Through 15 seasons of showing fans how a polygamous marriage can work, the “Sister Wives” stars are beginning to convince themselves that it just might not be possible.
For over three decades, TLC stars Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn Brown let reality TV fans into their home and showed off their unconventional family dynamic.
The Browns practiced polygamy, displaying how co-existing as four wives with one husband could work. They seemed to be a picture-perfect family for a long time until things started going awry in the latter season of their family show. Here’s a look through the lifestyle they adopted for a long time and where they currently stand.
How “Sister Wives” Came To Be
Kody and his wives are currently in their fifties except for Robyn, who isn’t really far behind. However, their polygamous marriage goes way back in the 1980s when Kody, at 21, married Meri, who was 19.
Although Kody did not have a polygamous background, he embraced it as an adult, and it was fine by meri because she was raised in a polygamous home. The two legally got married in 1989, and four years later, Kody spiritually married his second wife, Janelle.
Kody Brown and his third wife, Christine, were friends for three years before engaging in spiritual marriage. At the time, he was 25, and Christine was 21. By the early 2000s, the tension in the polygamous home started.
Janelle packed her things and went to live with her mother for a while. However, she returned to her family, indicating that the dust had settled. By September 2010, the Browns bagged their TLC show, “Sister Wives,” hoping to show fans how successful a polygamous family could be.
There Were Issues After Kody Took Another Wife
In the same year that the “Sister Wives” stars bagged their TV contract, Kody started seeing fourth wife, Robyn, who was a divorcee with three kids. The two became spiritually married in the same years, but Kody sought to adopt Robyn’s kids.
He then asked Meri to divorce him so he could legally marry his fourth wife. Robyn and Kody, who shared 18 kids with his wives, became legally married in 2014. A few years after the union, four sister wives tried to perfect the act of cohabiting; things started falling apart.
Many fans believe it was a result of Kody’s favoritism to Robyn. In the same vein, his wives, Meri and Christine, decided their marital arrangement seemed not to be working any longer.
The Ups And Downs Between Kody and Christine
When Christine initially joined the Brown family as the third wife, it gave her much joy. This was because it was something she always looked forward to. Christine came from a polygamous family, and monogamy never appealed to her.
Kody and Christine welcomed six children together, and their issues started after Robyn joined the family. Christine felt like her husband jeopardized his relationship with other family members when he would go miles to visit her during their courtship.
The mom-of-six also clarified that she was not down for a fourth wife but would only agree if the individual was “absolutely amazing.” Amid the pandemic in 2020, the “Sister Wives” family experienced more rift, especially after moving to different homes in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Things did not seem to get better between Kody and Christine because she shocked fans during the season 15 finale by announcing her wish to end her marriage. The TV star shared that she was not sure she could “do marriage with Kody anymore.”
The Tension Between Kody and Meri
Just like Christine, Kody’s first wife, Meri, grew tired of the dynamics in their polygamous family. Meri, who agreed to divorce her husband to marry his fourth wife legally, became skeptical about her marriage.
In the course of seeking companionship elsewhere, she got catfished online. Her relationship with her husband deteriorated, and Kody once revealed that they had been “in a very dark place for a long time.”
Kody, who seemed to have grown tired of polygamy, told Us Weekly that their marriage had been more about getting themselves out of “the hole we dug ourselves into.” He added:
“I feel like [my wives] need to understand that — that they can leave. If it’s not working for them, they can leave. Nobody’s going to be a prisoner here.”
Despite the factors threatening to break them up, Meri decided to stay married to Kody. She revealed in the “Sister Wives” season 16 trailer that she considered leaving but decided to stay committed to her marriage because she loved her husband.
Janelle Tried To Be The Voice Of Reasoning
At one point, during the pent-up drama in the Brown family, Janelle, who is Kody’s second wife, tried to apply conflict resolution methods. She called the adults together in a sit-down lunch, asking everyone to remember why they chose a plural life from the beginning.
This was to remind them about fulfilling their purposes. Janelle stated that she chose polygamy because she loved the whole idea of family. Meri noted that it was because she was raised in a polygamous home.
Christine stated that she chose their plural family because she loved how her grandmothers cohabited. Robyn added that she just loved a big family. However, Kody had a different opinion, noting that he did not want to be an advocate for plural marriages any longer.
Kody Is Cozier With Robyn And The Other Wives Can’t Compete With Her
It is noteworthy that Kody’s relationship with his fourth wife has not been affected through the ups and downs that the “Sister Wives” stars have faced in recent years. Where things have been shaky with his other wives, Kody’s relationship with Robyn remains rock solid.
In March 2021, he opened up about wanting more kids with the mom-of-five. He added that it was up to Robyn to decide if she wanted more kids, but he was down for it at any time.
Towards November 2021, the couple’s relationship was the healthiest compared to the other wives. An insider also shared that the other wives “can’t compete with Robyn,” because she and Kody were very much in love.