Sister Wives star Christine Brown revealed she tries to "shield" her youngest children from watching sister wife Meri's marriage with their husband, Kody, play out on TV.
As OK! previously reported, Kody's marriage to his first wife has been rocky for years, and the drama is often documented on the long-running reality series.
When asked by UsWeekly if Kody and Meri's tumultuous marriage affects the rest of the family (Kody and wives Christine, Janelle, Meri and Robyn share 18 children combined), Christine, 48, confessed that her "younger kids" don't really "know the extent of it" because she tries to "shield" them from that part of the show.
"I want them to just live in a little bubble with regards to our show a little bit," Christine said of her younger kids, noting that "it’s hard for them" when "they see the relationship stuff."
Christine speculated that "the older kids might watch the episodes," which show the true nature of Kody and Meri's relationship, but she doesn't know for sure.
"I’ll turn the volume down lower and things like that. Just because it is difficult. It is hard," she admitted. "Honestly, the whole thing’s been kind of sad."
Meri and her sister wives have been living in separate homes in Flagstaff, Ariz., since the start of the pandemic — with only Kody traveling between the homes.
On the Sunday, March 21 episode of Sister Wives, both Kody, 52, and Meri, 50, opened up about their strained relationship amid the ongoing pandemic. "He doesn't typically come to my house very often," Meri shared in a confessional. "He basically is just going between Janelle and Christine and Robyn, that's typically what he does. Just calling it like it is."
On Kody's end, he admitted that he barely sees Meri — whom he wed in 1990 — because he quit putting effort into their relationship a while back. "There's just been nothing going on between me and Meri," the father-of-18 said, explaining that Meri still "interacts with the family for the holidays and the birthdays."
However, Kody said he only sees Meri "once in a blue moon," as they "quit dating and that's just probably because I quit calling her to say, 'Let's go do something.'"
Kody and Meri welcomed Janelle into their plural marriage in 1993, followed by Christine one year later. Meri agreed to divorce Kody so he could legally marry Robyn in 2014, four years after she joined the Brown family.
And while the once loved-up couple has been together for over two decades, Meri revealed she had an emotional affair in 2015 with someone who "catfished" her online. They tried to make their relationship work through therapy; however, Kody later confessed that he had no desire to be intimate with Meri.
"Neither of us see real value in the relationship," Kody said, speaking on both their behalves in a previous episode, before noting: "if Meri and I really wanted to be together, we would."
Sister Wives airs Sundays at 10/9c on TLC.