For years now Kody has let Meri know that he doesn’t have a romantic relationship with her and doesn’t plan to ever have one. He has also told the Sister Wives audience that he doesn’t consider himself married to Meri and wouldn’t mind if she found a husband. This hasn’t inspired Meri to leave. With Janelle, however, Kody has seemed to been pushing her away. In next week’s episode he gets a little more direct with her.
We suspect that Janelle may have already left her marriage to Kody Brown, but because of her financial situation within the family this would be much harder for her to do than it was for Christine. When Christine decided to leave, she had property solely in her name: Her Flagstaff home. She simply walked away from the Coyote Pass property that the family owns and kept all of the proceeds from the sale of her Flagstaff house.
Janelle is in a deep bind, and has told the camera that she considers her situation to be “stupid.” When the family relocated to Flagstaff, AZ from Las Vegas, NV they all sold homes in a cul-de-sac that had built there. The cul-de-sac homes were all worth about the same and were next to each other, which promoted family equity and unity.
Moving to Flagstaff changed the dynamics of everything. Because they had no solid plans, things descended into chaos. Christine was the first to buy a house in Flagstaff, and family money helped her out.
Meanwhile Robyn, Janelle, and Meri were renting. After Robyn had to leave her rental house because it was selling, she decided to buy a home.
This put them both at the financial mercy of the family. Meri has been more financially independent for years because she is very high up in LulaRoe, and MLM company.
Janelle was a real estate agent in Las Vegas for a name and has dabbled in MLMs, but has only recently really stepped up her game with Plexus. Christine has been partnering with her a lot in this venture, presumably to help her get out of the deep financial bind she’s in.
Janelle and Kody have always told the public that they have never had a very romantic relationship, and Janelle has seemed fine with that. She has, however, always maintained that she thought Kody was a good father to their children and a good friend and business partner to her. Recently, though, he’s behaving like none of those things and her frustration with him has escalated to a potential boiling point.
At the point we’re at during Season 17 of Sister Wives we see Janelle desperate to build on Coyote Pass so she can have a home of her own. Kody wants her to buy Christine’s house, but Janelle rejects that idea because she doesn’t like or want the house and fears she’ll be stuck there for the rest of her life.
Kody also refuses to give Janelle money from the family money for the down payment of a house, which Janelle sees as unfair because both Christine and Robyn were able to get family money for their home purchases. Kody says that the money simply isn’t there, but Janelle says she sees the financial information when she does their taxes and claims that some changes could be made about how the money’s being spent that could allocate her money for a down payment.
Kody is angry that she bought an fifth wheel and a truck without consulting with him, but Janelle says she did try to talk to him about this decision, but he simply wasn’t listening to her. According to him, she should have used that money for a house. This still doesn’t take away from the unfairness that both family money and Janelle’s personal money was poured into Robyn’s home.
Robyn also acknowledges that while they always try to take care of everyone, there isn’t money there right now to “pay off Coyote Pass.” This is what Janelle wants to do so she can start building a modest home on the property.
She doesn’t want to buy another home and have two mortgages at the same time. Eventually they can turn one into a rental property, but it would take two years of renting out the property for it to not count towards her debt-to-income for financing considerations.
Of all four of Kody’s wives, Janelle has always been the most frugal and humble when it comes to her dwelling expectations. She has also always been the most giving of her money, and during many years of their lives she was the highest earner.
On top of all of this financial stress and worries over where she’s going to live, last season we saw Kody call to kick out Janelle’s adult sons because they weren’t following his strict COVID-19 protocols. Meanwhile, Robyn now has three adult-age children living in their $1 million home. Kody’s argument is that adult children are welcome to stay in the home as long as they don’t pose a danger to the younger children.
At this point, Janelle saw that Kody was trying to ask her to choose between herself and her children. Tied to this notion is the affection Janelle’s children have for Christine, who raised them. Now that Christine has left, Janelle’s friendship with Christine has grown closer and Kody sees her as being disloyal to him by choosing to be friends with Christine.
In a preview for next episode, Kody takes things even further. He angers Janelle by telling her that they haven’t been acting like a married couple for most of their marriage. He also drops the idea that maybe they should end their spiritual marriage as well.
“Maybe this is not a good fit,” Kody says. “Maybe this doesn’t work.”
In voiceover Kody says, “It feels like we’re unraveling.”
Although Kody has raked Christine over the coals for comparing her relationship with Kody to his relationship with Robyn, Kody does exactly this type of comparison to Janelle.
“I have somebody in my life who is fundamentally loyal to me,” Kody tells her.
“I’m not gonna become Robyn,” Janelle says.
Janelle and Kody seem to be a breaking point when it comes to their marriage. Robyn hasn’t even come over to beg Janelle to stay like she has done with Meri. It looks like it would be in Janelle’s best interest to cut ties with this man who does not love, respect, or care for her or their children, but while doing so she also needs to protect and defend whatever resources and assets she can after literally pouring nearly everything into this family.