Sister Wives' Kody Brown Reflects on "Failures" He's Had With Polygamy

Sister Wives star Kody Brown shared how he feels his family dynamic has shifted throughout the years: "I'm trying to redefine my life."

By Alexandra Bellusci Oct 30, 2023 8:48 PMTags
Watch: Kody and Janelle's BIG FIGHT: "Sister Wives" Exclusive

Kody Brown is looking back at his actions.

During the Oct. 29 episode of Sister Wives, the TLC star—who has been open about his estrangement with several of his older children—reflected on what led to his strained family dynamic.

"We might have been more successful," Kody explained in his confessional, per People, "had we been in different homes with the kids growing up like they were cousins." 

And the 54-year-old, who has 18 kids with wife Robyn Brown and exes Christine Brown, Meri Brown and Janelle Brown, noted that he believes "some of the failures" in his polygamous relationships could be due to him "expecting too much from the family with this one family idea."

One promise that Kody feels has not been kept was the family's "commitment celebration where we wrote our mission statement."

Despite jotting down "this idea for ourselves" when Robyn joined the family in 2010, recent years have made the father of 18 feel that everyone has "just shredded that mission statement."




Sister Wives' Christine Brown & David Woolley's Road to Marriage

These days, Kody is working on coming to terms with his new family dynamic—including his 2021 split from Christine and his 2022 separations from Janelle and Meri.

"What has happened with our family is very sad to me," he continued. "It's just one of those things that's happened. I have to move on. But there is sort of this strange place that I'm in where it feels odd. I'm trying to redefine my life."

Meanwhile, Kody's new normal has also led him to shy away from worship. As he put it, he would "almost be too embarrassed to show my head at church because of the just the struggles my family has had."

He further expressed that despite having "always been a man of faith," he's "struggled for a long time."


Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

"I'm not a fit in my old religion," he shared. "We're in, let me use a term, no pun intended, we're in limbo."

Kody's confession comes on the heels of speaking out about his estrangement from two of his adult children.

"I've reached out to Garrison and Gabriel," he said in a confessional on the Oct. 15 episode of the reality show. "I reached out to them just before Christmas and I reached out to them after. No, they're blocking me."

In her own confessional, Janelle shared her perspective on what happened between Kody and his kids.

"I can observe that Kody seems to have trouble relating to his older children and he seems to dote on the younger children," she said, "and when my children were younger, it was very easy for him to be a father, right, because he was still kind of this important. He was important to them. His opinion mattered to them, his guidance mattered to them and now, because they question a little bit, I think it might be harder for Kody to feel like he's respected."

Sister Wives airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on TLC. To see the love lives of the Sister Wives stars, keep reading...

Meri Brown

In January 2024, a year after she and Kody Brown announced their breakup, Meri revealed on Instagram that she had begun dating Amos Andrews the previous October. But in February 2024, Meri confirmed on Instagram that they had called it quits.

Kody Brown & Robyn Brown

"She looked like a soccer mom," Kody Brown once joked on Sister Wives of meeting then-single mom Robyn in 2009. "She had a van, three kids and was divorced. I thought, 'I didn't need a van, a divorced woman, and three kids in my life—that's just trouble.'"

Nearly a decade and a half on, though, they're still kicking it, the pair adding son Solomon, 12, and daughter Ariella, 7, to the squad. As for bringing on other teammates, it's not in the game plan. "I really, really struggle with it because it feels, like, 'Oh, well. Those didn't work. So, on to [someone] new,'" Robyn said on the December Sister Wives: One on One special of Meri, Janelle and Christine leaving the fold. "That's hard for me. That's really, really hard for me. It feels disrespectful."

Christine Brown

She got the man and the family. Going official with her and David Woolley's romance on Valentine's Day 2023, Christine Brown shared, "I finally found the love of my life, David. The first time he held me close, it felt like my soul took its first breath. He's wonderful and kind, incredible with my children and an adorable grandpa. I never dreamed I could find a love like this."

Two months later he added to the fantasy with a spring proposal. "David treats me like a queen and tells me I'm beautiful everyday," Christine told People. "I've never been in love like this before and the world seems like a brighter place with him in it."

Tying the knot in Utah Oct. 7, she wrote, "I'm so blessed! I've married my best friend."

Madison Brown

The first of the 18 Brown children to walk down the aisle, Janelle's eldest daughter, Madison Brown, now 28, wed Caleb Brush at a 2016 outdoor wedding in Montana captured by TLC's cameras. Nearly seven years later, the two have multiplied their love with Josephine joining big brother Axel, 6, and big sister Evie, 4, in February.  

"One month as a family of 5 and my heart is bursting," North Carolina-based Maddie wrote on Instagram in March. "I didn't know this kind of peace amongst chaos could be had."

Leon Brown

Four years after their engagement aired on the TLC reality show, Meri Brown's only child, Leon Brown, has settled in Denver with partner Audrey Kriss. "my sweetest symphony," Leon, 28, raved of their fiancé. "Life with you truly is so sweet." Echoed Audrey, "Being your partner and watching your growth and coming into yourself over the years has been an honor and joy."

Logan Brown

Eldest kid Logan Brown, 29, got the gang back together when he married longtime girlfriend Michelle Petty in Arizona this past October. "It was a beautiful day and this mama's heart was mush the whole time," Janelle shared on Instagram of her son's wedding. "You always have such a sense of peace when your children find amazing life partners."

Mykelti Brown

More than six years after her 2016 wedding to Antonio "Tony" Padron, Mykelti Brown joked that they'd already tested the limits of their marriage vows by welcoming twins Archer and Ace into the fold in November 2022. 

"We have 3 kids and 4 moves under our belt," noted the 27-year-old, also mom to Avalon, 2. "A whole lot of good times and some hard times #surprisetwins But here we are still doing this whole marriage thing."

Aspyn Brown

In the five years since they wed, Christine's daughter Aspyn Brown, 28, and husband Mitch Thompson have traveled everywhere from Paris to Alaska. But last December, they put down roots, Mitch sharing on Instagram, "We bought our first home! Just in time for Christmas."

Gwendlyn Brown

Before hitting their one-year anniversary, Christine's daughter Gwendlyn Brown and love Beatriz Queiroz went to the happiest place on earth and marked six months together with chocolate fondue. Then came the really sweet part. The 22-year-old shared a glimpse at the candlelit, rose-filled proposal on Instagram in November 2022, writing simply, "i'm engaged!!" 

The couple wed in July, sharing the news on Instagram the caption: "Say hello to mrs (x2) queiroz."

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