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Polygamist Kody Brown’s four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn Brown, have often kept mum about physical affection and sex on TLC’s Sister Wives. The fundamentalist Mormon family usually likes to keep their private lives, well, private. The four wives trade off nights with Kody and tend not to be romantic, snuggly, or sexual with their husband in front of the other three.

But on the Jan. 26 episode of Sister Wives, “A Not So Merry Christmas,” Kody’s second and third wives seemed to hint at a possible sex- and affection-related reason that Christine isn’t in favor of living together as a family under one roof in their new hometown of Flagstaff.

Meri, Janelle, Kody, Christine, and Robyn Brown
Meri, Janelle, Kody, Christine, and Robyn Brown | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Third wife Christine said she wanted to be more physically affectionate with Kody

While Janelle, Robyn, and Meri all seemed somewhat open to the idea of sharing a home, third wife Christine was adamantly opposed to the plan. She said straightforwardly, “I’m not going to do it.”

The reason? In part, Christine wants to have physical affection with Kody without having to worry about other wives walking in. (During her explanation, TLC producers showed a clip of Kody walking by and smacking Christine’s butt affectionately in private.)

“I know that, for a lot of people, living under one roof makes the most sense because it’s one big family, so why wouldn’t we want to live as one big family?” the Sister Wives star told producers. “And they have a point. But I can’t tell you how good it feels to be in charge of my own domain.”

She explained further that she never felt she could be truly intimate with Kody physically on a regular basis in their shared home in Utah. “Living all together kiboshes intimacy. It just does,” she said. “So I knew what kind of a wife I wanted to be when we all lived together. But I really couldn’t be that wife because there were always other wives around.”

Christine got even more detailed about the restrictions she felt in her marriage, explaining to Sister Wives producers, “We couldn’t be physically affectionate with each other except for in our rooms, our bedrooms. Every wife deserves to be loved in her kitchen, and her living room, and wherever, outside. You could never really be an intimate couple, because there was always a chance that another wife could and would and did walk in at any time.”

Second wife Janelle was open to the idea of one big ‘community’ and said Christine’s bedroom placement might affect her decision

Kody lived in one large home with his four wives in their home in Lehi, Utah. Robyn, who joined the family last, said their communal living situation in Utah was actually one of the things that drew her to the Browns in the first place.

But after Robyn joined the family and they went public on Sister Wives, the Browns moved to four homes in a Las Vegas cul-de-sac to avoid potential prosecution for polygamy in Utah.

According to Kody’s second wife Janelle, the family’s past living situation, and what Christine might have heard from other wives and Kody, might have soured her against living in a shared home.

“When we lived in Lehi, Utah, Christine had somebody above her,” the Sister Wives star explained. “You know, there really is an axiom in plural families, you don’t ever put one wife above another. You know, you hear the walking around, you hear the laughing and everything. And I think that that’s just not healthy, it’s just not healthy. There’s no privacy.”

But Janelle said Kody’s new blueprint for a shared home in Flagstaff might be able to solve that problem. “This house has privacy and autonomy,” she said. “For me, it’s more about community. I love community…I love that idea a lot.”

Kody’s first wife Meri refused to give a straight answer

While Janelle and Robyn seemed open to the plan, and Christine was vehemently opposed, Meri didn’t offer her opinion one way or another. This was strategic, Kody’s first wife told TLC producers.

In part because Meri is estranged from Kody and the rest of the family, she didn’t want to rock the boat. “I was kind of quiet,” the Sister Wives star admitted. “I’m careful to say what I think until I find out what everybody else thinks.”

When TLC producers pushed Kody’s first wife to share what she thought, she refused, saying she wanted to let her sister wives make the final decision.

“I think I’d rather just let it go and kind of let them decide. If it goes in my favor, then that would be good,” she said. “I do have a strong opinion about this. But if it’s different than the other three, then my opinion really won’t matter. Not that it doesn’t matter, but, majority rules, kind of a thing.”