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'Sister Wives': Kody Brown says divorce 'delegitimizes' all he's worked for

Brown said that he's spent over a decade "begging the public" to accept his plural marriage.
Both Christine and Kody Brown wondered what the public would think when they announced their divorce.
Both Christine and Kody Brown wondered what the public would think when they announced their divorce.TLC

Breaking up is always hard to do, but it's particularly challenging when you're living in the public eye. That's something both Kody and Christine Brown come to terms with in the latest episode of "Sister Wives."

In an exclusive clip shared with TODAY, the former couple offer their thoughts on how the public will respond to the news of their divorce.

“We’ve been 12 years, 11 years public trying to convince the world that we have something legitimate,” Kody tells Christine at the beginning of the clip.

The scene then shifts to a confessional with Kody, who worries that their breakup will "delegitimize" his mission to show polygamy as a viable life path through the show, which began in 2010.

“We’ve worked so hard begging the public to accept our marriage, our family. And in a moment, (Christine) decides we’re divorced. And it feels like it delegitimizes everything I’ve worked for, for so long," he says.

Christine shares her own fears in a confessional, but they're not exactly related to polygamy.

“When I chose to leave Kody, I knew I would be open publicly about it and this was a decision that I was making that other people would know and it wasn’t a private decision," she says. "One of the things that I was concerned about was would I be considered a fraud? Would I be considered a liar?"

Despite her concerns, the mother of six forged forward with the divorce and she doesn't seem to have any regrets.

"I know without a doubt I have tried for years to make this work. I have a clean conscience knowing that I gave it my best," she says. "If people want to look at me and think otherwise, OK. I can’t do anything about that."

Ultimately, the 50-year-old says she's more focused on her children than the public's perception of her former marriage.

"Being a mom is my most important thing," she says. "I couldn’t with a clear conscience stay married to someone who had favorites and made it very known and someone who was breaking my kids’ hearts."

Christine has spoken extensively this season about her children’s strained relationships with their father. Her daughter Ysabel even opened up about the status of her relationship with her father Kody in a recent episode.

"I don’t actually think we’re close at all. But I mean, he’s still my dad,” Ysabel, 19, said.

Instead of staying in an unhappy marriage, Christine said she decided to choose her own happiness, and her children's.

"I needed to stand with them instead and I wanted to do it for them," she says then gets emotional and walks away.