- Kody Brown stars on ‘Sister Wives’ with the four women he’s been married to over the years: Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn Brown.
- Christine left Kody in 2021, while Meri and Janelle separated from Kody in 2022.
- Despite previously living a polygamous lifestyle, Kody now remains legally married to only Robyn.
Kody Brown’s polygamous lifestyle has been documented on TLC’s Sister Wives since the show’s premiere in 2010. Kody married his first wife, Meri Brown, in 1990. They eventually welcomed Janelle Brown and Christine Brown into the family, although Kody only married them spiritually. In 2014, Kody divorced Meri, but remained married to her spiritually. The divorce happened so Kody could legally marry Robyn Brown and adopt her children from a past relationship.
Including his three adopted children, Kody has 18 kids total with his four wives. They raised their families together over the years. However, a lot changed for the Brown family in 2021, when Christine announced she’d be divorcing Kody and leaving the family. The pair’s split was followed by Janelle also separating from Kody in 2022. Then, in 2023, Meri and Kody announced that they were “permanently terminating” their marriage, as well. Learn all about Kody’s relationships with the four women below:
Kody met his first wife, Meri Brown, through Meri’s sister in 1990. After a whirlwind romance, the couple was engaged and married within a year, when Kody was 21 and Meri was 19. Though Meri and Kody have been married the longest, they only share one child. Their child, Leon, was born Mariah, but came out as transgender in June 2022 and now uses they/them pronouns.
The couple remained legally married until 2014, when Kody divorced Meri so that he would be able to wed Robyn. Kody and Meri remained in a spiritual marriage, but began growing apart. Their relationship took a major hit in 2015, though, when Meri was involved in a catfishing scandal. She began an online relationship for several months with someone who she believed to be a man, but was eventually revealed to be a woman.
When Meri’s catfishing scandal was exposed, Kody lost all trust in his first wife, and it led to further unraveling of their already fragile relationship. As the years went on, Kody pulled away from Meri more and more. In a Feb. 2022 Instagram post, Meri admitted that she considered her marriage to Kody as “estranged.” However, she said time and time again that she did not want to give up hope that they could work things out.
Around that time, though, Kody was making confessions of his own about the relationship on Sister Wives. Kody flat-out said that he did not consider himself married to Meri anymore, and admitted that he wouldn’t care if she went on to find someone else. Meri said that when she saw that clip, she was confused, as she was under the impression that they were trying to make the relationship work.
Although fans took this to mean the end of Meri and Kody’s marriage, the two didn’t actually announce their split until Jan. 10, 2023. They released a joint statement on Instagram to share the news. “After more than a decade of working on our relationship in our own unique ways, we have made the decision to permanently terminate our marriage relationship,” the statement said. “During this process, we are committed to kindness and respect toward each other and to all members of our family, and we are committed to the continued healing of any and all relationships within the family.”
Believe it or not, it was Meri who introduced Kody to his second wife, Janelle, Janelle, who “spiritually married” Kody in 1993, shares six children with Kody: Logan, Hunter, Garrison, Gabriel, Maddie, and Savannah.
Sadly, Janelle and Kody confirmed they were separated in 2022 after nearly 30 years together. The news broke in a preview for a one-on-one Sister Wives special. And while the news was certainly heartbreaking, it wasn’t exactly shocking. During their “spiritual marriage”, they faced hard times — especially after the COVID-19 pandemic started. Kody’s strict COVID-19 rules put a strain on Janelle and Christine, and in a 2022 episode of Sister Wives Janelle reflected on whether she even wanted to remain with Kody. She described their relationship as “strained” and shared it would be “really easy” to walk away from Kody.
At the time, however, Janelle still felt certain about the benefits of a plural marriage. “What I hope polygamy to be when I was younger ended up being something very different from what I actually lived,” she admitted. “But..I need to be present and be grateful for the family that I have. I am who I am today because of polygamy. Because I lived it.”
But after Christine left the family, Janelle reached her own breaking point with Kody. “I don’t think you and I know how to be real about things with each other,” Kody said to Janelle in the season 17 trailer. Janelle admitted, “He’s no longer acting as my husband here.”
During the season 17 finale, Janelle expanded on her and Kody’s separation. “At this point, it’s not love,” Janelle admitted. “It’s duty, it’s commitment, it’s faith that tells you you work it out and stick it out. I think if we both sat down we’d look at each other and say…really? Kody and I have been separated and I’m happy, I’m really happy.”
Christine Brown, who Kody met in 1990 and welcomed into his plural marriage in 1994, was the first of Kody’s wives to officially separate from him. The couple, whose relationship fans watched spiral in real-time on Sister Wives, announced their separation in November 2021, after 25 years of marriage. Tensions ran high between the couple especially after COVID-19 hit, as Christine and Kody repeatedly bashed heads over his strict rules for the family. In a statement, Kody emphasized that he and Christine would continue to focus on co-parenting their six children, son Paedon and girls Aspyn, Mykelti, Gwendlyn, Ysabel, and Truely.
Christine and Kody’s split was the main storyline in seasons 16 and 17 of their reality show. The trailer showed Christine admitting that it’s been “heartbreaking” to be Kody’s wife for years. She also accused him of caring more about Robyn, one of his other wives, than her.
Despite COVID seemingly being the breaking point for Christine and Kody, she said that she was having issues in their marriage for quite some time before that. She also grew frustrated with Kody when he said he no longer wanted an intimate relationship with her. However, Kody insisted that it was Christine’s actions that led him to no longer want intimacy. He claimed that Christine was bad mouthing him to their kids behind his back, which made him not trust her. Kody has insisted that trust is the most important part of a relationship to him, so this hit him hard.
Christine told Kody that she wanted to leave him at the beginning of 2021. She eventually revealed that she planned to move away from the family in Arizona to live in Utah. Christine also shared that she planned to take the pair’s minor daughter, Truely, with her, which led to even more tension with Kody. Kody was livid that Christine was making the decision to up and leave so quickly, but for Christine, it had been brewing for quite some time. Christine officially made the move to Utah in the fall of 2022.
When Robyn Brown met Kody, she saw a chance for new love and a second act. A divorced mom of three, Robyn first encountered Kody at church in 2009 and they “spiritually married” each other a year later. After welcoming daughter son Solomon in 2011, Robyn and Kody were legally married in 2014 so Kody could adopt Robyn’s three children from her previous marriage, David, Aurora, and Breanna. Robyn and Kody also welcomed daughter Ariella in 2016.
Though Robyn was the last of Kody’s loves to come into his life, it seems he may be focusing on their relationship more than ever. According to a 2022 report from Us Weekly, Kody began only been spending time with Robyn amid relationship troubles with Meri, Christine and Janelle. Allegedl, this rift even stems to their children. “Kody’s stepkids from Robyn’s first marriage worship him and are really close to him, unlike the others,” Us Weekly‘s source revealed. “He has really damaged his relationship with the other kids.”
Robyn and her kids also agreed to follow Kody’s COVID-19 rules, which is why he started spending more time with them during the pandemic. Janelle and Christine continued to follow CDC guidelines, but were not sticking to the rules that Kody set forth, so he started spending less time at their homes. Both Janelle and Christine have been open about their feelings that Kody favors Robyn to them. As of 2023, Robyn is Kody’s only wife.
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