“All the wives knew and were aware of the split, so it wasn’t news to them,” the insider says of Christine, 49, and the November 2 announcement that she had decided to leave Kody, 52. “If anything, it sort of inspired the others in one way or another to reevaluate their position.”
Kody’s remaining wives are Meri Brown, whom he wed in 1990, Janelle Brown, whom he wed in 1993, and Robyn Brown, who in 2010 became the first new wife in the family in 16 years. (Christine and Kody tied the knot in 1994.) Because polygamy is illegal in the United States, only his union with Robyn, 43, is recognized by law.
The other women have been dealing with their own life changes, some of which aren’t related to Christine’s exit at all. Janelle, 52, spent the summer living in an RV on the Brown family’s Arizona property, and she recently decided to rent a house in town for the winter.
“Janelle found a new home,” the insider explains, noting that she doesn’t “often” see Kody and Robyn. “She’s excited about spending time with her children for the holidays. Her kids are her real family.”
The reality star shares Logan, 27, Maddie, 26, Gabriel, 20, and Savanah, 16, with Kody, who is dad to a total of 18 children with his sister wives.
Following her split from Kody, Christine moved back to Utah, but that distance hasn’t stopped her from staying in touch with Janelle. “[Janelle’s] really close to Christine, so she’s in constant communication with her,” the source notes.
Meanwhile, things between Meri, 50, and Kody have been strained over the past several years, as documented during season 15 of the family’s TLC show. “Meri and I have been in a very dark place for a very long time,” Kody exclusively told Us in February. “It’s been more about trying to get ourselves out of this hole that we dug ourselves into.”
Earlier this month, a source told Us that Meri could be the next wife to strike out on her own after becoming “very independent” recently.
“Meri could not be any farther removed from the other wives and Kody,” the first insider adds. “He’s trembling and worried that Meri or Janelle are going to leave him.”
Sister Wives season 16 premieres on TLC Sunday, November 21, at 10 p.m. E.T.
With reporting by Diana Cooper