Sister Wives: Kody Brown Treated Meri Poorly In Their Marriage (And How She’s Fighting Back Now)

Sister Wives's Kody was a cute and romantic husband to Meri until his spiritual calling led to him marrying three more women and falling out of love.

  •  Meri Brown was Kody’s first and longest-lasting wife, but he treated her poorly in their plural marriage. They officially split in January 2023.
  •  Kody divorced Meri in 2014 to legally marry Robyn and ensure custody of her children. He prioritized his other wives over Meri.
  •  Meri and Kody’s relationship deteriorated after he married Robyn, and their lack of intimacy and a catfishing scandal contributed to their separation. Meri did not want a fake relationship with Kody.

Sister Wives star Meri Brown was Kody Brown’s first wife but also the one he treated most poorly in their plural marriage. Kody and Meri’s relationship started in 1989 and ended for good three decades later when they released a joint statement confirming their split in January 2023. The news came after Christine Brown left Kody in November 2021 and Janelle Brown confirmed her separation from Kody in December 2022. Meri claimed she didn’t have a say in their separation. Kody had already made the decision that they’d split. While she did tease an interest in reconciliation, Meri called Kody’s approach to marriage “disturbing.

Meri was the only wife to be legally married to Kody until 2014 when he divorced her. Kody and Meri met through their religion. Meri became friends with Kody’s sister when the Brown family began attending Meri’s church. She met Kody in October 1989 when Kody’s sister introduced them. Kody, who had just returned from a mission trip, was 21 years old and Meri was 18. Interestingly, it was Meri who was raised in a polygamist family. Kody’s father did not practice polygamy until Kody was a teenager. Kody and Meri got engaged just two months later, in December 1989, and got married in four months.

Kody Divorced Meri To Legally Marry Robyn

sister wives montage kody robyn meri looking intense

Kody, 22, married a 19-year-old Meri in April 1990. Their marriage was monogamous for three years. Kody had grown up in a traditional Mormon family which didn’t entertain the idea of polygamy. His father, William Winn Brown, felt called to the lifestyle and Kody had a “divine calling” himself to practice it. Meri shared Kody’s beliefs because she was raised in a polygamist lifestyle herself. Kody’s treatment of Meri was a big motivating factor in Christine and Janelle’s decision to join their plural marriage. Christine was 18 when she met Kody and Meri. She thought they were “cute” and noticed “everybody wanted to be around them.”

Kody was sweet and charming with Meri. Christine saw how well Kody treated Meri and immediately wanted to “sign up” for that. Janelle, too, was interested in becoming a plural wife for a man who knew how to manage his family. When Janelle entered the family, Kody and Meri were in love. “They were always together, they were connected,” Janelle recalled. Kody became a polygamist when Janelle entered their marriage in 1993. Christine, also raised in a polygamous family, became Kody’s third wife in 1994. Then came Robyn, who also grew up in a polygamous lifestyle. Robyn entered into the plural family nearly two decades after Kody married his third wife.

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Meri was Kody’s only legal wife until 2014 when she legally divorced Kody so that he could legally marry Robyn. Kody had an overwhelming desire to legally take custody of the family’s newest members, Dayton, Aurora, and Breanna, so he decided to make Robyn his legal bride instead. The legal adoption ensured that if something were to happen to Robyn, her three children would remain in the Brown family and not be passed back to their biological dad. Kody and Meri considered themselves to be spiritually married from 2014 to 2023.

He Always Put The Other Wives Before Her

Kody and Meri’s relationship slowly started to deteriorate once he married Robyn. Kody prioritized his other wives over Meri. Meri became Kody’s least-liked wife. Kody made it obvious that he was no longer physically attracted to Meri. He didn’t want to be intimate with her. In 2020, Meri said it’d been “a decade” since she and Kody were intimate. Meri was to blame in this situation too, because it was also her catfishing scandal that tore the couple apart. Meri started talking to a person on Twitter named Sam in 2015. It was around the time of her legal divorce from Kody.

Sam from Chicago turned out to be a woman impersonating a man. Meri admitted she was in an emotional and vulnerable state at the time of the affair. Meri admitted she had considered leaving her family in 2016. Over time, Meri did not feel like she was a part of her own family. “Am I a sister wife when I don’t have a husband?” Meri did not feel like she was in a marriage at all. Kody and Meri attended counseling and figured they didn’t see eye to eye on many things. “The relationship between he and I is gone. It’s dead. It’s over,” Meri declared.

Kody Wanted To Fake His Love For Meri

Meri and Kody from Sister Wives, looking down

In later years, Meri felt sad that Kody didn’t see the value in their relationship with three decades’ worth of history. Kody claimed that his past with Meri made him feel “deceived” and emotionally “unsafe.” Kody said he sometimes felt like he needed to “save” Meri. He said he tried to “be her Jesus” but failed. He believed Meri was going to leave him for a “better, richer man.” He made up his mind to not think of Meri as anything more than a friend even though she’d remained a part of the family. “I’m not ever going to be in a conjugal relationship with her,” claimed Kody.

I am willing to fake being in love with Meri,” Kody said during a recent episode of Sister Wives as he sat down with Meri and Robyn to discuss the end of their plural marriage. “I’m not going to force somebody to be with me who doesn’t want to be with me,” Meri admitted. Kody was ready to continue doing his duties as a husband and even “put up with things” about Meri that frustrated him so deeply that he struggled to be around her. He wanted to save himself from the “emotional turmoil.” Robyn insisted that Kody had to consider being married to Meri, however, he admitted he did not feel that way.

Meri Doesn’t Want A Fake Relationship With Kody

Clearly, Meri didn’t want Kody to fake having feelings for her when he’d already checked out of the relationship for “eight or 10 years.” Meri wanted their relationship to heal. “It’s not fair to either of us. It’s not fair for me to be alone like I have been for years” said Meri. She did not wish for Kody to feel like he had to do a duty. The longtime pair had decided it was best to go on being friends because, to Kody, “romance” was not in the picture anymore.

However, Meri did not appreciate that Kody was “putting all this” on her and did not admit that he didn’t have an interest in continuing the relationship. Meri had no interest in making Kody act in a way he didn’t want to act. While Kody wanted to perform his “duty” as a husband because it was easy, Meri wasn’t keen on being someone’s “duty.” Meri had experienced it already, and it was “not fun.” The scene meant “goodbye” for the Sister Wives pair. Kody believed that it’d been a “wasted” seven years for Meri. “But we’ve agreed now and I hope she finds peace because I will,” Kody said in conclusion.

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