'Sister Wives': Where Kody Brown's 4 Marriages Stand With Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn

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With four wives, lots of drama, a catfish scandal and an impending divorce, Sister Wives has definitely had plenty of drama. The TLC reality series following polygamist Kody Brown and his wives, Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, Christine Brown and Robyn Brown, has been running for 16 seasons, marking its 10-year anniversary in 2021. 

Though the 53-year-old TV personality and salesman assured ET in February 2021 that "there will never be a fifth wife," understanding the status of his current marriages can still be a challenge given recent events

Here ET breaks down where Kody stands with his four wives: 

Meri Brown

As Kody's first wife, Meri and Kody married in April 1990. They share 26-year-old daughter Mariah Brown. The pair had a strong relationship until Meri's 2015 catfishing scandal in which she entered into an online relationship with someone she thought to be a man but who turned out to be a woman. The couple went to therapy in the aftermath and have since revealed that they are no longer intimate and that Kody no longer lives in Meri's home. 

"I miss physical intimacy with him," Meri admitted in a January 2022 reunion episode of Sister Wives

"I'm not going to ever be in a conjugal relationship with her because I'm not going to go through that emotional torture ever again," Kody said. "There's a point where intimacy is just damage."

Kody added that he would never feel "safe" being intimate with Meri again, noting that it wasn't the catfishing that led him to this decision, but rather that the catfishing "woke me up" to this truth. 

Meri added that she had no plans to divorce her husband, despite the fact that they are no longer intimate, saying in the reunion special, "I don't want to!"

"It's been 31 years now that we've been married," Meri explained. "I'm still committed. I made my choice." 

In February 2021, Kody told ET, "Meri and I are in an amiable relationship, but we've been literally separated for four or five years. We're amiable, we've had a real struggle... I'm not mad anymore. I'm not angry anymore. I'm not hurt anymore. So, that's progress." 

He noted at the time that he had not lived in Meri's home in four years, though they still saw each other on a regular basis, calling their relationship an "estranged marriage." 

As of February 2021, Meri still seemed convinced that they could work through things, telling ET, "It's really hard sometimes to be like, 'Huh, what is it I need to change and improve on to move forward in this relationship?'" She also noted of their relationship, "We've never parted." 

Janelle Brown

Janelle and Kody tied the knot in January 1993, marking Kody's second marriage. Janelle had previously been married to Adam Barber -- Meri's brother -- from 1988 to 1990. She and Kody share six kids together. Though they initially struggled to agree on COVID safety precautions, the couple both agreed that the pandemic brought them closer together. 

In February 2021, Kody told ET, "Janelle and I, I think, are in a good place. COVID has put a real strain on our time together, but we've survived times like this in the past. There's no trouble in paradise."

Janelle agreed, also telling ET, "Kody and I have definitely had challenges this year because we've had to spend more time apart than we have ever, probably. So that's definitely something I've had to think about and realize I still like him and want him around, so that was kind of nice. We've been married almost 30 years!"

Christine Brown 

Christine became Kody's third wife in 1994 and she shares six kids with him. But in November 2021, Christine announced her decision to divorce her ex after a difficult few years. 

At the time, Christine said in a statement, "Kody and I have grown apart and I have made the difficult decision to leave," noting that they will "continue to be a strong presence in each other's lives as we parent our beautiful children and support our wonderful family."

Kody also released a statement saying, "Christine's decision to leave comes with a great deal of sadness. We enjoyed many years together and I have a large amount of respect and admiration for her. Although we are moving forward on different paths, we will always remain committed parents."

Fans got to see the split play out on the TLC show as Christine became increasingly independent in recent seasons, distancing herself from Kody and his other wives. 

"I really like living separate. I like my own space," Christine told ET in February 2021, prior to the divorce news. "I like my own autonomy. I feel like I like me better now. And I just feel like I've been able to really raise my kids how I want to... I feel like as a person, I do better with a little more distance."

As for the moment that ended things between her and Kody, Christine recalled a conversation with her own father. 

"He said, 'At what point are you going to start saying no? You're always saying yes to everything. At what point are you going to start saying no?'" she recalled.

Noting that Kody didn't know how to handle this sudden change in his wife, Christine said, "I think that he heard but he had no idea what to do because I'd changed so much in a blink. Everything changed and Kody withdrew and I withdrew, and we just withdrew."

Kody was much less willing to discuss the split on camera, saying, "We can sit and say the 'he said, she said' until the cows come home. She's told you things that I fundamentally disagree with and all I'm doing now is defending myself."

He later added, "Now, I just look forward to [the] healing process, managing it and coming to a place where we're friends again. We had this experience and that's over and [now she can] have a good life."

Robyn Brown

Though Kody considers himself to be "spiritually married" to his four wives, he is only legally married to Robyn. The couple tied the knot in May 2010. They share three children and Robyn has three more children from a previous marriage to David Jessop. Kody's desire to adopt Robyn's three children from her previous marriage was ultimately the reason that Kody and Meri got legally divorced in 2014 and Kody and Robyn legally married that same year. 

One big point of contention within the plural family tends to be the other three wives' relationship with Robyn, feeling that Kody often gives his fourth wife preferential treatment. 

"I see Robyn regularly because there's been no quarantining for Robyn because she's done no traveling," Kody told ET in February 2021.

Many of the other wives objected to the amount of time Kody spent with Robyn in the first year of the pandemic and to the allowances she received, such as the couple having a live-in nanny. 

"There's this, sort of, pecking order," Kody said in the February 2022 reunion special. "Meri was really hard on Janelle and then Janelle and Meri were hard on Christine, and Janelle and Meri and Christine were hard on Robyn. And Robyn's going, 'I didn't do this to you. I didn't do this. Why are you this way?' Frankly, other than Meri, I'm not sure the others would want to be her friend."


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