In a sneak peek of the Sunday, September 24, episode, the pair sit down to discuss their relationship over lunch. “You know what, it’s true. I’ve been in a place where I don’t feel like — without being in plural marriage — we can be married,” Kody, 54, confesses.
He goes on to tell Janelle, also 54, that they need to “figure out plural monogamy” because they no longer “have the function” to be true polygamists.
Kody describes the term further in a confessional. “Plural monogamy is where you’re not functioning as one family. You’re multiple families,” he explains. “A husband with two families. … And these two families don’t interact.”
Janelle, for her part, tells the camera Kody is the one who mentioned “plural monogamy” to begin with. “He acts like it was my idea,” she says.
Back in the restaurant, Janelle tells Kody she “wasn’t really sure” whether she wanted to stay with him after their spat. “I’m not leaving. I’m not throwing in the towel,” she continues. “I just need to be separate while we figure this out.”
Kody questions “the value of the separation,” leading Janelle to provide her perspective. “I feel like I’m more aware of what I need when you’re not there,” she tells him, to which he replies that he’s a “laidback” husband.
Janelle declares that the twosome “need a redefinition” and admits she’s not “100 percent sure” their fractured marriage can be repaired. “Sometimes I’m really angry still,” she says.
In another confessional, Kody claims that “the punishment seems way beyond the crime” when it comes to the idea of being separated. “Maybe that’s just a wake-up call for me,” he adds. “Maybe [Janelle’s] not interested in this at all. Maybe she’s got what she needed and she’s moving on.”
The couple eventually did go their separate ways, with Janelle announcing their split in a December 2022 Sister Wives: One-on-One episode. Janelle was Kody’s second wife, entering a spiritual marriage with him in 1993. They share six of Kody’s 18 children.
Christine Brown, Kody’s third wife, was the first to leave the family in 2021. She and Kody had been together for more than 25 years at the time of their split. Christine, 51, has remained close with Janelle since moving back to Utah — which hasn’t sat well with Kody.
“Christine and Janelle have kind [of] banded together with this whole thing,” he claimed during an episode of Sister Wives earlier this month. “[They] basically shattered my whole world.”
Sister Wives season 18 airs on TLC Sundays at 10 p.m. ET.