For a few years, Sister Wives was all about the dream of building a new, sprawling complex for the Brown family.
It wasn’t everyone’s dream, but it was Kody’s. It looked like it was taking place. Then everything fell apart.
On the season finale, things between Kody and Christine fell apart.
Kody declared that he didn’t believe in divorce, however. Then … what about Meri?
Kody Brown can claim that Christine blindsided him all that he wants.
His outspoken indignation doesn’t change the description that they both gave of how this went down.
Kody told Christine that he no longer wanted to have sex with her.
In his mind, he was just informing her of a new status, like telling her that he was avoiding red meat.
But while a sexless marriage seems like no big deal to Kody (after all, he put Meri through it for a decade), it’s not the same.
He could continue to have sex, because he is in a plural marriage. But he’s Christine’s only husband.
Christine clearly demonstrated that she was unsure of what to do.
She spoke about leaving Kody, but she also wasn’t sure. That’s a huge step, for many reasons.
One thing that she figured out pretty quickly, however, was that she was done having him in her room.
Soon, Kody no longer being welcome in her bedroom turned into no longer wanting him in her house.
She boxed up his belongings — his books, his clothes — that were there, storing them in the garage.
If he didn’t want to be a husband to her, then she wasn’t going to dance through a wifely charade on his behalf.
“You can leave a marriage in our church,” Christine affirmed to the cameras.
“If it’s a marraige like mine … where it’s just a spiritual marriage, they release you spiritually,” she stated.
“As far as I’m concerned,” Christine explained, “that’s just between me and God.”
Meanwhile, her newly estranged husband felt considerably less positive towards the idea of ending their marriage.
“I think I’m more afraid of what karmic value this has,” Kody said.
“The idea of divorce seems tragic, seems terrible,” he opined.
“All my faith, my belief systems, is kind of anti-divorce, I suppose,” Kody said into the camera.
“I guess that’s hypocritical,” he allowed.
Well … yes, that’s how a lot of viewers perceived the statement, as well.
Kody was married to Meri Brown, on paper, for 24 years, starting in 1990.
In 2014, they legally dissolved their marriage so that he could marry Robyn, his fourth wife.
They needed his marriage to Robyn to be legally recognized so that he could adopt her children.
Of course, there are multiple forms of divorces and multiple forms of marriages.
Marriage can hold emotional, spiritual, and religious significance without being legally recognized or binding.
We all know that a legal marriage can also lack any meaning off of paper. Life is complicated.
For generations, many LGBTQ+ Americans were unable to legally marry, but would marry anyway — without equal rights and protections.
To this day, disabled Americans are also denied marriage equality, forced to avoid legal marriages or lose life-saving benefits.
Plural relationships, from polygamists like Kody to more egalitarian polycules, are also unable to be fully recognized on paper like a monogamous marriage might.
Simply put, a marriage certificate is a formality needed for a lot of human rights.
For many, it’s the ceremony (religious or otherwise), it’s the emotional bond, and it’s the commitment that makes something a real marriage.
The same can be said of divorce.
In Kody’s mind, divorcing Meri eight years ago was an unfortunate legal necessity under a discriminatory marriage system.
It did not directly impact their spiritual marriage, though it arguably did indirectly add to the problems in their already troubled relationship.
Perhaps his statements are not as hypocritical as they initially appear.