Janelle Brown, 54, revealed she felt she had to choose between her now ex-husband Kody Brown, 54, and their sons, before their split. The Sister Wives star, who shares six kids with her former spouse, spoke to PEOPLE about the years-long tension that came up between him and the oldest kids over COVID-19 safety protocols in the household, and said it “was really hard” for her children to abide by their dad’s rules since they’re now adults. The tension was also apparently made worse over the children’s feelings that Kody was favoring his other children over them.
“That really started to twist us, twist our relationship to the point of breaking. So he started to be away more and I thought, ‘Wow, I could do this. I could be on my own, I could do this,'” she explained to the outlet. “The children were older. He was starting to have a lot of friction with the kids. He was starting to say things like, ‘Well, choose your loyalties.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, I’m not going to leave my kids, sorry. I’m not going to tell my kids, ‘Move out.’ Not in the middle of a pandemic.'”
Janelle went on to admit the conflict between Kody and the adult children “put enough pressure” on her marriage to where she felt like “it really did break, more than it had ever before.”
“I felt like I had to walk this tightrope, I had to choose between having my boys in my house or having Kody there,” she said. “So when Kody would come, the boys would have to be out of the house. I’d have to spray everything down with Lysol and stuff because he was very afraid of getting the virus from them. So yeah, it became really stressful. And then, it slowly evolved as they started to get angrier and angrier with each other.”
“It slowly evolved to where it was like, ‘Well, they can go have their life and you’re going to stay here and we’re going to have a life with [our daughter] Savannah.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, I can’t just ignore three-quarters of my children,'” she continued.
The concerned mother, whose kids with Kody include Madison, Logan, Gabriel, Garrison, Savanah and Hunter, further explained that there were “fights, but there was no giving, there was no reconciliation. There was no gestures of, ‘Hey son, let’s figure this out.'”
“It was just anger and it was like, ‘My way or the highway. I’ve got to protect all these little kids,’ meaning Robyn‘s children,” she added. “There was no give. … There was no gentleness, there was no forgiveness. It was just like, ‘This is it.’ And then I really felt like I had to choose.”
The struggles between Janelle and Kody, who were spiritually married in 1993 and separated in 2022, are set to be shown in season 18 of Sister Wives. A sneak peek of this week’s premiere episode was shared by Entertainment Tonight, and the outlet also featured a sit-down with Janelle about her concerns. New episodes air on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.