‘Sister Wives’: Inside Janelle’s Marriage to Meri’s Brother Adam

The Brown family might be alternative in the way they approach marriage, but they still like to keep some details of their personal life private; like Janelle’s previous marriage. While the family has never made a stink about divorce, as both Janelle and Robyn have been previously married before meeting Kody, they’ve been a bit tight-lipped about precisely what happened in Janelle’s first marriage; and for a good reason. Not only was Janelle married when she first met Kody back when they were in their 20s, but she was actually married to Meri’s brother!

Janelle was Married to Adam Barber for two years

Janelle and Adam were married from 1988 until 1990 when they filed for divorce. According to Radar, the couple shared a home and several vehicles when they parted ways but did not have any children. Court documents obtained by the media outlet noted that Janelle was the party that filed the divorce papers. Then-husband Adam, as the defendant, did not show up to court for the final divorce decree; opting, instead to waive his right to an appearance.

Janelle and Adam split the family’s bills equally. She took on the couple’s home and several loans taken out during their marriage, while Adam was awarded three vehicles that were purchased during the marriage and several old debts.

Meri introduced Kody to Janelle

In the family’s book Becoming Sister Wives, Janelle shared that she met Kody at a family gathering. What she managed to gloss over is the fact that she was at the gathering with Meri’s brother; Adam. While the Browns insist the marriage was short-lived, it looks like Janelle was in it for the long haul with Adam until Kody stepped into her life.

She noted that she felt something for the family patriarch the moment he walked in the room; describing the encounter as if she had suddenly remembered something she had long since forgotten. It took nearly three years following her divorce from Adam to join the Brown family, but it seems like Kody’s existence prompted the dissolution of that relationship.

Meri remains close to her brother

Meri Brown, regardless of her twisted family tree, has maintained a close relationship with her brother Adam. In fact, Meri invited her brother along for the closing of her Bed and Breakfast in place of Kody, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn.

During a heated debate, Meri defended her decision by insisting the family hadn’t been interested in the project when she pitched the idea, and thus felt like they wouldn’t be interested in accompanying her to the closing. The inn, located in Utah, also has deep family ties for Meri. Allegedly the business once belonged to her great-great-grandparents, so it seemed fitting that her family was on hand to witness its resurrection.

The family glosses over the marriage

The Browns have publicly acknowledged that Janelle was married in the past, but they’ve been careful to keep the details relatively hidden. Their reluctance to speak about the marriage likely has to do with the familial connection and concerns that viewers would see the relationship as strange.

The connection, however, isn’t all that strange when you think about it. After all, the polygamist population is relatively small, and due to their large families, it stands to reason that there would be intermingling. In fact, the entire family also happens to have a connection to Robyn Brown, Kody’s fourth and now-legal wife, through her ex-husband. Robyn once married to David Preston Jessop, is connected to Kody, Christine, and Meri through that marriage. Jessop is allegedly Christine’s first cousin.