For the last five years, TLC’S ground breaking reality TV series, Sister Wives, has given viewers a chance to see a polygamist relationship like never before. The Brown family, which consists of one husband and four wives, is one of the most unusual families on TV. However, while it is clear that this group has a lot of love for each other, the Brown’s unconventional dynamic has led to a lot of scrutiny. Kody has been accused of trying to have his cake and eat it too, while his wives have been accused of being naive and foolish. While the family insists that they are just like any other, and sometimes it’s really hard to believe that, other times they prove that they might actually be a little more like everyone else than you think. Get to know the cast of Sister Wives.
Born in Wyoming, Kody Brown is a former member of the mainstream Mormon church. However, his choice to be in a polygamist relationship forced him and his family to separate from the church. Brown, who is now the father of 17 children, married his first wife, Meri, in 1990 and had the couple had their first and only child together five years later. Between 1993 and 2010, Brown would ‘spiritually’ marry three other women, and the entire family would exist as one unit. According to Brown, his marriages “aren’t any different from anyone else’s.” However, he does admit, “I’m not sure if any one of my wives could fulfill all my needs, nor do I believe that I am fulfilling all of theirs.” Before the show, Brown worked as an advertising salesmen until the family was forced to leave Utah after Brown was charged with bigamy.
Kody’s first wife, Meri Brown, met Kody in 1989, just a year before they were married. According to Meri, she knew that with Kody it was love at first sight, but she decided to take things slowly (obviously not that slowly) and keep her guard up because she was young. Meri and Kody married when she was just 19-years-old, but waited several years before having their first child in 1995. Due to infertility issues, Meri was only able to have one child, a daughter, named Mariah, who is the eldest of all the Brown children. Meri has often been depicted as being the team player, but she has also seriously struggled with issues of jealousy. In 2014, Meri chose to legally divorce Kody so that he could legally marry his fourth wife Robyn. Recently, there have been several rumors that suggest that Meri may be on the verge of leaving Kody.
Ironically, Janelle and Kody also met in 1989 – even more ironically, while he was already engaged to Meri. But the irony doesn’t just stop there – at the time Kody and Janelle met, she was married to her now sister wife, Meri’s, brother. Janelle says that over the next few years, she and Kody formed a friendship, and because she was not raised in ‘the faith,’ the idea of a polygamist relationship wasn’t even something that crossed her mind. Apparently, in 1992, Janelle had another run in with Meri and Kody which eventually sparked the interest to become part of the couple’s relationship. Throughout her time with Kody, Janelle has had six children. Viewers have often been very critical of the fact that there seems to be absolutely no spark between Kody and Janelle, and some have even suggested that he only “tolerates” her. However, she seems to be happy, and her career as a realtor has often made her the bread-winner.
Throughout her time on the show, Christine has become a fan favorite. Marrying Kody in 1994, the couple now has six children together. Christine and Kody met when she was just a teenager, after he and Meri had been a chaperone on a trip Christine’s sister had gone on, and although Christine initially thought Kody was too short for her, a relationship quickly formed. Although many people may think it’s bizarre, Christine’s father actually wanted her to marry Kody. Out of the three original wives, Christine usually seems the happiest (let’s face it, Meri usually seems miserable, and Janelle sometimes seems like she’s settling); however, she is also the wife that many viewers want to see leave the marriage first.
Out of all of Kody’s wives, Robyn is the most atypical. Unlike Kody’s first wives, Robyn had children (3) prior to marrying him, and seemed to have some sort of rocky past. Also Robyn’s marriage to Kody, which spiritually took place in 2010 and legally took place in 2014, came after more than five years of there only being three wives. However, Robyn says that she considers Kody to be her soulmate, and the couple gave birth to their first child together in 2011, and is expecting another child early next year. Since joining the show, Robyn’s identity seems to be entirely wrapped up in being a member of the family, and it doesn’t seem like she works or does much outside of the house. Robyn has often received a lot of negative criticism for bringing her children into a polygamist family. However, Kody has announced that he plans to adopt Robyn’s children, and many have noted that she seems to be his favorite.
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