As Ysabel Brown prepares to move to college, she reflects on the state of her relationship with dad Kody in the latest episode of “Sister Wives.”
When asked to describe her bond with Kody in a confessional interview, the recent high school graduate says it's "fine" but acknowledges that she has a closer relationship with her mother, Christine.
“I’m gonna miss my mom more than I'm gonna miss him, I think —because I don't actually think we’re close at all. But I mean, he's still my dad," Ysabel, now 19, says.
Meanwhile, Kody admits that he gets the sense that Ysabel is a bit shy whenever they have a conversation.
“You know, anytime I spend time with Ysabel, I spend most of my time doing a lot of work to draw her out of herself. I don’t know what it is. I don’t think I’m that big an ogre. I don't know why she's not talking to me. I’m open to her," he explains.
During the episode, titled “Telling Truely,” Christine reveals that Kody bought Ysabel a car and Christine invited him to travel cross country with them to get their daughter set up at college. However, he declined the offer.
A flashback clip shows the father and daughter talking about the move and Ysabel says it's OK he can't come when he apologizes. However, Kody still suspects that she's upset.
“I think Ysabel is probably hurt that I didn’t go but there are people depending on me, more than just Ysabel. And it just wasn’t going to work in this case," he says in a confessional. "I would’ve done it if we wouldn’t have had the COVID thing."
As she reflects on her relationship with Kody, Ysabel also elaborates on her feelings about her parents' breakup.
“I think that I’ve been able to adjust to the idea of mom and dad getting a divorce more so. I think they both deserve to be happy and I don’t think anybody can be happy in a loveless marriage,” she says.
Ysabel's younger sister Truely also finds out that her parents have split in the episode. Even though Christine plans to move to Utah with Truely, Kody emphasizes that he still wants to have a relationship with his daughter. Still, he worries that Christine is influencing her opinion of him behind the scenes.
"So it’s almost like this is just following a narrative. She sets Truely up with, ‘Well, Dad’s never here anyway, right?’ I mean, she’s leading Truely down the road," he said.
The 53-year-old goes on to suggest that he isn't fully responsible for his strained relationships with his children.
"If my relationship is bad with my younger children, it’s not always my fault. It’s that I haven’t had a mother who has been willing to actually help that," he suggests. "And Christine here needing excuses to be able to leave has been setting things up, I feel like, for a very long time to justify this to her children."
However, Christine shares her side of the story, explaining that she and Truely don't see Kody or the rest of their plural family often. On top of that, two of her daughters also have plans to move.
"We've been alone here and we would be more alone and she would be lonely here. But in Utah we'll be right in between Aspyn and Mykelti (two of her daughters) where they live. We're gonna see them all the time."
The 50-year-old explains that she's been craving that sort of support system for Truely.
"They just envelop her when she's around them and that's what I wanna give her for the rest of her life, is to be surrounded and just enveloped in love," she says.