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Sister Wives star Christine Brown shares the ‘wake-up call’ that led her to finally leave Kody Brown

Sister Wives exes Christine and Kody Brown
Kody’s neglect during his daughter Ysabel’s surgery led Christine to leave him. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/MJT/AdMedia

Christine Brown of Sister Wives revealed the final straw that led her to split from her now ex-husband, Kody Brown.

In November 2021, Christine officially announced her split from Kody in the form of an Instagram post after more than 25 years together as spiritual spouses.

Christine became Kody’s third wife in 1994, joining his first wife, Meri Brown, and his second wife, Janelle Brown. Christine has advocated for plural marriage for years, but in a recent interview with PEOPLE, she revealed that she’s leaving polygamy behind for a new life as a monogamist.

“I get to live life for me,” Christine told the publication, adding, “I’m just done putting up with people who I don’t need in my life.”

Ahead of the Season 17 premiere of Sister Wives next month, Christine opened up even more, this time sharing the defining moment that helped her decide to leave Kody.

“I really find it hard to stay with a guy who I don’t respect,” Christine told PEOPLE. She also noted, “He broke my little girl’s heart.”

Sister Wives star Christine Brown says Kody’s refusal to travel for Ysabel’s surgery was the final straw

The little girl Christine speaks of is her and Kody’s daughter, Ysabel, who underwent spinal surgery in September 2020 to correct her curved spine caused by scoliosis, as Sister Wives viewers watched during Season 16.

Kody was adamant about not traveling with Christine and his daughter Ysabel from Arizona to New Jersey, where the surgery took place, angering many Sister Wives viewers who believed his refusal was the breaking point for Christine. Kody cited COVID-19 as his reason for not traveling with Christine and Ysabel, but Christine says it negatively impacted Ysabel regardless of his reasons.

“I understood COVID[-19], and why he couldn’t come, but she didn’t. And she still has a really hard time with it,” Christine shared. “I was there with Ysabel the whole time in New Jersey for the surgery.”

According to Christine, the medical staff was a bit surprised to hear that her husband didn’t join her and Ysabel for the important trip, and it helped her realize that she didn’t “need” Kody in her life anymore.

Christine continued, “And I remember them pointing out, like, ‘Are you here alone? Where’s your husband?’ I’m like, ‘Oh, he’s not here.’ And they’re like, ‘Whoa, isn’t that hard?’ And I’m like, ‘No, it’s hard for her. It’s hard for Ysabel, but it’s not hard for me.’ It was a good wake-up call. In the end I would’ve preferred to have him there, of course, because it’s what Ysabel needed. But I didn’t need him anymore.”

Last season on Sister Wives, Christine made a bold move when she packed up Kody’s belongings and put the boxes in her garage, much to his surprise. That was just the start of her journey to singlehood, which will continue to play out during Season 17 of Sister Wives.

Christine struggled to realize leaving Kody wasn’t selfish

Christine said that despite counseling and putting in the work to try and save their plural marriage, it wasn’t enough. “It wasn’t just the physical aspect of intimacy that we didn’t have. It was that layer of love, and commitment, and trust,” Christine said.

Although Christine admittedly grappled with the idea that her decision might be selfish, she ultimately realized it was for the best.

“I thought for a while, I was making selfish decisions,” Christine revealed. “Then I was like, ‘Is this selfish?’ I realized, ‘No, this is exactly what you should do. You should be in charge of your life.’ It’s scary, yes, because you don’t know what it looks like, but it’s a lot better than staying where you shouldn’t be.”

You can read Christine’s interview in its entirety here.

Season 17 of Sister Wives premieres on Sunday, September 11 at 10/9c on TLC.

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