Christmas looked a lot different last year for the Brown family, as Sister Wives viewers learned this season.
Kody and Christine Brown’s split was a major factor, and adding to the family’s separation was Kody and Janelle’s marriage-ending argument.
With Christine living in Utah and Janelle and Kody not on speaking terms, Sister Wives fans watched as Kody and Robyn hosted Meri for Christmas along with their kids for their holiday celebration on a much smaller scale than usual.
Most Sister Wives viewers would blame Kody for driving his ex-wives away — even Janelle admitted that he was trying to push her away — but if you ask Kody, he feels that his and Janelle’s kids are responsible for the divide between them.
Sunday night’s episode featured several of Janelle and Kody’s six kids as they spent their first Christmas without their dad.
Savanah, Garrison, and Gabriel came together for a confessional, during which Garrison revealed that they felt “neglected and overlooked” by the rest of the family, and Gabriel blamed his dad for not trying hard enough to reach out to them.
Kody and Janelle Brown’s kids blame their dad and Robyn for ‘neglecting’ them
“Dad didn’t make enough effort this year,” Gabriel confessed. “And maybe Robyn too. I definitely feel not really necessarily slighted by them but absolutely neglected.”
On the other hand, Kody refuted his sons’ claims and told TLC cameras that their statements about not reaching out were untrue.
Kody says his and Janelle’s kids aren’t being ‘fair’ during Sister Wives Season 18 confessional
“The idea they wanted to connect with Robyn and our kids or Robyn and I rejecting them is not true,” Kody said. “I have reached out, only to get rejection. They’re not being fair.”
Despite their parents’ breakup, Janelle and Kody’s kids weren’t surprised. They saw it coming for years, as Janelle explained during her confessional.
“My kids weren’t surprised,” Janelle shared. “They’ve observed our relationship for several years and thought maybe it was time to find something different, find something better.”
In fact, as Savanah explained, their intimate Christmas without Kody and Robyn was actually “kind of pleasant.”
And Gabriel agreed, telling the cameras, “I went into it thinking it would be a little bit hard to swallow, that nobody was there, but I actually found myself enjoying it a lot.”
Kody lacks accountability for the family breaking up
Many have blamed Robyn Brown for causing the shakeup and division among the family, as well as Kody’s behavior, but he doesn’t see it that way.
He thinks that going public with their polygamous lifestyle in 2010, when Sister Wives debuted, was the cause of their family’s big shakeup.
Regardless of who or what is responsible for the family’s brokenness, Kody and Robyn are left alone in their marriage now that we know Meri joined Christine and Janelle and left him too.
Robyn admitted that Kody’s grappling with three divorces has caused tensions in their own marriage, calling it “hell.” She even revealed that Kody has questioned whether she’ll follow Christine, Janelle, and Meri’s lead and be wife number four to leave him behind.
But, like Meri did for so many years, Robyn is determined to make their marriage work.
During an interview with PEOPLE, Robyn admitted, “I’m not going anywhere. We’re sticking this out. We’re figuring this out.”
Sister Wives airs on Sunday nights at 10/9c on TLC.