Things get tense on a Zoom call between the wives when one of Kody's daughters decides to return to school in person.
It was another episode filled with tension and drama between Kody Brown and his wives on Sunday's Sister Wives. The Brown family patriarch was holding firm to his COVID protocols while several of his wives pushed back.
"I don't wear our wedding rings. I just feel like they're a noose," Christine tells the camera, holding up her bare fingers.
What would have been the former couple's 27th wedding anniversary comes up and Christine says she isn't planning to mark the occasion, shooting down Kody's request to post on social media.
"I asked her if we wanted to post anything on social media, in a little way as a test, you know, to protect our kids," Kody says. "She says no. That's the first time I've ever actually been able to go, 'OK, wow, she's serious about this.' I think I want to keep testing it though. You never know when she's going to realize that the life she's looking to create somewhere else isn't going to be any better than what she's had or got."
Christine admits to being confused as to when their marriage really ended due to it being a spiritual marriage rather than a legal one. She believes it's when Kody told her there would be no more intimacy in their marriage.
"Sex has been something that's been missing, for sure," she shares. "But the intimacy of the marriage, it just wasn't there."
In a rare moment, Kody takes some of the responsibility for things going wrong between him and Christine, talking about what he would have done differently.
"Intimacy needs trust. Attraction, in my world, needs trust. And I thought she was being mean. I was angry. I was like, 'God, man, you're unwinding plural marriage for me. You're undermining my whole life, my whole purpose.' And I said, 'No, we're not having intimacy until you get this straight!'" Kody recalls. "And I wish I would have not even been that angry, but I wish I would have said, 'Well, we've got to work on some things.'"
Noting that Christine hasn't told her sister wives that she intends to leave and that their marriage is over, Kody and his four wives all hop on a very awkward Zoom call.
Kody wants to discuss the plans for his school-aged children and school as restrictions have lifted locally and kids are now allowed to go back to school in person.
Christine shares that their 17-year-old daughter, Ysabel wants to return to school in person to be with her friends for the remainder of her senior year.
"If that's important to her, then I would do it," Kody says of Ysabel returning to school. "Here's the thing, everyone can do what they want, but I can't be exposed to people. I can't be going from house to house all the time."
This doesn't sit well with Christine or Kody's second wife, Janelle Brown.
"I'm feeling really bad for Yssie, having to choose between her dad and her friends," Janelle shares in an aside interview. "It frustrates me that Kody is making it so much like, 'If you go to school, I can't see you.' Because I think that's ridiculous."
Janelle decides to push the subject with Kody, asking, "I'm wondering, Kody, at what point are you feeling like you can have a normal life again? I mean, at what point is the infection rate going up? At what point is that point?"
Kody simply shrugs in response, adding, "I'm worried about getting it and spreading it to someone else. I'm not worried about getting it, even though I have health goals I want to focus on and stuff like that."
Robyn seems to agree with her husband, saying in an aside interview, "In my head, Kody's relationship with his kids is more important than anything else. I understand Ysabel's desire to return to school, but I'm also really concerned about this. It's something that I just find really, really stupid."
Janelle acknowledges that she's "crossing a line" by pressing the issue, but adds, "This just frustrates me so much that I can't keep my mouth shut."
Kody then asks Christine if their daughters have gotten tested so he can come over and visit them before school resumes in person, and she says she doesn't know.
"They're not going to get tested every single day, hoping and thinking that he's going to come over," Christine argues in an aside interview.
It's suggested that Kody see his daughters outside in the backyard and distanced, which he reluctantly agrees to.
"Well, I can do that, but that's been a real inconvenience so far," he says. "It's still not that warm all the time. But yeah, I'm doing that and I'm willing to do that. But I need her to make her own choice and not have to worry about anybody else reacting to that choice."
He goes on to claim that his "smaller children" need him more, saying, "Teenage kids don't need parents quite like preteens do."
All of the wives seem to take issue with this stance, with even Robyn arguing against Kody in her aside interview.
"I don't want to criticize Kody but I disagree," she says. "I think that kids need their parents for the rest of their lives. And I know for a fact that some of our older kids, they need their dad."
In fact, this episode, viewers get to see Christine and Robyn come together as Christine's biological daughter, Mykelti, has a home birth for her first child.
Despite admitting to struggling with jealousy over Robyn in previous episodes, calling her Kody's "favorite wife," Christine works hard to include her sister wife in the birth process.
Mykelti requested that Robyn be there for the baby's birth and though she couldn't due to Kody's COVID protocols, she did Zoom in for more than 24 hours of labor. Mykelti explained that she didn't want her dad present for the birth due to how exposed she had to be throughout the process.
The arduous labor got scary when the baby's heartbeat began to drop and the midwife realized the cord was wrapped around the baby.
"That cord was wrapped around Avalon three or four times," Christine recalls through tears.
Thankfully, the baby arrived safely, and Christine was bursting with joy for her daughter.
"It's really one of the most humbling things in this life, to watch your kids become parents," she says. "It's so instantaneous and that baby's going to have the best parents."
Sister Wives airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.