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Kody Brown and Meri Brown’s relationship, or lack thereof, has been a major storyline on Sister Wives. Their crumbling marriage has been covered for several seasons in a row, only abating last season when Christine Brown’s unhappiness in her marriage took center stage. Meri and Kody’s relationship has been bad for so long that it’s hard to pinpoint when things completely unraveled. We’ve collected three moments that might have signaled the beginning of the end. 

Meri and Kody’s marriage started to go downhill when he refused to try for another baby with her 

Meri’s infertility journey has been well-documented on Sister Wives. In the show’s first few seasons, Meri and Kody contemplated trying to add another child to their family. In the end, Meri, the mother of one child, was on board, but Kody was not. Sister Wives fans argue that Kody essentially forced Meri to decide she wasn’t interested in exploring alternative routes to growing her family. In 2013 Kody ended the debate when he said his “gut check” told him it wasn’t a good idea. Kody then added to his family further with his fourth wife, Robyn Brown. 

'Sister Wives' cast includes Kody Brown and wives Meri, Robyn, Janelle and ex-Christine.
Meri, Robyn, Kody, Janelle, and Christine Brown | TLC/YouTube

Closing the door on expanding their family might have signaled the beginning of the end. Meri, who often looked unhappy, even early on in the show, seemed truly interested in having another child. Kody slamming the door on the possibility is a true representation of how he felt about Meri. 

Their spiritual union was over when their legal divorce happened

If Kody’s decision not to have more children with Meri while still adding to his other families wasn’t proof enough that the marriage was in trouble, their legal divorce certainly was. Sure, Kody and Meri presented the legal divorce as a “legal restructuring” of the family to safeguard Robyn’s three children from a previous relationship, but Sister Wives fans never bought it. 

Once Meri was no longer Kody’s legal wife, things seemed to change dramatically, even in front of the cameras. Kody began spending less time with Meri. Meri, in turn, looked for companionship elsewhere, and things exploded from there. While Meri’s catfishing scandal was a big deal, it likely wasn’t the moment that killed their marriage. That happened before Meri “cheated” on Kody. There is reason to believe their marriage started unraveling before Sister Wives premiered. 

Meri and Kody’s marriage was on the rocks the moment Kody married Janelle Brown 

The Brown family might have started documenting their lives on the TLC show, Sister Wives, in 2010, but they shared their early life with fans in their memoir, Becoming Sister Wives. In the memoir, Kody, Meri, and Janelle all documented their experience entering into plural marriage. 

Janelle Brown and Meri Brown stand on each side of their husband, Kody Brown at Janelle's wedding on 'Sister Wives'.
Janelle Brown, Kody Brown, Meri Brown, ‘Sister Wives’ | TLC

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While all three entered into polygamy willingly, their recollection of events, which likely have softened over time, depicts relationships headed for a swift end. Meri and Janelle never got along and still don’t. Kody didn’t seem aware of how to handle the expected jealousy. While many Sister Wives fans believe Meri and Kody’s relationship soured with the addition of wife #4, Robyn Brown, there was likely trouble long before that.