TLC’s popular show, Sister Wives, follows the lives of the polygamist Brown family. Kody Brown is “married” to four woman, Robyn, Christine, Janelle and Meri, but it’s Meri who is the most interesting member of the household — she’s different from the other women.
Meri has been faced with heartache and has been involved in online affair, but she has also struggled with her own unique set of problems, ranging from jealousy to loneliness (she claimed on an episode that she felt she was doing her life by herself). However, these issues have helped shape who Meri is today. Here are ten reasons that show exactly how Meri is not your typical sister wife, and how she has ultimately broken away from the Sister Wives world to find herself, and focus on the things that she loves.
She legally divorced Kody
Meri was Kody’s first wife but she legally divorced him so that he could marry his fourth wife, Robyn. The reason behind this decision has been reported by People magazine as a way for Kody to adopt Robyn’s three children from another marriage, and this is something which Meri hinted at during an episode of Sister Wives. She said, “If ever I’m having an emotional moment about what I’ve lost, I just think, it’s not about me, it’s about the kids.”
However, the official statement the Browns told Entertainment Tonight made no mention of the kids. Instead they said, “We have chosen to legally restructure our family. We made this decision together as a family. We are grateful to our family, friends and fans for all their love and support.”
This decision was one that understandably hurt Meri. During a TLC special (via Daily Mail) she spoke about her divorce from Kody, saying, “It’s the end of something that we had had, in a way, for 24 and a half years. But at the same time, I know it’s not because I have eternity with him. I have eternity with the family. I know it’s not the end.”
She looked for love online
In 2015, it was revealed that Brown had been involved in a catfishing scandal. According to People magazine, Brown thought she had been speaking with a man named Sam, however, it later became clear to her that she had been duped, and the person she was really speaking to was a woman. During an interview with People, Brown commented on the trickery. She said, “I became fearful of the online relationship as I became aware of the deception. I didn’t know how to get out of the situation without putting myself, family, and friends at greater risk. It was a very difficult time. I had a lot of anxiety.”
But before she realized her online lover wasn’t who she thought he was, she seemed happy and even admitted that she was flirting with “him.” During a one-hour special Catching the Catfisher (via People), Brown spoke about this, saying, “It sounded like a guy with a southern accent. We laughed a lot. It was easy to connect with him, just because there was so much in common…. He was very, very flirty with me. And I have guy friends and I am a little bit flirty too.”
She hasn’t been herself for a long time
After the news of Brown’s online affair was revealed, it also emerged that she had not been herself for a long time — which suggests that she was going through changes and perhaps contemplating leaving her life as a sister wife behind.
During an interview on TLC in the clip titled What She Is Going Through, fellow wife, Janelle admitted that Meri was “a little more distant from the family,” adding, “We are anxious to help her in any way we can.”
She pushed Kody away
During an episode of Sister Wives, viewers learned a lot about the dynamics between Meri and her spiritual husband Kody, including the fact that there was a lot of tension in their relationship.
Meri also admitted that her catfish influenced the way she felt about her family. She said, “This catfish was planting things in my head and just telling me how horrible my family was. And specifically how horrible Kody was.” These comments affected Meri, and she started to push her husband away.
In the same episode, Kody reminded Meri on camera that she said she wanted him to leave her alone. He said, “You asked me to not be around you. You invited me away. You told me to go away.”
She felt she was married to a stranger
One of the most hurtful things that Meri had to go through was divorcing Kody so that he could legally marry Robyn. This caused a whole lot of problems between Meri and Kody.
The couple tried to save their marriage, but during an episode of Sister Wives, Meri admitted that she didn’t even know who she was married to anymore. She said, “Kody, I just feel like I’ve spent a lot of years not knowing where we were. You know both of us have been avoiding any sort of anything with our relationship.”
She later added, “I feel like i’m just doing my life by myself. That’s not what I signed up for.”
She’s struggled with loneliness
Brown also admitted during an episode of the show that she felt alone. She confessed that her home was so quiet that she would find herself putting music on just to drown out the silence. She said, “I just feel lonely. I’m just alone, so much at the time.” And the worst part was that Brown felt as though no one in her family could possibly relate.
She’s not immune to jealousy
One of the most amazing things about the Brown family is that the women don’t seem to get jealous of each other. At least that’s what fans had always thought, until Meri and Christine decided to open up during an interview with Tamron Hall.
Speaking of how they have all felt jealous, Meri said, “We all just have different levels of jealousy moments, at different times, depending on where we were within ourselves.”
She has had a strained relationship with other wives
It was revealed on the show that Meri and Janelle have not always had the best relationship, and they needed to speak to therapist Nancy Hunterton about their issues.
While in a therapy session Janelle admitted to Meri that “the thought of going somewhere with you for a couple of days terrifies me….” She then went on to admit that it was emotionally terrifying and that the two women are seldom alone together — not even for a car ride to the therapist’s session.
Meri later reflected on what Hunterton had told them to do, and she wasn’t thrilled by thought of being alone with Janelle, either. She said, “Being in a car together and listening to an audiobook about vulnerability with Janelle, that’s like a lot.”
She found something to love, outside of the family
In 2016, Brown got a new job — according to her Twitter bio, she’s working as an independent fashion retailer for LuLaRoe. It’s a job that she is clearly passionate about — so passionate, in fact, that she’s even changed her account name on Instagram to reflect this.
She is doing this job for herself, and she appears to be loving every minute. Brown thanked the company for the opportunity in an Instagram post, writing: “Training is fabulous. I am blessed and so happy to be on this #LuLaRoe journey with @lularoemaile and so many other fabulous women who only want to bless and build others up.”
She’s learning to be accepting of her daughter
In 2017, Meri and Kody’s only daughter, Mariah, bravely revealed to her whole family that she identifies as a lesbian. During an interview with People, Mariah opened up about how her sexuality conflicts with her family’s strict fundamental beliefs. She said, “I remember being in church and they talked about how being gay was bad, but none of that came from my parents. It was from the church and the people I was around.”
Meri revealed during an episode of the show that when it comes to romantic relationships, she had a very different vision for her daughter. She said, “I just always expected that she would grow up, meet a guy, get married, have kids…” She then went on to acknowledge disappointment that she would not have a relationship with a son-in-law like her sister wives, Janelle and Christine, do.
That said, Meri has made an effort to accept her daughter. During an interview with People, said, “I’m so proud of [Mariah] for having the strength.”