Everything You Need To Know About Kody Brown's Four Wives

TLC's mega-popular reality TV show "Sister Wives" has been following Kody Brown, his four wives Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn (well, some are now ex-wives), and their 18 kids since 2010. The so-called plural family is polygamist, but since having more than one spouse is illegal in the United States, Kody has legally been married to only one woman at a time, namely Meri and then Robyn.

As of late, Meri, Janelle, and Christine are no longer in a relationship with Kody, legal or spiritual, and Robyn is his only remaining wife. The family has weathered many scandals throughout the years, including getting kicked out of their church, but the public's fascination with the blended family hasn't ceased.

The show is scheduled to return for its 18th season, and it's bound to get interesting. The sister wives' lives have surely changed after their breakups with Kody Brown, and they're not looking back. Since their splits, some of the ex-sister wives are already coupled up again, while others are shifting the focus back to themselves.

Kody Brown's first wife was Meri Brown

Meri Brown had the longest relationship with Kody Brown out of all the sister wives in their family. The two met in 1989 and were together for 32 years after marrying each other just six months after their initial introduction. It came as no surprise that Meri was open to a polygamous marriage as a part of her Latter-day Saints upbringing, which she shared in a conversation with the Las Vegas Sun. "I grew up in a plural family with five mothers and 25 brothers and sisters," she said.

However, not everyone around her was on board with the idea of a plural family, causing her to lose her job in the mental health industry when "Sister Wives" premiered in 2010, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Four years later, Kody and Meri signed the divorce papers so Kody could legally marry Robyn Brown, the fourth sister wife. That way, he could legally adopt her three children from her first marriage. While Kody and Meri did remain in a so-called spiritual marriage, Meri got entangled in a catfishing scandal just a year after severing their legally binding ties.

The catfishing scheme did cause a strain in their relationship, but Kody and Meri pushed through. That is, until the beginning of 2023, when the pair shared a joint statement on Instagram, saying that they were "permanently terminating their marriage relationship." Meri is now sharing her travels on social media and focusing on herself. She has one child with Kody named Leon Brown.

Kody and second wife Janelle Brown are stepsiblings

Before Kody married his second wife, Janelle Brown, the two were stepsiblings. "[My mom] ended up meeting Kody's dad, and they ended up falling in love and getting married before Kody and I started courting," Janelle shared in one of the "Sister Wives" episodes, as per US Weekly.

The two entered a spiritual union in 1993 as Kody was legally married to Meri then. Janelle wasn't always fond of sharing her spiritual husband with other spouses. "Of course I still get jealous," she shared with US Weekly in a 2021 conversation, adding that she deals with the occasional feelings of envy by trying not to compare herself to the other wives. Kody and Janelle share six kids: Logan, Hunter, Robert Garrison, Gabriel, Maddie, and Savannah.

However, the downfall of their union was inevitable as the pair have been separated since 2022. "Kody and I have separated and I'm happy, really happy," Janelle told host Sukanya Krishnan in an interview on "Sunday's Sister Wives: One on One." "I don't know, things just really became sort of indifferent, like I just didn't care anymore," she explained. The tensions seem to have started during COVID-19 when Kody reportedly set strict rules in place that led to him not spending enough time with Janelle and their kids, as she hinted in the "One on One" special. While Kody wanted to reconcile, Janelle seems to have moved on and is focused on her health journey and coaching others through her business Strive with Janelle.

Christine Brown, the third wife, is Kody's cousin

The Brown family tree continues to baffle, as Kody is directly related to his third spiritual wife, Christine Brown. According to Radar Online, the two are distant relatives who share a set of great-great-great-grandparents, which makes them fourth cousins. They officially got together in 1994, but again just in spirit, as Kody was legally married to Meri.

Despite sharing six kids together, Aspyn, Mykelti, Paedon, Gwendlyn, Ysabel, and Truely, the pair's breakup was quite publicized in seasons 16 and 17 of the "Sister Wives" show. Christine was open about how hurt she felt for years before the split and emphasized that she wasn't all that close with all of her sister wives. "As far as relationships with other adults, Janelle and I are super close, but I'm not that close with the rest of you, and for right now, I kind of need it that way," Christine told Robyn before she broke it off with Kody, Hollywood Life reports.

Her lack of effort to connect with them didn't sit right with Kody, while Christine felt neglected. All of the tension led to their eventual split in November 2021, making Christine the first sister wife to leave the polygamous union. Christine has definitely left the drama behind her, as she's currently engaged to a new man, David Woolley, with whom she shares a house in Utah.

Robyn Brown is Kody's only remaining wife

The fourth sister wife, Robyn Brown, is the last to stay with Kody. The two got together in a spiritual marriage in 2010 and were legally wed in 2014 after Kody divorced his first wife, Meri, in order to adopt Robyn's three kids from her previous marriage, David, Aurora, and Breanna. Kody and Robyn have two kids of their own, Solomon and Ariella.

Robyn was also born into a plural family, but she shared that she was never pressured to enter a plural marriage herself in a Q&A session with the Las Vegas Sun. She was previously in a monogamous marriage with David Jessop from 1999 to 2007, and the marriage ended due to abuse. "Just to clarify, I do not tolerate my kids getting bullied. I ended my first marriage because of abuse. My kids come first ALWAYS," Robyn shared via Twitter, as reported by E! News.

Despite a polygamous union being her dream, as she stated in the "Sunday's Sister Wives: One on One" special, Robyn is having a difficult time with the idea of welcoming someone new into her relationship with Kody. "That's hard for me. That's really, really hard for me. It feels disrespectful," she said of moving on so soon after the breakups. For now, Robyn currently remains Kody's only legal and spiritual wife.

Reuniting isn't happening

After their plural family fell apart, there's little hope for things going back to how they were. With Christine getting engaged and moving away and Janelle feeling disrespected, Robyn's dreams of reuniting don't seem plausible. "It makes me angry. I just don't know why they're not figuring this stuff out and talking. Finding their compromise and finding the things that they love about each other," she shared in a recent episode. "I can't fix it for them. I can try and persuade. I can beg. It's my family," Robyn concluded tearfully.

While Meri, Kody's first wife, was hoping for reconciliation at one point, Kody made it clear he was not interested in her. "I don't really consider myself married to Meri. I don't believe that we can ever be functional. And I don't believe that I will ever be emotionally safe with her," Kody said in one of the show's episodes, as per Insider. Meri eventually accepted his disinterest and has since moved out of the family home amid their separation.

Janelle and Christine were the closest among the sister wives, but it's unknown whether they're still as close. While the rest of them were always cordial to each other on the show, it seemed like there was more tension than a deeper connection between the sister wives recently, so it's highly unlikely they would go back to a blended family.