• Janelle is seeking a “release” from her marriage to Kody on Sister Wives, which is the religious version of a divorce.
  • The “release” process takes longer than a traditional divorce due to it being a faith-based process that may involve counseling and attempts to reconcile.
  • Janelle desires freedom and the opportunity to find her own happiness, potentially by moving away from Flagstaff after the season ends.

Sister Wives season 18 has given an in-depth look into the collapse of Janelle Brown’s marriage to her long-time husband Kody Brown, with Janelle recently explaining that she wouldn’t be looking for a divorce from Kody, but a “release”. After Christine Brown left Kody during Sister Wives season 17, the family was at an impasse moving into their next phase of life together. Janelle, who initially wasn’t interested in leaving her marriage, felt constrained by the way Kody was reacting to his and Christine’s separation and ultimately felt she needed to deal with her own issues with her husband. After trying to reach out, Janelle felt isolated and alone.

During Sister Wives season 18 episode 2, Janelle and Kody got into a massive fight about the state of their relationship and the way the family would be spending the Christmas holiday. After Kody and his sons with Janelle got into a fight, they weren’t speaking and Kody refused to be the bigger person, ignoring his children rather than trying to mend their relationship. When Janelle and Kody argued about the responsibility surrounding repairing the relationship, things got tricky. The couple fought harder than they ever have, leading Janelle to mention the idea of a “release”, which confused some viewers.

What’s A Release From Polygamy, Anyway?

sister wives broken glass montage with kody meri christine janelle

Although Kody and Janelle are married in the eyes of their church, they aren’t actually legally married. Kody is only allowed to be legally married to one of his wives, which is now Robyn Brown after he divorced Meri Brown in 2014 to bring Robyn into the family. Polygamists marry spiritually, which means that when they’re looking to separate, they don’t turn to divorce. As Janelle explained on Sister Wives season 18 episode 5, she would be looking for a “release” from Kody, which is the religious version of a divorce, completely severing their marriage. Janelle mentioned she wasn’t sure if she wanted a release, but was considering it.

Why Is The “Release” Process So Long-Winded?

Montage of Sister Wives' Kody Brown & Janelle Brown with purple background

Although Janelle remains undecided on whether she’d like to be released from her marriage on Sister Wives, she has time to consider her options. The release process takes somewhat longer than a traditional divorce, as it’s a faith-based process. In order to be released, spouses may have to complete counseling with someone in the church or be pushed to try to work on their relationship rather than separate. Janelle, who has been fighting for her marriage to Kody for years, likely feels like she’s fighting a losing battle as it is. It may be difficult for Janelle to try and sort through her marriage in order to leave.

Janelle Deserves Freedom

During the most recent episode of Sister Wives season 18, Christine offered to have Janelle move to Utah with her. While it was a tempting offer, both Christine and Janelle knew she wasn’t actually going to pick up and move with Kody still in the picture. Janelle, who has consistently had a difficult time in her relationship with Kody, clearly wants to change things for herself. She feels limited by her roots in Flagstaff, and now that she’s separated from Kody, it makes sense that she could move away after Sister Wives wraps up this season. Janelle deserves to find her own happiness in the same way Christine has.

Sister Wives airs Sundays at 10 p.m. EST on TLC.

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By asm3a