Sister Wives' Kody Brown Calls Janelle's Decision to 'Stay Separate' a 'Punishment' That's 'Way Beyond the Crime'

During Sunday's 'Sister Wives' episode, Kody admitted to being "embarrassed" by how he acted during his big fight with Janelle and hoped the pair would "reconcile"

<p>Warner Bros.</p> Janelle Brown (left) and Kody Brown

Warner Bros.

Janelle Brown (left) and Kody Brown

This week's Sister Wives episode saw Janelle and Kody Brown meeting face-to-face for the first time since their explosive argument. And while the conversation was largely civil, not everything went to the Brown family patriarch's liking.

The pair, who have since announced the end of their decades-long marriage, awkwardly made small talk before getting into the nitty-gritty of it all. Kody, 54, admitted to being "embarrassed" by his behavior during the argument, acknowledging that the situation made it difficult for Janelle, 52, to have a "safe way" to talk to him. He even recognized how he's been "transmuting grief into anger" following his separation from Christine Brown, which occurred in November 2021.

To Kody's shock, Janelle — who hasn't spoken to Kody in several weeks due to the fallout from their fight — revealed that she wanted to "stay separated for now."

Related: Sister Wives' Janelle Brown Reveals When She Knew Marriage to Kody Was Done: 'This Burden Came Off Me' (Exclusive)

"I'm really, really willing to do some counseling if we can find somebody," she said. "I just know that I need to be separate right now, you know? I mean, I still have a lot of affection for you. Yeah, maybe some counseling is a good idea."

The twosome then went back and forth, disagreeing over the same issue of Kody not taking accountability for his continued estrangement from their adult children. Janelle then expressed uncertainty over whether they can even "reconcile" because of that, noting that she has "vacillated" between getting back together or "never" wanting to see them again.

"Janelle's not in love with me," Kody then told the cameras. "I think she thinks I’m hot. I've got nice pecs and a great six-pack abs, but that's all she's interested in."

But Janelle said separately that Kody is "missing the boat" since there is "way more to a marriage than just physical attraction." She also suggested they're currently in "big danger."

<p>Warner Bros.</p> Janelle and Kody Brown on 'Sister Wives'

Warner Bros.

Janelle and Kody Brown on 'Sister Wives'

"I don't know, Kody. I just — I do not know how we come back from this," Janelle then told Kody. "I mean, do you really want to still have a plural family? Sometimes I can't tell."

In a confessional, Janelle admitted: "I'm not really inclined to stay in this relationship with Kody. I don't feel like I'm getting what I deserve from him."

"Listen, I'm pretty independent. I don't need a lot from him," she continued. "But when it comes down to where he does, all of a sudden doesn't want to be a father to my kids because they disagree with him. That sort of changes the cost-benefit equation for me in this marriage."

Kody then suggested to the cameras that if Janelle is "only concerned about how I am at your place, then you are a monogamist." With that in mind, he added: "Stop trying to act like I did something wrong for 20 years."

Related: Sister Wives' Kody and Janelle Reveal 2-3 Prior Separations as She Disavows His Digs at Christine (Exclusive)

Back with Janelle, Kody said the pair need to "figure out plural monogamy" since they're "not living plural marriage," especially given the fact that Janelle and Robyn — his last two relationships at this time, since his marriage to Meri has become more of a friendship — are not on speaking terms. Janelle said that while she's not "100 percent sure" they can "save" their marriage, she agreed that a "redefinition" of their relationship is needed.

"I'm not leaving. I'm not throwing in the towel," Janelle added. "I just need to be separate while we figure this out."

As Kody questioned the "value" of the separation, he then began to wonder in a confessional what Janelle wants going forward. "I don't get it. The punishment seems way beyond the crime. Maybe that's just a wake-up call for me. Maybe she's not interested in this at all. Maybe she's got what she needed and she's moving on," he said.

Janelle then noted in a confessional that she's "completely vulnerable" financially if she leaves Kody, who then wondered to the cameras if he's even "of value" if he can't provide "everything" for her. Kody even questioned whether he was just a financial "resource" for his second wife.

From there, Janelle acknowledged how much she missed her "honey" Kody. But she still recognized the pair's tendency to return to form without resolving their issues, suggesting she would need something "different" going forward.

"Here's the thing. You and I can be simple. It's everything else that is complicated," Kody told Janelle after saying he missed her and wanted to "kiss" her.

The father initially believed they'd "reconcile right here." But in the interim, he was "deeply committed to never triggering again or becoming angry" with Janelle as he had during their fight. However, Janelle was still left very uncertain about the pair's future.

"Here's the thing. If he wanted it, I might. Maybe. Maybe I would try to work on it," she said of trying to fix their marriage through counseling. "But if he doesn't want it, I'm not going to sit here and put all the effort into trying to create this because I think there's something better for me."

Related: Sister Wives' Janelle and Christine Say Their Children Wouldn't Thrive in Polygamous Marriages (Exclusive)

Janelle ended her longtime marriage to Kody last year, with his marriage to Meri Brown crumbling shortly after. He is now only married to Robyn Brown.

The ongoing family fallout is a focal point in the current 18th season of Sister Wives.

In a teaser for next week's episode, Janelle told Christine, 51, that she thinks it's "unrealistic" that Kody will ever be able to change. Janelle then declared that because she's "growing," she needs "something different" and doesn't "want to be married" to Kody anymore.

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Sister Wives airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.

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