Janelle, 54, explained it was “was really hard” for her children to follow Kody’s rules now that they’re adults, noting that his strict Covid-19 protocols caused tension within their family.
“That really started to twist us, twist our relationship to the point of breaking. So he started to be away more and I thought, ‘Wow, I could do this. I could be on my own, I could do this,'” the TLC personality told People in an interview published on Wednesday, August 23. “The children were older. He was starting to have a lot of friction with the kids. He was starting to say things like, ‘Well, choose your loyalties.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, I’m not going to leave my kids, sorry. I’m not going to tell my kids, ‘Move out.’ Not in the middle of a pandemic.'”
Janelle said that the conflict between Kody, 54, and their adult children “put enough pressure” on their marriage to the point where it felt like “it really did break.”
“I felt like I had to walk this tightrope, I had to choose between having my boys in my house or having Kody there,” the mother of six continued. “So when Kody would come, the boys would have to be out of the house. I’d have to spray everything down with Lysol and stuff because he was very afraid of getting the virus from them. So yeah, it became really stressful. And then, it slowly evolved as they started to get angrier and angrier with each other.”
She added, “It slowly evolved to where it was like, ‘Well, they can go have their life and you’re going to stay here and we’re going to have a life with [our daughter] Savanah.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, I can’t just ignore three-quarters of my children.”
Before they called it quits, Janelle said there were “fights” without any reconciliation between Kody and their kids.
“It was just anger and it was like, ‘My way or the highway. I’ve got to protect all these little kids,’ meaning Robyn [Brown]‘s children,” she stated. “There was no give. … There was no gentleness, there was no forgiveness. It was just like, ‘This is it.’ And then I really felt like I had to choose.”
In addition to Savanah, Kody and Janelle share kids Logan, Maddie, Hunter, Garrison and Gabe.
Fans have watched Kody’s problems with Gabe and Garrison play out during past seasons of the family’s reality show. In addition to arguing about the father of 18’s strict rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Gabe explained he reached his breaking point when Kody didn’t wish him a happy birthday.
Following their problems, In Touch exclusively broke the news that Janelle and Kody ended their spiritual marriage in December 2022. “Janelle is a strong independent woman and realized she can do it on her own,” the insider told In Touch at the time, adding that Janelle “outgrew” him.
Kody then confirmed their split two days later during the reality show. “I am separated from Janelle, and I am divorced from Christine,” he shared.
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