Why Sister Wives' Janelle Brown Felt Kody Gave Her An Impossible Choice

As time goes by, it's becoming increasingly clear that the COVID-19 pandemic was the tipping point for the fallout of the polygamist Brown family. Their problems began when Kody Brown started enforcing his elaborate safety precautions, which included no social outings, disinfection of outside objects like groceries and mail, and self-isolation if anyone wanted to hang out with the patriarch. This didn't sit right with his then-wives, who weren't living with Kody at the time, as he was constantly nagging them to play by his rules even in their own households. Kody also expected his 18 children, most of whom are adults, to obey his rules as well.

Gabriel and Garrison Brown, Janelle Brown's sons, were the primary targets of Kody's rage in the midst of the pandemic as they both continued to live their usual lives without much regard for their dad's orders. In a Season 16 episode of "Sister Wives," the controversial polygamist told Gabriel that he could no longer visit Janelle's house if Gabriel didn't stop seeing his girlfriend. 

Garrison also got a piece of Kody's mind for wanting to maintain a social life, which ultimately prompted him to move out of the family home. With Kody not coming by as frequently, Janelle realized just how independent she actually was. The second Brown sister wife was ultimately left with no choice when her now ex-husband made Janelle choose between him and their children.

Kody wanted Janelle to prioritize him over their children

Kody Brown might've had the best intentions, but his aggressive approach ultimately tore his family apart — at least, according to Janelle Brown. "That really started to twist us, twist our relationship to the point of breaking," the mom of six admitted to People, continuing, "[Kody] was starting to have a lot of friction with the kids. He was starting to say things like, 'Well, choose your loyalties.'" For Janelle, it wasn't a thinking matter; she would never abandon her children for anybody, not even Kody.

The reality star went on to detail how the patriarch demanded his sons be out of the house when he visited and that everything needed to be thoroughly cleaned. "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," the former sister wife argued of Kody's strict stance. It's no surprise that he was focused most on Robyn Brown, who is Kody's only remaining partner at the time of this writing, as there have long been speculations that Robyn is Kody's favorite wife.

It was either her sons or Kody, and Janelle had to make a decision. However, in the middle of the undoubtedly heartbreaking situation, she discovered her inner strength. "[Kody] started to be away more, and I thought, 'Wow, I could do this. I could be on my own,'" Janelle revealed, ultimately leaving Kody sometime in 2022.

Kody apparently regrets imposing such strict rules

In the aftermath of Kody Brown's strict COVID-19 restrictions, it's arguably no longer a question of whether he's the one to blame for his plural marriages ending. While Kody's safety protocols are obviously not the sole reason his relationships with Christine, Janelle, and Meri Brown broke down, the entire ordeal was a major eye-opener for them. More frustratingly, the infamous polygamist didn't always follow his own rules.

Kody notoriously officiated a friend's wedding despite refusing to accompany his daughter, Ysabel Brown, to her back surgery. Around the same time, he took to Twitter to express just how important it was to stay safe. "Big families need to lower exposure risk," Kody wrote. Considering all of the above, it's odd that he made such a big deal out of his sons going to work and hanging out with friends, but Kody may only now be realizing it.

"Sister Wives" fans stumbled upon a Cameo appearance in which the patriarch expressed regret over his approach. "I think that my cure has been worse than the disease," he acknowledged. "A day late and a dollar/wife short," a user wrote in a Reddit thread discussing the post in question. "Yeah, he's regretting how much the audience hates him this season," argued another. With most of his wives gone, Kody definitely has a reason (or three) to second-guess his decisions.