'Sister Wives' : Janelle Walks Off After Big Fight with Husband Kody Over the Family's Holiday Plans

In this week's episode of Sister Wives, Janelle and Kody Brown clashed over their differing opinions about his strict COVID-19 safety rules ahead of the holidays

Janelle and Kody Brown clashed in a major way during this week's Sister Wives episode.

The tension between Janelle and Kody, both 52, arose at the episode's beginning. At that point, the longtime pair — who are in a polygamous marriage arrangement with Christine, 49, Meri, 50, and Robyn, 43 — clashed over how the Brown family should operate amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the holidays approach.

While Kody expected his wives and children to abide by his strict safety guidelines, Janelle didn't think his approach was realistic. Janelle argued the couple's adult sons, Garrison and Gabriel, should be able to maintain their social lives while living in her household, but Kody disagreed for COVID-19 safety reasons.

"I'm making all the sacrifices and I'm asking everybody else to simply meet that level of sacrifice so that the family can exist," said Kody, adding that "anything" he can do to prevent possible COVID-19 exposure amongst the family is "a smart idea."

Janelle accused Kody of being "aggressive" with her as they complained about how they've failed to listen to each other's concerns. Before wrapping up the chat, Kody suggested that their sons Garrison and Gabriel should potentially move out so that he can continue to come over.

When Janelle later relayed Kody's rules to her sons, Gabriel expressed how "tired" he is of their father's "stupid games." Garrison added that Kody is acting like "a child" and that he needs to "figure out how not to tear apart his family over something so stupid." They additionally threatened to call their dad to address their dissatisfaction with his protocols.

janelle brown
Janelle and Kody Brown. janelle brown/instagram

Both Gabriel and Garrison refused to spend Thanksgiving with Kody. In turn, Janelle and her sons agreed to see whether it was possible to gather separately with Christine and her children. (Christine was mulling over whether she'll be in town for the holiday in last week's episode.)

As the episode progressed, Janelle had a candid conversation with Robyn about the ups and downs in her relationship with Kody.

Janelle Brown, Kody Brown
Janelle Brown/Instagram; Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic

Robyn admitted to being "really worried" about the "distance" between Janelle and Kody. But Janelle — who revealed she once spent eight months apart from her husband — said she likes the "freedom" of her polygamous arrangement because she gets "really antsy" when she's unable to make choices for herself. She then cited the COVID-19 rules as an example of her decision-making being restricted.

"I think that's why I kind of freaked out the other day," she said to Robyn. "I'm masking. You know, I'm [doing] pretty much all those things [he requires]. But the extra few steps were just like, 'Whoa, that's too many of my choices being taken away.' "

christine brown, kody brown

Kody's COVID-19 safety rules came up again as he met with his wives to finalize their Thanksgiving plans.

At the beginning of the discussion, Janelle said Christine's plans will ultimately "make or break" what her children want to do for the holiday. Christine then revealed she will not be around for Thanksgiving but she'll follow the rules to celebrate Christmas with the entire family.

Kody said he will "respect" everyone's decisions but pointed out that they all "have an obligation to a very large amount of people" to keep their family functional. The patriarch then said he'll no longer regulate how his wives choose to live their lives, though he requested they "consider a much bigger picture."

"No guilt trip, just a little prick to your conscious and you guys decide what you do," he continued. "I'm not going to tell this family how they do it. I am going to lead the way that I think is the right way."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

To that point, Janelle said she would "be alone" at Thanksgiving if she stayed in town. But Kody said her being on her own is a result of how she's allowed her sons to behave within her household.

After Kody said his parting words, Janelle stood up to head out. She stopped midway as Christine declared she has a "clear conscience" about the choice she's made for Thanksgiving.

"I've told you this so that you can share it with your children so that they can understand the perspective instead of making phone calls to me, telling me, 'Dad. Hey, your rules are taking a toll on our family,' " he said to Christine, referencing a call he had with Janelle's sons. "You can continue in the vein of your little world, but I want you to understand mine."

Janelle chimed in to suggest that Kody is seemingly trying to "guilt trip" her over the choices she has made. "You don't think I'm aware? You don't think I'm being careful?" she asked.

Sister Wives
Kody Brown with Robyn, Meri, Christine and Janelle Brown. Christine Brown/Instagram

Kody requested for Janelle to "respect" the "big picture" regarding his COVID-19 guidelines, but she was less than amused. "You know, f--- off," she said before walking away.

Kody was confused by Janelle's exit and questioned whether he was "being a bully." Coming to her defense, Christine said that Janelle's "hands are tied."

"Janelle's living in a home where her kids are adults and they're making the decision to hang out socially," said Christine, who announced her split from Kody in November ahead of the season 16 premiere.

"She's got you on one end of the spectrum and then maybe Gabe on the other end of the spectrum. She probably feels different every day. She's getting crap from both sides. Your speech was very forceful. I know you were probably trying to be polite and she probably has to deal with that kind of crap from her kids all day long," she said.

Kody, in turn, said he felt he was being "blamed" for everything.

In a confessional, Janelle admitted she's "frustrated" by the entire discussion about the holidays. "I'm between a rock and a hard place here," she said. "I'm having to make sure my kids are safe, my kids are mentally well, I'm giving them the best chance. And then I'm having to choose these rules that the family has [for COVID-19], which aren't very different from my rules. I'm stuck. I'm stuck here and I don't want to spend Thanksgiving alone. My family's all being quarantined, I'm not being dangerous here."

Janelle added that Kody's being "condescending" toward her as if she's making "irresponsible decisions" amid the pandemic. "It's frustrating to me that he's trying to make it sound like I'm all these horrible things," she said.

Sister Wives airs Sundays (10 p.m. ET) on TLC.

Related Articles