think dating sounds like fun. It’s been frustrating,” she admitted to her family. “But it’s not like I go out that much, too, you know? And how do I be public like that?”
Tony then suggested she use a fake name on a dating app and “vibe it out” before revealing her true identity. “And then, if you ever like someone, you can be like, ‘Oh, by the way, that’s me over there. My name is Christine,'” he said.
Aspyn Thompson’s husband Mitch Thompson then said he’s “concerned about the type of people you’re finding.” While she laughed off everyone’s suggestions, Christine — who later expressed dissatisfaction with the topic at hand in a confessional — explained to the group: “I guess I’m just not in much of a hurry. I like the idea of being in a romantic, loving relationship and all that. But I also really like how my life is right now.”
As the episode progressed, Kody reflected on the current state of his love life as he’s now adjusting to monogamy with Robyn Brown, despite not having put an official end to his marriages with Meri, 52, and Janelle Brown. Kody, 54, admitted he doesn’t “really feel like a polygamist anymore.”
“It’s been 10 months since I’ve been to Janelle’s house. I don’t even know what’s going on hardly half the time with Meri’s life,” he told the cameras. “Now, I’ve got all this time that Robyn and I, we’ve got sort of this special life together. I mean, it’s been a challenge in one way, But you know what? I do have some time to spend with my friends.”
Kody was then shown dealing with a challenging car-related project alongside his pal Brian, involving the pair struggling to fit a sports vehicle into a tight truck. The Brown family patriarch related that challenge to his experiences with polygamy, telling the cameras, “I’ve spent most of my life as this polygamist trying to constantly fit square pegs into round holes. I’ve forced things to fit rather than going, is this a fit? I’ve had to learn through my experiences in plural marriage that the square peg is not a good idea to pound into the round hole.”
Discussions of the past and future continued as Janelle, 54, joined Christine on a road trip to visit the Utah resident’s brothers. Janelle, who noted how she hadn’t “heard from” Kody in a while, detailed the positives of not having her longtime spouse around.
“I have a very busy life. I love going to bed at night and reading my book and turning out the light when I want to turn it out,” she told Christine. “The dogs are on the bed with me because he never could stand that. I get to do my thing, you know?”
But Janelle — who no longer considers herself to be married and is “not interested” in dating at this time — still harbored a lot of conflicting feelings about fully separating from Kody.
“For me, I don’t want to break my covenant without knowing God’s completely cool with it. I don’t know. Don’t know how that happens. But I’m waiting ’till I know,” she shared in a confessional, later noting that polygamist husbands are “supposed to grow beyond themselves” and that while Kody initially “really tried,” he eventually “found someone who thought like him [and] was more like him … [and] it was easy to be with her,” referencing Robyn, 45.
By the time Christine and Janelle arrived and got settled at Christine’s younger brother’s home, the group discussed the “harm” of polygamy toward women and the importance of marriage legality.
“I think, and this will never happen, but all you got to do is give those women a legal marriage … because they can take and they can divorce him and take part of his assets,” Janelle said to the group. “Like, honestly, if they were all legally married to him, he’d really have to toe the line.”
Following the comments made by Janelle, who also noted in a confessional it would be “healthier” if polygamist women and men had “options” legally, Christine said in response that “it would be awesome to have the legal marriage because then you are protected,” given her decision to leave her “spiritual” marriage to Kody.
Noting how a legal divorce would benefit her own situation, Janelle said back: “I’m sitting here because my finances are all so mish-mashed right now with everybody’s that I’m having to fight hard to get my estate separated. … If I could do anything, I would be out there, like, knocking on the door saying get yourself financially independent because then you have choices.”
“Christine was able to sell her house and leave and start over again and do something different,” Janelle added separately to the cameras. “I have no idea if I’m even going to get anything.”
Christine then reflected deeper on what Janelle was getting at and what this meant for her former sister wife going forward, saying: “One of the reasons she’s still with Kody is because of this, because she has nothing in her name. “